'There's no debating Marrakech is a beautiful place, but life here is very different from what we're accustomed to experiencing in major Western cities...'
This is both a major attraction and a set back, depending on your personality and travel experiences. There are a few things you should note before you head out to explore the Marrakech Medina and surrounding neighbourhoods...
'Most Western-style hotels in Marrakech will serve beer and wine at the bar, although this can be rather expensive...'
In addition, you can purchase alcohol in the local supermarket for rather less. The Marrakech Medina does not have many, due to its size and structure. You can find a large Carrefour or Label Vie around 30 minutes' walk from the centre. Morocco produces fantastic wines and you can pay anything from £3.50 to £18 for a bottle. Anything imported is more expensive but, when in Marrakech, is seems like a good idea to buy local.
Marrakech is busy and extremely noisy. The Medina is a literal alley of tiny streets; some leading to other streets and others to dead ends. As a result, it can be difficult to escape the constant racket. Being a Muslim nation, call to prayer is a regular feature of daily life and it's a wonderful sound. Horn beeping and the drones of moped engines and continual chatter; not so much. In the Medina, the noise is constant, although you do learn to block it out quite quickly.
We sat on a rooftop terrace in our apartment in Rue de la Bahia, which is a good 10-minute walk from the main drag at Jemaa el Fna, and the hustle and bustle of the city conducting its business was never-ending. If you're looking for a peaceful break, this isn't ideal as, even when indoors, the noise very rarely fades. If you live for action, this is definitely the city for you.
'The business people in Marrakech are making money to provide for their families and, at the end of the day, a simple 'No, Merci' should suffice when you're approached...'
Sometimes, you'll have to repeat it numerous times as you're actually pursued down the street. Just be polite, keep moving, and you'll soon be clear. A vendor was very rude to me while shopping after I politely declined the offer to sit at a rooftop bar was in Jemaa el-fna. As a result, I was sworn at by the guy who didn't take my refusal very well. Ignore anyone like this and simply move on.
'Take light clothing, but ensure you cover your arms and legs. There's no need to cover your head or face unless, of course, you are Muslim, or you simply wish to while you're there...'
Whether you want to eat out, get supplies at a local supermarket, or enjoy some simple street food; Marrakech caters for everyone. Traditional foods, such as cous cous, kebabs, meat and veggie tagines, pastries and biscuits are commonplace, but there's a great deal of panini, pizza and burgers, if you don't wish to indulge in the local fare. Street vendors sell fresh corn in the cob, an assortment of traditional breads and baguettes, as well as crisps and snacks in local squares and souks. Supermarkets sell everything you need, and have a rather good assortment of spices, cheeses, meats and sauces. It's impossible to go hungry, regardless of your tastes, and vegans are also widely catered for here.
Follow a few simple rules and enjoy your trip to Marrakech!