For the organized, logical traveler, Marrakech may seem like a nightmare. Its labyrinth of twisty alleyways are almost impossible to navigate, not that its array of snake charmers, fortune tellers and spice sellers will let you go anywhere fast. The problem here isn't the city: It's your state-of-mind. Leave your structured daily routine behind and let the ebb and flow of Marrakech draw you deeper into its colorful chaos.
Start your visit within the salmon-pink walls of the Medina of Marrakech, which contrasts with the white, jagged peaks of the nearby Atlas Mountains and serves as the inspiration for the city's nickname, the Red City. This ancient part of Marrakech houses the famous Jemaa El Fna square that brims with food vendors selling everything from sheep's heads to snails beneath creamy awnings. From here, allow yourself to be lured down the shadowy alleyways to souks (or markets) filled with cones of burgundy-, auburn- and citrine-hued spices exuding an aromatic haze. Stroll past the carpet sellers, with their cobalt-, jade-, and crimson-threaded merchandise, and make your way to architectural marvels like Koutoubia Mosque and the Bahia Palace. Should you desire a break from the medina's bustling streets, retreat to a hammam (public bath) or Majorelle Garden.