Magical Marrakech seduces the senses

by Gizelle Lau
   
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Photo by David Dennis

There’s never a dull moment at Djemaa el Fna

The excitement of the Marrakech night market alone will keep you going back again and again. As the best dinner spot in the entire city, the Djemaa el Fna is where all of Marrakech congregates to finish the day and it’s non-stop entertainment at each turn. Wisemen tell stories, magicians show you their tricks, henna tattooists are always at the ready, performers, musicians, acrobats, snake charmers, and sneaky little monkeys - there’s never a dull moment.

Sophisticated, stylish & sexy: La Sultana Hotel

There’s something sexy and exciting about staying inside the ancient walls of the Marrakech medina. La Sultana Hotel is a secluded refuge from Marrakech’s busy streets, and once you step into this exotic sanctuary, you’ll never want to leave. Hailed as a Great Hotel of the World, the impeccably designed hotel is made of five smaller uniquely designed riads. Guests can relax on a handful of terraces, take their pick of four pools located throughout the property, stay in the exotic Elephant or Zebra themed rooms, or catch a meal on the rooftop restaurant overlooking Marrakech’s Kasbah district.

View more info and book a stay at La Sultana with Great Hotels.

Get scrubbed down at a hammam

When in Japan, you visit the hot springs; when in Turkey, you visit the Turkish baths; and when in Morocco, you visit the hammam. Visit a private hammam or hotel spa for a more upscale and costlier version; or head to the public hammam where you’ll find locals. First, you’ll get doused with warm-hot water to help open up your pores. Next, you’ll be lathered with black Moroccan soap. Finally, the hammam finishes with a scrubbing-down so intense and exhilarating, you’ll leave with a new skin.

Moroccan delicacies: Exotic or bizarre?

When it comes to exotic foods in Morocco, it doesn’t get any scarier or more bizarre than eating a lamb head. Part brisket chunks, part tendon and bones, and part fish-like gelatinous bits, it’s a delicious delicacy that even I couldn’t help tasting - and liking. Served at the Djemaa el Fna at night, the best lamb head stall is the first corner stall perpendicular to the snail stalls. The chef here is as hardcore as it gets and truly passionate about his food. Besides the lamb head, he makes a killer lamb tajine that will keep you going back.

Bargaining for spices and goods at the souks

If you’re looking to visit the market, be sure you brush up on our guide on How to Bargain & Haggle at the Market (go to TripAtlas.com) for the best results. Specialties to watch out for: cactus silk scarves, cashmere scarves, little camels for your mantlepiece, dried dates/fruits, leather pillow and ottoman cases, and carpets. For spices, be sure to pick up a bag of the Moroccan 5-spice, Moroccan curry spice, some ground cinnamon, and saffron.

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Gizelle Lau is a travel-food-wine lover turned writer in Toronto, Canada and the Online Editor for TripAtlas.com, the world’s largest online travel resource. Visit for travel articles, photos, trip deals and more!

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