4 Days in Marrakesh

I like to keep a diary when I travel to reflect on my experiences. This was my first time in Morocco so I was keen to document my thoughts and feelings about the city of Marrakesh. Keep reading to find out how I spent 4 days in Marrakesh.

Friday 5th May

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So I arrived in Marrakesh yesterday evening. My riad actually forgot to send a taxi to pick me up from the airport. I wanted to go with a pre-booked one because I know that taxis in Morocco are notorious for scamming. The driver said “€25” and I said “Absolutely not…my riad quoted me €15” I went back and forth with the driver for a few minutes before he reluctantly agreed. I get the sense that you have to be quite firm and bold in this city. Anyway, the riad manager picked me up from the taxi in the city centre and apologised for forgetting to send someone to collect me from the airport. He seems like a nice person so it was okay. Then he served a lemon, chicken, and olive tagine which I had pre-requested. It was delicious!

Today I went on a walking tour of the city. I felt like it would be a good way to see where everything is located and get a feel for the atmosphere of the city. The tour included Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and Koutoubia Mosque. When the tour finished, I went to eat lunch with a couple of people from my tour group. The cous cous I ordered was really bland…like even the sauce they served had no taste. It doesn’t compare to the home-cooked chicken tagine I ate yesterday! But to be honest, I expected it because we ate at a restaurant in the main square. Anyway, my impressions of Marrakesh are good so far, but I would avoid the main square near the souks. I might do my shopping in Essaouira instead…but we’ll see.

Saturday 6th May

I started my day with a trip to the famous Jardin Majorelle. I am glad to have booked the earliest ticket in the morning because the place gets soooo crowded. The gardens were beautiful and colourful! After visiting the Jardin Majorelle & YSL Museum, I went back to my riad to take a shower before camel riding. It was interesting because the Jardin Majorelle is located in Gueliz which is considered the “new town” of the city. The difference is noticeable because there were tall buildings, large roads, and I noticed that less women here wore hijabs. I actually prefer the medina region because it has a more traditional feel.

I have to be honest in saying that I’m not sure that I will ever ride a camel again. The camels didn’t seem happy, and I didn’t feel like they were treated well. It was obviously a nice experience to have (even though my arms were frying in the heat…haha!)…but I don’t feel the need to do that again. So on the way back to my riad I went to try chicken pastilla for dinner. This pie is like nothing I’ve tasted before. A mix of sweet and savoury but it’s not a dessert. Mine was filled with spiced chicken and almond nuts, and topped with cinnamon.

Sunday 7th May

I spent the day in Essaouira today, which was a lovely trip. I honestly would prefer to have stayed there instead of coming back to Marrakesh. The atmosphere is calmer, it’s way cheaper, and there are less scammers. To be honest, I think I’m getting quite good at haggling with vendors. In most cases, I was able to get the price I wanted, which was usually at least 50% off what they quoted. Essaouira is by the sea so I had a fish tagine for lunch. There was a stray cat who kept attempting to jump on my table to grab the fish. I felt really bad so I tried to feed it bread and vegetables…but it wasn’t interested in that. The problem is…if I gave it fish then its buddies would have surrounded me.

After this, I ran into an Italian girl from my tour group who was also solo. She invited me to go for a coffee so we sat and talked for an hour before it was time to leave. We couldn’t go to the beach because it was just way too windy. The amount of sand flying around would have slaughtered us. Nobody was on the beach :(. I really enjoyed this city and would happily return in the future.

Monday 8th May

Today was my last day so I honestly just went with the flow. I didn’t feel like eating breakfast so I just knocked back a bottle of water before heading out to the souks. Yes, I know! I did say before that I wasn’t going to step foot in the Marrakesh souks. But part of me felt like I would be missing out if I didn’t. They are one of the major attractions in the city and I’m staying like 5 minutes away. The souks didn’t turn out to be as bad as I had read about online. Yes, they do try and inflate the prices by ridiculous amounts…but I was able to haggle down in some places. For example, a guy tried to sell me a tagine pot for 300MAD (£30) of course I refused this…and bought the exact same tagine from another guy for 60MAD (£6).

My host recommended a place to eat Tangia for lunch. This dish is beef/lamb that is slow-cooked in a clay pot for hours. They usually start it early in the morning or overnight so that it’s ready to eat for lunch. I was honestly melting outside today in the 38 degree sun…so I kept dipping in and out of my riad every couple of hours to freshen up and rest. Also… I also discovered today that wearing Moroccan clothes stopped me from being a target on the streets. Sometimes I like to do little experiments when travelling to see how locals react, and this turned out to be a good one.

Click here to check out my Marrakesh guide.

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