Marrakesh, a city of culture, aminated, a hypnotic part of Africa with a heavy slice of French influence. The city is exotic and colourful, a city of spas, souks and history.
From its humble begins, Marrakesh grew into an imperial city before the French came. Until recently it was known as a Parisian enclave. Jean-Paul Gaultier, Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld and most famously Yves Saint Laurent resided and influenced the city.
For the novice, aside from looking for stunning Marrakesh villas for rent, the city can be a confusing and scary place. But it need not be, Marrakesh is a wonderful city, vibrant and modern yet still retaining the old worldly charm visitors are attracted to.
As with many French influenced culture, Marrakesh is big into its alfresco dining. Djemaa el-Fna is the market square in the Medina quarter of the city. This square has two functions which varies quite radically. During the day it is full of snake charmers, acrobats, dancers, musicians and stalls selling to the tourists. However when the night comes it is a huge open-air restaurant under the stars. Cart upon cart filled with food make their way around the square. Grilled fish and barbecued meat fills the air, around the square are some of Marrakesh’s best cafes with terraces offering a nightly view of the city.
The ancient spas of Marrakesh are special. The mix of spas throughout the city indicate that wellness is at the heart of Marrakesh.
Marrakesh is home to the largest traditional Berber market in Morocco and everyone who visits the city is soon aware of the close association with the image of Marrakesh and its souks. Bartering is a rite of passage for so many travellers and visitors to Marrakesh should not hesitate getting involved. But beware the stall owners who run the souks are old hands at the art of bartering. It requires patience, the ability to haggle, strong nerves and mostly importantly the sense to know when to walk away. Yet if you do win this intense battle of wills you’ll go home with something rather special.