Good day everyone!
As I promised a couple of weeks ago, today I’m gonna talk about the amazing experience I had in Marrakech with my mum, sharing tips and suggestions for you guys!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed in Riad Flam in south Medina, really well located as it was 5 minutes walking from the main square Jamaâ El Fna and Bahia Palace. The service was really good and the rooms really nice and clean. They have a Jacuzzi on the roof from where you can admire beautiful sunsets, a massage room with just one masseuse but definitely amazing (I had a really good, invigorating Ayurveda massage) and an hammam.
The food is good, nothing amazing for breakfast but enough to give you energy to start the day. Dinner was a classic tagine, really tasty. Overall we had a really nice stay and I do suggest you to check out this place for your stay in Marrakech.
WHERE TO EAT
Prepare to eat a lot of tagine and couscous!!
Café Clock (224 Derb Chtouka) – yes, yes, yes to this place!! I loved it! The food is super good and the staff is really caring and friendly, and the vibe is buzzing and happy. Everyday they have something going on. When we were there, there was a concert and everybody was singing and dancing, moreover we could see the sunset from the terrace where we were eating. It was something beautiful and magical. YES to this place!
Amal’s Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant (Rue Allal Ben Ahmed et Rue Ibn, Sina, Gueliz) – in this place you get good food for a good cause. It’s a non-profit association that helps women in need training them in traditional and modern cuisine. The food is really tasty and the staff is really friendly. We had an assortment of Moroccan salads, some veggie briwates and tagine. They also do cooking class, which unfortunately we didn’t have the time to do, but I heard great things. I absolutely recommend this place!
Café Glacier (Jemaa El Fna square) – I actually wouldn’t suggest this place so much for the food which was average but it’s the best terrace where to watch the sunset from. There are no words to describe how stunning it was. The only down side is the amount of people. Obviously at sunset time it gets really crowded up there but if you get in time you can earn a good spot and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Café des Epices (Derb Rahba Lakdima) – It’s in the middle of the spice market and it’s definitely worth a stop, just even for a mint tea. We had a simple but really tasty cheese and mushroom omelette while we were overlooking the spice square, so colourful and traditional.
(33/35 Place Jammm El Fna | Souk El Guassabine) – This is another place in the main square. We had lunch on the roof and even if the view is definitely not as good as Café Glacier, the food is much better.
I would say just get lost around the Medina and you could be really really happy like that. But we did few things that I’m really happy I planned, so I’m gonna suggest them to you.
Dunes & Desert – I booked through this company for a camel and quad ride and it was an amazing experience and super duper fun!!! I paid a reasonable price for two hours camel trek, morning snack and exploring the beautiful countryside. Then we hopped on our quad and drove to Hicham’s house and had lunch with a classic tagine and we drove again for one more hour through stunning landscapes. It was so exciting and adrenaline and I was so amazed by the surroundings. It’s hard to really describe it but it’s worth it, I can promise you that! :)
Ouzoud Waterfalls – Let me tell you this: we were a bit unlucky with the weather and it rained a few days before we went to explore Ouzoud waterfalls. That meant for the water to be clayey and not clear at all. It was still spectacular to see them but not as good as it might have been with clear, limpid water.
We booked a car which brought us to Ouzoud, 2hours and half away from Marrakech and there we had a guide who walked us around the waterfalls, through olive trees, telling us stories about the different streams and how the families divide the territory with the trees between them.
Bahia Palace – the name means brilliance and it’s a fascinating Moroccan style building. It’s quite immense the decorations are gorgeous and the green courtyard lush. There is a nice atmosphere and the entrance is really cheap.
Jardin Majorelle - a botanical garden with stunning colours and beautiful plants! Since 1980 the garden was owned by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. It's worth a visit even though the entrance fee is a bit pricy.
TIPS & WARNINGS
It was the first time in Marrakech for both my mum and I. In fact I have never have been in North Africa before so I didn’t know what to expect.
Meaning that I felt a bit scared at the attention, hassling and begging by the locals. Actually not scared but overwhelmed by everything. People, sounds, smells, surroundings. There is also a different culture and often people just live thanks to tourism or they will try to help you as much as they can but be aware that they will always want money in return. Fair enough. But another tip: try to have smaller notes as possible and when you decide how much is worth their help, give them that decided amount and be firm about it. This counts also for everything else, from taxis to souvenirs to taking photos of their products and general shopping. Moroccan people love to negotiate, it’s a game, it’s fun and if you don’t play they might get a bit offended. You must do it also to try to get the right price for what you’re buying, otherwise you’re gonna risk to spend much more than what is fair.
They love to make you feel “appreciate”, which can be a bit annoying sometimes so make sure to bring a foulard to cover your shoulder. It’s not a must but you will avoid unwanted comments.
Marrakech per se is not a big city and even though there are few popular attractions that you can visit by yourself I would suggest to book a tour guide. We booked one for 5 hours through the riad where we were staying and it was worth it! She took us around the souks and show us hidden gems of the Medina, explaining the history as well. My suggestion is go, live your first day and see how you feel. You can normally book the tour guide from one day to another so you can decide once you’re there.
I hope these informations are gonna be useful to you guys! Let me know your experience! :)