Marrakech 2016


Hotel & Ryad Art Place Marrakech

2016, our BFF holiday to Marrakech! We stayed in the heart of Marrakech, at the Djemaa el Fna square in Hotel & Ryad Art Place. This place is amazing, with a nice rooftop terrace, a swimming pool and an extra rooftop terrace for breakfast with a view at the Djemaa el Fna square. The Medina or Souks are 100 meters from the hotel. That's why we choose this hotel. The location is perfect for people who love shopping, walk around and take amazing pictures. 

This hotel is really good and the staff is so kind! 


Djemaa el Fna 

The famous Djemaa el Fna square! It's so special..

 

During the day is quiet and you can find there orange juice stalls, snake charmers and of course the Marrocan dentist!

Hilarious to see, all that teeth on a table. You can photograph him, but you need to pay first. He is not at nice as he looks , but where else you can find a man like him?

 

The snake charmers calling it's free to take a picture, but when you take a shot, you need to pay and they ask so much! Just pay a small amount and walk away :)  They're also not the nicest people I have met ;) 

 

Late in the day the square becomes more crowded. The snake charmers go away and now you will find here monkeys,  story-tellers and dozens of food-stalls. So it can be very busy and crowded. If you don't like it go to a restaurant which is located at the square, order something to drink and watch the sunset and the many people below at the square.  

 

The square is edged along one side by the Marrakech souk (North African market). On the other side you can find many hotels and restaurants, and narrow streets that lead into the Medina. That's why this place is perfect to start your day! 


Thousand and one faces of Marrakech

Unfortunately, people do not like to be photographed. Please be aware that you ask for permission. If they're okay with it, you need to pay them a small amount :) Sometimes it's possible to take a picture of the daily life in Marrakech and that shots I like the most! There so many different people who live in this country, I just love it! 


Restaurant Cafe de France

This restaurant is a must do! Watching the sunset from this place is magical! It's located at the Djemaa el Fna, so you can't miss it! You can find a rooftop bar at the top and a rooftop restaurant in the front, where you can eat a fresh delicious pizza. Normally we order a wine or a cocktail by dinner, at this place it's difficult to find a place who serve this because of their faith. We found 2 places where you can order a alcoholic drink and where you can sit back and relax. More about it later. 

 

If you like to watch the sunset and the crowded Djemaa el Fna, just visit this restaurant! 


Jewish Lazama Synagoge Mellah Marrakech

This place is so nice to visit (also with kids). The Jewish Synagoge is located on a narrow street woth no signage. It's like 5 minutes from the Bahia Palace at the Mellah quarter. You'll find it accidentally like us, or the local kids will gladly take there for a small fee. 

 

This is the one and only synagoge that is open daily to the public. It's the most picturesque and popular and you can visit it when you pay a small amount. Inside the courtyard you will find the blue and white tiles, with small garden areas. But you can also walk through the synagoge and other rooms. 

 

The original  synagogue was built in 1492, the current building was built at the turn of the 20th century. 

This place is amazing to make beautiful pictures! 


Henna Art Cafe 

In the middle of the Medina you'll find this colorful bar. When entering the first thing you'll see are the colored doors with henna decoration. Afterwards, a small stairs will take you to one of the two rooftop terraces, where you'll be able to enjoy the view and catch one's breath from a busy day in the Medina. For the people who are into henna, you'll  be able to place a henna at this place. We, however, opt out for this experience :) 
The service is great and the people who work here are lovely. Definitely; this place is a must when you're in the neighborhood :)


Selfie Time! 

Only two woman to Marrakech, is that a good idea? Yes it is! This place is safe for woman that travel alone and also for kids. The benifits: everyone is very helpful and friendly. The disadvantage: men make the whole day comments to you and want to make selfies. It was so funny! 

If you remain friendly and make a joke, it stays with one comment. So laugh and take selfies :) 


La Mamounia Palace Hotel

 

 

La Mamounia hotel is a 5-star luxery palacial hotel ranked the 6th palace in the world by Fox News! For over 90 years La Mamounia attracted royalty and celebrities to relax in an atmosphere that combines history with luxery. It faces the Atlas mountains and is at the heart of the old city of Marrakech (beautiful location)

 

From the moment we walked in we were impressed with the beauty and elegance! The lobby just takes your breath away!

 

It was a special occasion, we're best friends for over 18 years, that's why we decided to celebrate it with a lunch at this amazing place! We had lunch outside which was nice. The food was very good and the service is first class. Our waiter was exceptional and togheter with his team of 2 assistants they certainly catered to our every need. They will take the time for you to make you feel special; like a princess! 

 

And that's why this hotel is so expensive, but it's worth it. A must see and do if you ask me! 


Medrasa Ben Youssef 

Oh my... what a beautiful place!

 

The Medrasa was an Islamic college and it's the largest Medrasa in all of Marocco. 

It has housed 900 students till 1960, then it closed as a school, the building was renovated and reopend to the public as an historical site in 1982.  

 

The Medrasa is organized around a central courtyard, with in the center a pool. It's equipped with 132 rooms on the ground floor and upstairs. Only at the courtyard you can stay for over an hour, because it's so beautiful with the colored tiles and the plaster work. It's a walhallah for all the travelers who love to photograph!   

 

It's open daily till 6 PM. But because of our tight schedule we had only 1,5 hour to visit this magical place, so we didn't see al of the rooms. When you visit this place with a minimal of 2 persons, please go to the upper level and make pictures from eachother from the other side. It's spectacular! 

 

At the upper level it's like a labyrinth. All the small student rooms and narrow hallways with all that beautiful sight at the courtyard. This was one of the best things I saw in Marrakech. This Medrasa is also on of the most important hirstorical monuments and has an area of 1670 M2.

So take your time and visit this amazing place! 


Jardín Majorelle 

The Jardin Marjorelle is on of the most visited sited in Marrakech and is a 12 acre botanical garden. The garden has been open to the public since 1947 and is owned by Yves Saint-Laurent since 1980. They bought the electric-blue villa and its garden. After Yves Saint-Laurent died in June 2008, his ashes were scattered in the rose garden of the Villa Oasis; the memorial is designed around a Roman pillar. Yves Saint-Laurent gifted the Jardin Majorelle to Marrakech.

 

The memorial isn't that special as I thought, but you can find here also; exotic plants, pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers and nice blue buildings. It's so calm and yet so far from the bustling city. There is a cafe with a nice terrace and you can visit the museum. A nice place to relax, so visit when you have the time! 


Hammam Les Bains de Marrakech 

Because we deserve it!

This private hammam is located in the heart of Marrakech, right at the doors of the Medina and is the best place to visit with friends or family. They welcome you to an relaxing spa and it's well-being for your body and spirit.

This place is clean and combines authenticity and modernity and it's so luxurious! 
You can choose from many packages and the prices are not to expensive. 

They give everyone that special attention and take complete care of everything. It's a unique experience. 

 

Please don't forget to go to the Hammam, because it's one of the best feelings in the world!


Saadian Tombs 

Unfortunately not anything can be great or perfect. This is a typical example of it. The road to this place is very nice. You walk through small streets and finnaly arrives at the Moulay el Yazid Mosque. On the other side of the mosque you can find a beautiful cafe where you can drink something and watch all te people who visit the mosque. Behind the mosque are the tombs. You can take beautiful pictures at this place, all the buildings in Marrakech are beautiful decorated. But if you go specially for the tombs, it's a waste of time and money. This place is so small, you can see it in 15 minutes! 


Moulay el Yazid Mosque

Wonderful to see! We were lucky that we arrives during a prayer. It's not aloud to go inside when you're not a muslim, so we stayed outside and look at that thousands of people who came out. To see this spectacle from a distance, visit the Kasbah Cafe. They have an rooftop terrace and a terrace in front of the mosque, so you can sit back and watch! 


Tanneries Marrakech

Really, do not ask how you got here, because I still do not know haha. The Tanneries are difficult to find. In the maze of streets,  everything is going very fast. Locals may help you find your wat but be aware that "guides' in Marrakech will expect a payment for the services and the short tour. The best way to visit this place is to make an excursion with an official guide :) 

 

The Tanneries known for its leather goods. Local families work here. The experience is often a sensory overload, smell, colors and sight, as they watch the men at work using industrial age tecniques. The scent can be overwhelming. When you enter this place, they will provide a sprig of mint to help offset the smell as you watch the men at work. Believe me, you need it! 

 

After you visit the Tanneries someone will take you into a shop where you can buy a leather souvenir. It will take an hour to leave this place, that's why i'm advice to make an excursion with an official guide. But it was so nice to see! 


Colors of the Medina

The best of the best in whole Marrakech! I could stroll here for five whole more days! 

The narrow streets, scents of spices, the crowds and all the colors, a true paradise for me.

It's really like the fairy tale; thousand and one nights.. An amaxing experience and if you love shopping, this is the best way to spend your day! There are enough places (cafes, restaurants and riads) to stop, drink something, have a lunch or just relax.

 

The medina is a maze. But you can find many signs that lead you to the Jemaa el Fna, so you can't get lost. But you will lose your sense of direction. If you consciously want to go somewhere, please use google maps on your phone. If you don't do this, you will come from somewhere else. It's a strange feeling, but you will find some beautiful (hidden) places. Ps. You need to haggle in the medina, it belongs to the culture and it's fun to do! 

 

If there is ONE place in Marrakech where you can make a thousand pictures, it's in the Medina. Everything is colorful and beautiful. Enjoy! 


Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial

The last two days we spent in this 5 star luxury hotel. It's located a 15 minute walk from Jemaa el Fna and is surrounded by gardens with exotic plants and an outdoor swimming pool with pretty sun beds and hammocks.  

The decor and details in this hotel are beautiful. We had a great room with a view at the Atlas mountains (recommended).

 

This hotel has a large terrace where you can order some bites and alcoholic drinks through a luminous ipad. There is live music and you can smoke shisha. The perfect place to stay after a busy day in the medina :) 

 


Other interesting things to do

- Visit the souks. You can find here herbs and food, but also shoes and wicker bags.

- Visit the cocktailbar at the Jemaa el Fna square (delicious cocktails and happy hour)

- Visit Jemaa el Fna by sunset.

- Visit the streets around the Bahia Palace, here you will see the old men with the tools.

 

- Choose a traditional dish such as chicken or vegetable tagine for dinner (it's delicious!)

- Order some Marrocan tea, just the way of serving is cool to see.


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