Even if Marrakech is not the fairy tale city of the tales “1001 nights”, it, for sure, has to be. It has all. From the famous Arabic merchants who sell goods to Aladdin lamp, which can be bought at every corner of Marrakech. Everywhere, where you go, you have to negotiate the price. Moroccan people will never tell you the final price. Even to take a taxi from The Medina to your hotel will require some negotiation skills. Sometimes it is funny, as this is the way merchants communicate with tourists. Sometimes it is boring, as you know that the price for what you want is really high, but you are not keen to negotiate it.
What amazed us most was that a lot of Moroccan people speak at least 3 languages: Arabic, French, English, some of them speak Spanish, and other merchants wanted us to impress with few phrases in Russian. As a merchant city, they know that the language is their power. It is the way they can sell goods better.
Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakesh is a combination of an old fortified city packed with vendors and their stalls (the medina) and of new part of the city Gueliz or Ville Nouvelle. The contrast between the old part and new part is very big, is like on both parts live very different people. The Medina impressed us by the quantity of merchants, and everybody try to sell anything to you. When you pass, they even shout you to enter to their stall and see the goods they sell. After viewing a lot of pretty images on Google, we didn’t expect to see that the most crowded place to be so dirty.
Flights to Marrakech. Flights from Barcelona on the low season are cheaper, like any other destination on a low season. You can have a cheap flight for 30 eur in low season and 80 eur in a high season.
Transport. During our stay in Morocco we took taxi every time. Even the taxi we had to negotiate, because the initial price was 5 times higher than the real one. The bus we didn’t even try to take, as when we saw how full these go, we thought that it is impossible to take any.
Hotels. If you want a nice service and great facilities, choose at least a 4 star hotel. We stayed in a Riad Hotel, not so far from the Medina.
Food. It is very spicy. Both of us, me and my husband like spicy flavors, and we were impressed of the food. Try the chicken and olives tajine as well as the prune, almonds, and mutton tajine. Other yummy dishes are the vegetables with different flavors. No alcohol served. And this means that you don’t have to miss the tea. All the restaurants and bars have ginseng tea with cinnamon and ginger. The tea is poured into glasses from high above to swirl loose tea leaves to the bottom of the glass. This way of serving the tea improve its flavor. Take a note, that refusing tea when it is offered, is considered impolite.
Remarkable places of Marrakech:
- Koutoubia Mosque – is the tallest building in Morocco, and it is closed for non-muslims to visit it.
- Majorelle Gardens – a lovely gardens, which boasts a collection of plants from across the globe. Inside the gardens is also the Berber Museum.
What to do outside the Marrakech:
The idea was to take a minibus with a private guide who speaks Spanish. We found a very polite guide, who was very keen to show us the true Morocco. We went to discover Atlas Mountains and villages that round the mountains.
Amizmiz, Asni, Essaouira, Oukaimeden, Ourika Valley, Setti Fatma – all these villages we visited for different reasons:
- see charming views over the mountains Atlas.
- learn the roofs of Argan oil products, and the time it takes till we have these products in our houses.
- buy Argan oil products.
- eat tanjias from local bars.
- buy masterpieces made from rocks.
- take a camel ride
It was a full day tour within these villages, where we enjoyed the flavour of Moroccan country life.
What to buy once you leave Morocco:
- Aladin lamp
- Small teapot
- Dates, almonds, nuts
- Cumin, Curcuma, Cinnamon, Ground Ginger
- Souks – traditional shoes, which represent the country
- Cooking tajine
- Argan Oil Products