How to best experience Marrakech
This is my second trip to Morroco. And Marrakech is the 4th city I visit.
Here are some recommendations to enjoy what the city has to offer.
Stay in the old medina
I fell in love with medinas when I stayed in Fès. The intricate network of narrow streets. The small bodega-like corner stores. The donkeys transporting load. The busy souks. The call to prayer.
Life in the media is quite interesting.
The most expensive hotels are in the new medina. Walking distance from the old.
I find the old medina more authentic.
Stay in a riad
The minute I knew we Marrakech was on the itinerary, I insisted on staying in a riad—a large traditional house built around a central courtyard, often converted into a hotel (Oxford).
I find riads to be small oasises of peace and quiet in the vibrant medina.
Side note. I only learned recently that, in Fès, I actually stayed in a palace! Our hotel was comprised of two riads merged into one a single residence. Ha!
Use the services of a guide
During my stay, I've used the services of Ahmed Bouabib (find him in IG @ab_tgm). I've met him during my trip to Morroco earlier this year. A guide is able to tailor your visit to your taste. If you want to find the best spots to eat, book a street food tour. If you are more into museums and gardens, they will be able to assist. You won't need a guide every day. But it's a great ways to hang out with a local and learn at the same time. Tour guides in Morroco are trained professionals; there are official exams to test their knowledge. Go to the hammam There are hammams for all tastes and budgets. The cheaper the hammam, the more likely it is to be used by locals. The more expensive the hammam, the more luxurious it'll be. Some close early, others stay open until very late. Regardless of your budget, you'll appreciate the experience.
Go and get thoroughly scrubbed! Eat well Morrocan cuisine is exquisite. Here are a few spots our guide recommended:
Grandcafe de la poste
La maison arabe
Comptoir darna (includes belly dance show)
Terrasse des épices (I highly recommend it! Food is amazing.)
Chez Lamine (I highly recommend it! It's very authentic. The lamb was delicious!)