It’s the new year and I still got some stories from the old one to tell you all. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I spend a week in Marrakech before Christmas. By the time I got back to Germany there was so much to do, so many people to visit and Christmas parties to attend that I did not get around to write anything about this trip. So here it goes my little three day travel guide to Marrakech.
Before I say anything else I would definitely advise you to go off season. Anywhere between the end of Oktober to mid December is great. The weather is still way better than in most European countries, the most southern ones excluded. You may not have banging 40°C but you will have a decent 15°-25°C most days which is more than enough for a little rooftop tanning sesh. Bonus points for the less crowded streets and souks to roam through are defo in order here.
But now to the real important stuff: The accommodation/ideal location for any stay between 3 days to a week, maybe even longer. I can highly recommend the Rodamón Hostel, right in the Medina. It is pretty new and a classic Riad with modern interior. The staff is super friendly and gives you any advice you might need, just ask! The breakfast is included in the room price and consist of traditional Moroccan treats such as Pomegranate, homemade yogurt, Beghrir or Msemen, one of the best lemon cakes I’ve ever had, all rounded up by fresh pressed orange Juice and the traditional Moroccan mint tea. The room sizes vary from private doubles to shared 8-bed dorms, all with en-suite bathrooms. The vibe here is clearly very young and you will meet a lot of solo travelers. The perfect place to connect and also wind down after a day in the streets of Marrakech with a big rooftop and pool-meets-bar-meets-lounge area.
Day 1: Get lost in the Medina
I would recommend anyone to take an evening flight so you can start your adventure fresh the next morning. Well, fresh is an exaggeration as the Muezzin calling for prayer at quarter to six, will be your first glimpse of Morocco. After that, all you need to do is get out and get soaked in by all the scents, colours and foods that the locals sell in the streets of the medina. My favourite thing to do, in any city really, but especially in Marrakech is to just go with the flow and see where it will take you. There are so many places off the beaten track that will have you stumbling up on the daily life of Moroccans. I do encourage you to not listen to every second guy trying to tell you that the Big Square is in the other direction or the Mosque is the other way. Some of my favourites are the Sidi Bel Abbes Mosque, Moulay El Yazid Mosque, Place des épices and the Rue de Mouassine. I am not a fan of fixed plans, so this first day is perfect. As a lot of the charm of this gem can be discovered like this, it is the perfect way to start your trip. Don’t miss out on lunch and dinner at one of the cute little cafés along the way. Keep your eyes open for the “hole in the walls” most of them lead you to a nice restaurant hidden from be busy streets. For great sunset views during dinner I can highly recommend Atay Café and Café Kif Kif, if you are a small group both of them will have space for you during the off-season.
Day 2: Gardens Gallore
After a full day if exploring the medina and maybe purchasing some goodies, I’m sure a little bit of peace and quiet is just what is needed. Marrakech is full of beautiful gardens that are often hidden behind massive walls. My number one recommendation is the Bahia-Palace. You will walk through massive non-descriptive walls and end up in a Garden Eden with door frames so delicately notched you will not believe how old they are. Fresh lemons hanging from the trees in the middle of December and colours showing you their full potential in broad sunlight. The most famous of all the gardens is probably Jardin Majorelle, just outside the old town. I did not visit it myself but everyone I met was more than fascinated by it. The colours, however look the best when the sun is out. So time your visit wisely. If you are already at the Jardin Majorelle you might consider getting a ticket for the Musée Yves Saint Laurent as well. Catered to anyone who likes fashion and architecture (at least from the outside) this place is heaven. Carefully curated pieces of Laurent’s works in liaison with the designers history make it feel intimate and impressive. Less touristic and also frequented by locals is the garden right behind the big Koutoubia mosque, called Parc Lalla Hasna. It has waterworks running through it and fountains that make for the perfect snap of the mosque. Dinner at Le Jardin for Moroccon Lamb or I Limoni for Italian dishes with a twist is not to miss. Both of them are located in an amazing backyard surrounded by houses, making them the perfect place for a relaxed dinner. If you look for drinks after dinner, I can recommend the rooftop (heated in winter) of Café Arabe they serve cocktails, beer and wine. One of the few places in the Old Town that serves alcohol.
Day 3: Treat yourself!
Marrakech is not only know for it’s vibrant colours and impressive spice selection. Interior lovers will find a haven of handmade rugs, lamps and century old traditions of craving wood, make it the place to be. But for all beauty lovers this is also a place to be. Who hasn’t used Argan Oil to make their hair smoother? And where does this precious Oil originate? Morocco. It is the only place really to get the real deal. Any herboriste in the medina will proudly show you his selection. You have two choices, cosmetic and culinary, the latter being made of roasted kernels. If you want to see it live and in person head to Murrâkûs 7 right by the famous Souk Semmarine. Once this is done it is time to actually get pampered yourself. No trip to the city is completed without visiting a Moroccon hammam! There are plenty that cater to tourists and they all seem more or less the same. Depending on the “package” you go for, it can just be the classic hammam and you are done. I did hear though that some of them give banger massages as well. If you want the real experience you need to ask a local to find those hole-in-the-wall-frequented-by-locals-hammams, I did not try it but apparently it is the real deal. After that I recommend a fresh juice from the Djemaa el Fna, go to stand 30, I used to work there. Ok, maybe only for 10 minutes but the juice is amazing and you can pick your own ingredients to mix and match to your taste.
With this relaxed last day you are ready to face the real world again, with your friends being jealous of the summery glow you got in the middle of winter. If you want to check out the coolest rooftops in the city make sure to check out my last post here.
Oh, and here is me with Momo, lovely shop owner and neighbour during my stay!