Our last stop in Morocco was Marrakech. Marrakech was hectic. The streets were crowded and the vendors were more persistent than other places in Morocco.
Mopeds are a huge problem in Marrakech. They release toxic clouds of exhaust as they whiz by you, missing you by a few inches. While walking in the medina, you really have to be constantly vigilant for mopeds. We would return to our riad at the end of the day with our hair smelling like exhaust. I can only hope the government realizes this and takes measures to limit moped traffic in the old medina. I’ll take donkey travel any day!
Other than the mopeds, Marrakech was vibrant and beautiful. The Jemaa el-Fnaa is the center of all activity and so fun to wander at night. Here you can find the snake charmers, musicians and story-tellers that Morocco is famous for. There are also numerous open air restaurants selling cheap tagines and kebabs. I read somewhere that in order to keep the food safe for tourists, the government buys back old meat at the end of the night and exchanges it for fresh meat. In addition, it’s probably much safer to watch your food being cooked – who knows what the hidden kitchens of the restaurants we ate in are like?
Bab Agnaou is a famous ancient gate in Marrakech. It is one of 19 old gates that give entrance to the kasbah. Check out the huge storks perched on the top!
At the gate, a man was selling milk to local people from huge jugs. It doesn’t get much fresher than that.
You can find anything for sale in Marrakech, including a toy train featuring a former president chasing down a well known terrorist! People must actually buy this stuff…
Pat and I found Cafe des Epices a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The three terrace cafe sells amazing food and excellent coffee that can be enjoyed while having a birds eye view of the Place des Epices. They served the best harira soup of our trip!
I stumbled on an area of the souk where craftsmen sell hand carved wooden tools. For just a couple of bucks, we picked up a few wooden spoons, a juicer and a honey dipper.
We stumbled upon a beautiful art exhibit by Stephane Braud at the gallery Dar Bellarj. I definitely recommend checking out this beautiful gallery space to see if they are offering a (free) exhibition if you are in Marrakech.
Marrakech is the place to stock up on spices before you head home. There were also many home remedies to choose from, with something to cure pretty much anything that ails you.
We also found the black soap that is used for hammams (turkish baths). Not much to look at, but so nice for the skin!
We checked out Marrakech’s most famous mosque, Koutoubia. The inside is only open to Muslims. The minaret (main tower) is so striking, especially when contrasted with the busy streets that surround it!
For our last night in town, we splashed out for a nice dinner at Maison MK.
Maison MK specialized in ‘barefoot 5 star’ experience. They have food that is more modern French than Moroccan-inspired, and it was incredible! They have a set dinner menu that is 650 dirhams ($80 USD) per person for a five course meal. The food was exceptional, the service was flawless and the head chef, Omar, even came out to say hi to each table at the end of the meal. I definitely recommend booking ahead to secure a table.
To Do & See in Marrakech:
Cafe Des Epices
Place Rahba Lakdima
Place des Epices
Dar Bellarj Gallery
7-9, Toualate Zauouiate Lahdar
Tel: +212(0)524 44 45 55
Bab Agnaou Gate
Avenue Hassan II,
Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Koutoubia Mosque & Minaret
Avenue Mohammed V
Maison MK Restaurant & Riad
14 Derb Sebaai
Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Our Morocco Adventure:
Other stories from our Moroccan adventure:
A Day by the Sea in Asilah, Morocco
Magical Blue-Hued Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen – Our Favorites
Northern Morocco Road Trip
Visiting the Fez Tanneries
Moulay Yacoub Spa in Fez
Buying Carpets in Morocco
A Close Shave in Marrakech
Taking a Pause at La Pause