Visits and activities in Ouarzazate : tourism and shopping


It takes no more than 10 minutes to rally Ouarzazate’s centre from Hotel Zaghro with a cab (“petit taxi”). So, even if you have no car, for the small expense of 5 dirhams, you can visit Taourirt casbah or film making museum, or simply enjoy the atmosphere of the large central pedestrian area, and the large square surrounded by coffees and shops.

Taourirt casbah

The fortress of the former Glawi Pasha is built against the old houses of the medina, where was the small village of Ouarzazate before the French troops’ arrival. The casbah has been partially renovated thanks to UNESCO help and funds, and can be visited every day (with or without a guide). In the entrance yard, you can see the famous Krupp cannon that was given to the Glawi family, and marks the beginning of their ascent. The favourite’s apartment, the hammam (steam bath) and the large reception lounges display the remnants of the impressive wealth of the Glawis.

Taourirt at sunset

Taourirt at sunset

Film museum

Just in front of the casbah, a museum of “film making in Ouarzazate” was created in the former Andromeda studios (This Italian production company still operates other studios outside of Ouarzazate). One can see large sets (partially re-created), and especially the ones built for a serial of biblical films that were made over a period of ten years. It is a funny experience to reach in five steps only the munificent palace of Ponce Pilate after leaving the cells of Roman circus. Many other sets are shown, and a very large room displays machines and cameras, showing a summary of film making history since the very beginnings.

Film museum in Ouarzazate

Film museum in Ouarzazate

Restaurants and shops

If you don’t want to have dinner at the hotel, you can find many restaurants around Taourirt casbah, or along the avenue Mohamed V. Hotel Zaghro can advice you and help you selecting an address.

Even if Ouarzazate souqs (markets) are not as large as in Marrakesh or Rissani, one can find in Ouarzazate shops and “bazar” many craft objects, again along avenue Mohamed V and around the casbah, as well as on the large pedestrian square behind avenue Mohamed V.  It is up to you to choose between the security of a fixed price as many shops offer, and the pleasures of negotiation and haggling.

In Tabount, the souq takes place every Saturday.

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