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Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

4.0 stars


Marrakech - Eat with the Locals in Jemaa el Fna

Reputed to be the largest public square in Africa, Jemaa el Fna is the heartbeat of Marrakech.

I would recommend that you visit at night. There is a spectacular array of stalls all with their own lighting systems from hijacked mains electric to bottled gas.

As well as stalls selling everything imaginable there are numerous street entertainers including snake charmers. Also look out for the water carriers in their traditional Moroccan dress with pewter cups rattling around their necks.

Be brave and try something to eat and drink at one of the many food stalls. You can have everything from a three-course meal to a snack. If you just fancy the latter then I would go for a ball of what looks like chocolate but is actually made from flour. Have a glass of delicious, piping-hot, spiced, gingseng tea with it - sweet and warming - all for a few dirhams. [more ]

Jemaa el Fna

The city of Marrakech is centered around the great square Jemaa el Fna, one of the most interesting squares in the world and probably the greatest in Africa. Usually during the day the square is full of people. There are many booths selling wonderful fresh orange juice and many other shops. All around the square there are people trying to get some money from you for attractions like playing monkey, or a dancing snake, generally it is best to avoid them and learn to say no, but I guess it can be a nice experience for some people. There are also those people trying to be your guide through the town, beware of them because they want to get you to the restaurants and hotels that pay them. [more ]

Djemaa el Fna Square – this is where it all happens!

Djemaa el Fna Square is the hub of the medina of Marrakech. This open sided huge square is where the many crowds gather daily to watch many forms of entertainment and indulge in the typical culinary Moroccan delights. As the sun goes down the crowds assemble to watch snake charmers, belly dancers, henna artists and magic tricks. There is a huge range of fruits, nuts and olives on sale and many touristy stalls around the edge selling Moroccan souvenirs. You can sit and eat bread, sausages, kofte burgers and tomato salsa and drink mint tea for a mere five pounds for two people. This is how the real people live! [more ]

Scary Djemaa EL Fna- Take 2

As our first night in Djemaa el Fna was rather dissapointing we returned there a second time. We decided it was wise to put our cameras away and head for the busy food tents where our attention was not so required. The Market was full of life, people, locals, tourists, food tents with boiled snails and orange juice stalls. They had beautiful fresh orange juice stalls, it was really delicious. My friend had a go at some boiled snails. The atmosphere was really nice around the food area. On the way back my friend made the terrible mistake to take a distant (about 6 metres away) photo of a group of tourist with some local dancers. One of the dancers saw him and ask him for money. When my friend refused the local got really aggressive and grabbed him by the arm. This was quite scary as out of a sudden we were surrounded by locals angry at us! The guy tried to aggressively grab the camera. My friend said he will delete the picture and only till he did, the crowd dispersed. This constant odd behaviour of locals really spoiled what could have been a charming evening. [more ]

Dissapointing Djemaa el Fna

This famous world spot was a bit of a disappointing and too much of an aggressive atmosphere for my liking. The main feature are groups or musicians, dancers, acrobats and everyone insisting to take a picture with them and shortly after demanding a specific tip such as 3€, they get very agressive if you don't agree with that sort of tip. You are constantly harassed by people trying to take money off you. You can not look at anything without having someone asking you for money. A woman was reading someone elses palm and wanted to charge me for just looking when passing by. Really unpleasant experience! [more ]

Djemaa-el-Fna at night

As amazing as this bazaar can be at daytime, it can't compare to the way it is at night. This square is famous all throughout the world for its lights and its street performers. Because of the hot temperatures during the day, many of the performers come and perform at night. The marketplace is more alive at night, and with many more people. You can sometimes see shows, theater plays or street musicians, all waiting for a tip. I think they deserve it, because they really do something for the money. They create a great atmosphere in the whole area. It's something unique which I had never experienced before. It's really worth seeing! [more ]


One of the main fair-like attractions in Jima-el Fna are the Cobras. All around the bazaar you will see men making the cobras perform. I personally don't like this type of shows, because of the cruelty to the animals, which are obliged to perform for the whole day. Another bad part is that you are sometimes pursued into taking a photo you didn't ask for and then charged a ridiculous sum of money. Sometimes they can even put a snake on your shoulders and won't take it off until you have taken a picture and paid. There are many people who don't like or are afraid of snakes. I am one of them, so I stayed really far from every cobra I saw. [more ]

Eating out in Djemaa-el-Fna

Marrakesh has many lovely restaurants. But nothing compares to the experience of eating on the street, especially in the huge bazaar Djemaa-al-Fna. There are many stalls selling food and most of them have little chairs and long tables where you can seat with the other customers. There's a huge variety of food to choose from, all of it typically Moroccan. I tried out the Cous Cous, which was delicious and I even learn t to prepare it myself. Of course, not as good as they prepare it. Prices are really low and the food is usually prepared on the spot. I didn't get sick, but I have heard some cases. Another thing I recommend is drinking the delicious orange juice they prepare on the spot, although it doesn't seem very hygienic because of the glasses that they don't wash properly. [more ]

Shoppig in Djemaa-el-Fna

Maybe one of the most famous places in Marrakesh is the huge bazaar. I couldn't believe it was so big. You will probably find everything you want in there, from spices to high-tech products. The good thing is that the market is separated in categories, so every street sells a different type of products. I loved the spices market and I bought many of them, as they were all 100% natural. A not so pleasant part about shopping there is that the locals insist too much. If you give them any small sign of attention, they will stick to you until they convince you to buy or until you get verbally violent. At first, they might seem friendly and helpful, but if you really don't want to buy what they're selling, it's best to make yourself understood from the beginning. Remember always to negotiate before buying something ! [more ]

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