Marrakech, the land of the Thousand and One Nights, is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful cities. In several rankings, Marrakech was ranked first in the best city to travel in 2015. How does Marrakech, in Slovak Marrakesh deserve so much admiration and demand from tourists? You will be enchanted by the contrast of dry desert and snowy mountains, delicious food, nice people and breathtaking oriental architecture. In this article you will find tips on how to spend 3 days in Marrakech effectively and what places you should visit.
Before and after arriving in Morocco
Flight and conditions
Most EU citizens do not need any entry visa to visit Morocco (which will not exceed 30 days). However, it should be kept in mind that you will not be far without a passport and must be valid for up to 6 months after returning from the country. So if your passport does not meet this requirement, be sure to obtain a new travel document!
You will need a Moroccan SIM card in Marrakech
Surely you have already experienced the feeling of obsolete misfortune when you forgot to read SMS with data rates with calls abroad and then you ran out of your mobile bill. Well, I have experienced this feeling several times and I really do not intend to pay such non-Christian money for data transfer or calls from abroad again. In Morocco, my boyfriend Adam and I bought a SIM card and 4GB of data on the day of arrival. By the way, they helped us a lot because we could use Google maps for a nice 7 €.
According to the Moroccan standards you can find two 7-star hotels in Marrakech. Of course, there is only one real 7 star hotel in the world, in Dubai. This does not change the fact that these hotels are truly luxurious and can be visited even if you are not staying there. For example, we visited La Mamounia with its beautiful gardens. Before entering you must pass through a metal detector and take pictures inside the hotel is strictly prohibited. This hotel will enchant you with its luxurious rooms and beautiful gardens and therefore we paid a visit.
If you are looking for something more cultural and especially less expensive, I recommend the local order, which are hotels in the historic center of the city – Medina. These hotels are characterized by a square foundation and a swimming pool in the middle. They are known for its rich decoration and characteristic oriental architecture. If you are planning a trip to Marrakech then the accommodation is definitely in order! You can find suitable accommodation according to your wishes at booking.com with many comments and ratings.
Riad is translated by Guesthouse. But what is it? Definitely not an ordinary hotel. Most of the accommodation facilities in the historic center of the city (Medina) are just mentioned and are actually hotels with typical square architecture with a swimming pool in the middle. If you are staying in a row, Moroccan curling will be a bit closer. Feel like in the middle of a small palace, and you can feel the Arabic culture everywhere.
The way of transport in Morocco will really entertain you. Outside the city center, traffic regulations may be adhered to, but in the historic center, everyone drives as they please. In the end, it means that pedestrians, cyclists, asses with cars, scooters, cars or fat-fats go on one and the same aisle. By the way, tuk-tuks driving must definitely be used in Morocco.
Currency in Morocco-Moroccan denar
In Morocco, the Moroccan denar is paid, which is converted to 0.094 euros. We rounded this up when we calculated the prices, saying that 10 Moroccan denarii is one euro. There is no need to exchange money in advance, as there are functional ATMs at both the airport and the main square. Withdrawals from an ATM cost around 4 euros, which I think is still better than changing money according to exchange rates.
Watch out for advisors!
Who are the advisors? Well, the counselor is almost every Moroccan who, in his spare time, hikes tourists and wants to be very helpful in finding the right way to a monument, or just want to guide them. But keep in mind that these people will ask for a trinkgeld, even if you may not need a guide. In this case, it is better to refuse them straight.
One of the Moroccans, whose services we have refused, was very kindly offered to me. But he said we shouldn’t be afraid, he said he didn’t want any money. As we thought he was nice, we accepted the offer and let him take us to the local drug factory, which after all was really interesting. Of course we would be uncomfortable not to give him any commission and so we gave him something, after all, even our guide here certainly expected, although initially refused money with a smile. ?
Tips for places to see and what to experience in Marrakech
1. Visit Bahia Palast
The biggest palace of Marrakesh is also the most important historical monument there. The name of Bahia was given by the name of the wife of the Moroccan Minister Ahmed bin Musa. It will enchant you with its ornate architecture. This palace is definitely not to be missed.
2. Experience the true African atmosphere at Jamma El Fain Square
Want to be in the true heart of Africa and experience the true Moroccan atmosphere? Then go to Jamma El F’na Square. Some tourists compare this square to ordinary city markets and in no way grab them. If you are one of them, I cannot say. But what I know is that for me this square was the most beautiful place in Marrakech. African music was constantly playing, women trading henna, and men sitting on the floor playing exotic cobras.
3. Shop at local markets
There is really everything in local markets. Whether it’s souvenirs, kitchen plates, ,,designer shirts” and shoes, oriental sweets, or spices and teas. This is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful things in Morocco. Why? Because every way you go through the streets of Marrakech is accompanied by all sorts of scents. Whether it is the pleasant smell of fruit teas or the pungent smell of myrrh, it does not matter. It gives the city a perfect atmosphere that is simply worth experiencing. Buying in such markets is a double pleasure, you can gradually smell all teas and spices and for that you will take home a practical souvenir. Isn’t that great?
4. Visit Jardin Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech
The Jardin Majorelle Gardens features a complex of exotic flora with lakes with Japanese carp and fountains. Among the bamboos and cacti boasts a distinctive yellow-blue villa, which today serves as a museum of Berber curling. But what made this place really famous? The French painter Jacques Majorellet took decades to make the garden so beautiful that tourists could still admire it to this day. Yves Saint Laurent, a fashion designer who also later bought the gardens and the villa, moved in with his partner.
5. Moroccan cuisine-Taste local couscous and tajini
Tajini is a typical Moroccan dish that is usually prepared in the same pot. This ensures that the evaporated juice gets back into the food and so the food remains juicy. Tajini is either meat or vegetable and it should be said that Moroccans can prepare tajini really perfectly. Couscous is another traditional North African food. Of course, you will also find classic dishes such as tasty pizza.
6. Do not forget camel riding, Marrakech
From Marrakech, there is no problem to book several tourist trips. It can be a 2-day trip to the desert, a day trip to the Atlas Mountains, or an hour-long camel ride. Undoubtedly all are great, but we chose camel ride and we certainly did not regret the decision! Through our delegate, we booked a camel trip on the day of arrival, and we have already deployed these weird creatures the next day. My camel was probably a camel newcomer because she tried to dig me constantly and I was often afraid to fall, but fortunately nothing happened to me and I happily recommend this type of trip to continue.
7. How safe is Marrakech?
When we visited this place we really had goose bumps
The city center, the beautiful and colorful Medina, will amaze every visitor. But what does it look like after leaving the safe center? It should not be forgotten that Morocco is still a poor country and the situation should not be underestimated. Indeed, Adam and I have a rather unpleasant experience from this trip. It was in the area for processing and dyeing animal skin and I will tell you, we were really lucky. More in Marrakesch-Do not go here! (link coming soon).