You can find lots of blog posts on the internet explain only why you should go to Marrakech, how beautiful it is and what you should wear there. This post is not one of them; I’ll write everything through my eyes. I have to say; If I had read such an article like this, I would have considered staying for a shorter period there.
If you decide to go, you should know this first; 3 days are enough for Marrakech. If you want to visit more than one city in Morocco, the only thing I know it’s a hassle if you don’t rent a car. The touristy towns everybody may want to see are far. We stayed seven days in Marrakech, and it was too long as we didn’t prefer to stay in the desert.
Here is my Marrakech travel guide:
Where to stay? Find yourself a beautiful riad. We chose Dar Beija, and it was fantastic! Riad manager Said (not sure but maybe the owner), and other staffs were very friendly, helpful. The riad was perfectly clean and safe in an excellent location. It was only 10 min walk away from the central areas. I strongly recommend this place!
What to pack? I went there with a bag full of appropriate clothing and then noticed it wasn’t a necessity. Marrakech is a popular destination, and there are lots of tourists so you can see women around in shorts or mini dresses. There is no dressing code, but if you don’t want to experience verbal sexual harassment, you should prefer appropriate clothes – like me.
What to eat, drink? We tried traditional Moroccan cuisine tagine a few times, and it wasn’t my cup of tea. Also, we tried their famous mint tea, and I usually love it, but it was too sugary for me. We preferred to eat in restaurants rather than the famous food market Jema El-Fna, that’s why things didn’t go as we planned and we spent a good amount of money on just food. I recommend you to do that because, or never mind you will see when you visit the square.
You won’t get lost. You can use Google maps or other apps to find your way. Don’t ask anyone directions; they will show you the wrong way – just for fun(!)
Taxi scams. We didn’t use public transport, we walk instead, and we asked for a transfer service to our riad.
Be ready to get worried. There are lots of animals in Jema El-Fna; like snakes, monkeys, parrots. They use these animals to make money – in too bad conditions. There are lots of cats around, weak, hungry, sick and sometimes crying. I felt so sad and hopeless for them, it was the worst part of our trip. I can’t understand making money by abusing animals regardless of the living conditions.
Desert Tours. We chose not to experience this after arrived in Marrakech. I think there are better places to see a desert in the world 🙂
Atlas Mountain Tour. We planned this tour two weeks before we go and it was the best day in Marrakech! You should see the Atlas Mountains, the view is fantastic!
Restaurants. You will see all the bloggers recommend the same places. I took notes before and visited these places, but most of them were overrated with their food or views. Here are my favourite Marrakech spots: Le Salama, Le Jardin, Pepe Nero for a romantic dinner; Zwin Zwin Cafe, La Famille and Cafe Kif Kif for a yummy lunch.
Photos. All the photos you take there will be great with the colours of the city and its authentic spirit. I think I can explain what I feel for Marrakech in just one sentence – no lie: It’s the most photogenic city I’ve ever seen but never want to see again.
Patterns. Marrakech is a pattern heaven! You will see yourself surrounded by lots of beautiful patterns in riads, restaurants, gardens or on the road and this will inspire you and make you feel in an art city. There is a local store you should see; Refinery29. There are lots of local designers’ products there such as clothing, home wear and jewellery.
Last Do’s Don’ts. Don’t walk around after midnight. Don’t be close to the horses the people use for the transportation – they aren’t trained and they may be aggressive. Be careful about the motorcycles on the road – there is no rule at all and everybody has one.
The best part of this holiday was taking lots of beautiful photos – I took more than 2000 omg! Visiting a few gardens and YSL Museum, staying in a riad were good experiences. Instagram would have you believe that Morocco is all about good food, exotic places, good architecture, perfect sunsets… but no! You will be scammed, you will see lots of starving animals, lots of overpriced products, dirty streets… And I’ve never felt so unsafe in an area before in my life. If you are a person who gives importance to personal space and comfort – like me, you will see Marrakech is not a place for you.
I hope you find this useful and enjoy!