Marrakesh is one of the most important cities in Morocco. The city which is filled with vendors and their stalls (so called Medina), colourful buildings, religious sightings and amazing food!
Uncensoredtravel takes you on a tour through the city, how we experienced the hot spots, the bargaining with vendors and the delicious food we encountered. Come along for the read!
How to get to the city?
If you are flying to Marrakesh airport, be sure to pick up a SIM card after arrival. There is a stand near the car rental stands, you can buy a SIM card with unlimited internet for 200 dirham.
If you are looking to go to the city by bus, take line 19 which stops right infront of the airport. The costs are 70 dirham for an one way ticket and 100 dirham for a return ticket (valid for 15 days). The bus will take you to the Place Jemaa el Fna Medina, which is right in the central of the city. There are also a few other stops on the way. Every 30 minutes, the bus goes towards the Medina from the airport.
You can also try to get a cab, which shouldn’t be more than 100 dirham. Inside the city a cab ride should not cost you more than 20 dirham.
Marrakesh has a lot of beautiful sights to visit. The colourful buildings are worth the visits, make sure that your camera’s are fully charged and your memory cards are empty :)! So what kind of hotspots are there to see?
Jardin Majorelle is one of the most visited places in the country. It is created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) 40 years to create his enchanted garden. There is also a museum inside the garden, and the colourful blue and yellow buildingof s will keep your camera focused all day!
The garden is open every day, check here for the opening hours during the year. The admission prices are 70 dirham per person.
The souks of the Medina are a must visit. You can find different vendors with their shops of Moroccan wear throughout the city. The rule is, never take the first given price. Negotiate! And if you think the price is fair, make the deal! If the prices are fixed it means there is no negotiating, try to keep that in mind. Shopkeepers can be persistent and can even become rude at some point, just say the magical word “Shukran” (meaning: no thank you) and they will politely leave you alone.
We bought a lot of cool souvenirs: carpets (depending where you buy it, in shops you can get it for 160-200 dirham), oil lamps (the cool aladin lamps depending on the size, small ones go for 20-30 dirham, bit bigger ones around 60 dirham), scarfs (30 to 60 dirham depending on what kind of quality), fatima hand (60 to 80 dirham), candleholder (30 dirham for the plastic candleholders sold on the street), tea pot set (we paid 350 dirham for the whole set including glasses, tea pot and platter), pillow case (100 dirham) , loafers (80 to 100 dirham a piece), and fresh mint tea (50 dirham for 500 gram) for home :). Always ask for the democratic price ;).
Visit the Medina of Marrakesh (Jemaa el-Fnaa) at night for an amazing sight. The food markets are open (try local food starting at 20 dirham, look around the shops and enjoy the different dishes). The fresh orange juice is also a must try! There are also a lot of street artists and vendors selling their homemade products.
The Bahia Palace was built in the late 19th century with the intend to become the greatest palace of its time, designed to capture the Islamic and Moroccan architecture styles. The entrance is just 10 dirham per person and is opened daily from 09:00 AM until 16:30 PM. The palace is beautiful to see, with a lot of different photogenic backgrounds.
Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in the city dating back to the 12th century. It is constructed from sandstone and stands 77 meters high.
Do not forget to walk around the mosque, it has some impressive doors and the remains of the former mosque.
The Slat Lazama Synagogue is located near the Bahia Palace in one of the side streets. It is not really known, but worth a visit. Entrance is just 10 dirhams per person. The synagogue is filled with pictures about its history and gives you a good view over the Jewish community in Marrakesh.
Palais El Badiî is also an amazing palace with an inside court which has an amazing view. Unfortunately the palace was under maintenance when we were there.
Tajin is the local dish you can not miss out while being in Morocco! The Tajin comes with chicken, lamb, fish or vegetarian and is added on with potatoes, vegetables, prumes, apricots, and a lot of of different varieties. It is amazingly tasteful. You can have a tajin everywhere. In the streets you can get amazing tajin for just 20 dirham. In restaurants it can be between 50 to 70 dirham.
You can also get very fresh food ;-)…
And do not forget the spices!
Riads are traditional Moroccan houses or palaces with a (small) courtyard with a garden. The name comes from the Arabic word “Ryad” which means garden. If you visit Marrakesh you HAVE TO stay in a Riad! I can highly recommend Riad Karmanda and Riad Picolina for your stay in Marrakesh! The Moroccan sweet breakfast will give you the right fuel to start the day exploring.
Has a lot of beautiful sights, city walls, mosques, food and friendly people. It is a must visit! There are a lot more things to visit in the city, so if you have some more time in the city be sure to check out different hammams (spa houses), museums, mosques and food places to your liking!
We also visited the city of Essaouira and did a three day desert trip towards Merzouga, about which I will write in my next blogs!
If you want more overview of the beauties of Morocco, be sure to check out Helene’s blog with a lot of awesome pictures!