5 Things you Should do in Marrakech
Traveling is always the best way to spend your holidays and your money. Whether you leave for a week-end jaunt or for a longer trip, what you experience along the journey will always stay with you. So if your next destination is Marrakech, then read on and take notes!
The capital of Morocco, this is city with a unique feel, thanks to the crumbling palaces, busy souks with shops run by skilled artisans and the beautiful old walls surrounding it. So what to do in Marrakech?
Where to stay?
First question: where to stay? Well, there are many hotels you can stay in, of course, but the best way to truly experience the atmosphere of the city and its people is to stay in a Riad. Riads are traditional Moroccan houses turned guesthouses in the Medina (the old part of the city). Rather than standardized furnishings, you can expect colorful carpets, traditional ceramic pots and small courtyards in a Riad, which will be a great way to immerse yourself in the real Morocco. Just like hotels, Riads come in all price ranges so check online the one that best suits your needs.
I can suggest Riad Al Loune located in the Medina heart.
What to eat?
The next important question for many people is, what to eat? The trademark of a good traveler is always trying local food and going to Marrakech should be no exception. So have a look around you, avoid the more touristy areas and sample one of the local restaurants. There you will find many tasty dishes such as meat or vegetable couscous, kebabs (a kind of wrap with chopped meat and different sauces), Harira soup (a famous Moroccan tomato and lentil soup) and tajine, another famous chicken dish which is named after the traditional clay pot in which it is cooked and which helps to enhance the aroma of the food. Apart from the local restaurants, however, another thing you should not miss is the food market, where you will be able to sample many street food delicacies such as snails and fried eggplant. And if you fancy a drink, then let yourself be tempted by a cup of traditional Moroccan sweet mint-tea, or by a beautiful glass of one of the world’s best orange juices.
Visit the El Badi Palace
And now that you’ve rested and eaten, it’s time for a little sightseeing. So what is there to see in Marrakech?
Not many people choose to visit this ruined palace, and it is a pity. Although when it was commissioned by King Ahmad al-Mansur and built in the 16th century it was constructed with gold and marble and other precious materials, the palace is now in ruins. However, it is still a beautiful and very suggestive spot to visit and to feel the old grandeur of the kingdom. Also make sure you stop on the terrace and enjoy the stunning view of the Atlas mountains. (The entrance fee is 10 dinars, or $1).
Explore the Bahia Palace
Differently from the El Badi Palace, this is a place visited by many tourists, However, it is still worth a visit and the possible crowd you might find. The beautiful ceilings, mosaics and tiles, and strained glass lamps will reward you of everything, and the splendid internal courtyard will give you a moment of respite from the busy and noisy streets of Marrakech. (The entrance fee is 30 dinars, or $3).
Take a walk in the Menara Gardens
Take a calche ride (a horse-drawn carriage) from the Djemaa-El-Fnaa market to the beautiful Menara Gardens located at the foot of the Atlas mountains, in the west of the city. Take a relaxing walk there and enjoy the beauty of the artificial lake, and fruit orchards. Although there might not be much to see here, you will be able to escape the throngs of tourists for a few hours – this is a perfect break before re-entering the city and starting on the nightlife.