Djamaa El Fna - Square, Marrakesh
Just sit down on the terrace of one of the cafés overlooking the Djmaa el Fna, the central square of Marrakesh, in the late afternoon; this is the craziest city I know and the Djmaa el Fna is the centre of this craziness.
There is always something going on at the Djmaa el Fna. Also I highly recommend to try and go for dinner at the square, where you can choose from about 100 stalls, and they have quite everything: couscous, tajine, pastilla, snails, small snacks ...
This is a huge open square in the middle of Marrakech where all of the people, or at least all of the men int he city gather at night to eat, talk, drink tea and watch the spectacles, including fire eaters, snake charmers, 10 year old boxing boys and storytellers.
This is undoubtedly one of the most famous squares in the world. And it's found right here in Marrakech. Wanna make a guess?
For those who guessed correctly... kudos to you! Yes, this is the legendary Djema el-Fna Square and mind you, it is much more than just a square. Firstly, it is a MYTH to see.... experience.... listen to.... and smell! It is definitely one of the 'places to see' when you're in Marrakech. A capital within a capital, unrivaled in fame and charm by any other square that I've seen. Not kidding...
At night, the Djemaa el-Fna Square turns into the most fabulous of fables.....
With acetylene lamps all lighted up, you'd be able to catch some pretty interesting exhibitions and dances.... Some people even sit in circles here at the Square sipping the mythical Moroccan mint tea. And see the hundreds of light bulbs connected to simple electric wires forming a glowing canopy over the booths and shops... Quite an interesting sight!
If you're shopping/ strolling inside the souk, you'd certainly be awed by these Moroccan women dressed in their colorful traditional garb - with their faces (sans eyes) covered up! I couldn't peel my eyes off some of them... They looked so pretty - almost like Caucasians with blue eyes! :-)
I was so enthralled by them that I even bought a Moroccan traditional dress here costing me US$100 (it comes complete with a cape!). I can't wait to wear it out ONE DAY (I don't know WHEN... but I hope some Moroccan invite me to their house party soon).
SHOPPING for cool MOROCCAN SPICES!
Here at Djemaa el-Fna Square, you can find EVERY imaginable kind of spices.... like pepper, saffron, cinnamon, juniper, cumin, nutmeg, powdered chili peppers and even, spanish flies (yes, not kidding. Men will looove this. Come on, don't tell me you don't know the effects of eating spanish flies!!).
For tea lovers... you can find mountains of tea here.... some imported from China and cascades of green mint leaves - Moroccans love mint tea!
At some point, try and close your eyes and 'look' with your nose....! You'd know what I really mean when you get there. :-)))
This square used to be the cultural center of this area of Morocco. Hundreds of years ago, nomads would come from hundreds of miles away to trade their goods here. When you stroll around, you'll feel like not much has changed in all those years. You'll wander past magicians, fire-breathers, snake-charmers, beggars, and just about anything else you can imagine. It is an amazing sight to see. There are also many food stands where you can sample unbelievable Moroccan cuisine. During the day the square isn't as active, but surrounding the area is a maze of souks, where you can spend hours upon hours wandering through the labyrinth of passages and shops. Just remember, the Moroccans are master salesman, and you could easily find yourself leaving with more than you wanted.
Convinced yet? Looks like the World's largest parking lot, No, that would be Disneyland! Perhaps we are just not accustomed to seeing so much open space on valuable city property.
Come to think of it, maybe they have the right idea.
I like to visit UNESCO places. Marrakesh marked my 450 UNESCO site visited (there are over 1000 UNESCO places in the world).
It is located at the entrance of the Djemma el Fna square.
To be honest, I can't explain what happens here, just have a look at the whole gallery of pics visiting my Travelogues and maybe you will understand it; enjoy yourself!
In Diemaa el Fna Square you will see several orange wagon like stalls all lined up and back to back, all offering the same thing - freshly squeezed orange juice. Make sure they don’t add any water.
The treatment of animals here is not right,
Do not support them we would not allow it in the west.
Be Responsible No Photos
In the narrow streets it is easy to get lost, so ensure that you stay with your guide, else it could cost you quite a bit again to get out. These people do anything for a buck.
Around half an hour before sunset, make your way down to Djemaa el-Fna and go to one of cafes/restaurants around the perimeter. Sit upstairs on the balcony and watch the sun set on Marrakesh
From my journal:
'We walk right through the square – Jaama el Fna – quite an exciting place. Lots of colourful water sellers, dancers, musicians, men with monkeys and snake charmers.'
These watervendors are colourfully dressed but look more like circus artists than anything other.
Don't try to come near to them or try to take picture - money, money, money.....