To experience Marrakech and all the city has to offer you have to prepare yourself for an overwhelming culture, amazing food, mesmerising rooftop views and a variety of sublime hotspots. Walking around in the souks all the crafts of Morocco are colourfully displayed and sold to you in all sorts of languages. The first question is where are you from, mostly replied in your native language. Get your game up! The bargaining has begun. It is common to bargain here and be prepared that the price they start with includes the space to bargain at least 30%, but the best thing to do is decide what you would like to pay and make an offer. The salesmen will know when you are serious, believe me, these men have been doing this for years.
One of the most inspiring and impressive places inside the medina is the old Koranic School; Ben Youssef Medersa. In small chambers they used to practice the Koran. The architecture of the building and the detailed carved out patterns are truly amazing. The school opens at 09:00 and as an early bird you can enjoy some alone time.
Once you stepped into the buzzing medina life you can easily get lost in the narrow and vivid streets. Ask your riad or hotel for a map and make yourself some landmarks!
One of the greatest views over the old market Rahba Lakdima, famous for its craftsman selling their goods can be found on the rooftop of NOMAD. If you are looking for a place to relax after shopping and wandering around this is one of the best places to enjoy a fresh and homemade lunch. Grab a fresh carrot juice with ginger and enjoy the view. NOMAD is inspiring decorated, the local interior is mixed with a bohemian and nomadic touch. The building used to be a carpet store and all the interior is traditionally handmade. Nomad serves a great dinner and once every three months they invite an international top chef for a total different food experience.
Across the square from the chilled vibe of Nomad you will find another rooftop cafe with a beautiful view over the market. With three floors it is the best spot to enjoy an afternoon tea, a fresh lunch or dinner. At night the market is still open and you can enjoy the life around you while eating one of Moroccan finest dishes. Cafe Des Epices started as a little shop with spices and herbs, people used to gather to enjoy some tea and the cafe idea started. It has been a family business since at one of the best spots in the medina. Get healthy and order a beetroot or vegetable fruit juice and vegetarian sandwich. Enjoy a good filled vegetable tajine and relax as Cafe Des Epices will take care of you like you are family.
When you walk around to the outsides of the medina you will find the famous big square. Local handcrafts are sold and the market is filled with fresh juice cars, little fruit shops selling local nuts and dried fruits. The bars made from sesame seeds, pistachios and almonds pressed together with honey or dates are delicious as a snack.
At just an half hour walk outside the city walls you will find the famous and flowering Jardin Majorelle. The painter Jacques Majorelle made it his forty-year project to build this beautiful designed garden around the eye catching blue house. It is one of the best visited places in Marrakech so come early to skip the crowds and enjoy a morning walk in between the countless different cactuses, palm trees and flowering plants. Jacques Majorelle is a famous French painter who lived in Marrakech and he was one of the first artists to paint advertisements for Morocco as a tourist destination. Le Jardin is an impressive garden where you can see the passion of an artist in every detail.
An artistic environment and the best rooftop at El Fenn
Treat yourself to a magical night in hotel El Fenn. Be amazed and instantly inspired by the sophisticated chique artistic interior. With 29 rooms El Fenn takes a big acre in the medina. All the rooms are differently designed and the use of color is a piece of art itself. Dutch general manager Willem made sure in his design and styling that the hotel is ever changing and surprising you every time you come back. All the information you need is shown in a newspaper, including a complete explanation about your stay. To wake up in peace fresh coffee and tea is served on your private terrace in front of your room, don’t bother searching a mailbox the staff will send out your postcards for you, enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the pools and try out the food that tastes exactly the way El Fenn looks, beautiful and original. Water is served in glass bottles to be as eco friendly as possible, something we haven’t seen often in Marrakech and is a big plus for this hotel. The rooftop of this beautiful hotel is a must visit for sunset. Sit back, nip on your cocktail and marvel at the red city and the Atlas Mountains in the back.
Go for dinner at Le Jardin
Just around the corner of two beautiful arcades, a little outside the busy souk you will find Le Jardin. Enter through a long hall with little golden mirrors into a serene lush garden. Enjoy a traditional romantic dinner surrounded by tropical greens. Le Jardin serves the best tajines and salads. All the traditional dishes are full of local prumes, apricots, spices and nuts. Just as Nomad and Cafe des Epices no alcohol is served at Le Jardin. Before leaving bring a visit to the boutique shop upstairs and try on a beautiful designed African dress.
Gifts on your plate at Latitude31
The way the dishes are presented at restaurant Latitude31 is a party on your plate. On the menu is traditional Moroccan food. The restaurant is situated in a hidden garden at walking distance of the souks and is a must visit if you are in Marrakech. Dine in the fresh outside air and feel at home at Latitude, the staff is very knowledgeable, and can help you with any kind of diet. Start of with a surprising local amuse, a Moroccan salad party and the best Trid Adada (grandmothers cooking) and you will enjoy every bite. Our tip: Order the Tajina Trid Adada, a delicious tajine filled with Morrocan pancakes, chicken with lemon and fresh lentils.
Marrakech is a rooftop heaven and Terrace Des Epices is another one to add to your list. Above a small shopping area full of designer boutique stores you will find this nice cafe and restaurant that is one of the few places that serves alcohol in Marrakech. Enjoy an afternoon aperitif in this relaxing ambiance while sipping a fine local wine.
Text by Hannah Sophia