Marrakech, also known as “The Red City” because of the hue of the thick walls surrounding the old city, is one of the most evocative places in the world. It is a city of history and culture that has stood for about a thousand years. History of the city was conveyed through its man-made environment, from the superb gardens to the intricately carved archways to the ornate mosques. One best example is the Medina, it is truly a sight to behold. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage due to its wonderful mix of Arabic and Moorish architecture. There are numerous things that you can do and see in Morocco’s capital, both the medieval and modern parts of town. It is indeed a captivating city. If you’re thinking of spending your ultimate vacation in Marrakech, you made a right choice. To further make your stay a remarkable one, why not stay in one of the villas in Marrakech. It is the best place to enjoy a luxurious and restful vacation while experiencing the magic of the city. Here are some of the things that you must try when you’re in Marrakech.
Getting lost in the Old Medina Souks
If you want to buy something in the markets or souks, you need to learn the art of haggling since it is an internal part of their culture and also a part of the attraction here. Don’t be nervous, it is expected. If you’re willing to spend time, it is possible for you to get the items you want for at least 25-50% off the published price. You will not only save money but in general, you’ll get an enjoyable discussion with the vendor. Some of the local souvenirs that you may want to buy in the area are djellaba robes, spices, babouches or Moroccan slippers, old carpets and colorful ceramics.
Wandering through the Jardin Majorelle
One of the most popular attractions in Marrakech is the Jardin Majorelle. It is the creation of French painter Jacques Majorelle. He spent 40 years that turned this magical garden into what it is now. A combination of Moorish and art deco are being featured in the garden that is filled with rare flowers. It is a perfect spot to take a break from the busy city because of its relaxing and peaceful environment.
Eating a sheep’s head
There are numerous restaurants to eat Moroccan food in Marrakech. For the adventurous diners, Marrakech prepared a different level of exoticism from the cooked snails, tajines, couscous and sheep heads. Do not leave Marrakech without trying their Tanjia. It is a staple food here. It’s a meat dish cooked for six or more hours in a ceramic pot. It holds a reputation among Moroccans that some come to Marrakech with the sole purpose of eating Tanjia.
Book a Hammam Treatments
It is one of an integral part of the experience of the tourists who visit Marrakech. Hammam or public bath is a significant part of Moroccan life and culture. Here you are being scrubbed by a perfect stranger, the better way to escape the buzzing Medina and revitalize weary skin and muscles. To give you a brief idea of what Hammam is, it involves a strip down and lots of naked bodies, males and females are segregated, soapy rub down, hot steam and an enthusiastic massage. A typical price for locals is between 50 and 100 dirhams.
Visiting or staying in a palace
In order to get an idea of the former glory of the 16th-century sultan’s home, visit El Badi Palace. It may be a ruin but still, it’s magnificent. There are underground rooms and a labyrinth to explore in the area, plus a museum of objects recovered from an old Minbar (pulpit) at the Koutoubia mosque.
Another Palace that you may want to visit is the Mamounia Palace. It is a five-star hotel receiving famous guests such as Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin and still attracts celebrities up to date. It was reported that the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter was married here in 2013.
Another palace in the area is the Namaskar Palace. It is also a luxury hotel. Stylish with a traditional touch, the oasis-style spa retreat usually tops best-in-Africa lists.
Relax in a riad
One of the best parts of Marrakech experience is staying in riads, whether for drinking tea or staying at night. Riads are traditional houses built around a central garden or courtyard. The old-fashioned Moroccan décor remains alive in riads and will probably allow you to have an ultimate relaxation and tranquility. One of the must-visit Riad in the imperial city is Dar Hanane.
Checking out the Atlas Mountains
If you’re trying to take a break from the heat and dust of the city, the answer lies within easy reach of the Atlas Mountains. The town of Lalla Takerkoust is known for its dam and lake. It is also a great place for quad biking, camel riding or simply admiring the view of the peaks. In the Atlas foothills lies the valley of Ourika, a popular escape to see Berber villages surrounded by waterfalls and rivers. On the other hand, Morocco’s highest mountain can be found in the village of Armed. It also offers a stunning view over the Sahara. It is ideal for hiking or simply breathing fresh air and enjoying the nature.
Grabbing a bargain in Bab El Khemis
It is not normally enumerated to the main tourist trail but Bab el Khemis is worth a visit. It is open every day but on Khemis (translates as Thursday) it turns to a truly Moroccan experience. It transforms into a crowded flea market selling secondhand goods and treasures like vintage carpets.
Hot air ballooning
Marrakech has emerged as a destination for balloon trips over the past 20 years. Riding a hot air balloon offers the best view of the Atlas Mountains. Honestly, it doesn’t come cheap but it’ll give you the best experience. Try out the Ciel d’Afrique, an organized and professional operation with decades of ballooning experience.
Terres d’Amanar is a 173-acre adult playground filled with outdoor activities. It is a 30-minute drive from Marrakech. For those whose seeking the real adventure, this is perfect for you! Climbing routes, high wires and zip lines, horse and camel riding and just some of the activities that you can try in the area.
What are you waiting for? Make the most out of your vacation in Marrakech!
This is a guest post submitted by Seema, from pandareviewz.com.