Top 5 museums in the old medina of Marrakech

With a wealth of history, culture and artistic legacy, Marrakech is a treasure trove for history buffs and art lovers alike. Across the city, many of its museums are themselves historic wonders, housed in exceptional palaces and stately buildings that give testament to broad cultural diversity. Read on to discover more about 5 of the very best museums in the medina, that should be at the top of any visitor’s list.

Museum of the Friends of Marrakech

Located in the spectacular restored 19th century building of the Palace of Dar Menebhi, the Museum of the Friends of Marrakech is dedicated to contemporary art inspired by the region, from both local and international artists. The museum’s collection offers a fantastic opportunity to discover more about Marrakech and its personality, through the unique interpretations of the many artists who have passed through the city through the years. Alongside contemporary works of art, the museum also showcases special exhibitions featuring jewellery, ceramics and manuscripts.

The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts

A relatively new museum, opened in just 2009, the museum boasts an incredible photographic collection that takes visitors through the city’s long history. Over 4,500 photographs, spanning back to 1870 allows visitors to see Marrakech on the cusp of modernity, revealing old archaeological sites, the untainted natural landscape, and portraits of locals throughout the ages. The museum has an exceptional collection of film and photographs of Berber culture, giving outsiders an intimate view into their heritage. Housed in a restored funduq, an inn for travellers and merchants, the museum is certainly an eye catching and rewarding visit.

Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts

Museum of Jewellery

A charming contemporary museum, the Musée de Bijoux Nawahi hosts a fascinating collection of locally crafted jewellery, showcasing the skills, talents and precious materials found in the region. Each room shows off a different selection of items from various regions and eras, including beadwork, silver work, embroidered pieces and more. A fantastic rooftop terrace and restaurant also provides a chance to refresh and recharge, while taking in some spectacular views from the peaceful heights.

Museum of Jewellery

The Tiskiwin Museum

Owned by a Dutch anthropologist, the Tiskiwin Museum holds one of Marrakech’s widest and most illustrious collections of North African arts and crafts, featuring textiles, jewellery, basket work and more. Showcasing the creations from different regions across the Sahara, it is a chance to get an in-depth view of the relationship between Morocco and the Sahara, taking you across, region by region in different rooms. One of the highlights of the massive collection includes a Berber tent, composed entirely of camel hair.

Dar Si Said

For visitors who would like to get a taste of Morocco’s past through the lives of its ordinary residents, the Dar Si Said is perfect. Housed in a illustrious palace that is worth visiting for the architecture itself, Dar Si Said brings together a collection of clothing, weaponry and tools, as well as the sumptuous textiles and crafts of the region, while upstairs, visitors can have a closer look at some of the delicately crafted musical instruments, made from cedar retrieved from the city’s past buildings.

Stéphane Abtan is Director at Dar Ayniwen.

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