Traveling from Paris after a brief layover in Casablanca—here’s looking at you, kid—my friends and I made it to Marrakesh late on Friday evening. The airport, which stood in for Abu Dhabi’s airport in Sex and the City 2, was a quick taxi ride from our hotel–Le Meridien N’Fis, where we settled in the lobby bar to plan our itinerary. Only in town for the weekend, we had to make the most of the next day to see the sites of the Red City.
We spent all day Saturday touring the old town and happily haggling with vendors in the Medina. The quick weekend trip was just enough time to enjoy all that this exotic city had to offer—the Saadian Tombs, the Koutoubia Mosque, snake charmers (and the cobras they charm), belly dancers, and hamsa art everywhere. One of my favorite souvenirs was a photo of a beautiful hamsa that I promptly changed to be the wallpaper on my iPhone–so vibrant and colorful!
The highlights of our day included buying Moroccan tea from the world’s best salesman at the Herboristerie el Borge (a spice market) and a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Medina. A part that was not our favorite: getting hassled by henna artists with a very smooth bait-and-switch at Jemaa el Fna–Marrakesh’s most famous bazaar. After some late afternoon of bargaining at the outdoor market for some beautiful leather goods and Moroccan tea sets to bring home, we opted to have dinner in the more modern European part of town.
My friends and I generally felt safe during our visit, and I got my first stamp from the African continent in my passport! Go for the hammams throughout the city (even though time did not permit us to visit) and stay for the shopping and the delish cuisine. I would recommend a quick weekend stay in Morocco’s Red City, which had the charms of Europe mixed with a beautiful historic city.