Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square of Marrakech can be an intimidating place. You won't need to make eye contact with a vendor to initiate a constant stream of "Hello, hello, hello, hello"; women will simply grab your hand and begin drawing a henna tattoo if you do not pull away fast enough. At any time of the day in the heart of the Red City, there are musicians playing instruments you did not know existed, Ray-Bans being hocked for prices too low to be profitable, fresh squeezed juices being brought forth from fruit on demand, monkeys to sit on your shoulder for a small pittance of dirhams, and locals playing carnival games where the prize appear to be a liter of soda; all of which can be overwhelming, especially when Jemaa el-Fnaa is usually the first place you see when you arrive in the medina of Marrakech. "Is it always this busy?" I asked to the guide walking us to our riad, and he grinned back at me "My friend, this is not busy. Not busy at all."Read More
Allow me to dispel some rumors that you may hear from local shopkeepers while you are walking the souks in Marrakech. There is no special auction today at the tanneries because of an unnamed festival which is ending today. No, the museum is not closed today. Whichever way the shop owner is pointing you, that's not the right way. And, most importantly, if you remember nothing else, remember this: The price they are offering you is not a special price. It's not a democratic price. Unfortunately, it's probably twice the amount they would have accepted for that Berber scarf you just had to have.
No matter how many warnings you read in blogs just like this one, you will most likely be fooled in the souks; you will make a mistake, you will pay thirty dirham and then realize that five would have done the trick. Because you are a tourist, a stranger in a strange land, and no matter how much you try to "live, eat, and drink like a local", you will need some help to truly find all that Marrakech has to offer. That's where Marrakech Food Tours comes in.Read More