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I love Marrakech. It’s an immediate heady exotic culture clash as soon as you land after your short flight from Europe. It’s easy to navigate once you’ve got your bearings in the souk and the food and shopping are awesome.
Here’s my very miniature travel guide to 5 of my favourite things to do.
1. Visit Nomad and Cafe des Epices
Nomad and Cafe des Epices both have roof top locations overlooking one of my favourite shopping squares right in the middle of the souk. In daylight Cafe des Epices is the place to visit for spectacular views over the roofs of the souk to the Atlas Mountains glistening with snow on the horizon. It serves sandwiches, coffees and juices and is a great place to pause when you’ve been hardcore shopping. Nomad is much more a nighttime location with a gorgeous modern atmospheric Moroccan interior and a lovely menu (try the orange cake).
2. Stay at Riad Irhline
There is an overwhelming level of choice when choosing accommodation in Marrakech. My rule of thumb is to look for somewhere as close as possible to the souk so you don’t have a long walk home in the evening and definitely a Riad as they’re beautiful and atmospheric and give you the real deal Marrakech experience. They’re often surprisingly cheap considering how stylish the interiors are. I loved Riad Irhline – a great breakfast, lovely rooms, free wifi and a really handy location not far from the main square.
3. Visit Le Grand Cafe De la Poste
As a complete contrast to the souks it’s fun go and have a sundowner or three at Cafe De La Poste in the French colonial part of town. I love the original 1920’s decor – you can completely imagine you’re on the set of Casablanca. Try and grab a table on the busy front terrace.
4. Souk Shopping
The shopping in Marrakech is brilliant but overwhelming. First things first, move away from Jemaa el-Fnaa the main square and head deep into the souk. It’ll take a while to get your bearings but eventually you’ll start to get a sense of the layout. I particularly like the area north of Nomad and the square right under Cafe des Epices in the old spice market.
5. A day trip to the Atlas Mountains
If you do have a spare day and you want to see some completely contrasting scenery you can get a taxi transfer to Imlil, the gateway to the Atlas Mountains. You can do a 1 day trek or just grab lunch at Kasbah Du Toubkal – a breathtaking hotel overlooking North Africa’s highest mountain.
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