Be wary of the hustlers
You might be walking down a street minding your own business, and without warning a local will pounce trying to interest you in anything from restaurants, traditional berber robes to weed (called kif in Morocco) If you are not interested in what they have to offer, be decisive and make an excuse, a lot of the hustlers pounce on tourists' indecision and make you do/buy things you really don't need.
The best deals aren´t near the square
On my last day of Marrakech, I found myself at the Mellah (an area in the Medina) Souks. I was so upset to find that everything I had bought and bargained for at already LOWER PRICES. I discovered that other Souk shops keepers, actually buy their merchandise at the Mellah Souks. It is located right next to the Plaza Place Des Ferblantiers. I found stylish lamps at 1/10 of the price: one cute lamp for 20 dhms (which is just a little less than 2 euros). Even though I was upset at myself for not going there sooner, I will save you the heartbreak and give you this awesome tip!
Quiet cafe in Ville Nouvelle
I visited Cafe Glacier L'Elysee one afternoon during my visit to Marrakech in February 2007.
This quiet cafe, with tables under a canopy and a host of umbrellas, is located on Boulevard Mohammed Zerktouni, in the Ville Nouvelle region of the city.
There are many French style cafes in Marrakech, with outdoor tables on the pavements. Many of these are located on Ave Mohamed V and the area around the intersection of Ave Mohamed V and Rue de Yougoslavie. These cafes, with tables in the sunshine and waiter service, fill up early in the afternoon, so I often ventured onto the quieter side streets to find a place to sit and enjoy an afternoon drink. It was on one of these quieter side streets that I stumbled across the small and friendly Cafe Glacier L'Elysee.
I took a seat at an outdoor table, shaded from the hot afternoon sunshine, and studied the menu (which was in French and Arabic only). The vast majority of the menu is devoted to drinks, with only a few food items available.
The drinks menu includes a large selection of fresh fruit juices (orange, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, apple...), canned soft drinks and a wide variety of coffees and teas. No alcohol is served.
The few food items include: chocolate filled croissants, bread with butter and jam and something that includes cheese ("fromage"), but which my French skills weren't capable of translating!
Service was friendly and laid back.
During the course of my visit, a few people wandered into the cafe trying to sell things (ornaments, leather belts, sunglasses...), but this was a frequent occurence during my stay in Marrakech and not unique to this cafe. I opted for:
Freshly squeezed orange juice - Cost: 10 Dhs
A glass of very fresh and very refreshing orange juice!
Pain + beurre + confiture - Cost: 7 Dhs
A couple of crusty bread rolls with butter (straight from the fridge and too hard to spread) and orange jam.
Good value cafe fare and friendly service on a quiet side street.
Djemaa el Fna Square
Djemaa el Fna Square is one of the busiest squares in Morocco. It has even been named a ‘masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity” by UNESCO. The name has the unfortunate meaning of ‘assembly of the dead’ which is believed to have come from times when the square was a place of executions. The heads of criminals were put on display here even right into the 19th century. Berber peasants used bring their harvests to the square to sell.
Carpets for sale hang from walls, open windows although the souks. Most are still created by handlooms making them quite unique in their styles and colours. The carpets from the Atlas Mountains are made of 100% wool and are dyed using vegetable colours.