Google any blogs on Marrakech and they will use words like “vibrant”, “an assault on the senses”, and other sayings that mean “a bit hectic but beautiful”. I asked my friends who have visited before how they enjoyed it, and I got mixed reviews. I was pretty nervous because I like calm and orderly. Straightforward and honest. From what I was hearing, it was a bit different than what I like. But, I was willing to give it a try! Travel is incredible because you really have to discover it for yourself. Nobody will ever have the exact same experience as you.
Want to get a taste of Marrakech? Read about the food tour we took while in the city.
Do you have to stay in the Medina?
Because I was a bit unnerved, we stayed outside the Medina at the 2Ciels Boutique Hotel. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or not. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and didn’t feel like we were too far from anything. But maybe it would have been better if we were in the heart of it. I mean, that’s what all the blogs tell me… “You HAVE to stay in the Medina!”
My belief is that you have to do what is right for you. Know your limits and push them a bit so you learn and grow, but don’t push so much so you will be miserable. I think I would have been too stressed trying to get a taxi to go everywhere (I hate haggling) and paranoid about getting lost. Maybe that’s just part of the charm.
We went to the Medina a few times and it was always fine. There was one time when someone cursed at us because they were telling us the Mosque was closed. I told them we were not going to the Mosque and kept walking (because we were going to a restaurant). He just said “F*** you” under his breath but just loud enough for us to hear. I was a bit surprised but didn’t really care. That was the only incident we had, which I think is rather mild. The guys on the street seem to think they know exactly what you want.
You know you should never assume, right? Be firm but polite and just keep going.
If you get lost, we’ve been told to ask a shop owner the right direction, not someone on the street. They may expect a reward to help you out, again, from what we are told.
Is the culture very strict?
I was pretty out of my element in Marrakech when it came to culture. From the haggling to the lack of women working in many positions…it just caught me off-guard. I caught myself once when I said out loud “That’s weird, they are all men”. Coming from a country where women are pretty much seen as equals everywhere and there’s no job you won’t find them in, it was a bit jarring.
I kept covered up. Though, I’m a fairly conservative dresser anyway. I always had sleeves available, or a scarf, and wore pants everywhere. It was a bit annoying, but it also wasn’t super hot when we were there. There were girls wearing super skimpy outfits and I just think “Whyyyyy? Must you do that?”. I get it. I get that you are used to it, but how about we be slightly respectful and just not wear super tight spaghetti strap shirts and short shorts? You’ll get oogled and I’m not here to say that’s right, but I am saying that you should think about clothing choices a bit more depending on where you are in the world.
Would I have felt comfortable in a short-sleeved shirt and a skirt that went to my knee? Probably. Going to the opening party of the conference, I wore a dress that hit the knee and I didn’t feel like I was stared at walking down the winding roads to the restaurant.
Places are different than what you or I may be used to. Sometimes that’s hard for me to remember when the blog is mainly about European destinations. There’s a sense of familiarity and understanding to most of the European countries. This trip opened my eyes a bit into another culture and I’m grateful for that.
How’s the food?
Again, I was worried. Me and my picky self are always concerned about the unknown. But I don’t think I had a meal that I did not like. They do like spices (but not spicy), and going on the Marrakech food tour was awesome because you get the best of the city in small bites, so if you don’t love it, you give it to your husband to finish.
Oh…is that just me? 🙂
Everything there just seems to be made with passion. It’s full of flavor and usually full of surprises. That’s probably because I’m not used to the flavors typically used in this region. I’d recommend getting a Tagine because it’s an incredible way to cook to give you an outcome of amazing dish. Be ready for a taste sensation!
Yes, I wrote that. Because it’s true!
Morocco is an incredible country with a strong sense of culture shown through crafts, food, religion, style, and handmade goods. Marrakech is a small part of that. If you’ve heard about Marrakech and have been reading blogs like mine and you are ready to go, do it!
I am very glad I visited this city. It’s good that I got out of my comfort zone so I was able to experience the people, food, and culture. It was beautiful. If there was one thing that wasn’t for me, it was the hectic nature of certain parts of the city and the need to haggle for most things. Just not my nature to enjoy those things. Many people love that feeling of a vibrant city and that’s part of the reason they love Marrakech. My favorite parts were the hammam experience, visiting the Secret Garden, taking a food tour, visiting Ensemble Artisanal, and exploring the gorgeous palaces.
What do you think? Is Marrakech on your list to visit? Let us know!
Wishing you love and travels.
Ready to take the trip?
Here’s your toolkit full of links so you don’t have to go searching!
- Get more info on your destination through guidebooks.
- Find the right hotel for you on Booking.com through the incredible amount of filters available.
- Discover the perfect experience through GetYourGuide. From transit tickets to food tours, it’s all right here.
- Need a flight? Gotcha covered with Skyscanner (USA people, THIS link is for you).
- Don’t forget travel insurance! We use World Nomads and you can easily get a quote for your trip.
Now, go and have an AMAZING time! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram (@awanderlustforlife) so we can see your memorable moments.