If you like shopping you will love the Souks in the old town. Row upon row of market stalls with Moroccan goods from jewellery to teapots to hand made carpets to tempt you. Even if you don’t have money to spend the Souks are wonderful just to wander through and see the sights, although the sellers might coax you in, after all “looking is free”.
2. Eat a traditional tagine
This is not a tagine, this is a nice view. It is a view of the main square in Marrakesh and it is what I saw when I tried my first tagine in Morocco. I went for a lamb, prune and almond tagine with couscous and it’s sweet and delicious. Hightly recommended.
3. Stay in a Riad in the Medina.
Photo credit: Riad Romance
The Medina is the old town and it is where quite a few of the tourist attractions are so you are close to most things. The old town is also wonderfully atmospheric and the Riad’s are hidden away behind unsuspecting doorways. We stayed in Riad Romance (great name) and I would highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful Riad with spacious ensuite rooms and the best customer service I have received on any holiday anywhere! You really become part of the family when you stay with Sam and Youness.
4. Have a Hammam
There is no photo for this one as I was mainly naked and being scrubbed. But a Morrocan Hammam is a must, you feel so relaxed and clean afterwards. Yes, embrace the importance of exfoliating. It also fairly cheap (compared to London at least) around £30 for a sauna, scrub and one hour massage.
5. Have cocktails on the La Reniassance hotel roof terrace
What a view! This is a lovely place to relax in the new part of Marrakesh whilst you take in the scenery over a tasty cocktail.
6. Visit the Atlas Mountains
Spectacular views and a cooler climate make the Atlas Mountains a must see. You can visit a traditional Berber village, take in the sights and have lunch with your feet in a mountain stream! When temperatures peak in the city at 40 or 50 degrees, the Atlas Mountains are a perfect get away.
7. Have mint tea on a roof terrace
I fell in love with Moroccan mint tea! It is served in a sort of highly decorated shot glass, poured from a very glamorous silver tea pot and it has a LOT of sugar in it and it is so refreshing! It is the perfect way to unwind after a day of shopping in the Souks.
8. Buy some leather
At some stage you will be shown around the Tanneries – this is where they soak the animal skin in urine and then dry them out. All that urine means that the smell is pretty pungent (they give you mint to hold over your nose) – be warned. Most of the guides you will meet around Marrakesh will try and take you to the tanneries and will ask you for money for a tour and then take you to their mates shop to buy some leather. Be aware that no one shows you around in Marrakesh for free! The leather in Marrakesh however is great and much cheaper than at home (in England) and you can purchase some lovely leather items, just be sure you haggle for a good bargain.
9. Visit the Marjorelle Gardens
You won’t see much greenery in Marrakesh but the Marjorelle Gardens are lush, green and exceptionally calming: the perfect place to stop and relax amongst the bustle of the city. The Marjorelle Gardens went to ruin and were rejuvenated by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1980’s and today the gardens include some lovely tributes to Saint Laurent including a gallery and a memorial column.
10. Get lost in the Medina
We did this on our first day but completely by accident! Even the most geographically minded will have problems finding their way around the Medina. Roads have no signposts and follow no set pattern, streets look identical and even the official signs send you in the wrong direction. The best thing to do is embrace being lost and when you do you will stumble upon some local hidden gems. Although have google maps as a back up.
Enjoy your visit!
Samantha Baines is an award-winning actress and comedian who can’t tolerate dairy. As seen on BBC, CBBC and in new film A Royal Night Out. As heard on XFM, Radio 4 and BBC London 94.9. What the Frock Best Newcomer 2015, Funny Women Finalist 2014, occasional poet and big time show off.
This post is also available on Huffington Post Lifestyle.