An exotic blend of tradition and modernity, Marrakech is one of the world’s most intriguing cities. This is a place where donkey-drawn carts share the road with Rolls-Royces, centuries-old souks squat in the shadow of luxury hotels and snake charmers rub shoulders with be-suited businessmen. The heat, the beauty and the breakneck pace of life add up to a truly intoxicating experience.
There’s only one place to start exploring Marrakech, and that’s in the main Djemaa el-Fna square. A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of the old medina, it’s a whirlwind of acrobatics, storytelling, belly dancing and street theatre. But the best time to come is in the evening, when hundreds of chefs descend on the square to create one of the greatest alfresco dining experiences on the planet.
Souk up the atmosphere
The labyrinthian souks behind Djemaa el-Fna are packed to bursting point with craft stalls, fresh food stands, traditional fashion shops and pop-up stalls selling almost anything you can bring to mind. Keep an eye out for ancient herbalist shop Herboriste Avicenne (172-174 Souk Laghzel), gorgeous jewellery boutique Atelier Moro (114 place de Mouassine) and Aya’s Where (11 bis Derb Jdid Bab Mellah), a favourite with celebs including Sarah Jessica Parker.
Relax and unwind
A holiday to Marrakech from Glasgow Airport is the perfect chance to chillax. Start by wandering around the glorious Majorelle Garden (Rue Yves Saint Laurent), then make a beeline for a hammam such as Dar Karma (51 Derb El Mennabha) near the Royal Palace. With modern bars springing up like mushrooms around the city centre, there are plenty of places to unwind on a hot evening. Try the secret roof terrace at Kechmara (3 rue de la Liberté), where you can sip on a chilled cocktail while admiring the panoramic urban views.