Marrakech

Hands down the best thing about Marrakech is its labyrinth of a medina and countless souks selling wares of every description.

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Honestly I was afraid to wander too far from my group while I was here in fear that a few turns would just lead me deeper in since the stalls really seem to never end in some areas!

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Place D’Jeema el Fna is the highlight of this busy city. UNESCO heritage listed, at this huge public square in the day time you’ll really only find orange juice carts here in addition to a few souvenirs.

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There’s also a selection of restaurants which line the square that are almost always open. A few have upstairs areas where you can get a good view of the square too.

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However, as dusk begins and night falls this place is magically transformed with snake charmers, dancing boys (since girls wouldn’t be allowed to do the same here), music, henna and games.

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Over 100 food stalls are also wheeled in meaning you can get delicious meals for a few dollars at most.

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I basically lived off of tagine, so much so that I still can’t eat any almost a year later. Harira soup, made with chickpeas and lentils was also a favourite. Olives are everywhere which is brilliant and mint tea is a staple drink while here.

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The difference between day and night is truly amazing to behold and has to be seen firsthand I think to really appreciate the daily ritual of this square.

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My hostel was a couple minutes walk from Place D’Jeema el Fna, after a few twists and turns down side streets, which made for good fun trying to attempt to find it in the first place!

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Once I did stumble upon it Riad Layla Rouge was pretty cool with lanterns hanging everywhere from its open roof.

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On the rooftop there is a nice set up of chairs to hang out (especially at night), and with an offer of tea whenever from the staff, the hostel was a lovely place to chill out and escape the heat.

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Breakfast

After two weeks of touring the country a hammam was exactly what I needed to get the feeling of desert sand permanently off my skin.

Mille & Une Nuits (1001 Nights) Spa right in the medina is where my friends and I went and let me tell you there is nothing to get you bonding quicker than hanging out topless with people you’ve only known for a fortnight.

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Waiting for our hammam

I’d already experienced a hammam in Turkey and felt that the one I had in Istanbul was more traditional, however Mille & Une Nuits scrubbed you in much the same way (basically sandpapering your body saying goodbye to layers of dirt immediately) with a sauna included but afterwards my massage was very much Western style on a comfortable bed, which was lovely.

Depending on what package/services you get the prices will of course vary.

You may want to pay a visit to Bahia Palace, fairly new in terms of Moroccan history having been built in the 19th century.

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Only part of the large complex is open to the public for viewing however even the parts you are allowed to visit are a great example of traditional Moroccan craftsmanship.

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Jardin Majorelle was owned by fashion powerhouse Yves St Laurent, he must’ve really loved it here since his ashes were scattered in the gardens.

Probably best known for its vibrant blue this huge botanic garden is a popular site to visit just outside the city. It’s on my list for next time!

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4 thoughts on “Marrakech

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