Archive for the ‘Shopping Marrakech’ Category

Exchange Rates Favour Morocco

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Having risen against most currencies during 2013, the Moroccan Dirham (MAD) has eased by some 8% during the past few months and is currently fluctuating at around MAD 13.45* to the pound sterling and MAD 11.25* to the euro; holidays in Morocco are thus even better value, with spending money going that much further.

Cost of dining in Marrakech

Take, for example, a restaurant meal for two. Whilst a fine dining experience (and there is no shortage of opportunities for experiencing the very best of European and Moroccan cuisine) will vary between MAD 600 and 800 a meal at a midrange restaurant will average around MAD 400; if that’s not reasonable enough a street food experience can be yours for less than MAD 100!

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The Place Jemaa El Fna

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Like most of Morocco’s cities, Marrakech has two sharply contrasting personalities, in the shape of the modern, commercial quarter of Guéliz and the original walled medina.

One of five Moroccan medinas included for their architectural richness on the Unesco World Heritage list, the medina of Marrakech, packed with grandiose monuments and an extensive souk, is built around the celebrated Jemaa El Fna, a thronged, pulsating square in the very heart of town.

Shoppers’ Paradise

Surrounded by labyrinthine alleyways amid tightly packed houses, Djemaa El Fna is the starting point for accessing the apparently endless maze of souks selling everything from cheap souvenirs and trinkets and spices to beautiful carpets and finely-crafted wood and metal artifacts, including traditional jewellery. All day long refreshments in the shape of freshly-squeezed orange juice and delicious Moroccan dates are available from a plethora of vendors in and around the central square.

Step back in Time

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How to barter in Marrakech

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

No visit to Marrakech is complete without a visit to the famous souks, a seemingly inescapable maze of open and covered markets selling everything imaginable. And who doesn’t want to obtain a few good deals when shopping for souvenirs on holiday?

We all know that stall and shop owners hike prices when they see a tourist approaching but don’t let this knowledge deter you from trying to extract the best price.

Local traders expect it. Indeed, haggling is part of the very culture in the Arab world, not least in a tourist city as popular as Marrakech.

Okay, so you’ve spotted a beautiful hand-crafted item that you simply must take home as a ‘look where I’ve been’ brag item to decorate your lounge; here’s how to barter in Marrakech:

  • Take a stroll around the shop/market and see what the general asking price is for similar items – you’ll probably find (by asking – items are rarely priced) that things cost pretty much the same but it’s good to know. (more…)

The fashion boutiques of Marrakech – Where to shop and what to wear in Marrakech

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Marrakech is well known as a shopper’s paradise! Haggling in the labyrinthine souks with their myriad of coloured slippers, hand-stitched leather bags and woven baskets is still an essential part of every Moroccan holiday.

However, these days there are plenty of other, more sophisticated boutique shops that blend traditional styles with modern Western couture, one reason no doubt why stars like  Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker have been seen recently in the elegant stores of Marrakech, a number of which are listed below.

What to Wear in Marrakech

A long silky kaftan or loose top and harem-style trousers would be most appropriate for ladies relaxing in their riads or shopping in the medina where it’s best to ensure that one is suitably covered, this being a Muslim country. Leave heels at home and opt for sensible walking shoes or jewelled sandals for the evening.

A Bedouin tunic is an ideal purchase when in Marrakech. Go for full length, covered in bright pom-poms and embroidery, perfect for throwing over your bikini.

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The Beginners Guide to Marrakech

Monday, December 19th, 2011

To start your Moroccan experience, you must first find a place to stay. There is a huge variety of accommodation in Marrakech and with such a large choice from large luxury hotels down to four to eight roomed riads and modern apartments, finding the right place can be hit and miss.

Our suggestion would be to go for the best of both worlds, i.e. the last word in modern comforts but with plenty of authentic local character added. Les Borjs de la Kasbah is one such, a 5 star luxury boutique hotel in Marrakech, well placed within comfortable walking distance of the centre yet far enough away from its hurly burly to be remarkably peaceful by comparison.

Having found your place to stay you’ll need some suggestions for things to see and do so here’s a short beginner’s guide to visiting Marrakech.

Visit the ancient medina and admire the 13th century walls that surround it. The souk, one of the largest in Morocco, is a tourist’s dream, such is the variety of artefacts and souvenirs you’ll find there. Take an official guide to show you round, with visits to a couple of palaces and museums included.

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Marrakech shopping….much more than souks and bazaars!

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Although the Marrakech souks offer the best in affordable, handcrafted gifts we thought we’d highlight some higher end retail outlets in Marrakech so as to provide a fuller picture of the Marrakech shopping experience.

Akkal – the young Belgian artist, Charlotte Barkowski, produces contemporary Marrakech pottery based on traditional techniques at her Akkal workshop in Marrakech. Along with lamps, vases and tea/coffee sets, you’ll also find some lovely fabrics by the renowned Valérie Barkowski. (Mon – Sat 322 zone industrielle, Sidi Ghanem, Route de Safi)

Intensité Nomade – looking for an haute couture Marrakech kaftan? Here, in the commercial centre, Guéliz, Frédérique Birkemeyer displays some upbeat versions of the kaftan, one of them even styled as army camouflage! Silk-screened pop art T-shirts are also for sale. (On the corner of Av Avenue Mohammed V and Rue de la Liberté)

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Sight Seeing and Shopping in Marrakech

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Being one of the closest and most accessible destinations for European visitors in search of a truly exotic experience, Morocco appeals through the allure of such places as Casablanca, Fes and Tangiers and the vastness of wilderness areas like the Rif and Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert.

However, the country’s star turn is, arguably, Marrakech, the country’s southerly tourism capital, at the foot of the Atlas mountains. This is for good reason as there is no shortage of things to see and do in Marrakech and the surrounding area.

Here are some examples:

Jemaa el Fna, the huge central square, is the pulsating heart of the city, its bursting energy epitomised by street entertainers and al fresco eateries.

The excitement of the place is infectious as the constant pounding of drums and tuneless dirges of snake charmers’ pipes compete with the cries of street vendors and storytellers all enveloped by the aroma of an amazing variety of sizzling street food. This has to be on everyone’s list of ‘what to see in Marrakech’.

After the main square head for the Souks. With miles of narrow lanes offering every kind of local craft and product one is sure to find a bargain among the apparently endless stalls of jewellery, pottery, leather goods, fabrics, spices, carpets, wrought ironware and so much more.

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6 Reasons to Visit Marrakech

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Marrakech is gaining in popularity for many good reasons. Here are just six of them.

1)       Just a three hour flight from UK with British Airways (started March 2011), Easyjet, Ryanair, Royal Air Maroc, Atlas Blue, Air France, Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines. An increase in weekly flights from 39 to 100 a week has followed a major upgrade for Marrakech airport to provide much improved facilities for the larger numbers of arrivals.

2)       Your money goes further! The cost of living in terms of everyday items is significantly lower in Morocco than it is in Europe, not least as far as food, handicrafts and souvenirs are concerned. Of all short haul sun destinations available to Europeans Marrakech is one of the shrewdest choices.

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