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Introducing Marrakesh

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, careening donkey carts, trendy silver leather poufs and ancient Berber cures for everything from relationships to rent.

Start at 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. 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.

Marrakesh’s medina is an ideal place to explore palaces, stay in a palatial riad guesthouse, and sample a dish of piping-hot snails. But it’s worth leaving the old city occasionally for dinner, drinks, art galleries and fixed-price boutiques in the ville nouvelle (new town). Go with the flow, and become an honorary Marrakshi bahja (joyous one).