In a city where the road rules are non existent and new noises and smells create a sensory overload, it can be difficult to decipher where your next meal is coming from while spending the afternoon collecting your bearings.
After travelling to Marrakech for the first time earlier in 2012, I can tell you that a recommendation goes a long way. So enjoy your traditional sweet green tea on arrival and take some time to consider my suggestions below:
A typical meal in Marrakech begins with a selection of hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine and couscous. Bread is also served with every meal and a cup of sweet mint tea normally rounds things off.
For simplicity purposes, Marrakech is split into two; the old walled town, and the new town.
The old town was declared a UNESCO area on 1985, and is largely made up of Souks and the main town square. You will find traditional riads in this area, and I would recommend staying at Riad Adika, the perfect sanctuary from the outside hustle and bustle (especially on the open roof top).
Our lovely hosts recommended a local restaurant by the name of Chez Abdelhay, situated right in the Medina. Don't be alarmed, it is right in the hustle and bustle of it all which includes stray cats roaming by your feet while the owners keep them at bay with water guns. The service promptly begins on arrival and a mini feast is served. Traditional deliciousness and a steal for around 6Euros per person!! Don't pass by.
|The Meal at Chez Abdelhay|
|The Meal at Chez Abdelhay|
Somewhere else not to miss in the old town is the Square. A massive array of food and market stalls come alive from early afternoon. The food looks basically the same in every stall so just be entertained by the numerous amounts of proprietors trying to get your attention. Let them be creative, and select on this basis! Again the food is simple and tasty and a good selection is served. Don't be fussy, let them bring an assortment out for you.
|View of square from above|
As much as you might be looking forward to it, smoking Shisha is actually illegal in Marrakech. This is mostly because youngsters regularly replaced the tobacco with other types of greens. Hotel El Kennaria however has a vast rooftop draped and decorated for your comfort and will be able more than happy to host you and your friends for an "enjoyable" evening...
Once you start to feel like you deserve a bit of pampering head out to the new town to come across the likes of Comptoir Marrakech and Jad Mahal. You can order wine with your meal and be entertained by belly dancers. Both are lavish establishments requiring bookings and a bit of 'bling'. The lamb tagine with figs in Comptoir and the fish tagine in Jad Mahal were both lovely, however the prices in this part of town reflect the clientèle and the interior designs. Nevertheless, a must visit.
Once you have finished exploring, wining and dining it would be worth visiting a traditional hammam where they massage and scrub you down back to the baby skin you were born with. Hammam Hilton is a traditional hammam, one where there are no tourists. This hammam is not for the faint hearted and for those who really want to experience the local culture. We were recommended Hammam Hilton by the owners of our riad.
Riad Adika - 286 Derb Sidi Bouamar | Quartier Riad Laârouss, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Chez Abdelhay - Place El Baroudiyine en face de la mosque Ben Youssef n.43 46, Marrakech +212 (0)6 75 90 16 90
Comptior Marrakech - Avenue Echouada | Hivernage, Marrakech, Morocco
Jad Mahal - 10 Rue Haroune Erracid | Hivernage, Morocco
Hotel El Kennaria - 10 rue El Kennaria, Derb Dabachi, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Hammam Hilton - 230 Route De Tiaga