Marrakesh travel blog
Marrakesh as a city
I haven’t written a travel blog in a while, but I recently visited Marrakesh in Morocco and there are lots of things I want to share. Marrakesh took me by surprise because I was expecting it to be fairly similar to Egypt but in a lot of ways it wasn’t. one of the things that took me by surprise was the amount of Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes and Porches. I’m not saying that these cars are not in Egypt, but it was hard to miss in Marrakesh. Another thing that surprised me was when a bystander told a boy to go away when he had stopped up at the restaurant that I was eating at to sell me something. It was nice to see that the general public would intervene for the sake of a tourist.
I felt very safe in the city, my brother and I were out late most nights and would walk back from the medina to our hotel which was around a 30 minute walk and we never had any problems. The medina itself is a different story, craziness everywhere and a lot of scams which I will talk about later in the post. I will also talk about the cost of different things there because I found it quite confusing in how prices varied there didn’t seem to be any rules to it. I am going to share the different museums, activities and tours we took part in while we were there too. I hope you enjoy this blog and find something that will help you on your trip to Marrakesh.
Things to do in Marrakesh
Bahia palace was probably my favourite place I visited in Marrakesh. It is basically an empty mostly outdoor palace but it was truly beautiful. The amount of work that must have went into building a place like that. It was also the biggest building we had been into, endless rooms and courtyards. It would defiantly be my no.1 recommendation
The heritage museum
The heritage museum was interesting because it was the first riad I had been in. it held a lot of old artefacts like pots, books, jewellery, clothing etc. we were also given tea and a biscuit and got to sit down in the centre of the riad and appreciate the architecture. It was 50 dirham (5 euro) to entre which I think was a good price however I feel like the museum lacked some information. Very few of the pieces had dates or much history attached to them but considering the price it is still worth the look.
Museum of Marrakesh
I really liked this museum, again it lacked information, but the building was beautiful. I found myself looking at the tile work and pillars of the riad more than the pieces on display. If your looking for a densely filled museum I would skip this one but if you’re like me and like the architecture of the country then it is worth the look. Entry fee 50 dirham (5 euro)
Atlas Mountains tour
This tour was one of the most interesting things that I done while in morocco, however I will say I was genuinely terrified during the hike. The tour consisted of a visit to an argon oil shop where a guide brought us around their garden to see the different plants and explain there uses. We then went inside to see how they produced the oil from the seed and we were given a rundown of the different products.
We then got to the Atlas Mountains which is when the fear kicked in. The mountain we were hiking was entirely covered in snow and ice, everybody was slipping and honestly it was very dangerous if somebody had actually fallen they could have been seriously injured. On the way down the mountain I told my brother that I wanted to go back the other way I was genuinely afraid. There was so much snow and it had gotten to the stage that our guide had to hold my arm because every step I took I slid. I will say it was partially due to the shoes I was waring but we were not told to prepare for snow and ice. So just beware that the Atlas Mountains are dangerous in the winter so be prepared.
Once we had finished with the hike, we went to lunch which was clearly a tourist scam considering the food there was around 3 times more expensive than any other meals we’ve had. After lunch we had the option to visit a Berber village, but nobody wanted to do it. Our driver had just stopped at the side of the road and said we could get out and look at the village if we wanted but there was no one to meet us. Our guide was also back at the mountains, so it was all a bit weird. Overall the tour was fine not sure if I would recommend it, maybe in the warmer months but not in winter.
Scams and tricks to beware of and avoid
Ok so I’ll be honest there are a lot of things to have on your radar but 9 times out of 10 they are harmless but you need to be careful all the same.
- One of the most common things you will be exposed to is people calling out to you and inviting you into there shop. This isn’t really a scam or trick but I’m just letting you know that its best to not answer back or make eye contact unless you actually want to go into the store. Because once you start talking to them they have you and its harder to get away and awkward when you don’t by anything.
- Something I want to emphasis and make people aware of is taking directions from the locals. Most of the time they are honestly just trying to help you and will send you in the right direction but once we were sent in a more secluded direction it looked as if it was the locals houses behind the hussle and bustle of the medina. The man that gave us the directions walked in the other direction and it seemed to be fine until we realised that he was behind us. He then got really close to my brother and was demanding payment, I pulled my brother away but he got in between us again. I got around him and push my brother back towards the medina, I stopped looked at the man and told him quite angrily that we were fine and to not follow us. He didn’t follow us again thankfully but it was scary we were on our own out of view of everybody so please if a road looks quite go the other way. Also if somebody walks you to the place you want to go that’s probably because their shop is on the way so don’t be surprised if you end up in their shop.
- The women that are in the Jamee El Fna square and offering to give you a henna tattoo should be avoided like the plague. They will walk up to you and grab your hand and you need to be quick to yank it back and walk away. I was talking to my brother when a woman had caught me by surprise and before I could pull my hand away she had started. I still tried to get my hand back but she wouldn’t let go and then demanded payment. She wanted 5 euro but I gave her 1 euro the henna also never stuck it was black for 2 days and then I had to scrub my hand to get it off but it never went yellow like normal hennas
- Taxi drivers will try to get you to pay a lot more than you need to so just remember if the drive was around 15 minutes or less pay 20 dirham, just hand it to them and get out. Also, something I didn’t know until I got there is if you get a taxi to or from the airport before 8pm it will cost 100 dirham and 150 dirhams after 8pm this is set by law apparently.
- Make sure you bargain, let them start high and you start low, for example I wanted to by chess pieces and the price was 450 dirhams in the end I paid 120 dirhams. If it is expensive you will get a bigger bargain if it is cheap it will be less like if its 50 dirham you should pay around 30 dirham.
- This isn’t a scam its more of a tip, the food in the medina can be expensive and it is always also very noisy and busy in there. If you want to escape the madness and go to the ‘champs elysees’ of Marrakesh go to avenue Mohamed V. it has a shopping centre, Zara, H&M, Starbucks and lots of great cafes and restaurants. My brother and I ate there most nights most frequently in Vent Midi and The Central. You could get 2 mains and 2 deserts for around 8 euro!!
So that’s all I have to say about Marrakesh I hope this helps you in some way if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or text me on my Instagram it is linked. Thanks for reading.