Play, Eat, and Stay in Marrakech Without Breaking the Bank
Marrakech lures travelers with promises of spices, vibrant colors, and evocative sounds like the repetitive adhan — the call to prayer — broadcast from minarets five times daily. With so much to see and do, planning a trip to this Moroccan city can be as confusing as navigating the chaotic souks. Here’s how to find luxury in Marrakech without breaking the bank.
Although you might want to focus your time in Marrakech with aimless wandering through the medina — or old city walls — there are a few must-see sites. Travelers can take a crash course in culture and history outside the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in Morocco, or the Saadian Tombs, built by Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour. Short on time? Imagine what life was like as part of a harem at the El Bahia Palace or as a Koranic student at the Medersa Ben Youssef. (Admission at each site is 10 MAD, or around $1).
Of course, no trip to Marrakech is complete without a round of haggling in the souks. Don’t be afraid to make your best I’m-willing-to-walk-away face. Instead of paying tourist prices in Spice Square, explore the Mellah Market in the Jewish quarter like a local if you’d like to buy spices and herbs. For traditional items with contemporary flair, seek out the boutique of artist Hassan Hajjaj — the Moroccan Andy Warhol — at Riad Yima for babouches, totes, and poufs made of recycled bags. We also love Jaffa from D’Art Touareg, who invites you into his small shop (at 19, El Biyadine Rue Rahba Lakdima Fondok Foura Medina) without any pressure to buy. From decorative jewelry to authentic Tourag stone and silver, you can’t go wrong here.
Image by Elena Sonnino