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My name is Barbara, I am Spanish , and I am a receptionist working in London. I have a Tourism Management degree and I'm passionate about everything related to travel. Whenever I have the opportunity, I pack my stuff and I go to see the world!

I am a lover of food and beer. When I am on holidays I like to discover the city that I am visiting but I also like to have time to enjoy a good meal or drinks with my travel companions. This way there is a balance because holidays are not just about discovering new places but also to relax and have fun!

The idea of this blog came to me very naturally, partly from my fascination with travel and simply because I enjoy helping my family and friends to plan their holidays.

I hope that you not only find enjoyment from my site but also valuable information concerning different destinations, places to visit, where to stay during your trips along with transport advice, etc.

If you have any questions regarding the info that I have provided, please feel free to contact me, I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact: mecollectingexperiences@gmail.com

 

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

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4 days in Marrakesh

February 2016

Marrakesh is a city in Western Morocco where you will find mosques, palaces and gardens. Sometimes called the red town because of the red Kasbah surrounding the medina.

 

Marrakesh is one of those cities that people love or hate,  and I definitely love it! I will describe it as "Happy chaos". Its main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, will take you to another world, and the beautiful Majorelle Garden will give you the peace that you need after some sightseeing in this noisy city. 

The downsides for me were the poverty (you can see loads of kids begging for money) and the crazy traffic.

WEATHER

Marrakesh has mild winters and torrid summers. July is the hottest month with temperatures that can reach 37°C and the coldest month is January (15°C). The wettest month is November.

I visited Marrakesh in February and I think it was perfect. During the day we had temperatures around 24°C-26°C and at night you only needed a lightweight jacket. I will avoid the summer months.

TRANSPORT

To get to the city centre from the airport I will recommend you to ask your accommodation to book you a taxi in advance. This way you will avoid exorbitant prices. A taxi to the Medina or Jemaa el-Fnaa will cost you around 150DH (£10).

Once in the city centre you can walk to reach most of the main attractions. We also enjoyed a horse carriage ride. The man took us to visit different places, waited for us and the price was really reasonable. If you need to go somewhere  which is far-off ask the staff at your hotel to arrange the transfer for you. 

PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO

Day 1​

  • Start your day at Jemaa el-Fnaa which is a large square and market place in Marrakesh. Use your 5 senses and soak up the experience! One word to describe it... Awesome!!

  • Go to Café Glacier (located in Jemaa el-Fnaa square), ask for a mint tea and enjoy the view of the square from its balcony.

  • Wander around the Medina and do some shopping. We got lost there but with the help of a kid we found our way back to the square. 

  • Admire the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque which is the largest mosque in Marrakesh. Walk around its plaza with gardens.

Day 2

  • Pay a visit to Ben Youssef Madrassa, where you can learn about Morocco's scholarly and religious past. You can get a combination ticket which includes a visit to the nearby Marrakech Museum.

  • Take a horse carriage ride. I totally recommend this! It was a fun experience and really affordable.

  • Spend some time in the Jardin Majorelle, an enchanting garden in the heart of the city. You can't miss it!The villa houses the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, the Berber Museum and has recently opened the Musee Yves Saint Laurent.

Day 3

  • Stroll around Menara Gardens, with the Atlas Mountains in the background.

  • Visit El Badi Palace, a ruined palace that has a small museum with a photographic exhibition in it.

  • Pay a visit to the Bahia Palace,  a beautiful palace that brims with detail. I really enjoyed the intricate geometric mosaics. This is definitely a must see!

  • Go to see the Saadian Tombs, sepulchres located on the south side of the Kasbah Mosque

  • Opposite to the Saadian Tombs stand the ancient defensive walls which are called the Marrakech Ramparts.

Day 4

  • Your last day in Marrakesh you could take a camel ride at La Palmerai, a nice place full of palm trees. After the ride they offered us tea. The experience was really relaxing.

  • Head to the Medina for some shopping and enjoy a meal at Jemaa el-Fna. One of my best buys was the argan oil (you can use it for your skin and hair and they sell it almost everywhere). I also bought beautiful ceramic and some spices. Be careful with thieves in this area.

  • End up your trip with a hammam experience,  a traditional bathing and cleansing ritual. The riad where we stayed offered it, together with other massages and spa treatments.

Note: I suggest you to dress modestly (cover your shoulders and knees), specially when visiting mosque areas. 

FOOD AND DRINK

Marrakesh is a destination for tea lovers. Even if you are not a fan of tea, you need to try their mint tea. After a cup...you may be converted! If you like beer I recommend Casablanca

If you are a foodie you will love this city. Moroccan cuisine is full of quality ingredients and flavour... it's one of my favourites! Now I mention some traditional dishes:

  • Tagine: Slowed cooked savoury stews made with sliced meat, poultry or fish, together with vegetables or fruit.

  • Couscous: It's a fine wheat pasta traditionally rolled by hand. It is steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables.

  • Harira: It's a soup with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas and lamb. To end up a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped coriander. During Ramadan, Moroccans break their fast with a bowl of harira soup.

  • B’stilla: This pie combines savoury and sweet flavours. Layers of a paper-thin pastry coddle a blend of pigeon meat, almonds and eggs spiced with saffron, cinnamon and fresh coriander; the whole dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon.

  • Dates: Simply delicious!!

  • Chebakia: Pastries that are deep fried and glazed in a honey syrup. 

My personal recommendations: 

 

  • Kasbah Café: This restaurant is located in front of the Saadian Tombs. We enjoyed a really nice meal at their panoramic rooftop terrace. Address: Rue de La Kasbah, Marrakesh 40000.

  • If you stay at Hotel & Spa Riad El Walaa, don't go without trying the food at their restaurant.

WHERE TO STAY

First of all, I advise you to choose a riad (traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard) in the Old Town rather than a hotel in the New Town.

 

We stayed at Hotel & Spa Riad El Walaa, nearby Jemaa el-Fnaa square and conveniently located to visit Marrakesh main attractions. This riad exceeded my expectations and I can't recommend it enough. The service from the staff was second to none...Amazing! We were two girls and they even gave us a phone with a Moroccan number in case we needed to contact them. The place is beautiful, the rooms are spacious and with an amazing bathroom. The breakfast is different each day and the restaurant offers quality and tasty food. One of the best hotels where I've stayed in my life. 

Have a look here Hotel & Spa Riad El Walaa if you would like to get more info about this accommodation or if you want to book a room.

 

BUDGET

The currency in Marrakesh is the Moroccan Dirham (DH). You can exchange your money when you arrive to the city, at the airport. I will say £120 for four days (without including flights and hotel). 

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