Best Things to Do in Marrakech: Top 12 Attractions to Visit

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Marrakech
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Are you looking to visit Marrakech soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Marrakech. These vibrant sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for a memorable vacation experience.

Welcome to Marrakech, the heartbeat of Morocco! Just the name alone conjures up images of labyrinthine souks, vibrant colors, and the intoxicating scent of spices wafting through the air. Situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, this ancient city is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be uncovered. Imagine wandering through narrow alleyways, each turn revealing a new spectacle—be it a bustling market, a hidden courtyard, or a stunning mosque that takes your breath away. Things to do in Marrakech are endless!

Marrakech is more than just a destination; it’s a sensory explosion. The moment you step off the plane, you’re greeted by a wave of warm air, a symphony of sounds, and a kaleidoscope of colors that promise an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking to conquer the dunes of the Sahara, a culture vulture keen on diving deep into the city’s rich history, or a foodie eager to indulge in exotic flavors, Marrakech has something for everyone.

But wait, there’s more! This city isn’t just for the wanderlust-stricken traveler; it’s also a haven for those seeking spiritual enlightenment, artistic inspiration, or simply a break from the monotony of daily life. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to be swept off your feet by the magic that is Marrakech. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Marrakech.

The top places to visit in Marrakech right now
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Best Places to Visit in Marrakech

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Marrakech? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this enchanting vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Marrakech places to visit.

Are you looking to savoring exotic flavors and haggling for unique treasures? Or would you prefer exploring historic landmarks and engaging in traditional rituals, like tea ceremonies and henna art? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Marrakech can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Marrakech that you should know about.

1. Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace is among the Marrakech things to do that is a living testament to Morocco’s rich architectural heritage. As you step through its grand entrance, you’re immediately transported to a different era. Intricate tilework, lush gardens, and ornate wooden ceilings captivate your senses. It’s like walking through a Moroccan dream, where every corner holds a new secret waiting to be discovered.

The palace was built in the late 19th century and served as the residence for the Grand Vizier of Marrakech. Each room you enter tells a story, from the lavish chambers of the Vizier’s wives to the grand halls where political discussions once took place. It’s not just a feast for the eyes; it’s a journey through time.

If you’re a history enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates fine architecture, Bahia Palace offers an exceptional glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of Morocco’s past. Don’t forget to visit the stunning courtyards, where you can sit and soak in the tranquility, momentarily escaping the hustle and bustle of the city outside.

So, what are you waiting for? Among the coolest activities in Marrakech, exploring Bahia Palace should be at the top of your list. It’s not just a place; it’s an experience that will leave you awe-struck and yearning for more.

Bahia Palace is one of the best things to do in Marrakech.
Visit Bahia Palace in Marrakech for a glimpse of Morocco’s rich architectural heritage and a journey to a different era.

2. Jardin Majorelle

Ah, the Jardin Majorelle—a paradise for nature lovers and a feast for the eyes. A visit to this iconic garden is one of the best things to do in Marrakech when you need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle. As you stroll through the garden, you’ll be enveloped by a symphony of colors: cobalt blue structures, vibrant flora, and intricate pathways that seem to lead to hidden oases.

Designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later owned by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, this garden is a masterpiece of design and botany. From towering cacti to exotic lily ponds, every element is carefully curated to create a tranquil atmosphere.

Thinking of what to do in Marrakech when you want a moment of serenity? Well, Jardin Majorelle is your answer. Take your time exploring the various sections of the garden, each offering a distinctive blend of flora and artistic installations. Don’t forget to visit the Berber Museum located within the garden, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Morocco.

And if you’re a fan of photography, this is your playground. The contrasting colors and intricate designs offer endless opportunities for that perfect Instagram shot. So, snap away and let Jardin Majorelle be the backdrop of your Marrakech memories.

Escape the city's hustle at Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, a paradise of cobalt blue structures, vibrant flora, and hidden oases.
Escape the city’s hustle at Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, a paradise of cobalt blue structures, vibrant flora, and hidden oases.

3. Djemaa el-Fna

Picture this: as the sun sets over Djemaa el-Fna, the square comes alive like a scene from a movie. Snake charmers, henna artists, and musicians create an atmosphere that’s nothing short of electric. But what really steals the show here are the food stalls, offering some of the most authentic Moroccan cuisine you’ll ever taste.

From sizzling kebabs to aromatic tagines, the culinary delights here are endless. If you’re wondering where to visit in Marrakech for a gastronomic adventure, look no further. This bustling square is a food lover’s paradise, offering a smorgasbord of flavors that are as diverse as the city itself.

Let’s not forget about the fresh juices and Moroccan mint tea, perfect for washing down a hearty meal. As you sip on your drink, take a moment to soak in the atmosphere. The chatter of locals bargaining, the laughter of tourists discovering new tastes—it’s a sensory experience that captures the essence of Marrakech.

For those who love to eat their way through new destinations, Djemaa el-Fna is a must-visit. It’s a rite of passage for anyone looking to truly understand the city’s culture through its food. Stay at a traditional Riad in Marrakech within walking distance of this square, and you’ll see why it’s among the top Marrakech things to do.

Experience the lively Djemaa el-Fna square at Marrakech's sunset with snake charmers, artists, musicians, and authentic Moroccan cuisine.
Experience the lively Djemaa el-Fna square at Marrakech’s sunset with snake charmers, artists, musicians, and authentic Moroccan cuisine.

4.The Traditional Hammam

When it comes to unique things to do in Marrakech, a visit to a traditional hammam is an experience you won’t want to miss. Imagine stepping into a steam-filled room, where the air is infused with the soothing scents of eucalyptus and lavender. As you lie on the warm marble slab, skilled attendants scrub away your worries along with layers of dead skin.

Hammams are more than just bathhouses; they’re a cornerstone of Moroccan culture and a ritualistic form of self-care. Whether you opt for a simple scrub or go all out with a full-body massage, you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated, both physically and spiritually.

But the experience doesn’t end there. After your treatment, you’re invited to relax in a serene lounge, sipping on herbal tea as you reflect on the day’s adventures. It’s the perfect way to unwind after exploring the bustling souks and historic sites of Marrakech.

If you’re compiling a list of Marrakech places to visit, make sure a hammam is on it. Trust me, your body and soul will thank you.

Experience a traditional hammam, where skilled attendants exfoliate and pamper you in a soothing, scented steam room.
Experience a traditional Marrakech hammam, where skilled attendants exfoliate and pamper you in a soothing, scented steam room.

5. Koutoubia Mosque

Seeking iconic Marrakech attractions? The Koutoubia Mosque is a sight you can’t afford to miss. Towering above the cityscape, its minaret serves as a beacon for both the faithful and the curious. As you approach, the intricate carvings and majestic arches promise an experience that’s as enriching as it is awe-inspiring.

Now, you might be wondering, what makes this mosque so special? Well, it’s not just its grandeur but also its historical significance. Built in the 12th century, the Koutoubia Mosque is the largest in Marrakech and a stellar example of Almohad architecture. Its presence is a testament to the city’s rich Islamic heritage, making it a must-see in Marrakech for anyone interested in history or architecture.

The outside is not the only one to admire. The surrounding gardens offer a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle. Here, you can sit under the shade of an orange tree, listening to the distant call to prayer while contemplating the beauty around you.

The Koutoubia Mosque should be right at the top of your list of the best places in Marrakech to soak in some culture and history. It’s not just a religious site; it’s a symbol of Marrakech’s diverse and rich tapestry. Is this among the top things to do in Marrakech? Sure is!

Don't miss the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, with its towering minaret and intricate carvings.
Don’t miss the iconic Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, with its towering minaret and intricate carvings.

6. Saadian Tombs

The Saadian Tombs are a hidden gem that many overlook. Tucked away near the Kasbah Mosque, these tombs were lost to history until their rediscovery in 1917. Stepping into this secluded space feels like entering a secret world, one filled with intricate tilework, carved cedarwood, and the whispers of a bygone era.

What makes this spot truly captivating is its air of mystery. For centuries, the tombs were sealed off, preserving the final resting places of Saadian sultans and their families. As you wander through the chambers, you can’t help but feel a sense of reverence and awe. Each tomb tells a story, not just of the person buried there but of a civilization that once was.

So, what are the coolest things to do in Marrakech when you’re yearning for a touch of the enigmatic?

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The Saadian Tombs offer a quiet respite from the city’s frenetic energy, a place where you can ponder the passage of time and the stories that get lost and found again.

If you’re crafting your Marrakech bucket list, make sure the Saadian Tombs are on it. This isn’t just a visit; it’s a journey into the heart of Marrakech’s complex history and culture.

Explore the hidden Saadian Tombs near Kasbah Mosque, a world of intricate tilework and carved cedarwood from a bygone era.
Explore the hidden Saadian Tombs near Kasbah Mosque in Marrakech, a world of intricate tilework and carved cedarwood from a bygone era.

7. Agafay Desert

Ready for an adventure that’s straight out of a storybook? Then you have to try a camel trek in the Agafay Desert. Just a short drive from the city, this lunar-like landscape offers a stark contrast to the bustling streets and verdant gardens of Marrakech.

As you mount your camel and begin your trek, the vastness of the desert engulfs you, offering a sense of freedom that’s hard to find elsewhere. The rhythmic sway of the camel, the crunch of sand beneath its feet, and the endless horizon ahead make this one of the coolest activities in Marrakech.

But it’s not just about the ride; it’s about the entire experience. Visualize this: as the sun sets, casting golden hues across the dunes, you arrive at a traditional Berber camp. Here, you’re treated to a sumptuous Moroccan feast under a sky ablaze with stars.

A camel trek in the Agafay Desert is a must-try in Marrakech. It’s not just an activity; it’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with stories to tell and memories to cherish.

Experience a camel trek in the Agafay Desert, a storybook adventure just a short drive from Marrakech's bustling streets and gardens.
Experience a camel trek in the Agafay Desert, a storybook adventure just a short drive from Marrakech’s bustling streets and gardens.

8. The Labyrinthine Souks

Ah, the souks of Marrakech! A maze of narrow alleys filled with vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, and the chatter of traders and tourists alike. If you’re searching for the best things to do in Marrakech, spending a day navigating these bustling markets is an absolute must.

From hand woven rugs and intricate lanterns to aromatic spices and handcrafted jewelry, the souks offer a treasure trove of Moroccan crafts. Each turn you take leads you to a new discovery, a hidden gem that captures the essence of this incredible city.

But the souks are more than just a shopping destination; they’re a cultural experience. As you haggle over prices and chat with local artisans, you’ll gain insights into the daily life and traditions of Marrakech. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a world that’s both ancient and ever-changing.

Curious about where to go in Marrakech for an authentic, pulse-pounding experience? The souks, without a doubt. Whether you’re a shopaholic or a cultural enthusiast, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss.

Explore vibrant souks, a maze of narrow alleys filled with colors, scents, and the chatter of traders and tourists.
Explore Marrakech’s vibrant souks, a maze of narrow alleys filled with colors, scents, and the chatter of traders and tourists.

9. Amal Women’s Training Center

If you’ve ever been captivated by the rich flavors of Moroccan cuisine, then the Amal Women’s Training Center is one of the unique places in Marrakech for you. Located in the Gueliz district, this non-profit organization offers more than just cooking classes; it provides disadvantaged women with culinary training to help them secure employment.

Your experience begins with a trip to a local market, guided by one of the center’s trainees. As you navigate the maze of stalls, you’ll learn how to pick the freshest produce and spices, a skill that’s essential for Moroccan cooking.

Back at the center, you’ll be welcomed into a professional kitchen where you’ll get hands-on training from the women themselves.

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Whether you’re learning to make a classic tagine or mastering the art of Moroccan bread, the experience is as educational as it is heartwarming.

So, if you’re thinking what to do in Marrakech that combines cultural immersion with culinary delight, look no further than the Amal Women’s Training Center. You’ll walk away not only with new cooking skills but also with the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause.

Visit Marrakech's Amal Women's Training Center in Gueliz, empowering women through cooking classes for employment.
Visit Marrakech’s Amal Women’s Training Center in Gueliz, empowering women through cooking classes for employment.

10. Menara Gardens

Are you looking for a peaceful escape from the bustling city? The Menara Gardens should be at the top of your list of Marrakech places to visit. Located just a few miles from the city center, these gardens offer a tranquil oasis that feels worlds away from the chaos of Marrakech.

As you stroll through the meticulously maintained olive groves, you’ll come upon a stunning pavilion overlooking a large artificial lake. Built in the 16th century, the pavilion serves as a backdrop for some of the most Instagram-worthy photos you’ll ever take. The reflection of the structure on the water, framed by the distant Atlas Mountains, is nothing short of magical.

The Menara Gardens is a working olive farm that has been operational for centuries. It’s a place where beauty and utility coexist, offering visitors an exceptional insight into Moroccan agriculture.

Wondering about Marrakech things to do when you need a moment of zen? Head to the Menara Gardens. Whether you’re interested in photography, history, or simply soaking up some natural beauty, this is a spot you won’t want to miss.

Escape the city chaos at Menara Gardens, a tranquil oasis just a few miles from Marrakech's center.
Escape the city chaos at Menara Gardens, a tranquil oasis just a few miles from Marrakech’s center.

11. Atlas Mountains

Imagine greeting the dawn from high above, as the first rays of sunlight illuminate the rugged peaks of the Atlas Mountains. If you’re compiling a list of the coolest things to do in Marrakech, a hot air balloon ride over this stunning mountain range should be a no-brainer.

Your adventure begins in the early morning, as you’re whisked away from the city to the launch site. The anticipation builds as you watch the balloon inflate, a colorful giant against the predawn sky. Once you’re airborne, the world below transforms into a breathtaking panorama. The contrast between the arid mountains and the lush valleys is a sight to behold.

But the experience isn’t just visual; it’s emotional. There’s something profoundly peaceful about floating above the world, detached from the hustle and bustle yet connected to the grandeur of nature. It’s a moment of reflection, a break from the sensory overload that is Marrakech.

If you’re looking for go-to destinations that offer a different perspective, literally and metaphorically, a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains is it. You’ll return to earth with a newfound appreciation for the beauty that surrounds this vibrant city.

Experience a stunning dawn hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains for a top Marrakech adventure.
Experience a stunning dawn hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains for a top Marrakech adventure.

12. Dar Si Said Museum

For those who are captivated by the intricate artistry of Moroccan craftsmanship, the Dar Si Said Museum is among the cool destinations in Marrakech attraction you can’t afford to miss. Nestled in the heart of the medina, this museum is a treasure trove of Moroccan art and artifacts, housed in a 19th-century palace.

As you wander through the labyrinthine rooms, you’ll be transported to a different era. From ornate Berber jewelry to exquisite Andalusian woodwork, the museum showcases the rich tapestry of Moroccan culture. Each room is a feast for the eyes, filled with vibrant textiles, intricate mosaics, and hand-carved furniture.

What sets this museum apart is its focus on the art of the everyday. You’ll see objects that were used in daily life but are now considered masterpieces of craftsmanship. It’s a vivid reminder that in Marrakech, art isn’t just something to be observed; it’s woven into the fabric of everyday life.

Searching for the best places to go in Marrakech that offer both cultural enrichment and aesthetic delight? Don’t miss to carve out time for the Dar Si Said Museum. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through Morocco’s artistic heritage.

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Dar Si Said Museum is one of the best things to do in Marrakech.
Don’t miss the Dar Si Said Museum in Marrakech’s medina, a treasure trove of Moroccan art and artifacts in a 19th-century palace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Marrakech

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Marrakech? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Marrakech:

What’s the best time to Visit Marrakech?

The best time to visit Marrakech is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the city’s gardens are in full bloom. Avoid the scorching summer heat and the chilly winter nights for a more comfortable and enjoyable stay.

How many days in Marrakech is enough?

The ideal duration for a visit to Marrakech largely depends on your interests and the pace at which you like to travel. However, for most visitors:

3 to 4 days in Marrakech is generally sufficient to explore the main attractions and get a feel for the city.

Here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Medina Exploration

  • Jemaa el-Fnaa: Start your day at this bustling square, known for its street performers, food stalls, and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Souks: Wander through the labyrinthine alleys of the souks, where you can shop for everything from spices to handcrafted leather goods.
  • Koutoubia Mosque: While non-Muslims cannot enter, it’s worth admiring the architecture and gardens of Marrakech’s largest mosque.
  • Bahia Palace: Explore this 19th-century palace known for its intricate decorations.

Historical and Cultural Sites (Day 2)

  • Saadian Tombs: Visit these tombs that date back to the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur.
  • Majorelle Garden: Spend a relaxing afternoon in this beautiful garden, once owned by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
  • Marrakech Museum: Dive into the city’s history and culture.

Day 3: Day Trip or Further Exploration

  • Day Trip Options: Consider a trip to the Atlas Mountains, the Ourika Valley, or the Agafay Desert.
  • Alternatively, spend more time exploring Marrakech, visiting places like the Dar Si Said Museum or the El Badi Palace.

Day 4: Relaxation and Leisure

  • Hammam: Experience a traditional Moroccan spa.
  • Gueliz: Explore the modern part of Marrakech, with its contemporary restaurants, shops, and art galleries.

Is Marrakech safe for tourists?

Marrakech is generally safe for tourists, with a strong tourist police presence and low crime rates. However, like any destination, it’s wise to exercise common-sense precautions, such as safeguarding belongings and being aware of your surroundings in crowded areas. Respect local customs and dress modestly to minimize unwanted attention.

Is Marrakech a walkable city?

Marrakech, particularly its historic center known as the Medina, is relatively walkable due to its compact nature. Here are some points to consider about walking in Marrakech:

  1. Medina’s Labyrinthine Alleys: The Medina is a maze of narrow streets and alleys filled with shops, stalls, and historic sites. It’s best to explore on foot, as many of its alleys are too narrow for vehicles.
  2. Jemaa el-Fnaa: This central square in the Medina is pedestrian-friendly and has many attractions, making it a good starting point for walking tours.
  3. Traffic and Safety: Outside the Medina, especially in areas like Gueliz (the new city), the streets are broader, and there’s more vehicular traffic. Pedestrians should be cautious when crossing roads, as traffic can be chaotic and drivers might not always yield to walkers.
  4. Street Harassment: Tourists, especially solo female travelers, might occasionally face street harassment or persistent touts. It’s advisable to dress modestly, avoid unnecessary attention, and firmly decline unwanted offers or advances.
  5. Getting Lost: It’s easy to lose your way in the winding streets of the Medina. While this can be part of the adventure, it’s a good idea to have a map or a navigation app on hand. If you’re unsure of your direction, local shopkeepers are often willing to help, though some might expect a small tip in return.
  6. Weather: Marrakech can be scorching during the summer months, making walking less comfortable during midday. It’s best to start early in the morning or venture out in the late afternoon during these times.
  7. Comfortable Footwear: Given the uneven and sometimes cobblestoned streets, wearing comfortable shoes is essential.

Do I need to speak Arabic to get by in Marrakech?

While Arabic is one of the official languages in Morocco, you don’t need to speak it to get by in Marrakech. French and Moroccan Arabic (Darija) are more widely used, and many locals in tourist areas understand basic English. Learning a few basic phrases in Arabic can enhance your experience but isn’t essential for basic communication.

Street scene in Marrakech, Morocco
Street scene in Marrakech, Morocco

Is it cheap in Marrakesh?

Compared to many Western countries, Marrakesh (often spelled Marrakech) is generally considered affordable for travelers. However, the cost can vary depending on your travel style, preferences, and where you’re coming from. Here are some points to consider regarding expenses in Marrakesh:

  1. Accommodation: Marrakesh offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget hostels and traditional riads (courtyard houses) to luxury hotels. While you can find very affordable places to stay, upscale accommodations, especially in renowned hotels, can be pricey.
  2. Food: Street food and local eateries in Marrakesh are quite affordable and offer a chance to taste authentic Moroccan cuisine. However, restaurants in tourist-heavy areas or upscale establishments can be more expensive.
  3. Transportation: Taxis are relatively cheap, but it’s essential to ensure the driver uses the meter or to agree on a price before starting the journey. The city is also walkable, especially within the Medina, which can save on transportation costs.
  4. Shopping: The souks (markets) in Marrakesh are famous for their variety of goods, from spices and textiles to pottery and jewelry. Bargaining is a common practice, and tourists might initially be quoted higher prices. It’s essential to haggle to get a fair deal.
  5. Tours and Activities: Organized tours, such as trips to the Atlas Mountains, desert excursions, or guided city tours, can add to your expenses. However, many attractions within the city, like historical sites and gardens, have reasonable entrance fees.
  6. Tipping: Tipping is customary in Morocco for services like dining, guided tours, and taxis. While it’s not mandatory, it’s a good practice to tip for good service, though the amount is generally small.
  7. Tourist Traps: As with many popular tourist destinations, there are areas or individuals that might try to overcharge unsuspecting tourists. Being aware and doing a bit of research can help avoid paying more than necessary.

What should I wear when visiting Marrakech?

When visiting Marrakech, it’s advisable to dress modestly out of respect for local customs. For both men and women, clothing that covers shoulders, knees, and cleavage is appropriate. Loose-fitting, breathable fabrics are best due to the city’s warm climate. In more remote or conservative areas, more conservative attire may be required.

Can I drink the tap water in Marrakech?

It’s generally not recommended to drink tap water in Marrakech. To avoid waterborne illnesses, it’s safer to drink bottled or purified water readily available at stores and restaurants. Also, use bottled water for brushing teeth and avoid ice in drinks from sources of uncertain water quality.

What is the most famous thing in Marrakech?

The most famous attraction in Marrakech is arguably the Djemaa el-Fna square. This bustling marketplace is the city’s heartbeat, teeming with street performers, food vendors, and artisans. By day, it’s a lively market; by night, it transforms into a carnival-like atmosphere, making it a must-see in Marrakech.

Is Marrakech worth going to?

Absolutely, Marrakech is a must-visit destination that offers a rich tapestry of experiences. From the vibrant Djemaa el-Fna square to the tranquil Jardin Majorelle, the city is a blend of tradition and modernity. It’s a feast for the senses and a treasure trove of cultural gems.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Marrakech

So there you have it, folks—a whirlwind tour of the coolest activities in Marrakech, from the bustling markets to the tranquil gardens and everything in between. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a foodie, or someone who just loves to wander, Marrakech offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that are as diverse as they are unforgettable.

But remember, the real magic of Marrakech lies not just in its tourist attractions but in its ability to surprise and enchant you at every turn. It’s in the unexpected kindness of a stranger, the intoxicating scent of street food, and the intricate patterns that adorn even the most mundane objects.

So go ahead, book that ticket and pack those bags. Marrakech is not just a destination; it’s a state of mind, a sensory overload, a story waiting to be written. And trust me, you’ll want to read every single page.

The top things to do in Marrakech for all types of travelers
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