Hammam - Moroccan bath house. Ask at your hotel for recommendations on a nearby one and to find out which days are for men and which for women. Worth getting a scrub-down if offered; your skin will feel baby-smooth afterwards. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after, all that sweating is quite dehydrating.
Ali ben Youssef Medersa - The most spectacular of all the medersas I saw while visiting Morocco. Impeccably maintained 16th century koranic school with a gorgeous central courtyard and flanking rows of cell-like student rooms.
La Bahia Palace - 19th-century once royal palace, now abandoned. Gorgeous ornate lattice work and tilework, amazing carved cedar ceilings. Try to get there early in the morning before the tour groups descend on the palace,
and you can wander around virtually tourist-free.
Djemaa el Fna - If you're staying in the medina, the central square will be hard to avoid. Go there at night and sit at one of the more popular restaurant stalls (look for one that is filled with locals). Also good in the mornings for freshly squeezed orange juice for a few dirhams. Probably the most iconic Marrakech experience; fun after seeing films like Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Drink lots of mint tea - Love that stuff. You can ask for less or no sugar, if you find it to be too sweet.
Musée de Marrakesh - Pretty architecture; exhibits themselves are unimpressive.
DON'T DO THESE:
Tanneries - Gross-smelling, sort of depressing, and a local will likely try to guide you there and then ask for far too much money as a tip.
Jardin Majorelle - Tourist trap. Nice plants, but small and overpriced entry fee. Also quite out of the way so necessitates a taxi ride to get there.
Letting a guide show you around the souks - Better to wander alone. If you get disoriented, just follow the stream of people and it will generally lead to the exit.
That's all I can think of for now. You're gonna have fun!!
Last edited by Courtney; 09-28-2007 at 02:17 PM.
Reason: + photos
hit up the hammam regularly. ask for no sugar in the mint (or pine nut, my favorite) tea. Beyond that, have an amazing time.
Be respectful, it is Ramadan right now. I would highly recommend fasting and then participating in the breaking festivities at night. It's in full swing now, so most nights are all out parties.
and as for guides in the souks, anyone that asks you if you need help finding something will probably turn out to be a guide that asks for money. To avoid uncomfortable situations, simply say no thank you when they ask to show you themselves.
Just got back, and it was a great trip (helped a lot by Courtney - thanks). Took in Ali ben Youssef Medersa, La Bahia Palace, consumed tons of mint tea on the terraces overlooking the madness that is Djemaa el Fna, got lost in the Souks, ate pigeon (as you do), dodged crazy motorists and worked on my tan. Photos to follow.
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