Jemaa El-Fna: Lost in the Souks of Marrakech

Visiting the ancient city of Marrakech won’t be complete without visiting the famous souks of the old medina. 

I will share my story on what it is like to get lost in the labyrinth of tiny alleys and unsigned roads that will take you the little corners and hidden gems of Marrakech souks. Even if I was not feeling well that day, I can’t miss the opportunity to see the medina and the immerse myself to the unique culture to my senses. 

You will see various Moroccan handcrafted bowls,  pottery and tagine pots on the shops.  All carefully lined up to meticulously display their colourful beauty!   

It was almost mid-day when we went to catch the hotel service bus that will take me and my friend to the famous square of Marrakech – Jemaa El-Fna. It was raining all day yesterday so we have to make the most out of it today and see some attractions in the medina.  

Water vendor of Marrakech

Since I was not feeling well from the day we left the UK, I had to take plenty of cold tablets so I can get thru the day.  I don’t want to leave Marrakech without visiting the medina. 

Our hotel service bus hit the traffic in the busy city centre of Marrakech, passing through a various strip of local shops and stone houses. Then right in front of the Koutoubia, our bus stopped and all we go to start our new adventure in discovering the souks of Marrakech.

Like most of the popular tourist destinations, we encountered loads of tour guides offering their services to the people. There was also a queue of horse-drawn carriages that also offers city guided tours.  I feel so sorry for the poor horses. 

As we walk further into the abyss of Marrakech medina, we finally reached the world’s famous Jemaa El-Fna square. All written words used to describe the market in the guide books are a clear representation of the scenario that we were in. The upbeat and chaotic flow of people coming from all directions will surely make you feel dizzy and my under the weather feeling doesn’t help too. 

Snake Charmer in Marrakech

My friend and I don’t have really a concrete plan on how we want to venture our day’s adventure into the souk of Marrakech. However, we agreed that in case we lost each other, alway meet in front of the pale rose-coloured Koutoubia tower. It is visible enough to be a marker among the crowd.

Medina in Marrakech

We took the first shopping alley to see if there’s any Morrocan souvenir that we would fancy buying.  There were lots of intricately designed metal lamps, colourful leathers, fresh spices, stacks of colourful spice powders, beautifully woven Moroccan clothes and pieces of jewellery. Any shoppers paradise! A perfect place to practice some haggling skills to grab a bargain. 

jemaa el-fnaa shopping in marrakech

The first order of business for us inside the medina is to look for the Ben Yousaff madrasa. It is one of the personal travel highlights for me on this trip to Marrakech. After getting lost in the labyrinth of alleys even while using a GPS map, we found our way to the beautiful ancient Islamic school in the heart of the medina. 

Ben Yousaff Madrasa in Marrakech Morocco

After roaming around the madrasa, my friend and I have decided to see more of the seemingly endless medina of Marrakech. We both decided to follow a random tour group that was congregating in front of the madrasa, hoping that they won’t notice we were anonymously “joining” the group.

The group stopped at a metal foundry that has a significant history of the medina. Since I was not feeling that well, my friend and I’ve decided to get some lunch near Bahia Palace. 

Bahia Palace in Marrakech

We were careful to pick a restaurant in Tripadvisor, reading all the ratings and reviews of the restaurants nearby. We had a lovely Tagine meal and mint tea at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the busy streets of the medina. 

After the meal, we went to around the Bahia Palace and call it a day after getting our last Moroccan souvenirs and Argan oil.

Even if I was feeling so crap, I’m glad I had managed to see some parts of the medina. I wasn’t as energetic as the “normal” me.  However, the show must go on! The adventure must push through. 

Read more on our DIY Travel Itinerary to Marrakech (Morocco) or this one Popular Attractions and Best Things To Do in Marrakech (Morocco).

If you are looking for accommodation in Marrakech, you read this hotel review that I did All-Inclusive Marrakech Hotels: Clubhotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie Review.

If you would like to experience the best Marrakech tours and day trips read more of that post.

Have you been to Jemaa El-Fna in Marrakech?
Share your travel experience below!

Jemaa el fna water vendor of marrakech


Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.

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