The city of Marrakech in Morocco has two parts. The first part is the modern city while the second part is the old, historal one. The latter is what is known today as the Medina. Before you decide to visit the Medina during your trip to Marrakech, here are the things that you need to know about it first.
1. UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Medina is actually considered as a world heritage site by UNESCO. This is due to the fact that the Medina has a lot of masterworks and impressive pieces that portray the art and architecture of the place. Each of these pieces and masterworks is also said to be having an outstanding universal value on its own. This fact alone will let you know why it is a heritage site.
- The Koutoubia Mosque can be found here.
- The ruins of the Badia Palace is also located in the Medina.
- You can also find the Menara pavilion and water feature in this place.
2. Street Performances in Djemaa El-Fna
A man walks in front of doors in a wall of Rabat's Medina in Morocco September 23, 2014. pic.twitter.com/8q1t11sFym
— Reuters Africa (@ReutersAfrica) July 10, 2016
If you are into street performances, then, you should definitely find your way to the heart of the Medina, which is the main square. Such main square is called the Djemaa El-Fna. In order to get into the main square, you will have to traverse alleyways which can really be confusing for a first-time visitor. If you do not want to go through the hassle, you are better off hiring a local guide.
- Some of the performances are musicians, acrobats, sooth-sayers, and snake charmers.
- The activities take place all day and all night.
- Stalls with exotic food put up for sale are also available.
- Make sure that the guide has an official badge provided by the local tourism agency.
3. The Kasbah District
— David Dickinson (@Astroguyz) July 16, 2016
When in the Medina, the Kasbah district is also a place that you must visit. The entrance to the district is through the Rue Bab Agnaou, which is just south of the main square or Djemaa El-Fna in Medina. The entrance is actually considered to be the most impressive entrance in the district. The atmosphere in this place is calm as it houses the Royal Palace and the Saadian Tombs.
- The Kasbah district is considered a special place.
- You must always keep it clean and avoid littering in this special place.
- There are food stalls in this area, as well, yet cleaner than the ones in other areas.
4. Bazaars in Alleyways
In Fes Morocco overlooking the medina so fun to catch up with ppl. pic.twitter.com/47wUw4TILE
— Dr. Sherifa Zuhur (@SherifaZuhur) July 15, 2016
The Medina contains a lot of bazaars so if you are into shopping, this is the best place that you can go in Marrakech. These bazaars are locally known as souks or souikas. You can find clothes, slippers, fabrics, house items, and other objects that you can use at your own home on a daily basis or just something that you want to give as a gift.
- Souikas are little bazaars so they may not have everything that you are searching for.
- These bazaars are in alleyways so they could get really crowded.
- You are allowed to haggle the prices in the bazaars so take advantage of it.
— Mohamed Dekkak (@MohamedDekkak1) July 11, 2016
The riads are those Morrocan houses that have internal courtyards. This is where most travelers spend the night sleeping or resting. This is also where the travelers temporarily store their luggage while they are out during the day. Most of these riads are owned by foreigners and were renovated by them. Some of the riads that you might want to stay at are Massine II and Riad Itry.
- Massine II Phone Number : +21 266 815 6412
- Email Address : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address : 107 Derb Snan, Mouassine
- Riad Itry Phone Number : +21 262 600 3871
- Email Address : email@example.com
- Address : 195 Sabt Lomarik, Derb Nakhla, Rue Boutouil, Bab Doukalla
- Check in: 12pm
- Check out: 11am
- Breakfast is available.
6. Places To Eat
In the Medina // Marrakesh, Morocco // Tagine the food is named after the pot it is made in, which is triangular in… pic.twitter.com/VsmG8RHCYI
— LivingOurLife (@livingourlife8) July 5, 2016
Medina is also known to offer various places to eat. You can see food stalls with large white tents being used as ceilings. Aside from the local food stalls that you can see lining up the alleyways, there are also restaurants and cafes that you can go to. For instance, Cafe Arabe offers both Moroccan and Italian cuisines. On the other hand, Earth Cafe is the one for vegetarians.
- Cafe Arabe Phone Number : +21 252 442 9728
- Website : www.cafearabe.com
- Address : 184 Mouasinne
- Earth Cafe Phone Number : +21 266 054 4992
- Address : Derb Zawak, Riad Zitoun Kedim 2
7. Alcoholic Drinks
— My Dear Morocco (@mydearmorocco) July 3, 2016
In Medina, there are also a number of places that offer alcoholic drinks, especially to tourists who want to relax and have some fun. However, the number of places is limited. At times, you might find yourself drinking Morrocan lager while listening to cool Arabic music on the background. You have to make sure, though, that you will check the prices of the drinks that you will order so that there will be no misunderstanding regarding the bill.
- Hotel Tazi : This place has a bar that offers inexpensive liquor, such as beer and wine.
- Chesterfield Pub : This is located in Hotel Nassim at 115 Avenue Mohammed V.
- Narwama Phone Number : +21 267 250 8700
- Address : Hay Zefriti 30, Rue Koutoubia
- Drinks and food are slightly expensive in Narwama.
8. Street Drinks
— BackstageGraffiti (@fullmoonblues02) July 1, 2016
When walking on the streets, many street vendors will offer tourists fresh orange juice or blood orange juice. Whatever drink you want to buy, you should be careful when the vendors add tap water to it. Aside from that, they typically do not wash the glasses well. Some vendors will use plastic cups but at an additional charge. Street kids or beggars will also attempt to drink the juice or get the change.
- Fresh orange juice: 4 dirham
- Blood orange juice: 10 dirham
- Always confirm pay the price for the drink first prior to drinking it to prevent misunderstanding.
9. Foods To Try in Medina
— My Dear Morocco (@mydearmorocco) June 30, 2016
The food stalls in Medina typically offer exotic and local foods. One of the local foods that you must try is the harira. You also have to try the fried aubergines. The bull stew or sometimes beef stew is also something you should not miss. You might also be able to find riifa during the early mornings, specifically at the Koutoubia.
- The harira is a soup with vegetables, red lentils, and beef or lamb.
- Riifa is typically known as the Morrocan version or alternative of a crepe or pancake.
- Most locals will offer the lamb head as it is considered the most tasty part of a lamb.
10. Extra Caution
— Stéphanie (@by_steph_) June 29, 2016
As with any traveler who visits another place one is not familiar with, it is important that you practice extra caution when visiting the Medina. The vendors usually become aggressive, especially if tourists are around. They want to sell their products or services very badly which is they might touch you or get in your way. There are also some vendors who charge higher than what your bill should be.
- Phone Number : 052 438 4601
- Address : edge of Djemma El-Fna, near Koutoubia Mosque
- Visible tourist police officers are also on patrol.
Going to the Medina will indeed be a exciting and awesome visit. With all of these things that it can offer, you will definitely not regret going there. You should enjoy your trip with the various things that you can do, too.
Have a good trip and travel!