From the moment you arrive in Marrakesh, you’ll get the distinct feeling you’ve left something behind – a toothbrush or socks, maybe? But no, what you’ll be missing in Marrakesh is predictability and all sense of direction. Never mind: you’re better off without them here. Marrakesh is too packed with mind-boggling distractions and labyrinthine alleyways to adhere to boring linear logic. If you did have a destination, you’d only be waylaid by snake charmers, out-of-control donkey carts, trendy silver leather poufs and ancient Berber cures for everything from relationships to rent.
Start at the action-packed Djemaa el-Fna, and if you can tear yourself away from the castanet-clanging water-sellers and turbaned potion-sellers, head into Marrakesh’s maze of covered market streets. Marrakesh’s souqs are like a cold riad plunge pool on a scorching July day: nothing quite prepares you for the shock. Dive in headfirst at any street headed north off the Djemaa el-Fna, and with any luck you’ll emerge exhilarated and triumphant some hours later, carpet in tow.
While you’re in the heart of the Medina, you may come upon a palace museum, stay in a riad guest-house, and venture a dish of piping-hot snails. But it’s worth leaving the charms of the old city occasionally for dinner, drinks, art galleries and fixed-price boutique shopping in the ville nouvelle (the new town). Go with the flow, and become an honorary Marrakshi bahja (joyous one).
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Discover Marrakesh's palaces and monuments
- Follow the Berber trail on a 4WD day trip
- Go on a Marrakesh discovery tour
- Climb the Jebel Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak
Last updated: Jan 17, 2013
Tips & articles
27 May 2012
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