The street entertainers of Jemaa el-Fna square
At the heart of the Medina is Jemaa el-Fna square, offering many Instagram-worthy Marrekech holiday moments. If you’re travelling as a family, the afternoon is probably the most opportune time to visit when the traditional stallholders sell freshly squeezed orange juice, while streets artists charm you with their snake acts and acrobatics. If you’re looking for somewhere to sit, pull up a chair at Le Grand Balcon du Cafe Glacier and relax with a mint tea as your senses get stimulated.
Head to the Western side of Jemaa el-Fna square for a ride on a caleche – a horse drawn carriage – offering a memorable tour through parts of the Medina. As the sun goes down, the square transforms. The barbecues come out, and there’s a change of show, with musicians, magicians, dance acts and live theatre acts descending – and with them come the big crowds. This is one of the liveliest squares in Africa and is also a designated UNESCO site because of its cultural significance.
Marrakech’s modern side
In contrast to the historic Medina is the modern New Town Gueliz. It has wide boulevards and is the place to head to for many of the top venues such as streetside cafes, bars, restaurants, contemporary galleries and elegant boutiques. Nearby, the upmarket and leafy suburb of Hivernage is where the most renowned nightclubs are based.
The city’s restaurants serve up delicious, classic Moroccan cuisine and they go all out to create an authentic experience. The interiors are often homely, yet glamorous. This includes the wonderful Restaurant du Red House with its brightly coloured mosaic tiled walls and warm colours throughout.
If you want to stay up late into the night and like a bit of cabaret, you won’t be disappointed. Le Comptoir restaurant, for example, showcases exciting cabaret acts including oriental performers and a fantastic in-house Andalucian band, while art-deco villa based Lotus Club is another popular choice for travellers who’ve chosen cheap Marrkech holidays in search of some nightlife.
Far from the madding crowds
Marrakech is full of life, but for a break from the excitement there are plenty of great ways to unwind. Just outside of the old town is Koutoubia Mosque, the largest Mosque in Marrakech, boasting a famed minaret and lovely rose garden.
Nearby is the 20 acre Arsat Moulay Abdeslam Cyber Park ornamental gardens. The cyber part of its name nods to the fact that it has a multimedia and cyber-space exhibition area and theatre, plus free Wi-Fi throughout the park.
However the most famous garden in Marrakech, and one not to be missed, is Le Jardin Majorelle. Here you’ll discover a museum that houses some wonderful artefacts from indigenous Moroccan tribes such as jewellery and basketwork.
But the most famous aspect of this place is the garden, which was cultivated by famous designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner. Take a walk among the colourful and aromatic flora, which has been sourced from around the world, and enjoy this little bit of paradise. Visit in March, and you’ll find the garden blooming.