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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Things to do in Marrakech (Morocco)

If you are reading this article, it means that you are planning to go to Marrakech in either near or far future. I am pretty sure that you must have already read 'n' number of posts on the places to visit in Marrakech, so this article is going to be a bit offbeat.
Dinesh and I don't classify ourselves either as TRAVELLERS or as TOURISTS. When we go to a new place we do a fair share of touristy things, see all the famous places, eat at famous places and then we  leave few extra days to explore the place in our own pace, either on foot or by some sort of local transport. We like exploring the coffee shops and eateries that the locals visit, we like getting lost in the streets and finding hidden spots.

So to cut the long story short, in this article  you won't read about the places to visit in a conventional manner, it will only consist of quirky things to do when in Marrakech.

1) Stay in a Riad

I say that everyone who is visiting Morocco must stay in a Riad, atleast for couple of days. Riad is a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard. There are so many places to visit in Marrakech but when you stay in a Riad, take some time to explore its beauty. A Riad can tantalise all your senses. It's  generally decorated with traditional carpets, chandeliers and pots, so don't forget to soak in the beauty of it. We also enjoyed the days by sitting in the courtyard of our Riad, reading a book, sipping on mint tea and talking about our future travels and dreams.
Also, did I say that I fell in love with the mint tea? The only drink that I had during my stay in Marrakech was THE MINT TEA. It's yummy, refreshing and zero calories drink.

2) Have food in Jemaa el- Fnaa

Jemaa el- Fnaa is a large square in Marrakech with loads of food stalls, shops and street hawkers. The street food is amazing and it's a must try!
We ate a different dish each time and everything was so delicious. It's a meat lovers paradise.
Sometimes some of the famous stalls can get very busy and it gets difficult to find a place to sit, so if you decide to eat at a particular stall, make sure to reach there early.
Some of the food stall owners can be bit pushy and force you to come into their stall but you can politely decline them and go and eat where ever you want.

Trivia: If you are an Indian or of Indian origin, the hawkers will greet you saying 'Namste' or will simply shout 'Bollywood', 'Shah Rukh Khan', 'Salman Khan' :D Just give them a smile and carry on!

3) Get lost in the streets

We love exploring the non touristy parts of the city or town that we visit. Dinesh and I used to have a heavy breakfast and venture out into the city with our camera and bottle of water and just walk around the streets, observing the locals, the shops, architecture etc.

4) Ride the horse carriage 

If you are someone who can't be bothered to walk around or strapped for time, then the best way to explore is to take a horse carriage. They go around Marrakech and show all the main attractions. I promise, it's so much fun seeing the city this way.

5) Shop at the local markets and DON'T forget to haggle

The local markets for Marrakech are adjacent to Jemaa el- Fnaa. There is probably nothing that you can't find in these markets. You can get food, jewellery, clothes, shoes, fake designer bags (Don't buy them!), basically, you name it and you will find it there. Exploring these shops can bring so much pleasure, you don't even have to buy anything. If you decide to buy something, make sure to haggle. They reduce the price upto half of what they initially say. We bought a bright yellow coloured fruit bowl and a silver bracelet and ofcourse - we haggled :)

6) Get henna done

If you live in India, maybe it's not a big deal for you. We live in London and getting henna done is not that easy and it can be expensive. There are many hawkers who can make henna art, in Jemaa el- Fnaa, however sometimes they add chemicals for instant colours. So if you want to be sure of what goes in your henna, go to a place called 'Henna Cafe', there they use organic henna. You can also eat food there and play with a friendly tortoise.

7) Take tons of picture at El badi palace

If you are someone like me who loves getting their pictures taken then Al badi palace is a perfect backdrop for your pictures.

You can see our travel vlog here:

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