by Lydia Schrandt for USA TODAY 10Best

Visit Marrakesh on this virtual tour

Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s most intoxicating destinations, attracts travelers from around the globe to its maze-like medina, intricate architecture and stellar shopping scene.

The craftsmanship on display in Marrakesh is evident before you even leave the airport. Marrakesh Menara Airport ranks among the most beautiful, thanks to its arabesques that filter the sunlight.

Jemaa el-Fnaa, the city’s main square, sits at the heart of the old medina. These days, it’s a bustling collection of food vendors, snake charmers, henna tattoo artists and musicians.

If the North African sun has you feeling thirsty, head to Jemaa el-Fnaa for a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. The fruit is brought in each morning, so it’s almost always fresh.

The souks of Marrakesh have served as an important trading center for thousands of years. More than 3,000 stalls sell all sorts of artisan goods and tourist knickknacks.

Stroll through Souk Labbadine, the dyer’s souk, and you’ll see newly dyed textiles drying on bamboo poles alongside wool and yarn for knitting.

Some of the most visually impressive shops in the medina are those specializing in metal lanterns. You’ll see them hanging from doors and rafters in all shapes and sizes.

Among the most prized goods for sale within the medina are the hand-woven Berber rugs. Each one can take several months to complete and typically come with a price tag of thousands of dollars.

French artist Jacques Majorelle spent 40 years building Jardin Majorelle. The intense shade of blue seen throughout the garden was a favorite of the artist, one he later trademarked Majorelle Blue.

Leather tanning has been an industry in Marrakesh since the 11th century. Visitors can shop for leather goods in the souks or see how they’re made with a visit to one of the city’s tanneries.

Accommodations in Marrakesh often take the form of riads, traditional Moroccan houses built around a central courtyard. Each feels like its own peaceful escape from the surrounding medina.

The Bahia Palace ranks among the city’s most popular attractions, drawing in visitors with its stunning painted wood ceilings, marquetry and symmetrical gardens.

If you only eat one thing in Morocco, make it a traditional tajine. The word "tajine" actually refers to the cooking vessel – a clay pot with a conical lid used for stewing meats and vegetables.

The monumental minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque broadcasts a call to prayer over the medina five times a day. In the 19th century, the base of the tower was a popular gathering spot for booksellers.

Some of the rolling sand dunes of the Sahara Desert outside Marrakech tower nearly 1,000 feet. Spend the night at a Berber camp nestled amid the dunes for the full experience.

Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa, a Quranic learning center, was once the largest in North Africa, serving more than 900 students within its walls.

Take a day trip to the Atlas Mountains to see one of Morocco’s most impressive sights, the Ouzoud Falls. The second-tallest waterfalls in the country are particularly impressive in late spring.

Locals and visitors alike come to Menara Gardens to picnic among the olive groves, or take in the sights of the High Atlas Mountains reflected off the surface of the man-made lagoon.

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