Well, I won’t discover anything if I say that Marrakech is rather hectic. Or that it attacks all your senses with its saturated colors and not always pleasant smells. This story has been told million times, I know.
Incomprehensible maze of Moroccan cities would wear every traveler out, sooner or later. Fortunately, Morocco has so much to offer that there is gazillion ways to escape smelly hustle and bustle of its overcrowded urban areas. You can always go hiking or beach bumming, but actually, you don’t have to leave the city to prevent exhaustion.
While in Marrakech, you can always go visit the city’s palaces. I went on detour to see Bahia and Badi palaces and I loved both. They couldn’t be more different, yet both of them charmed me. Contrasts are always fascinating.
Bahia Palace is the prettier friend. Its name means brilliance and it lives it up to the expectations. Built in late 19 century, the palace captures Moroccan style of the time. What used to be grand vizier’s house (or rather one of his houses) is a beautiful history lesson today. It also has marvelous gardens that were my favorite part of the visit.
Bahia is rich, pretty and capricious while El Badi is poor, but proud.
El Badi Palace is much older than Bahia. It was commissioned in 16 century and lived its golden days long ago. Nowadays we can only see ruins, but anyway, they are one of the most known Marrakech tourist spots. There is a photography gallery within the palace, where you can see exhibits of famous contemporary photographers from all over the world. I had no idea about this space. It was a very pleasant surprise to discover that Andre Kertesz’s images are on display.
Both palaces are located in the Medina of Marrakech. Getting from Bahia to El Badi takes not more than ten minutes by walk, so you can see both places in one day. That’s what I did and I loved the contrast.
Here is a little photo tour. Let me take you to the two palaces of Marrakech.
El Badi Palace
Have you been there? Which palace was your favorite?