27 things you probably didn’t know to do in Marrakech

We are taking you off the beaten track in Marrakech this time. Noisy, colourful and exotic, come with us as we plunge into the Old Medina and navigate labyrinthine alleyways, sit back on a terrace with mint tea and gaze at the snow topped Atlas mountains, go home triumphant with a carpet. Marrakech is a city of drama, full of life and passion, magic and mystery. Let’s go!

There are a number of more contemporary art galleries that are certainly worth checking out:

  1. The Matisse Art Gallery was opened in 1999 and is mainly focused on solo shows by young Moroccan artists
  2. Galerie Rê, was opened by Lucien Viola in 2006 and specifically designed for contemporary innovative art and to nurture the best talent from around the world.  The gallery has quickly earned acclaim for showing the work of established and especially emerging artists from Morocco and the Mediterranean, across painting, sculpture, installations and photography.
  3. La Galerie Bleue on Guéliz’s main street is devoted to solo shows by contemporary French and Moroccan artists.
  4. Dar Cherifa.  Hang out in this little café littéraire and art gallery in the Mouassine district, housed in one of the oldest houses in the medina dating from the 17th century. Meticulously restored by owner Abdellatif Aït Ben Abdellah, there are painting exhibitions, sculptures and sometimes evening concerts as well as various artists, calligraphers or potters happy to share and talk about their creative outputs over mint tea.
  5. Maison de la Photographie.  Showcasing some fascinating original photographs of Morocco from the 1870s right up until the 1950s. Afterwards take a mint-tea on the rooftop terrace with an outstanding view over the medina of Marrakech towards the Atlas Mountains.
  6. And here’s our recommended tips for the favourites including, The Saadian Tombs and Djemaa el Fna, the Medersa Ben Youssef, the Musée de Marrakech and the Palais Dar Si Said

    Shopping

  7. Kaftans, tunics and jewellery made of linen, silk and cashmere at Aya’s Boutique (near the Tanjia Restaurant).  Apparently even Sarah Jessica Parker shops here
  8. If you are after mint, saffron, coriander and other spices to cook your tagines at home then head to Herboriste Avicenne (172-174 Souk Laghzel)  
  9. For beautiful organic soaps made with pure plant oils, enriched with donkey’s milk and scented with local herbs and flowers head to L’Art du Bain (13 Souk el Lbadine)
  10. Find the Jamade boutique in the medina (one-of-a-kind decorative objects, bags, clothing and wonderfully aromatic organic perfumes)
  11. If you love flea markets go to Bab el Khemis. It got its name from the local market held there every Thursday. Now it’s open every day of the week but it’s especially busy on Thursdays and Sundays. You’ll find everything from beautiful handmade ironwork to mouchroubia (carved wooden screens) and even old art deco furniture from the French colonial period to African handicrafts.
  12. Go shopping in Gueliz, if you have a weakness for shoes, try Atika Shoes (34 rue de Liberté) and Moor (7 rue des vieux Marrakchis), a super chic store for fabulous tunics, cushions and other items made to a very high standard.
  13. Visit their sister store, Akbar Delights (square Bab Fteuh ) in the medina
  14. Search for red clay pottery at Akkal’s (322 Sisi Ghanem)
  15. Take home a candle from at Amira (Route de Safi) in the Industrial Quarter
  16. Check out the groovy, recycled sardine can lanterns, butter-soft leather ballet pumps and other contemporary curios at Michi (Souk Lakchachbia N19/21)
  17. For gorgeous embroidered tunics made by Moroccan couturiers go to Warda la Mouche, near Jemaa El Fna square

    Eating out

  18. In the medina, try Tobsil (Derb Abdellah Ben Hessein) for a romantic evening with live traditional music
  19. Terrasse des Épices (15, souk Cherifia) makes for a contemporary lunch stop with some of the finest traditional cooking in town. The chocolate desserts should not be missed!
  20. Take a break from shopping in Guerliz and eat at Le Loft (18 Rue de la Liberté ), a cool and trendy place with pop art on the walls and old Charlie Chaplin movies projected on to the wall above the seating area.
  21. Back in the medina head to Kosy Bar (Place des Ferblantiers) for some groovy tunes and some great tasting cocktails
  22. For dinner with a twist try Foundouck in the Medina (rue souk el Fassi) which serves up great fusion food
  23. European, Asian and Moroccan flavours are combined with flair at Café de la Poste (Angle Boulevard el Mansour Eddahbi)
  24. Fuel up on real Italian espresso at Café Arabe (184 Rue Mouassine)
  25. Try a pastilla (pidgeon cooked in flaky pastry with pistachios and almonds)
  26. Take a cooking lesson. At Riad Kiass you will have the chance to work with one of the three dadas (traditional Moroccan women cooks) or with the head chef (formerly of the Café de la Poste). You’ll visit the markets and learn about the ingredients and techniques used in traditional Moroccan recipes, courses can be tailored if you have a certain interest, perhaps bread or pastry making, how to make yoghurt and so on. Riad Dar One also offer cooking classes, La Cook at their premises just outside the city.  Join for spice shopping then head out to create your gastronomic dinner.

    Indulgence

  27. At the gates of the medina stands Les Bains de Marrakech (2 Derb Sedra, Bab Agnaou). With various water-based treatments on offer you can book a private cabin in the hamman and pick from an a la carte menu of indulgence.

Sleeping

Looking for somewhere to stay? We’ve an incredible selection of boutique riads, most built traditionally around a central courtyard and ranging from the impossibly romantic AnaYela to budget-chic Riad Chi-Chi and with almost everything else in-between!

In the medina:
Riad Dar One, a gorgeous riad transformed into an undeniably modern urban hideaway
Riad Al Massarah, a chic and friendly little riad tucked away in one of the least touristy parts of the medina
Riad Dixneuf La Ksour, a beautiful, calm and colonial retreat just steps from all the hubbub
Riad 72, the best of Moroccan design fused with Italian craftsmanship

Just 15 minutes away is the Palmeraie, a lush oasis once a playground of Princesses:
Dar Zemora
, a stylish country house with gorgeous gardens and endless comfort
Palais d’ Lô, with romantic rooms and lush landscaped lawns

If you’ve stayed in one of our fabulous hotels then send a #Digital Postcard.  Log in (or join us), create a postcard using our stack of professional images and then get your friends drooling over your holiday by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.  Read what other travellers are sending here: #DigitalPostcard Be a social traveller!

Mypootle: See you on line soon!

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