In my photos of the Place de la Koutoubia, it seems like it's deserted. That's because I visited in Ramadan when the people usually don't go out to eat or relax during the day. However, when I visited at night, it was lively and full of people out chatting, strolling, or having an ice cream. Moroccans in general are very social and like to go out and chit chat with the neighbors and the Place de la Koutoubia, with its central location, is the perfect place to gather. The Koutoubia Mosque and the Sidi Ali Bel Kacem cemetery are both next door. The Jemaa el Fna is also nearby, but it's more of a place to gather during the day for lunch.
The Place des Ferblantiers connects the Muslim medina with the Mellah, Marrakech's old Jewish district. The name means "Ironworker's Square" so there are lots of shops around selling decorative iron goods like lamps, mirrors, bed frames, and the like. Some of the bars that line the square also have rooftop cafes so you can enjoy a tea while looking out over the medina. The square was renovated a few years ago and they've added benches, a fountain, and some palm trees. The shops are reasonably priced, but you still need to haggle to get a good deal. Iron working was once the traditional trade of the Moroccan Jews but most of them left the country during World War II.
The Foudouq Ouarzazi Souk is one of the most popular souks in the medina of Marrakech. It is located next to the Bab Fteuh. It is a foundouk, a former hotel for desert caravans, with a particular construction. The rooms are organized around a courtyard, on the top floor of the hotel. Downstairs is where the animals, horses, and camels were once kept. The old building still stands, but it has been converted into tourist shops selling clothes, shoes and souvenirs. You'll have to bargain hard - in general, they start by offering a price that's three times higher than the real value.
The hammams in Marrakech is one of the things you can not miss if you visit this beautiful Moroccan city. The baths also known as Arabs baths have a long tradition in the society of this North African country and, in general, the population of many Arab countries. In Marrakech there are dozens. The most basic ones, which are public, are subsidized by the state. These are cheap and a massage is worth less than 2 euros. You have to bring your own towel and soap and the cleanliness is bad. They have traditional architecture and I recommend that if it is your first time in Morocco, you should go to a hammam for tourists. They are very easy to find in the Medina and are usually located in riads (traditional Moroccan houses). In many hotels they can also be found. They are a little less authentic but more secure because of its cleanliness. A massage at one of these hammams costs between 15 and 25 euros.
This is an area of special interest for its colors, smells, tastes, lights, and people of the medina of Marrakesh where artisanship is fused with ancestral customs. This photo reflects what is not in sight of the tourists and visitors, the "back room" where these people work in ancestral conditions to continue living day to day.
The Mellah market is organized at the heart of the Jewish neighborhood in the southern part of the medina of Marrakech. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city, and the streets are not paved. There is lots of activity and sometimes confusion, people hurrying down the street; it is very interesting to take a walk and explore the shopping streets.
The Mellah, the Jewish Quarter, has always been a neighborhood of exchanges. The Jews brought salt, spices, and gold from other countries, products that the Morrocans didn't have in their traditional markets. Nowadays there are almost no Jews in the neighborhood, but they are still selling these products. The spices are in bags on the floor, you'll still find many natural remedies, soap to go to the hamam, steam room, and many beauty products, half-price compared to the same products found in Europe.
In the medina of Marrakech one of the most numerous places is the business of health food that will offer you the opportunity to buy every imaginable spice and some of the most characteristic cosmetic products. Anti wrinkle creams, kohl (black powder for eye makeup worn by women in Arab countries), ginseng, ointments for skin problems, henna, cantharides (the "Moroccan Viagra"), natural lip balm, fliu (menthol), Ghassul (clay for skin and hair), musk, henna, perfumes ... As for the spices: saffron, curry, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, felfa soudaniya (similar to cayenne pepper) paprika, or ginger. They also sell many types of tea. Here you will have to haggle.
The zaouia of Sidi Bel Abbes is a place that wouldn't normally be accessible to non-Muslims, but in this case it is, because it is not enclosed within the walls of the mosque. A zaouia is a convent where disciples of Islam spend hours praying, singing, and meditating. It's next to the Bab Taghzout, next to the mosque of Sidi Bel Abbes. It's a place of pilgrimage, including a mausoleum built by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah Ben where Sidi bel Abbess, one of the seven saints of the city, is buried. The busiest day is Wednesday, when richer people come and deposit offerings for the poor. Muslim tradition dictates that those who can afford it should give 10% of their money to charity.
Sidi Bel Abbes, who lived in the twelfth century, is one of the most famous saints in Marrakech. He dedicated his life to teaching the Koran and Islamic religion, as well as helping the poor, the beggars. and the blind. The religious complex that bears his name was constructed slowly, over several centuries. The madrasah (school), dates from the early seventeenth century, and so does the mosque. The place is also famous for its fountain, with its facade covered with stucco, built with five arches. The floor is covered with tiles, in the Andalucian style. In the courtyard of the mosque, there is a plaque indicating that non-Muslims can not go farther.
The Gza Street is one of the busiest in Marrakech, without many toruists. I like to walk around this neighbourhood, which has a street market every morning with fresh mint, hot rolls, fruit and meat hanging from butchers' windows. If you want a chicken, you select a living bird and the butcher will kill it and pluck it for you. The smells are strong in this area during the day. Once the sun goes down, people go to buy shoes and suits, and greet friends. If you like steam baths, the street has a few traditional hamams.
From Marrakech, you can go by bus to Quarzazate and after spending a night there catch another to Zagora. The road is very interesting because it travels a long way through an ever-changing landscape. If you drive from Marrakech the journey takes about 6 hours, and by bus it'll take around 2 days but it gives you the chance to calmly take everything in, depending on the time you have and if you come by car or not, you can either. ..