Gueliz Walking Tour, Marrakech

Gueliz Walking Tour (Self Guided), Marrakech

Gueliz, otherwise known as the New City (Nouvelle Ville), is more like the downtown of Marrakech. Here you will definitely feel the western influence: McDonald's, KFC, brand stores, and even a supermarket. However Gueliz is also famous for its galleries and parks. Find what are the things that make Gueliz unique by taking this self guided tour.
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Gueliz Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Gueliz Walking Tour
Guide Location: Morocco » Marrakech (See other walking tours in Marrakech)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Jnane El Harti
  • Royal Theater
  • Photo 127 Gallery
  • Gallery Re
  • Majorelle Museums (YSL Museum / Berber Museum)
  • Majorelle Garden
Jnane El Harti

1) Jnane El Harti

Jnane El Harti is a public park with a special playground for kids. This green area is famous for its big dinosaurs, climbing frame, and swings. There are also several fountains and, of course, a lot of space to wander around while eating ice cream. The park is located in Gueliz just across the street from McDonald's.
Royal Theater

2) Royal Theater

Opened in 2001, the Royal Theater is a very popular cultural venue in Marrakech. Located in Gueliz, it is also known as an important architectural site in the area. The place features a 1200-seat open-air amphitheater and an 800-seat concert hall/opera house.
Photo 127 Gallery

3) Photo 127 Gallery

The Photo 127 Gallery is Morocco's only gallery which focuses on photographic art. The gallery is located on the second floor of the building at 127 Ave Mohammed V, Gueliz. The interior design of the place is rather simple and industrial. The works exhibited here feature various photographic styles.
Opening Hours: Tue - Sat: 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Gallery Re

4) Gallery Re

Gallery Re is located on the corner of Mosque and Ibn Toummert streets. The gallery is housed in the two-story building, the Al Andalous III Residence. Here you'll find works executed by emerging Moroccan artists, such as M'barek Bouhchichi and Marrakshi Touria Othman.
Open Hours: Tue-Sat: 9:30am-1pm, 3-8pm; Sun: 3-8pm.
Majorelle Museums (YSL Museum / Berber Museum)

5) Majorelle Museums (YSL Museum / Berber Museum) (must see)

If you have any interest in fashion, you'll definitely want to check out the Majorelle Garden's Yves Saint Laurent Musem. The garden itself, abundant with varied and unusually-shaped cacti and palm trees, had been taken over and revived by YSL years after the death of the artist Jacques Majorelle, and you can spend several hours transfixed by its magical beauty. The stunning YSL Museum is also breathtaking, featuring fully accessorized and clothed black mannequins, exhibiting the strong influence Moroccan colors and textiles had on YSL's design aesthetics. There is also a large display case with YSL's iconic jewelry and other accessories, as well as a wonderful and informative short movie to view and a changing art exhibit that features one artist.

The Berber Museum, on the other hand, provides a comprehensive overview of the traditional dress and ornamentation of the Berber people. It is only small but the interest value is huge, and you can stand and inspect (if the crowds of people allow) the costumes and jewels closely in a way that you can't when you see people on the street wearing the same things – they certainly don't like being photographed. And actually, for that matter, no photography is allowed in the museum; however, in this collection, you can clearly see some of the vast source of YSL's inspiration.

Avoid the long queue at the ticket booth for the Jardin Majorelle and head straight for their website (or the on-site YSL museum), where you can buy combination tickets of museums and garden (note that online purchases must be made at least 24 hours prior the visit).

Opening Hours:
[YSL Museum]; Thu-Tue: 8am–6pm; last entry: 5:30pm
[Berber Museum] Thu-Tue: 8am–6pm; 9am–4:30pm (Ramadan)
Majorelle Garden

6) Majorelle Garden (must see)

When you visit the Museum of Islamic Art, you will first go through Majorelle Gardens and it is a good place to linger for a while.

Jacques Majorelle was a French artist, specializing in Art Nouveau paintings. He lived in Morocco for many years in his lovely house in Marrakech, where he laid out the gardens and opened them to the public in 1947.

The beautiful botanical gardens cover 12 acres with the house, which is painted in bold Cobalt called Bleu Majorelle. Most of the stonework in the gardens is in the same color, with jardinières painted in bright yellow, orange and green.

The gardens are home to over 15 different species of native birds, and goldfish, turtles and frogs abound in the ponds. You can follow the shady paths and admire the fountains, or relax on one of the many benches. There is a wonderful bamboo plantation, olive and banana trees, palms and bougainvilleas that add a slash of bright red and pink.

The gardens are an oasis of calm, but likely to be full of visitors, especially during the afternoon. There is a very good café serving mint tea and coffee and a shop where you can buy souvenirs and prints of Majorelle’s work.

After the artist’s death, the gardens became rather overgrown and abandoned-looking. The land was bought in 1980 by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who restored the gardens to their former splendor. Yves Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered here and there is a small memorial to him. The gardens are now managed by the YSL Foundation.

Why You Should Visit:
Blue is the main color here and it goes beautifully with the different plants and garden settings. Even with some crowds, you can still manage to take a few good pictures.
The YSL memorial, the Berber Museum, the water features, the bookstore, and the café are all fabulous.

Buy a combination ticket at the YSL museum about 100 yards down the road. You can skip the line!

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