History and Culture

At Marrakech Riad we pride ourselves on offering our guests as much support and information as they require to help them to plan their perfect stay in our beautiful Medina accommodation. Marrakech Morocco, a world heritage site
Marrakech is a culturally rich and diverse city, it has fascinating and complex historical influences. The culture, architecture, cuisine and people of this great red city all reflect the influence of traders, inhabitants and rulers who have gone before. We research and write about interesting facets of this rich historical background. We hope that these pieces of information will help you to gain an understandingof Marrakech before and during your stay with us.


Argan oil is referred to as the “liquid gold” of Morocco because it is so rare. The delicate trees it comes from only grow in a very specific microclimate of Morocco: the Sous Valley south and east of Essaouira. The rich cosmetic oil has recently attracted great attention in the beauty industry because it is […]


Tagine is the dish that most often comes in mind when traveling to Morocco, but all locals in Marrakech recommend foreigners try a Tangia. Tangia a dish that is specific to Marrakech. You can’t find it outside of the city. The Tangia itself is a clay pot that is loaded up with ingredients, taken to […]

Ibrahim, Metalworker

Ibrahim is 74 years old and works in the souks of Marrakech. He is a metal worker specializing in teapots and trays. He has been in the souks since 1975 doing many different jobs such as selling or wrapping up items for customers. He is a very hard worker because he wants to provide a good […]


If you like clay pots, tagines, lamps or anything else to do with handmade clay items from Morocco, you should visit Souk Rabeaa, not far from the famous Marrakech tannery and Souk Khamis. The displays throughout the shop are laden with every clay and ceramic ware imaginable.  The space used to be a vegetable market, […]


The tagine is by far the most popular cooking item in Morocco. No matter where you are in the country, you will find one in the kitchen. The word “tagine” specifically refers to a clay pot with a cone-shaped lid that slowly cooks meats and vegetables until they are moist and oh so tender. After […]

Majorelle Gardens 2

Most people who have an interest in visiting Marrakech have heard of the Majorelle Gardens. The sprawling expanse of plants from all over the world, the Majorelle blue accent walls, and the Yves Saint Laurent museum garner hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. A lesser known (and much cheaper) element of the space is […]


What’s incredible about Morocco (that perhaps people don’t realize) is that the stunning mosaics and expertly carved wall accents you find in many Riads aren’t just reserved for upper-class homes or tourist-y hotels. These incredibly detailed artworks cover the surfaces of everyday homes that people have lived in for millennia. Most homes, which look humble […]

Marrakech Cat

Cats are all over the place in Marrakech. You’ll find them relaxing in the streets, playing with one another by shop entrances, and even coming up to you for some cuddles! The whole city is their stomping ground. Cats are in cafes, restaurants, and, sometimes, we are pleasantly surprised to find a furry feline friend […]


Every home in Morocco always has two ingredients on hand: olive oil and olives. These products are essential to Moroccan cuisine and culture. At breakfast, traditional breads and pancakes are dipped in olive oil to start the day; at lunch, olives are presented as an appetizer; at supper, coffee and mint tea are served alongside […]

Madonna in ait herbil headdress in a piece of art by Ghita Benlamlih

Recently Madonna posed wearing a headdress from Morocco during her birthday celebrations. The headdress was the same one that she wore during the MTV Vma awards ceremony where she gave a tribute to soul icon Aretha Franklin. Some people called the act of wearing the piece inappropriate or cultural appropriation, yet if we look a […]


The queen of pop celebrated her 60th birthday in Marrakech, and chose a traditional riad as the palatial setting for the party. Madonna, has always embraced all that is bold and powerful. Conical bras and corsets were her trademark look in the 1990’s, so it is no surprise that she chose a powerful and iconic […]

al-Qarawiyyin Fez Historical Library

Perhaps not what people first consider when thinking of Morocco, is the rich history of book trade and literature in this most curious country. We are walking through an age where tablets and smartphones dictate much of our lives. Designed to make all of our needs accessible in one portable device, our phones make it […]

Sahara Tent Camel Hair

The gate to the Sahara, and the expansive sands that follow, are lit up in a spectrum of colour for a brief and melodic moment. Of festivals in Morocco, The International Festival of Nomads is one to add to the bucket-list. The return of this festival in 2018, sees the 15th edition of the event, […]

1-54 Art Fair MACAAL Launch Marrakech

The Kingdom Of Morocco is a wonderful host of amalgamating traditions and peoples; which merge and attribute to a vibrant and diverse set of cultural realities. Morocco is the country which sits on the edge of North Africa and just kisses Europe, meaning that the history of this land has played a pivotal role in […]

Marrakech Kaleche

The word “Caleche” may not be familiar to you, if you’ve never spent a week or two in Morocco before. The word itself is a french, feminine noun which found it’s way to Morocco during the French Colonisation in the 1950’s.  The term Caleche is now a commonly used name for what is formally known […]

Marrakech Railway Station 2008

Morocco is a vast & complex country, and yet it is highly unlikely that you will ever find yourself unable to negotiate travelling between one city and another. Despite expansive areas of empty desert plains, scarcely populated farming districts and technology-free mountainous ridges; from every main city there are an abundance of transport options which […]

Bab El Khemis Marrakech today

Located in the North Western corner of the medina, in the direction of Rue du Fez, stands Bab El Khemis. Bab El Khemis literally translates to “The door of the fifth day”, and in the Islamic calendar, the fifth day is Thursday. One of just 19 gates which puncture the 19km long ramparts of the […]

The Orientalist Museum Door

Just next door to the stunning Riad Star, in the tiny derb to your right (before the mosque), is a brand new museum set inside another ancient Riad. The Orientalist Museum is fresh on the Marrakech art scene and officially opened in February 2018. The exhibitions on offer here take a closer look at the […]

Hassan Hajjaj at Riad Yima

Whilst exploring all that Marrakech has to offer, it’s highly likely that you will come across the works of world renowned artist Hassan Hajjaj. His creations can be found gracing the walls of numerous venues in the red city, but his work branches out much further than Marrakech, Hassan Hajjaj is a Moroccan born, contemporary […]

Histoire de Caftan Marrakech

For the fashion conscious among us, Marrakech is a hub for inspiration. From textile shops stacked floor to ceiling with every colour of velvet, muslin, cotton and sequin cloth; to the enticing amalgamation of African, Arabian and Oriental influences within the characters, architecture, flavours and music of Marrakech. As an artist, it is almost impossible […]

Faouzy the jewellery designer

Morocco is a country with a rich and diverse history spanning several millennia. In it’s lifetime, Morocco has been home to an extensive variety of demographics; beginning with the indigenous Berber people in the first millennium BC, and continuing with colonisation and invasions by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Moors(Spanish) & French. With each […]

Natural Dyes in Clay Pots

The dyers district covers two sides of the main path, through Souk Sebbaghine. If you choose to take the “needle and thread” walk, then you can use our Marrakech Travel Guide App to help you along your way. The app is free to download to your phone or tablet and functions without internet connection, so […]

National Human Development Incentive Morocco

As you pass through the ancient medina, with your senses being overwhelmed by sounds, smells and colour, you might miss a few small details. A detail which is particularly worthy of noting, are the small signs which are dotted around the walls of various attractions or industrial areas which read “Initiative Nationale pour le Developpement Humain”. […]

Soak vegetables in cold water...

For Moroccans, food is a big deal! A full belly is the key to a full and happy mind, and within the framework of this culture; a person takes immense pride in cooking delicious, fresh meals. When in Morocco, you will find that the most accessible groceries in the local markets are the required ingredients […]

Plant cuttings

The country of Morocco at the westernmost point of Africa, has a diverse and variable climate. Expanding across it’s entirety, you can find a multitude of environments; from the desert plains of the Sahara to lush & rocky regions throughout the Atlas Mountains. Average temperatures and rain fall are different from region to region, but […]

essential oils

If you know Morocco, then you will likely be familiar with the ritual of the hammam. If you are not familiar with the word, then in essence it is a combined sauna and bath house. Hammam is an arabic word that roughly translates to “public bath place”. In Marrakech, you are spoiled for choice in […]


There’s no denying that Morocco is a well known destination for unwanted European tyres. The Moroccan customs are taking control of this situation, and just last year at the border they seized a heavy good vehicle carrying in excess of 2,500 used tyres. It is essential that the European tyre management schemes and companies which […]