Summer Travels: Marrakech

I never imagined that Morocco could be as dreamy as it has been for me and I fell in love with it instantly. It is a complete different place I have ever experienced compare to the other places I have been to.

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It was a four day trip during Mid May and I stayed in the heart of Medina, a five minute walk from the square, you might expect that the bells for prayers would be very loud but surprisingly, I didn’t hear much of it at where i stayed. It was about 38ºC during the day, a very dry heat, still bearable but I would still recommend you to stay in the shades from noon onwards till 5 in the evening. (Good time to go around the souks and with less people, you can get a better bargain!)

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The souks are full of surprises and secrets, but be sure to bargain, if the price they have offer is still not ideal, you can always walk away as there will be more similar shops. I bought some small leather goods, Moroccan oil, musk and a large Berber carpet myself, and made a good bargain from it (photo at the end).

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I went out to a day trip to Ouarzazte (roughly 4-5 hour drive from marrakech) and Aït Benhaddou on one of the days. It’s listed as a world heritage site where The Mummy, Gladiator, Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia… has been filmed here.

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Tagine:  A new love i have discovered during this trip! I highly recommend the couscous, vegetable tagine, chicken tagine here.

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There are so many beauty treasures walking around the medina! It’s absolutely amazing

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(left to right) Ben Youssef Medrassa, La Jardin Majorelle – These two are my favourite places of interest and it is worth spending more time here
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 Les tanneries de Marrakech (Dar D’Bagh) – This is on the North-East of the Medina and very near the city wall. We went to Jardin Majorelle and took a taxi from there to here to see people making leather and how leather is being treated. Afterwards, me and my friend, we got lost on our way back to the Medina centre as this area is rather quiet and you would usually come here with a tour guide.

As we were just two girls, we panicked a bit trying to find our way, but luckily we got offered help from a seven years old boy to guide us back. It was rather a risk because who knows where he could’ve led us.

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Palais Bahia

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(left to right) Marrakech Museum, Saadian Tombs – Personally, I don’t think these two places are worth going because there isn’t much here and the places are rather small and not much to see.
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Night Market at the Medina Square
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My ultimate favourite: Fresh Orange Juice! They are the best orange juice I have ever had in my life.

Accomodation – Riad Mirage
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It’s a very nice and beautiful Riad near the square. The owner Monique was very friendly and helpful and so are the staffs there. Even though they did not speak much english, but they are always there to help with any problems and arranging tours.

Monique arranged a tour guide for us around Marrakech, the tour guide spoke very good english and showed us all the tourist attractions and the souks. I also recommend only hire licensed tour guides and they usually have an ID with them because there are a lot of scams and tourists traps.
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Amazing breakfast every morning, we had moroccan crepes, fresh orange juice from their tree in the courtyard and there was a variety of teas.
We also had a meal on the last day before we left for the airport, one of the staff, Amina made couscous and it was amazing compared to the other places where we had couscous. Overall, I felt very homey when staying there with Monique and it was very welcoming. I just didn’t want to leave.

If you want to explore Morocco for yourself, my advice is this:
Fly to Marrakech. Spend a at least 2 days exploring the souks, lounge by the pool and drink their amazing fresh orange juice.
Then make the trek to Ouzazate, I think it’s about a 4-5 hour drive.
Or spend a night in the dessert with the camels.
Spend a few days in Marrakech & in the surrounding towns.
Eat in local restaurants, and in the night market.
People ask for tips everywhere, and there will also be people who would offer to be your tour guide.
Drink Mint Tea
Only drink bottled water and never order ice.
Make sure to hydrate yourself every 2 or 3 hours.
Try and respect local customs – don’t show a lot of skin or wear tight fitted clothes to avoid unwanted attention. Maxi dresses/skirts with a loose blouse would be ideal.
Ask for a licensed tour guide from your hotel instead of finding one in the city.
Enjoy yourself and forget your worries in this magical city!

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I am definitely coming back to Marrakech, there is so many exploring to do! Hopefully I can include a trip to Chefchaouen.
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 Here’s the Bereber carpet I have bought and it still smells after putting it out in the sun

If there are specific things you want to ask, drop me a comment and I will get back to you :)
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