Juliane, A Style Journey
Earlier this year I finally got to travel to a country that I’ve been longing for to see so long; Morocco and the city of Marrakech. The lively streets, the exotic food, the markets… not to mention the great desert. And you know what, it definitely did NOT disappoint!
Here are where to stay, eat, drink and shop and what to do while you’re there:
Atlas Medina & Spa
WHERE TO STAY
First a bit funny story: I did book a hotel before the trip, in a classic old Riad. These Riads are historic, is said to have an amazing atmospheric and – if choose wisely! – be the best places to stay in town to get the whole experience. Let’s just say that it turned out I did’t choose that wisely. When we got to our little Riad, it was no as expected. The Riad itself was cute and the staff amazing, but it was in a quite shady area and the door to the room couldn’t be locked. The main door on the other hand was closed with a BIG lock from the inside (like one of those hostel movies). So, as dramatic as I am I switch hotel immediately – before even trying to stay.
Maybe I do regret a bit – that I didn’t book a better one in the first place? – but we ended up at a nice hotel, in the ambassador area, called Atlas Medina & Spa. Just so this blond, Norwegian girl could feel safe…he…he.
In other words; by all means book a Riad, BUT do your research. They can be your best experience and your worst nightmare. It might also be an idea to book a Riad some of the days and stay the rest at an hotel – there are a couple of good ones to consider. This way you get both the whole experience and a bit extra comfort.
Riads to check out: Riad Mena & Beyond, L’Hôtel Marrakech, and Riad De Tarabel.
WHAT TO DO
Marrakesh has so many spots that should be seen, and you need at least a short week. There are for example SO many beautiful parks in the city that – if you’re park-lover as I am – you can actually go around just looking at parks the whole trip, but shouldn’t of course. One that you should visit though is the Jardin Majorelle; a garden that took painter Jacues Majorelle forty years to build. And the result? Breathtaking! The blue bright color with all those greens and flowers is just unique.
And while there, don’t forget the YSL Museum, that’s right next door! A MUST-visit when in town – of you like fashion history and incredible design.
If you choose to stay outside the old town, you definitely have to go there for some days/nights. The Djemaa El-Fna square has an atmosphere that you won’r experience nowhere else. During daytime there is a lot of different artist and booths and during the night all kind off different food stalls calls your name!
Last, but not least The Koutoubia Mosque. I sadly only saw it from the outside – and that was incredible enough – but I do regret not going in. On my list next time – since it definitely will be a next time!
Djemaa El-Fna square
WHERE TO EAT
The food scene in Marrakech is AMAZING and sadly I didn’t have time to try all the places on my list, but here are three of my favorites – so far:
BUDDAG BAR: An out of the ordinary restaurant that you can read more about HERE. To sum up; really good food, amazing atmosphere and a show that’s actually VERY good!
BELLA ITALIA: Never not hunting down Italian restaurants and Bella Italia was so cosy and had a beautiful view over the new part of the town. We ordered pizza and it’s definitely recommended. AND a big pluss; they serve Italian wine which wasn’t that easy to get in Morocco.
MANDALOUN: Maybe the biggest restaurant location I’ve ever been to, but at the same time so intimate – makes no sens I know.We ordered a seven course meal, that felt like way more then seven courses, but hey I love food and that’s NOT me complaining? Especially when it was as tasty as it was. Bravo! And bravo for the live band as well!
WHAT TO BUY
… what not to? Personalized bags, colorful shoes, kaftans… But do not leave without some good spices! MUST.
Perfume is also something I would highly recommend. The smells are so different from what you’ll find at home and picking your favorite from one of the booths you’ll definitely have an unique smell when returning! But don’t love it too much, because you won’t find the same ever again.