Tips from Marrakech Local guide:
Like Meknes, Rabat and Fez , Marrakech bears the title of an Imperial City .
Yes for centuries , the red city was even the capital of the kingdom twice.
For this reason , Marrakech has much more to offer than a picture postcard .
Undoubtly , it is not only limited to the souks , ramparts adobe , riads .
It is also the maze of medina that life is in full swing and your sensory experience will be unique!
Thanks to its past history, Marrakech has managed to combine tradition and modernity.
In the new city, you will see the face of a trendy and cosmopolitan Marrakech.
Its airy quarters and its gardens are worth seeing because, here too, authenticity is essential!
Today with the help of a well-experienced guide , we will share with you some of the favourite things to do in Marrakech, so you can experience the living city behind the crowded attractions.
Why did you become a guide ?
To be a guide for me, it’s a lot of fun and Tips from Marrakech local guide blog explains it .
Actually , I choose it for many reasons and I will share some of them with you as follows :
- -the ability to be the direct link between visitors and a place is incredible.
- Being their travel companion for a while makes you a member of their memory of this place.
- – You can interact with so many people, it never gets boring. You can ,,likewise make some friends along the way.
- -It’s great to share anecdotes and personal stories with the group behind the places you visit to spark their interest.
- -Most importantly, you travel, explore the world, meet new people and new cultures and hang out in cities or countries that are dear to you.
What do you love most about Marrakech?
Oh, with what can I start ? Marrakech is a beautiful city, and there are many things I love about it.
Marrakech is quite stable and peaceful especially compared to neighbouring cities .
“we won’t smear other cities reputation just to make marrakech looks good” That’s all about Morocco tourism .”
Summers can be harsh, especially when the hot, dry Chergui winds blow from the Sahara .
However , the scorching heat is manageable for the most part. Winters, on the other hand, are largely mild.
Relative to other Arab countries , Moroccans, especially Marrakchi are quite liberal.
Having said that , the Marrakechi people are welcoming , friendly, so warm, so caring to foreigners including those of African descent.
There is no place for racial discrimination here … but like already stated they are more friendly than cold, relatively speaking.
Marrakech is a city rich of smells and flavors!
Between pastries, spices and herbs, your taste buds and nose will be filled.
Integrating various influences – Berber corsair cuisine, Egyptian and Jewish cuisine, cuisine with sweet and faded flavors of Constantinople, some traits of the Spanish and French cuisine –
the gastronomy of Marrakech offers many delicious surprises.
Marrakchis are gourmets, and a stay in Marrakech is not synonymous with slimming diet!
Most Moroccan meals are extremely filling , better sweet , without too much succumbing to the farandole of salads, olives and bread .
What’s one local food specialty everyone visiting Marrakech should try?
Tanjia of course !
According to tradition this dish is prepared mostly by men.
Tanjia, like tajine, also takes its name from the utensil in which it is cooked.
To obtain Tanjia, beef or mutton is simmered for several hours on ashes of in a furnace.
Spices, meat , saffron , salty butter makes tanjia a good treat for anyone.
What is the best place to go for a memorable photo?
I suggest the list of new places in Marrakech , where you can take pretty original photos.
Whether you are a blogger, an addict of Instagram ,you can take wonderful and stunning photographs.
- -The Badii Palace is an old palace that the Saadian ruler Ahmed El Mansour Ed-Dahbi built to celebrate his victory in over the Portuguese army.
- -The Majorelle Garden is one of the best spots in Marrakech which worths a stop .
- Souks of Marrakech: Marrakech is undoubtedly a tourist destination for shoppers and picture lovers.
- –Médersa Ben Youssef is a Koranic school that exists since 1570 in the heart of the medina of Marrakech. It is a must-see place during a visit to Marrakech.
What are the best places you advise tourists to visit in Marrakech ?
First , the 12 century ramparts which were built to protect the city against the attackers.
You will see that the walls are not smooth, but they have innumerable holes.
Originally, these holes were those left by the scaffolding during construction.
But the workers realized that the walls of the ramparts were more resistant to weather and climate when they were not blocked.
That’s why nowadays we can see these holes!
The Koutoubia Mosque:
The greatest pride of Marrakchis and one of the most beautiful mosques in Morocco.
We can see this building from the hinterlands.
On the other hand, non-Muslims do not have the right to get in.
Yes it is a law that the French protectorate established at the beginning of the 20th century concerning all mosques in Morocco.
The Koutoubia mosque is considered as a Masterpiece of work !
Jemaa El Fna Square:
We can see the snake charmers, spice dealers, jugglers, herbalists, horse-drawn carriages, a total change of scenery.
This place is a UNESCO world heritage from May 2011, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Jemaa El Fna square is the heart of the city, around which we can find the souks and the museums …
It is a good place either if you want to have a cheap yet delicious dinner .
The Koranic school Medersa Ben Youssef:
It is a place steeped in history. You can still see the multiple student rooms on the first floor.
Indeed some children came from all over the country to study the Koran.
At the time, Muslims should know the Koran by heart before starting a school course.
From the rooms you can see a magnificent cobblestone courtyard on the ground floor, with a fountain in the middle, carved walls and other intricacies.
Very famous, it’s a must visit during your stay in Marrakech!
Visit the Saadian Tombs:
It was a completely forgotten place, until the beginning of the 19th century.
Actually , a French aviator passed over this area and discovered it .
It is essential if you go to the Medina. You will not be insensitive to the architecture of the tombs, their mosaics, their sculptures, but also to the history that goes with it.
Do not miss the Palace of Bahia :
the vizier of Sultan Moulay Hassan I built the palace during the 19 th century .
It was, in its time, the largest and most luxurious palace in Morocco.
Furthermore, the architecture of this palace is one of the masterpieces of Moroccan culture.
You can see a succession of sumptuous apartments, reception rooms, shady courtyards, gardens and fountains.
let’s move on outside the ramparts and see what we can discover !
The Garden of Menara is to see:
It consists essentially of a large olive grove and a huge pool to train the Moroccan soldiers to fight in the aquatic environment.
Nowadays , this basin serves as a reservoir for the water that comes down from the mountains, in order to water the garden.
The basin is 160 by 200 meters.
The name Menara comes from the small pavilion which is located at the edge of this basin. For my part, I found this visit very interesting for its historical side, however, this garden is also famous for its beauty.
The palm grove of Marrakech:
To see one of the most beautiful palm groves of Marrakech, you have to take the road to Fez.
Then , take a camel ride in the palm grove and cherish every moment of it .
Crossing the picturesque villages is the most authentic view you can enjoy in Marrakech.
Don t miss the berber lands:
On a full day, from Marrakech, you can go in 4 × 4 with guides on the Berber lands.
Inquire at the tourist office for schedules and different circuits.
The journey in general is about 140 kilometers and passes in different typical villages.
Passing through Tifriouine for lunch, Ouiziln for learning how to make Moroccan tea, the plateau of Kik for sumptuous landscapes, you will have something to do during this excursion!
The Majorelle Garden a real haven of peace:
The amazing garden bears the name of its creator Jacques Majorelle, a
painter and lover of botany. This is where the majorelle blue color comes from.
This garden is one of the most mysterious places of the twentieth century .
It is a place of mystical strength and rare personal expression.
It includes a superabundance of cactus representing the five continents.
Since then , Jacques Majorelle becomes the largest plant collector of his time.
Afterwards, Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé baught and restored the botanical garden.
Today, the ashes of Yves Saint-Laurent himself rests in this space of purity.
How to avoid getting Lost in Marrakech ?
We will go back to basics. We are in a medieval town, that does not seem shocking.
Basics include: A map (not necessarily so simple in Marrakech), a compass and for the posers what is called the “sense of orientation”.
So yes it may sound a little old school, but it works really well:
- Step1 : You identify a start and end point on your map.
- Step2 : You follow the road taken according to the lanes that you have in front of you.
- Step3 : You adjust”(readjust) adjustement is done at first place by identifying start and end point” your trajectory according to what it is possible or not. Example:Your axis is north-south, you go north. Your first alley follows your axis: Perfect. The second lane goes west, you follow it. A third alley is presented, it is oriented “north-south”: Perfect. A fourth alley is presented, it is oriented to the east.Either you continue north and you will turn east later, or you turn immediately to find your original axis before returning north to the next.
This is where the sense of direction is a sacred plus.
- You lose the thread of your trajectory? No problem: Reach a remarkable building shown on your map and start again
Marrakech is a child’s play. Do not sulk the pleasure of losing yourself and finding your way.
In any case, do not panic. Marrakech is a safe city. Easily recognizable places will help you find yourself:
Jemaa el Fna square easily marks the center of the Medina. Arrows on the main axes it(you have already ‘‘arrows’’ you can’t use “it”) tells you in which direction you must go.
The Koutoubia Mosque marks the west of the Medina and Jemaa el Fna also.
The minarets of other mosques depending on your accommodation.
What’s your favourite place to celebrate a special occasion?
If you love to celebrate special occasions with friends and family, there is a wonderful place just a few minutes from the medinas, it is Dar Tifrouine.
Can you share one thing travelers probably don’t know about Marrakech? kind of an advise …
- Never follow a fake guide but if you can not find any solution try these ones…
- If you arrive late in Marrakech and your accommodation is lost in the middle of the medina, do not worry.It is not the end of the world, you can go directly to the police station and ask for help.
- If someone asks you where you are going, there is a good chance that as soon as you get there, you will be drawn into the alleys of Marrakech. It’s silly but when someone with whom you started the conversation goes ahead and you follow him. And since it is moving fast, you can not continue the exchange, you go behind a bit stupidly.
- If you are looking for a guide, follow it.
- If you are not looking for a guide, do not answer the original question. Or answer that you know where you are going. Firm and polite.
As kind, affable and friendly at the time of the meeting, the guide will ask you for money. Most are greedy.
You will be asked 50 or even 100 DH (5 or 10 euros sometimes more). It’s exorbitant. Between 5 and 20 DH is more than adequate if you really need a hand. Negotiation is more or less pleasant, also cut short and be firm.
Tip: Make sure you have the amount you want to give before you reach your destination. To leave to the “guide” to make the exchange on a big break seems to me a little risky (I did not try).
If the good Samaritan tells you that he will not guide you for money – which may be true – he will lead you to someone who will ask you for money: at tanneries or in a shop.