A visit to Marrakech wouldn’t be complete without a stay in a traditional riad. Tranquil interior courtyards usually surrounding a pool flanked by hanging plants and multiple intricately designed balconies, these are a magical, truly Moroccan experience. Try Riad Yasmine for a luxurious stay right in the heart of Marrakech’s Medina. Slightly cheaper but including a spa for a traditional Moroccan Hammam massage is Le Bain Bleu, also found in the centre of Marrakech’s glittering souks.
Hummus, couscous and olive lovers will be in their element in Marrakech. Tasty vegetable and meat tagines are also a Moroccan favourite, and can be found at reasonable cost at most restaurants. If you want to overlook Marrakech’s busy winding streets and alleyways, try one of the many rooftop restaurants. Kafe Merstan, next to a bustling fruit market in the Medina is a colourful, shaded oasis offering vegetarian and meat fare. After something more peaceful? Try the Dar Zellij in a tranquil 17th-Century riad to the north-west of the Medina. It offers a wide range of dishes and serve brunch, lunch and dinner.
Marrakech isn’t renowned for its huge nightlife scene, and many places don’t sell alcohol. However, with a growing tourist influx, you can find a few great gems to drink in across the Medina. Café Arabe’s rooftop terrace offers tipples with a view. Enjoy a glass of Moroccan beer or wine while enjoying a sunset behind the distant Atlas mountains. If you’re after something a little more glamorous, The Piano Bar is the classiest gin joint in the Medina.
Marrakech is a city with a melting pot of cultures. No place exhibits this more than the Djemma el Fna, the city’s infamous square, said to be the busiest in Africa. Snake charmers, fruit sellers, magicians, musicians and horse-drawn carriages are just some of sights and sounds you’ll experience. Wander half an hour north-west through the souks and you’ll come to Le Jardin Marjorelle. This oasis was gifted by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and contains 300 plant species from five continents and the beautiful, “Marjorelle blue” Musée Berbère. A perfect respite from the magical madness outside the garden walls.