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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Things to do in Marrakech’

Dining Out On Traditional Food In The Medina, Marrakesh

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Eating out in Marrakesh is, to use that overworked term, an experience.  Without exaggeration it is an enriching, fulfilling and a gastronomic one.  Marrakesh is a bustling, energetic and colourful living thing at any time of day. Textiles, mosaic tiles, heaped spices and other goods in the souks in the massive-walled Medina or the stalls around Jamâa el Fna make it a riot of colour.

However, it takes the evening and night to really bring out Marrakesh’s personality.  As the sunset paints the walls and glass windows of the houses and the minarets, a brilliant orange, the smoke from sizzling kababs and the stoves of the food stalls waft up into the evening air.  This is when another sensory pleasure drifts through Marrakesh.  It is the fragrance of cumin, saffron, harissa (red pepper sauce), and other spices rising from sizzling lamb chops, koftes and steaming piles of food.  The aroma is really something to experience.

Marrakesh is the best place to get your belly full of North African cuisine.  You can get it at either the relatively new, upmarket and pricy restaurants of the Guéliz or other outlying areas of the city.  These restaurants also serve a combination of French, Italian and Moroccan cuisines.  While there are many restaurants scattered around the city, they are not the favoured choice of Moroccans – yet.

The joy comes from eating at the food stalls and side walk restaurants of the centuries-old Medina, the crossroads of trade and culture in North Africa.  Here the eating places and the food are local and traditional.  They are inexpensive and really satisfying.  The feasting generally begins around 9 or 9:30pm.

You can choose to eat under the white canopies of the numbered food stalls set up in the huge Jamâa el Fna square.  You could pick from one of a number of movie set hole-in-the-wall eateries in the narrow, winding alleys with plenty of atmosphere.  Then there are the traditional riad Marrakesh restaurants.

Moroccan foodWhatever you choose, you can gorge on hot, steaming mechoui (slow roasted lamb) using your fingers (the best and probably only way to eat Moroccan food).  Burp (it’s alright) as you scrape your plate clean with a piece of warm bread.

To give you an idea, here is a brief list of the delicacies on offer: tangia (lamb or beef slow-cooked in an earthenware pot and left in hot ashes for the whole day); succulent merguez sausages; minced lamb koftes; beef brochettes; flash-charred lamb chops, skewers of liver or brains; incredibly tender teyhan (spleen) kebabs and pigeon bstilla (pie).  Of course you must have the taktuka, a garlick, tomato-and-green-pepper relish to go with your meats.  There are more, believe me.

Lest you think that Moroccan food is only for carnivores, here are a few veggie treats.  Mountains of classic couscous dishes and traditional Berber-style barley pellets with the more familiar durum wheat that is light and fluffy as snowflakes.  Another Berber dish is the Bisarra which is a wholesome white bean soup said to have restorative properties.  The dessert pastille is made with apples and saffron while there are wide selections of fresh juices.  The most dominant are oranges.

Even if you are not a foodie you will be deeply satisfied.  Rest assured that when you leave Marrakesh, you will be carrying more weight than when you came and an expanded waistline.

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isango! beats Local on TripAdvisor review

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We stumbled across an Isango Review on TripAdvisor, which speaks for itself.

Question from Tourist:

Isango charge £19.50. for a half day tour.

Could filling a taxi be a better & cheaper option ?

Answer from Local:

The rate would be 60 MAD return per person, but this applies to people who take a taxi from the taxi rank in Agadir’s city center, not from the port. So unless you are willing to take a petit taxi from the port to the city center, then haggle hard to get a half seat for 30 Dirhams, only then this would be feasible. The rate of 60 MAD return each would include an old taxi with no seat-belts or AC, and no foreign language speaking driver of course.

It is just my opinion, but I would not recommend this option.

Reply from Tourist:

Thank you for the information. You have made my mind up & I will go with Isango.

The full forum discussion can be read here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293731-i9519-k4164836-Isango_tour_to_Taroudant-Agadir.html

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Customer review: Marrakech Discovery With 2 Meals

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Great Tour with excellent guide. Would recommend. Very full day but worth it. Lovely meals :-)

Samantha, England

Samantha booked: Marrakech Discovery With 2 Meals

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How to pick the best holiday for you

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Different destinations appeal to different travellers for different reasons. We all fall under categories that determine where in the world we may end up. The categories are usually quite simple and obvious in most cases. Are you the traveller who can’t be bothered to do anything but sunbathe? Are you the one who wants to do everything active that every website, brochure, hotel clerk tells you is available? Are you all about culture and sightseeing or just abroad for the hot weather and a fancy hotel?

Destinations will always tell you they have everything but are you really going to go to Marrakech for beach life, The Great Barrier Reef or Uluru for old ruins, or Brooklyn for a taste of the Middle East? No, you’re not. They all have their own magic but it takes a specific type of traveller for each, to bring the magic to life. continue reading

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Mystical Marrakech

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Here is our list of the best things to do in Marrakech – take these into account while planning your trip to Morocco’s most magical city and you’ll be sure to not miss anything out!

The isango! team

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Marrakech, Morocco: (Hi)stories and Adventure!

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Known as the “Red City”, Marrakech, Morocco is often known simply for its expansive open-air markets, snake-charmers, and tiny, winding streets. But, situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, this French and Arabic speaking city also holds a rich cultural history, plenty of outdoor adventures, and gorgeous architecture and “red” desert scenery.

Marrakech Medina - Joao Maximo

Marrakech Medina - Joao Maximo

Marrakech is a wonderful example of unspoiled, untainted culture. A combination of traditional Arabic, Berber, and French has been woven together into the city’s distinctive dialogue. And though Islam is still quite strong, Marrakech is a less conservative city than many other Moroccan cities. Hazy, pink buildings are a dime a dozen. Shops are mostly tiny, locally-run operations. Coffee is thick and delicious (no instant stuff there!). And the sun, I hear, is always shining (see! It’s not just Californians who say this). continue reading

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They Aren’t Called French Fries? Trying Out the Local Cuisines

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I was more than a little nervous about giving up the fantastic variety of Californian cuisine for my move to London. Sure I’d be living in a fantastic neighbourhood (Kensington, ever heard of it?), taking fun classes (hi, field trips to Oxford, Parliament, the Globe), working a fun company, meeting tons of new people, and travelling like mad (read my Dublin post anyone?), but all I could think about as I jumped on that United jet was, what about burritos? Cheeseburgers? Pluto’s salads? As delightful as afternoon tea sounds, anyone who’s hopped on the “English cuisine” Wikipedia page can probably understand my hesitation. I’m sorry guys, but chip sandwiches? How does somebody even come up with that?

Chip Butty - Annie Mole

Chip Butty - Annie Mole

Which isn’t to say a chip butty isn’t one of the first things I tried when I got here (add a little ketchup and it’s not bad!), but I certainly wasn’t prepared for the richness of the culinary culture here. continue reading

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Visit Marrakech to check out Moroccan fashion

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People with an interest in fashion will be able to see the latest styles and trends emerging in Morocco during Marrakech tours this year.

The Caftan 2009 Moroccan Fashion Show will be held at the Palmeraie Golf Palace at Marrakech’s Palais des Congres on May 2nd.

According to the organisers of the show, Caftan is "where glamour and elegance reign".

The occasion provides an opportunity for experienced designers and young talents alike to meet and showcase the best that Moroccan and African haute couture have to offer.

Every year, the show is given a particular theme, with last year’s event based on the concept of ‘glam rock’ and consequently showing off a host of dazzling colours, bold designs and striking accessories.

Caftan 2009 is one of many events that people taking Marrakech tours will be able to attend this year, with alternative options including the 44th Festival of Popular Arts in July.

This cultural celebration will feature more than 36 folk groups from all over Morocco and over 550 artists in total.

Why not book a Full Day visit of Marrakech in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19047794-ADNFCR

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Check out the Riad Art Expo in Marrakech

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Travellers who have an interest in modern culture and arts will be able to attend the Riad Art Expo during Marrakech tours in March.

This large fair dedicated to traditional Moroccan art and craftwork will be open to the public at the Palais des Congres in Marrakech on March 28th and 29th.

Representatives of many crafts and art-forms will attend the exposition, including ceramics, leather work, interior design, landscaping and brassware.

In total, more than 100 exhibitors will showcase their various products and services at the Riad Art Expo, which is recognised as one of the leading art, craft and lifestyle events in Morocco.

One of the highlights of the event will be an awards ceremony recognising the work of local artists and craftsmen, focusing on the contribution they make to the tourism industry.

People on Marrakech tours who would like to find out more about the city’s local trades can head to one of its famous souks, where just about everything is sold from food and drink to clothes and souvenirs.

Why not book a Full Day visit of Marrakech in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19042436-ADNFCR

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Touring cars to roar into Marrakech

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Marrakech will be the place to be for petrolheads and motorsport obsessives in May when it hosts the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2009 World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).

This year’s competition will get underway with two rounds in Brazil between March 6th and 8th before heading to Mexico on March 20th.

People on Marrakech tours will have their chance to get in on the action when the WTCC comes to the Moroccan city between May 1st and 3rd.

The race will be held on a street circuit in Marrakech, construction of which is currently underway and progressing on schedule, according to Aly Horma, president of the event promoter MGP.

Mr Horma revealed that half of the concrete blocks that will serve as impact walls for the race are already in place, while the 12-hectare paddock area is also taking shape.

This year’s WTCC season will see the world’s best touring car drivers competing for the title currently held by Yvan Muller of France, who won last year’s competition by a comfortable margin.

After its visit to Marrakech, the championship will head to destinations including Valencia in Spain, Porto in Portugal and Imola in Italy.

Why not book a Full Day visit of Marrakech in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19038987-ADNFCR

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