Djamaa El Fna - Square, Marrakesh
Each night on Marrakech's Djemaa El Fna square, a row of carts line up to sell Ginseng and Cinnamon Tea.
While Morocco's popular mint tea is a refreshing drink at any time of day, the Ginseng and Cinnamon Tea is best for warming up your insides on a cold night! In February, the time of year that I visited, although the days were hot and sunny, the nights were very cold - so a few glasses of hot, spicy tea were very much appreciated!
I stopped by the tea carts most nights during my week long stay in the city - a late night Ginseng and Cinnamon Tea became an unmissable part of my daily routine!
The carts attract a steady stream of customers. Tourists, like myself, can be seen sipping cautiously at the hot tea, while locals, more accustomed to the taste, might down two or three glasses in the time it takes me to finish one glass.
The tea is served with a bowl of equally spicy cake. I'm not completely sure what the cake contained, but it certainly had cinnamon and sesame seeds in it. It was something of an acquired taste, but I became quite fond of it by the end of my stay.
A glass of tea and a bowl of cake costs just 4 Dhs (approx. 0.25 GBP).
Stop by the Ginseng and Cinnamon Tea carts on a cold night to warm up your insides!
Each day, from early morning to late at night, the Djemaa El Fna square is lined with carts that sell freshly squeezed orange juice.
This orange juice is as fresh as it comes - you'll often find pips and bits of peel in your glass of juice!
The glasses are not quite as fresh as the juice, and several guidebooks warn of glasses not being rinsed properly and then being reused throughout the day. I drank at least one glass of orange juice from Djemaa El Fna each day and never suffered any ill effects.
Each cart that sells orange juice has a unique number, so I made a few notes on some of the various carts that I bought orange juice from:
On my very first visit to Djemaa El Fna, I was beckoned over by the owner of Cart #8. This was common practice throughout my stay in Marrakech, with owners competing against each other for custom. Quite often I'd hear a "Hey Mister" being called out at me from a nearby cart. I bought a glass of orange juice and paid 14 Dhs. The owner didn't have any change for the 20 Dhs note that I gave him (would I be cynical in thinking that he perhaps *did* have change?), so he half filled my glass again once I'd finished.
One evening, I went to Cart #7, a cart decorated with FC Barcelona stickers and paid 10 Dhs for an ice cold glass of orange juice.
Another day, I visited Cart #27. On this occasion, the owner hadn't hassled me to go and buy from him, I just walked over towards his cart of my own accord. The owner was friendly, we had a good chat and I paid 10 Dhs for the coldest, smoothest orange juice I had had to date!
Fondest memory: .
Later on in my stay, I went to Cart #23 for my daily orange juice. I was beckoned over by the owner and, despite the price of 10 Dhs being displayed on the side of an orange, he told me that the price was 20 Dhs (and that the price of 10 Dhs related to grapefruit juice only!) I told him that I could buy my orange juice from the nearby #27 cart for just 10 Dhs so he relented and I handed over my 10 Dhs.
On my final day in Marrakech, I went to Cart #63 and paid a mere 5 Dhs for my juice. There were no crowds around this cart, no beckoning, no friendly chit chat - just the cheapest orange juice of my stay!
Be sure to try the fresh and refreshing orange juice from the Djemaa El Fna carts!
Its true that there are people asking for many ... to tourist and to muslim ...
is it not a part of the coran that they must give money to whom is aking for it ...
I saw people seeting at the mosque's doors asking for money ...
but to me ...while I was walking ... only I was asked for money 3 time in 5 days ... not so much ...
The funny thing is ... " are people needed of that money ????? " if they need the money ... why they ask you for euros :)))
I was asked by a little boy for money ... he wanted 2 euros from me ... :)))) he spoked me in spanish when he new I was from there .... I told him that I didnt had euros ... I did only had dirhams ... but he refused dirhams ... .... he had a wonderful face ... I loved the face of that little boy ... so smillling face ... so bright ... so clever .....
I dont use to give money at the streets to people that ask for it ... I dont think is a good thing ...
In the late afternoon we could sit for hours on the roof of a cafe at the Djemaa el-Fna, waiting for the dusk and the lights at the square.
After a long rest at the rooftop of the cafe we went down, back in the crowd on the square, to experience the streetlife again.
Fondest memory: Having a drink on a rooftop of a cafe at the Djemaa el-Fna and see the sunset with the silhouette of the Koutoubia Mosque in front.
Favorite thing: The Jma-l-Fna is an unbelievable experience. It is a market scene straight out of the movies with snake charmers, musicians, dancing bears, acrobats and storytellers. Around the square there are numbered stalls that sell very cheap freshly-squeezed orange juice in the morning and afternoon. At night there are tables set up that you can eat at for a very reasonable price.
This was the best in Morocco.
Every day there are a lot of food-stalls at Djemma el-Fna. Every people all around were coming to have dinner over there and enjoy and talk to people. We were in Morocco during Ramadan, so it was even more excited, because everybody was waiting for that second, they could start eating. We met there a lot of people, it was really fun. Although it is full of tourists, so also there are many locals and we had chance to talk to them.
Fondest memory: If you are in Marrakesh, never miss dinner at Djemma el-Fna. The atmosphere is amazing and food delicious!
Favorite thing: When the sun goes down and the temperature becomes a bit more bearable, the square fills up with any kind of food stalls, street vendors, acrobats, snake charmers etc. The Djemaa el Fna in the evening is the place where everything happens. Many people and many attractions (more or less touristy).
Here you will find many local people selling goods, especially the medicine. They will show you how the medicine works on the animals.
Ladies, if you want to have tattoo on your hands, you can try here but make sure you will like your orange hands for a month. You should ask the money first before you do it. My friend did it and they asked for more money.
I think most people have tried the orange juice because it looks nice and the weather is hot.
You can enjoy the monkeys and snakes shows with music. You can take some photos but you have to pay for it.
Favorite thing: Djemaa el Fna is the central square of Marrakech, close to the old medina, and it is a focal point for the whole city. During daytime, because of the heat, there is not so much going on, just the usual orange juice stalls a few others.
There are numerous cash machines in the square however not all take major cards. I found out the hard way that before you leave the UK, notify your bank to let them know you're going away on holiday to north africa as your card will only work once then the card will lock itself down as it thinks its been stolen and someone is trying to use your card.
I was informed by friends and colleauges that taking large amounts of euros, sterling and US dollar would be confiscated thus left it until we arrived at marrakesh airport to take money. Big mistake! Was really stressful and looking back in hindsight i would change money at the bureau de change over there. also leaving marrakesh airport, the shops and dutyfree do not use the local currency of dirhams but expects visitors to pay using either euro or sterling so make sure you have enough with you!
Also make sure you have lots of small change as tipping someone 50 dirhams or £3 to find the riad is way too much money. Should only be about 20 dirhams. Plus lots of toilets in tourist attractions requires visitors to pay 1 dirham to use their facilities.
Favorite thing: The square is totally different from the day time. There are lots of food stalls and you only have to find a seat and order your food. You can try various kind of moroccan food. I think you will enjoy your dinner here.
Favorite thing: There are many public toilets in Morocco. They can usually be found near mosques. Most are the squat design but in service stations they have sit down toilets. It is courteous to tip the attendant who keeps the place clean, you should pay for the paper they offer. In Djemaa El Fna there is a public toilet behind the plant stalls. Not suitable for wheel chair users.
Fondest memory: Running low on money as the bank machines would not accept my Austrian bank card and having to survive the day on a few notes and coins! By the evening we only had enough to buy a bowl of soup and a piece of bread! People were most surprised at tourists having no money and were really friendly and accommodating even offering to give us free food and drinks. The best part was in the main square at twilight when the colourful market stalls opened up to sell hot soup and all different types of amazing food. A snake charmer tried to get us to pay to hold his snakes!! When we told him we really had no money he let us hold his snakes for free and took pictures of us which we still treasure as it is an unusual sight and really sums up our first trip to Northern Africa - two girls with a long green snake round their necks surrounded by a large group of Moroccan men all looking at us!
You can't miss the hundreds of orange juice stands in the sqare...all identical besides their 'number'...you'll hear, 'come back to number 43' and the like...
On a positive side, The orange juice is cheap and sweet!
'REMEMBER NR. 16'
At the Djemaa el Fna you have a wide choice between orange stalls where you can buy a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. There's a choice out of some 40 stalls (numbered 1 to 40) selling exactly the same thing which is a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice at exactly the same fixed price of Dr 1,00. To attract your attention the traders are shouting their stall number to you. As there doesn't seem to be any difference between the stalls you just pick out one of them and buy your juice. After emptying your glass some of these guys give you an extra few free nips of juice in your glass. When leaving after finishing your drink your orange trader makes sure you will come back by constantly repeating the number of his stall to you: Monsieur... remember nr. 16...