Date of stay: 2 nights, March 2011
Where you stayed: Ryad Mogador
Tour or pre planned:Pre planned
Marrakech is known as the “Red City”, a perfect place to visit during the winter months if your based in England as it is guaranteed to be warmer plus it’s only 3 & ½ hours flying.
We spent two days in Marrakech in March and it was a great weekend away, a break from cold London weather. The average temperatures during March are around 17° compared to 2-6° in London.
Marrakech is full of activities it just depends on how long you’re visiting for, we arrived on a Friday evening and caught the number 19 bus to the city centre. Transport from the airport to the city centre is fairly easy, you’ll have people yelling taxi taxi but we’d recommend waiting outside the Airport (as you walk out of the terminal just on your left behind the taxi rank). Catch bus number 19 and it’s only 30 Dir for a return ticket. A taxi will be a lot more and be sure to confirm prices before hopping in.
That evening we made our way to the main square. Djemea El Fna (main square) has a lot going on, you’ll find food stalls, snake charmers, drummers, henna tattooists and much more. The Medina (old town) is full of markets, (the buildings covered in satellites) follow the stone alleys and wonder about the markets filled with spices, carpets, leather bags and much more. You’ll often here street venders yelling “Genuine fakes” found here. The shopping is okay and you’ll have great fun wondering about. During the evening the main square comes to life, the market stalls are set up around 5 pm and the square fills with smoke from the food stalls and with all the lights and amazing smells it just draws you in. We’d recommend trying to get a seat in one of the upstairs café’s over looking the square just before the sunset for the best views. You’ll pay a premium to sit up here but it’s worth it.
On the Saturday we did a day trip to Ouzoud Falls, a truly amazing experience (see the video link and photos of the falls & main square below). The Ouzoud Falls day tour costs roughly £25 and we pre booked through http://www.city-discovery.com (the tour was called Magic Ouzoud Falls)
Sunday we made our way back to the square and did some shopping and decided to do a hop on hop off bus during the afternoon. We would not recommend doing the hop on hop off bus, the experience itself felt like a hotel drop off service. It stops at all the main hotels dotted around the city and most sites are within easy walking distance of the main square.
Our hotel, Ryad Mogador Marrakech was quite good and located in front of the La Medina (the old part of town) and was directly opposite the main bus station. The airport bus (number 19) stopped across the road from our hotel and we had a super market right underneath the building. Perfect for buying water and other essentials. (See the Ryad Mogador hotel blog for further information).
Points to highlight: Marrakech can easily be seen in two days (over a weekend) but make sure you plan everything out. Feel free to use our above as a guide. Be aware of the snake charmers and other performers in the main square, if you take photo’s they’ll want money. Money machines around the city are safe and you’ll find some in the airport and dotted about the main square.
Click on the following link to see the Ouzurd Falls video.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Would you recommend your tour: N/A
Would you recommend your hotel/hostel: Yes, Ryad Mogador
Overall rating: 4 out of 5