Snapshot: The Marrakech Medina

Within the winding alleys of the famed Marrakech medina is where you discover the spirit of this charming cultural capital, especially in Jemaa El-Fna Square, the cornerstone of the eclectic Moroccan experience.

In the day, the square is sleepily abuzz; henna artists, spice vendors and trinket sellers begin to roll out their wares.

Watch the colourful activity below from atop the roof terrace of a dreamy Moroccan riad – the ideal accommodation boasting charming interior courtyards and tranquil inner gardens.

Their large arched wooden doors reveal a cloistered world within, untouched by the frenzy of the medina right outside.

By night, an overwhelming cacophony of sights, sounds and scents awaits the uninitiated. The air is thick with the life of the city.

Folk musicians croon soulful ballads; snake-charmers enchant serpents with flute melody; colourful belly-dancers and acrobats twist and tumble on wooden stages.

Plunge right into the tangle of makeshift restaurants and their fusion of aromas, from simmering tagine to homemade couscous.

Marrakech’s souks form the labyrinthine Arab marketplace, a lively, exotic affair. Its sheltered lanes are lined with colourful knick-knacks proffered by loud vendors who beckon and call.

Down every alley is a dizzying potpourri of colours – vibrant traditional garb, sacks of tangy African spices, Moroccan instruments and more.

This is truly a bazaar for things you never knew you needed.

The traditional hammam, probably the oldest surviving bath traditions in the world, offers solace from the city’s hustle and bustle, right off the medina’s streets.

Bathers go through a blisteringly hot steam room stark naked, then a scrubbing with savon beldi, a black olive oil soap, and the traditional sandpaper-esque kessa glove and finally a numbingly cold bath. Emerge invigorated and chafed smooth!

Getting there: Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Air France offer flights with a single stopover at major cities like Zurich, Amsterdam and Paris.

Travel Visa: Moroccan visa is not required for Singaporeans for a stay up to 30 days, beyond which it is recommended you apply for a visa up to 2 months prior to your travel date.

Currency: 100 Singapore Dollars = 713 Moroccan Dirham

Language: Moroccan Arabic is the spoken native vernacular, but French and English are also popular languages most of this diverse city’s multilingual people are familiar with.

Leave a Comment


Enjoyed this article? Please spread the word :)