For many tourists, the name Marrakech may invoke visuals straight out of an Aladdin-esque movie. Traditional rug sellers displaying ancient carpets, street musicians playing Arabic music in the background, and storytellers enthralling kids and elders alike in some corner of the market. Sure enough, visiting the souks, mosques or the central square may reaffirm these beliefs. But there is a Marrakech beyond all these which will spoil you with luxurious indulgences such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, and art galleries.
This new side of Marrakech may excite new travelers, but it comes as an ever bigger surprise for returning tourists who might have earlier experienced a very traditional city. Given the way the economy has opened in the past few years, Marrakech is becoming a cosmopolitan, economic hub of Morocco. International brands like H&M and Starbucks are dotting the streets of Marrakech and making global tourists feel both at home and in a far away land at the same time.
If you are visiting Marrakech and are not too fond of haggling with local shopkeepers at souks or visiting the old city, then here are a few modern things you can enjoy –
Shop till you drop
The district of Gueliz in Marrakech is your best bet for retail therapy. It is adorned with some of the most happening global brands, and also some high end local boutiques. Unilke the souks where you can bargain, these stores have a fixed price.
There are concept stores which offer an assortment of craft, such as cutlery, glassware, purses and bags, toiletries, and even stationery. Get your hands at Morocco’s aromatic soaps and perfumes, diaries made out of handmade paper, customized glasses, and the famous middle eastern jewelry.
Enjoy a Spa treatment
Spa, or hammams as they are called in Morocco, are a traditional part of the Moroccan culture. In the district of Gueliz, you will find all the top notch hotels offering the traditional Moroccan hammam services with a modern twist.
Before you visit a spa, beware that while it feels great at the end of the day, you do have to go through some discomforts. Firstly, you will have to strip naked inside the spa, and secondly when you are scrubbed by the masseuse, it almost feels like a layer of your body is being scrapped off.
Nonetheless, enjoying a spa treatment is a very luxurious indulgence and if you are in Marrakech, you must treat yourself with it.
Enjoy the Art and Culture
Two things that are unique to Marrakech include the Jardin Majorella, and Theater Royal. The former was built by French painter Jacques Majorella, and is a stunning garden featuring over 300 exotic species of plants and small brooks of water. For anyone who wants to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city and enjoy a relaxing day, the Jardin Majorella is a perfect place.
Theater Royal, on the other hand, is a place for art, music, and theater connoisseurs. It regularly features dance, drama, and musical performances from troupes from around the world.
Marrakech is also home to some of the most delectable restaurants, cafés, pubs. It has an inimitable nightlife that will keep you entertained. All in all, Marrakech is every bit a cosmopolitan city now that has a lot to offer.