Close to Badi Palace, Kosy Bar offers a rarity in dry Marrakech - alcohol. Emerge from a steamy hamman, rehydrate with water, before skipping over the menu's expensive beers and opting for the more reasonbly priced chilled white wine, the perfect respite from the hot, bustling city. Head for the highest of the two roof terraces, and look down on Marakech in action, and watch and listen to the nesting storks patiently stood on the old city walls. Or marvel as the waiter tries to negotiate the narrow, spiral staircase to the terrace while carrying trays of drinks.
47 Place des Ferblantiers, Mellah, Marrakech
One of the few restaurants in the medina that serves alcohol. The food was nice but to be honest the food in many of the places surrounding Djemma El Fna was equally nice and cheaper.
14 Derb J'did near Place Des Ferblantiers in Mellah area in the south of the medina.
Worthwhile checking out the old Jewish quarter in the Mellah area in the south of the medina. The number of Jews in the area now numbers about 260 compared to more than 15,000 at the turn of the century.
You can see the evidence with the occasional Star of David and Hebrew lettering on buildings. There are still three active synagogues out of nearly 30. For a few coins the local kids will show you where the working synagogues are.
Mellah area south of medina
For a totally different view of Marrakech not too far from the medina walls - this is a cafe serving coffee, tea, soft drinks and light snacks. As with most places within Marrakech this place does not serve alcohol.
The Hivernage is a neighbourhood of nice villas and five-star hotels so Café Extrablatt is an interesting contrast to the relative poverty of the medina. Watch as the customers pull up in their 4x4s dressed in their western fashions. Still not expensive from a western point of view but interesting to people-watch.
in the district of Hivernage at corner of Avenue Echouhada & Avenue El Qadissia. Not too far from Sofitel hotel just outside medina walls.
We don't normally go for city tour buses but this was definitely worth it. We paid 260 dirhams (about £18) for two tickets valid for 24 hours that allowed us to jump off/on the tour bus along the route.
The main reason why we recommend it was that one of the routes took us out to the Palmeraie area (palm trees, camels etc) which we would not otherwise have seen.
Red bus just off the Jemma El Fna square on Av. Mohamed V.
Superb location. Just inside the medina walls and across from the Koutobia Mosque. Very central and in a good location. It cost us £114.00 for four nights for a double room in August 2008.
It is basic three-star accommodation in Morocco. May not be the equivalent of three-star in Europe but comfortable none the less. Only word of warning is that it is not a particularly quiet hotel.
279 Avenue Mohamed V, Marrakech
(across from Koutobia mosque)
Book with www.hotelconnect.co.uk
The best vantage point to sit and watch the world go by! It's directly on the Djemaa el Fna, with several tiers of balcony, depending on your desired viewpoint. A great place to sit in the sun in the morning with a cafe latte and write your postcards, an even better place to pitch yourself around an hour before sunset and watch as the square springs to life for the evening's activities and soak up the atmosphere. If you're a woman travelling alone it's one of the (sadly) few places to sit and enjoy where you'll feel relaxed and unhassled. Prices are reasonable, the food is pretty good and you won't feel rushed to leave. Be warned though, - get there early! It gets busy and in the evening you can only have a 'front row' seat on the balcony if you are eating.
Also, if you're in Marrakech for more than a few days, escape to the coast to Essaouira. It's a few hours drive away but well worth it, fabulously laid back, with a European hippyish feel to it, this is the place to chill with a beer and watch the sunset over the Atlantic.
Restaurant Argana - on the Djemaa el fna, Marrakech
Dar Itrane is an ecolodge that gives the opportunity to experience the Berber Culture of the Moroccan High Atlas, only 4 hours away from Marrakech.
Built in adobe, wood and natural materials according to traditional building techniques, it’s a small environment-friendly structure set in the wonderful area of the M’Goun Range, the villages of the Bougmez Valley, and offers a high level of comfort, which is awesome in such an area.
After a long walk, it’s really pleasant to relax in the traditionnal taddelakt hammam. And from the roof terraces at night, you can see thousands of stars… Dar Itrane also has a wide library focusing on the Berber Culture.
It’s a good base to go and explore the close traditional villages of the valley, meet the locals or go trekking to the Azourki or the M’Goun Summit, for example.
The team at Dar Itrane is really friendly; they always cook delicious Moroccan dishes and are happy to introduce you to their way of living in the High Atlas.
phone number : +212 23 459 312
You can reach the Bougmez Valley using local transportation (collective taxis) from Bad Doukkala in Marrakech. Take a taxi to Azilal first, and then change to Tabant/Bougmez Valley.
Palatial! Stunning location at the top of the Imlil Valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains - one of the most special valleys I've ever been to. It's half-owned by Maurice - a local Berber guy and is run by his friends.
Fantastic walks in the mountains - including Mt Toubkal and great to soak in the hamman afterwards. Has upmarket rooms, but the cheaper dorms were good enough for me and four others.
Best time to go apparently is October or November, though was great at New Year.
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