AÏT BENHADDOU: HOLLYWOOD’S FAVORITE FILMING LOCATION (Game of Thrones, Prince of Persia, Gladiator, The mummy...)


Did you look at the blog’s picture and wonder “Why does this place look familiar”? Well it’s because you’ve definitely seen it before on your favorite TV shows and movies. Does Yunkai City ring a bell to you? It surely does! The place we are introducing to you today was the shooting set for Yunkai city in Game of thrones. If you are more of a fan of classics, you might also recognize this place from Prince of Persia, Gladiator or even Lawrence of Arabia. If you are a fan of any of these movies, you might want to learn more about it and plan your next trip to it, then this is the blog for you.

What is Ksar Aït Benhaddou?

Aït Ben Haddou is a historical ksar (fortified village) located in Ouarzazate that has been built around 1000 years ago along the former caravan route between Marrakech and Timbuktu. It has been been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

It is a grouping of earthen buildings surrounded by high defensive walls that are reinforced by angle towers and a gate. Some of its houses resemble small castles with their high-angle towers and upper sections decorated with motifs in clay brick. The material used to build the Ksar is a mixture of adobe, rammed earth, clay bricks, and wood.

It is an architectural masterpiece still preserved and serving as an example of the earthen clay architecture of southern Morocco.

Earthen clay architecture of Kasbah of Aït Bendahhou, UNESCO WHS

If you are enchanted by the beauty of this medieval view but you can’t visit it any time soon, you can take a piece of it to your home by shopping for this poster of Ait Benhaddou. 

How to get to Aït Benhaddou from Marrakech?

In order to reach Aït Benhaddou from Marrakech, you can either rent a car, book a tour or take a bus and a taxi.

You can take a bus from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, a city that is 30 km away from the Kasbah. Make sure to get off at the intersection road that leads to Aït Benhaddou, and from there you can get a grand taxi to the Ksar.

The drive between Marrakech and Aït Benhaddou takes between 4 to 5 hours, but you don’t have to worry about getting bored because you will pass by the most panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains and the Tizi n’ Tichka pass.

Atlas mountains and Tizi n’ Tichka pass between Marrakech and ouarzazate

What to do in Aït Benhaddou?

  • Visit the Kasbah: walking through the Kasbah, you can explore some old houses to discover their unique interior architecture.
  • Hike your way up to the top of the hill to be rewarded by a gorgeous panoramic view over the desert landscape from one side and the palm grove on the other side.
  • Don’t miss out on the golden hour: the Aït Benhaddou summit is one of the best spots in Morocco from which you can enjoy a splendid sunset. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity when you are there!
Yunkai city or Ksar Aït Benhaddou’s sunset
  • Shopping: While taking a walk around the Ksar, you will find locals selling Moroccan handicraft such as Amazigh rugs, jewelry, clothes, art, and many others.

Yunkai city or Ksar Aït Benhaddou’s Moroccan handicraft and berber rugs

Would you like to get similar products? MyTindy offers you a collection of Amazigh jewelry, Amazigh tableware, Amazigh home décor, and other handmade pieces that you can easily shop for from our website.

Ksar Aït Benhaddou: Game of Thrones' Yunkai City

The unique and medieval architecture of Aït Benhaddou made the Ksar a famous film set for Hollywood movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, The Mummy, Prince of Persia, Alexander, and Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra.

Lawrence of Arabia scene in Ksar Aït Benhaddou

Most recently, Aït Benhaddou became the city of Yunkai that was freed from slave merchants by Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.

Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones conquering Yunkai city or Kasbah of Aït Benhaddou

Did you enjoy this blog, and now you can't wait to get your hands on some Moroccan Amazigh rugs similar to the ones you can buy from Ksar Aït Benhaddou? Check out our collection of handmade Amazigh rugs!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Share this