Being in Marrakesh was a real break for me and my husband. We saw different colors, different culture, different paysage, different weather - everything is so different yet so similar to France. We speak the same language and we laughed at the same joke. It makes us feel home away from home. Just being there is wonderful. Below is our favorite things to do in Marrakesh over a weekend :
WANDERING AROUND THE PINK CITY
Although the Medina's wall stretch for 19 km, the heart of the Medina is walkable. It's so charming that we actually enjoyed walking on small streets and we didn't mind getting lost from times to times. Yes Marrakech is safe and if you are lost, you can just enter a random shop or restaurant to ask your way around.
ADMIRING MOROCCAN DOORS
A lot of Moroccan doors are high and form a rather beautiful arc. The architecture is ancient and has fascinating details. You would find one decorated with oriental tiles, crafted with wood and well preserved.
I remember in Bali, a lot of houses has a dramatic entrance as well. It's crafted with folklore figures, believed to guard the house. I am wondering if this is the same reason for Moroccan doors. although i hardly find any symbols apart from beautiful engravement.
VISITING PALAIS BAHIA
If you only have two days ahead of you, i would suggest to definitely make time to find Palais Bahia. Marrakech is full of wonderful places, popular for its instagramable spots. However tempting that is, make time to include Palais Bahia to your list as It is so beautiful,majestic and huge. Finding the palace could be a little challenging BUT when you arrive in the Jemaa El-Fnaa square, look for that huge Cafe de France. Not far from there, there's a street called Rue de banque. Follow that street straight down.
How much : 70 DH
Monday - Sunday
9 Am - 5 Pm
ENJOYING YOUR RIAD
Riad is a residency with an open garden in the middle. Normally the accommodation is built round a central courtyard and decorated with a lot of details.
We were staying in Riad De Vinci in the Bin Slimane neighborhood. I chose this Riad because they add a modern touch to it. While the whole place has that Moroccan feeling (boucherouite carpets, traditional mirrors hung on the alley, moroccan tiles,..) the room is a mix between the now and then. Moreover, they have a good quality in house massage and hammam for a very reasonable price that it's hard to resist.
GET LOST AT SOUK
Your sejour to Marrakech would not be complete without a balade to its Souk. Two years ago, i started to pick up a habit of looking for local craftsmanship as i travel. Morocco happens to be a country that is rich and known for its artisanal work. I will be talking in depth of gems i brought home very soon, but you will absolutely leave the city with a handful of beautiful pieces.
We love eating out in Marrakech. During the weekend, we went out to 5 different restaurants ; 3 dinners and 2 lunches and honestly never disappointed. From the local tea, local wine, local bread, up to local main dishes, moroccan knows how to cook. On top of that, the price is relatively cheaper if not the same as in Paris for 100% better service and places.
My favorite appetizer is briouates. Briouates are small-stuffed spring rolls. They generally consist of 3 different fillings - cheese, vegetarian and beef. The dessert i like the most looks somehow similar to briouates. Except they put thick melted chocolate inside along with dried fruits and banana. The one in Cafe Terrasse des epices is absolutely delicious. I just tried recently to re-make the dessert and i'm so happy i can't wait to share the recipe.
To check how much we spent for restaurants, check out our post here
A couple of restaurant that we tried were :
- Riad de Vinci : The tajine with chicken and lemon probably the best that i've tried.
- Cafe Majorelle : I love how cute this place is and the smoothie was absolutely delicious.
- Cafe Terasse des epices : They win easily on the ambiance and the decor. I love the Briouates and the Chocolate pastille but the Tajine was just Ok (at least for me) Also this restaurant is the most expensive of all.
- Zeitoun cafe : It's an outdoor cafe in a little square in front of tombe Saadian. Love the rattan seats and the vintage look. The tajine is delicious and all the server was really nice.
- La Medina : We went there for the live music
GET CULTURED AT JARDIN DE MAJORELLE
Marrakech has plenty of beautiful gardens - BUT if you only have a limited time and hesitate which one to visit, i'd say definitely go to Jardin de Majorelle.
First, it's huge and very well maintained, so it's worth visiting and worth your time. Second, it has a berber museum and Yves Saint Laurent gallery inside. We are unfortunately not allowed to take pictures in the museum but the collection is amazing. There is a room showcasing berber and moroccan ancient jewelry and they are just worth watching. Third, there's this blue house that is very instagrammable (lol reason but who doesn't want a great picture, right?)
On top of that, this garden an interesting history. The garden was imagined by french painter Jacques Majorelle, who painted various building in bold blue color (later known as blue majorelle) and filled the garden with various plants brought from his voyage. After his death, the garden was nearly left abandoned and it was saved and reconstructed by Yves Saint Laurent and thank to him, the garden is as beautiful as it is now.
I hope this would inspire your future trip to Marrakech.
Bon voyage !