Steeped in history and culture, vibrant and colorful, and a mixture of old and new is what we first noticed as we arrived from our 3 hour train ride from Casablanca. The locals call it old & new Marrakech – each having their own distinct personality. For us the best way to experience the ‘authentic’ Moroccan culture was to stay in a Riad, a traditional Moroccan house normally with 2 or more stories around a courtyard that contain a fountain/garden.
Jemaa el-Fnaa is the market place in Marrakech. Here you find a mix of ancient customs and modern tourist experiences. The Square is occupied by youths with chained Barbary apes and snake charmers (this was not my cup of tea). Jemaa el-Fnaa can be a fun experience, but it can be overwhelming too with vendors being polite to downright aggressive. Be sure to brush up on your bargaining skills before going shopping!
The new Marrakech is a place you go back to after exploring the hustle & bustle of the Medina. Let’s just say new Marrakesh is the LA of Morocco. It is definitely the place to be for a good night out.
The most common cuisine is Couscous, usually eaten with tagine served with a meat of your choice and a selection of vegetables. Mint tea is also popular. Most restaurants also have plenty of vegetarian options.
Other places worth visiting are Le Jardin Majorelle – Garden with exotic plants, water features & a museum of Berber culture. We also treated ourselves with a Hammam spa. You can relax with a drink and enjoy the sunset at the rooftop terraces all over Marrakech.