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Quick Guide to Marrakech in 14 Points

1.Airport/Transportation in Marrakech: Flights to Marrakech arrive at Menara Airport (RAK).

A valid passport is required for entry into Morocco.

2.Tipping in Morocco is part of the local culture and a custom particularly appreciated, especially by those who give you assistance. It is recommended to have small note or coins on hand.

3.Insurance: We recommend our guests to take out travel insurance before traveling.

4. Dress for Women: Marrakech tends to accepting of Western attire but as Morocco is a Muslim country women are advised to dress conservatively. So what should you wear in Morocco? We suggest making sure your knees and shoulders are covered, a scarf to cover up if will be chilly in the evening.

5.Weather in Marrakech: Marrakech is a popular destination with nearly year round sunshine. Summers (June-September) can get quite hot with temperature near 100 degrees F while the winter months can get chilly with night time temps dipping into the 30 degree F range. March-May and September-October are generally pleasant with highs in the 70 degree F and 80 F degree.

6.Buying Moroccan Rugs in Marrakech: Many of our guests arrive in Marrakech aware of not wanting to buy a carpet .... We would like to share with you a funny anecdote, which one of our guest, Lynda, sent us on her return home ... 'Our tour guide took us to the cooperative and I fully expected to enjoy the demonstration while sipping my mint tea and continuing on my way. I'm not sure if it was the intricate Berber motifs or the softness of camel wool, but soon I found myself the proud owner of a Moroccan carpet and I absolutely love it.

 

7.Be smart in Medina: Scams are an unfortunate part of life in the Medina, often in the form of unsolicited help with directions, telling tourists that the street they are on is closed or “tannery tours” , all of which will then demand a payment for their services. The winding streets of the Medina can be overwhelming for a first time visitor, we recommend hiring a guide for your first afternoon or morning out to get a feel for the city as well learn about the history and culture of Marrakech.

8. You Will Get Lost: With the narrow winding streets of the Medina and little signage the chances of you getting lost at some point is fairly high. Paper maps provided by us, immediately mark you as a tourist, a better option is to download an offline map (Maps.me). Beware of unsolicited advice for directions (see sugestions above), if you must ask for directions your best bet is asking a shopkeeper or restaurant staff.

9. Food in Marrakech: Food in Marrakech is a feast for all the senses. The souks are lined with rows of sweet oranges, plump dates and countless varieties of olives while the air is heavy with the scent of intensely fragrant spices from the spice market. You can’t leave Marrakech without having a tagine; a stew, usually with chicken, lamb, beef or vegetables cooked and served in a clay pot of the same name. Eating is one of the best ways to experience Marrakech and our personal favorite is 'tanjia' (succulent lamb slow roasted in clay pots for hours in underground ovens).

10. Mint Tea in Morocco: Whether served as a sign of welcome, sipped during a business transaction or enjoyed as a way to unwind in the afternoon mint tea is central to life in Marrakech. A blend of green tea and fresh mint it is traditionally served very sweet.

 

11. Alcohol in Marrakech: Being a Muslim country alcohol is not prevelant though you can increasingly find wine, beer and cocktails in restaurants and hotels catering to tourists. Surprisingly there are even a handful of Moroccan vineyards producing Spanish style wines. Drinking to the point of intoxication (especially in public) is highly frowned upon.

 

12. Religion: Islam is the official state religion of Morocco, you will hear the call to prayer ring throughout the city 5 times per days and in general non-Muslims are not allowed inside mosques. Friday is the Muslim day of prayer and you may find some businesses and restaurants closed.

 

13. Jemaa el fna: When night falls Marrakech’s main square comes alive in what’s some call the greatest show on Earth. One of North Africa’s oldest and busiest market squares it is home to a dizzying array of dancers, magicians and storytellers vying for your attention (and dirham) as well as food vendors hawking a variety of Moroccan specialties. Of note, the animals you see with the snake charmers and dancing monkey acts are usually poorly treated and it’s best not to patronize these acts.

 

14. Be Prepared to Bargain: Haggling is an essential part of the shopping experience in Morocco. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the vendor does not agree to a final price you are comfortable with.

LA SIGNATURE
MARRAKECH

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