Planning a trip to the wonderful city of Marrakech?
To help you get the most out of your visit we have put together some suggestions for sightseeing and loads of great activities you can get involved in throughout the day… together with some suggestions to help you enjoy the great nightlife the city has to offer. Read on…
Marrakech by Day
Souks (Markets) – are alive with noise and activity. This is not just a shopping trip, it is a cultural experience. Artisans work busily with old-fashioned tools, creating carvings and metal jewellery, sellers vie for your attention by shouting over their neighbours to reel you into a sale. The souks are spread over labyrinthine alleyways and it is easy to become disorientated. You will even be given the hard sell on large items of furniture that you will never fit in your case!
Hammams – are often described as similar to a spa experience but are very different. If you take a traditional hammam, you will be ‘sanded down’ by the attendant by way of a full body scrub using rough gloves…leaving your skin soft and your muscles feeling as though you have been involved in a fight! Modern hammams offer private steam rooms and more genteel massages with oils. Hammams are sometimes offered in hotels and guesthouses.
The City Gardens – Scattered throughout the city are the city gardens. They offer peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of city life. One of the most popular gardens, The Agdal is over 800 years old and features a massive carp-filled pool. It is open to the public only a couple of times a week and is well worth a visit.
Day Trips and Activities
Agadir – The all year round sunny climate and 6km beach make Agadir a great place to visit. Here you can get involved in surfing, horse and camel riding or just sunbathing.
Beldi Country Club – Want to get away from the city for a few hours? Only 6 kilometres and a million miles from the city sits Beldi Country Club. This is a place to relax in an atmosphere fragrant with blooms of roses. There is a spa, tennis courts, pools and lots of games and activities for the kids.
Agafay Desert – Only 30 kilometres from Marrakech lies the Agafay Desert. Here you will find a turfless 9-hole golf course with restaurant or you could take an organised excursion, riding off-road quadbikes.
Lalla Takerkoust – a beautiful lake around which there are beautiful trails for walking and horse riding. There are several beaches around the lake for swimming and sunbathing. Boats are available for hire and waterskiing is also available
Marrakech by Night
Many Islamic countries do not allow alcohol to be consumed. However, Morocco has a more relaxed attitude. Bars can be found in most tourist areas and they open late. Just a word of caution though…avoid drinking alcohol in view of any mosque as this would be frowned upon. Instead, drink discreetly indoors or on roof terraces.
Marrakech is well renowned for its fantastic and varied nightlife. Here you will find everything from traditional Moroccan music to nightclubs and discotheques that would not be out of place in Ibiza. It is a chocolate box of variety just waiting to be opened.
Visit the Medina – Here you will find traditional entertainment in the evenings. The medina is full of food stalls and street entertainment and is lined with cafes and restaurants. The place is full of life, so be prepared to be approached by street vendors – try to bear in mind, they are only trying to earn a living though their approach might be rather different to what you are used to.
Pay a visit to Le Salama, a bar with a great atmosphere, selling all types of alcoholic drinks and offering entertainment such as belly dancers. Dress code is casual. There is a hookah (bubbly pipe for smoking) available and a beautiful outdoor terrace. Alternatively, the Rock n’ Kech Bar overlooks the city, plays modern and retro music and serves cocktails and light bar snacks. This is a very cool bar. If you are looking for a nightclub, these can mainly be found just outside town. Just ask any taxi driver.
Jemaa el Fna – If music is your thing, head for Jemaa el Fna after dinner. As the daytime activity of the square subsides, it is replaced by street musicians – guitars, banjos, drums and violins that seem to be homemade are played with enthusiasm. And in amongst all the music there will be snake charmers and acrobats, snake oil salesmen and jugglers, belly dancers and boxers, carnival games designed to separate you from your money…and chefs preparing kebabs on open-air barbecues.
If you prefer more structure to your entertainment, check out what’s on at the Théâtre Royal in Guéliz, which hosts festivals of music and dance and even opera in a venue that is essentially an open-air amphitheatre.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the travel industry working alongside companies like Riad el Zohar, a historical, courtyard establishment in Marrakech – who were consulted regarding the information in this piece.