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“Magical Morocco” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jemaa el Fna

Jemaa el Fna
Central square at entrance to market, Marrakech, Morocco
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Visit Jemaa el Fna like an insider
Top Rated
$41*
and up
Marrakech Discovery Tour
Activities: Shopping
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This is the entrance to the outdoor market and food court of the city center.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Magical Morocco”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW via mobile

Such a wonderful experience , don't be put off by what you hear . We had people try and sell us hats watches lunch , etc but as soon as you decline their offer they politely leave you alone. No one oversteps and it is an atmosphere that is undescribable in words. Truly magical. The smell of fresh nougat and the leather and the orange juice all mixed in with the heat and the friendliness makes it an experience you will never forget. Go now! Or regret it forever! We loved it there

Visited May 2015
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Warsash, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Eye-opener but READ MY HINTS AND TIPS!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

This place is quite an eye-opener, especially at night. The place is buzzing, filled with market traders, food stalls, snake charmers, musicians, and so on. The food is very cheap indeed, and good value for money. I stayed here for four days and didn't get any tummy upsets, so don't be afraid to try the cuisine.

The few things that did disappoint and/or anger me, are:

WALKING THROUGH THE SOUKS: These are a maze of avenues filled with stalls selling everything from leather goods, wooden ornaments, spices, shoes, and so on. However, the constant hassle from the traders is tiresome. Us Brits like to walk around shops, picking up items, inspecting goods and generally having a good nose, but the minute you show any interest in any of the wares, you end up being hassled. And the traders will try and sell the goods at a silly price, so go in at one-third of what they ask and hopefully you'll meet in the middle.

FRIENDLY 'GUIDES' - On the first day, a chap zoomed up to us on his moped and said he recognized us from our hotel. So as not to be rude, we shook hands and spoke. This was a mistake. From then on, he was like a limpet, and he ordered us a taxi to the kasbah where obviously he had friends with a herbal pharmacy who tried to rip us off! In the end I gave him 100 Dirhams to leave us alone (about £7), but it was worth it. He even lied to us, saying the souks were closed - and they weren't we later discovered, as they never close! In a way, I am glad I had the experience as it gives me something to remember, but I felt angry that he hoodwinked us.

THE TANNERY - this is worth a look, even though the place stinks. However, again, we had a 'friendly guide' who said we couldn't go round it without one, and at the end wanted 200 Dirhams (about £14). And he took us into the 'cooperative' shop there where again we felt compelled to buy things we didn't want. These guides tend to be your best friend until after you pay them, when they go quiet and disappear like a f*rt in the wind!

BEGGING: There are a lot of beggars in Marrakesh. Each day I gave coins to a seemingly downtrodden person, but don't go giving to everyone otherwise you run out of money.

ANIMAL WELFARE: If you're like me and love animals, you will see some sad sights. There are many stray cats that look like skin and bones, and the donkeys that are used to pull carts look slake with thirst. I also don't like seeing monkeys and snakes being used for shows.

SHORTS: Some travel guides state that because Morocco is a Moslem country, that you should not wear shorts. Don't believe a word of it. Many, many people wear shorts there, including the locals!!

Visited May 2015
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Appleby-in-Westmorland, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“amazing busy square”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

allsorts of stands and restaurants here, amazing at night as it gets very busy with food stands and people, what an atmosphere!

Visited May 2015
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Assisi, Italy
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“the only place in Morocco that disappointed me”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

Marrakech is an amazing city and out of the ordinary, monuments and palaces to visit are beautiful and a must see. Very characteristic are the souks although we owr best buys, in terms of quality and price, were actually outside the Medina, in the new town, or on the way to the Atlas.
The Moroccan people that we got to know during the trip was friendly and courteous and we spent beautifull days.
We obviously made a couple of visits at the famous square of Marrakech, Djemaa el Fna, and we really surprised in a negative sense that this square was so praised by previous reviews and by travel stories. Even more we were surprised that this place enjoys the attention of UNESCO. If there was something traditional in this square I'm sure now it losts everything, it is more a concentration of swindlers and underhanded street vendors. I suggests definitely a step in the square to get to know all of Marrakech, but do not buy from people that animate it; I think it's the only place in Morocco that until now I have been disappointed in terms of discomfort and brutality of the people I met.

Visited May 2015
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Ramsgate, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Carefully..”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

Jemaa el Fna is the heart of Marrakesh, no doubt! It is amazing! But be careful to refuse anything you are not ready to pay for. Even if you just want to look at the amazing snake charmers or monkeys there is a great chance that you`ll have to pay for it.
Like my friend wanted to take a picture with snake.. He went to a charmer and asked how much it would cost, but the man just put snake on his shoulders and took him to where more snakes were.. I started to take pictures with them. In a short while I felt snake on my shoulders as well and even though I immediately told him to take it off, it wouldn`t help.. After that we were both asked to pay for it and as I refused the snake charmer just squeezed the snake tighter around my neck! I said ok, I will pay just take it off, but I didn`t and the man was angry. He asked, I think, for about 80 euros from my friend and from me, but we ended up paying him 20 or 30 and even than the angry charmer was shouting as we walked away.. So my advice would be enjoy the market, but keep your eyes open and say "No" before it is too late :)

Visited January 2015
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