Marrakesh, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. A symbol of the city, and visible for miles, is the Moorish minaret of 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque.
Food vendors line Djemaa el-Fna, a broad square where storytellers and musicians perform. The Musée de Marrakech, in a former palace, displays Moroccan decorative objects, coins & contemporary art. Ben Youssef Madrasa is an Islamic landmark ornamented with zellige tilework and carved cedar. Also notable are Bahia Palace, with its large former harem; the monumental ruins of 16th-century El Badi Palace; and the Saadian Tombs royal mausoleum. Outside the old city is the modern district of Ville Nouvelle, and notable gardens such as the Agdal, Majorelle and Menara.