Marrakech is one of my favourite cities in the world and this year I vowed I would return for my third visit so I could explore the delights of the city once again.
We booked ourselves into the beautiful and iconic La Mamounia Hotel which is located inside the beautiful old medina of the city. It's truly one of the best luxury hotels that we have ever stayed at and worth every pretty penny.
Winston Churchill told Roosevelt that Marrakech is simply the nicest place on Earth to spend an afternoon and he was right; especially when you can eat your body weight in macarons in the gardens of the hotel with a few glasses of sweet Moroccan Mint tea.
The spa is quite possibly the most magnificent place to relax in the whole world;
Now onto exploring Marrakech; shopping in Marrakech is completely out of this world; there is something for everyone and you won't leave empty handed. It's like entering Aladdin's cave!
I had moments of madness where I thought it would be great to purchase ten mirrors and then extend our house so I could fit them all in.
You need a game plan when shopping in the market...firstly, can you fit your souvenir into your luggage and secondly do you really need it! The shop owners aren't too pushy but they do try and entice you into their shops with mint tea and a promise of a good deal or two. I actually left Marrakech pretty empty handed on this visit however I found the shop that made the gorgeous lanterns for La Mamounia so I have vowed to return to buy a few on my next visit.
On our last day in the city I hired a guide to take me through the medina as I wanted to take photos of some hidden little gems inside the medina plus I wanted to photograph as many gorgeous doors that the city could throw at me.
My guide didn't fail me and found me some of the best doors a girl could wish for....does anyone else actually take numerous photos of doors when on holiday?
We wandered through the canals of Marrakech which are so quiet in comparison to the normal hustle and bustle that engulfs you inside the medina.
We popped inside the oldest university in Marrakech, Medersa Ben Youssef which was totally worth the small entrance fee of 10 dirhams to enter.
On our way back to the hotel we visited a few shops as I was still on the look out for gorgeous silver necklace; I found one but I wasn't willing to pay 500 US dollars for it (and that was after bartering hard).
I love getting to know people so I asked my guide how he became a tour guide and honestly it was the best story ever! Back in the 70's while he was living in Fez, he was teaching himself English in a cafe one day when an English gentleman leaned over and asked him if he could speak English which he replied yes. He was asked if he could be their guide around Fez for the day which he agreed too for a tiny sum of money, unbeknown to him that English gentleman was Ringo Starr from The Beatles.
It's stories like these that make travelling such a joy and makes you realise that it's not just the famous tourist attractions that make the city rich of treasures but the people living within the old city walls.
Travel Tips for Marrakech:
- If you're a women then it's best to cover yourself up at all times when in the markets as this will stop unwanted attention. You can read more about my clothing tips for Morocco here.
- Make sure you charge your camera each day as the city is very photogenic
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking bottled water
- If you don't feel comfortable walking around the markets then ask your hotel to organise a guide
- Tagines are a must when in Morocco; try and eat as much as the local cuisine as possible as it's so tasty