In yesterday’s post, I shared with you my comfy and chic travel outfit I wore last December for my trip to Morocco. Today, I am taking you to Marrakech, our first stop! Without further ado, find below all the places we visited as well as my recommendations and tips.
Jamaa El-Fna Place / Medina
Jemaa El-Fna, and being lost in the Medina, is a must-see and experience if you’re going to Marrakech. Be prepared for a very crowded place. Locals are nice and helpful but stay awake and ready to tip people who help.
I got my hand painted with henna as soon as I got out of the taxi and into the square. I didn’t want it painted, but I didn’t want to be impolite and pull my hand off either. We ended up having to tip the lady. Don’t be afraid to say “no, thank you” firmly.
Don’t show interest to something you are not willing to buy
Some merchants will constantly offer their goods or services, even when you don’t actually show interest. Announce them first hand that you’re just looking and won’t buy anything, if that is the case. They are extra nice until you start leaving. Once you thank them and you start leaving the shop/stand, their attitude changes radically, they forget your existence, or they might even give you “the look”.
Know where you’re going
The best is to know exactly where you’re going, and not seem lost, even if you have to pretend.
Nothing is free
Keep five or ten dirham coins in your pockets if you are going to use their help.
Even when people seem to be trying to just help you get to places or give you advice; they expect something in return. Again, they will give you “the look” if you leave them empty handed.
Overall, it can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t have the right mindset, but it’s an amazing experience, greatly enriching.
El Badiî Palace
Ben Youssef Madrasa
We arrived just before the closing time at the famous Islamic College, Ben Youssef Madrasa. We had the place for ourselves to admire the magnificent arabesques and mosaic tiles.
Casa Gyla is the house where we stayed at, booked via Airbnb. It’s a charming Moroccan villa in the Palmeraie neighborhood (10 minutes ride away from the center). The patio with its little fountain, greeneries, and pale green tiles is a true oasis.
At night, we enjoyed a glass of wine in the living room by the fireplace where we also had dinner.
I would come back in the summer to enjoy the outside pool!
We couldn’t leave Morocco without paying a visit to the iconic Jardin Majorelle! Although I am a self-proclaimed pastel colors lover, I was fond of the bright blue and yellow of the buildings hidden behind giant cacti and plants.
We had one last coffee at the café Majorelle before leaving for the airport.
Where to eat in Marrakech:
We had lunch on the rooftop of Nomad and dinner at Zwin Zwin Café where you can admire the sunset fading behind the Atlas.
I also got good recommendations for Terrasse des Epices, Café des Epices, Le Jardin et Il Limoni.
You will spend most of your time in the souk as it’s easy to loose yourself in the little streets of the Medina. So I would recommend you to end the visit with the Jemaa El-Fna place and Souk.
We had to work in the morning so we started our Marrakech visit around lunch time. I added our pictures from the Jardin Majorelle in this post even though we visited it on our last day in Morocco but it’s feasible to fit all these activities in one day.
Stay tuned for Part II of our Morocco Itinerary, with a Vlog!