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“Sit and watch the world go by”
Review of Jemaa el-Fnaa

Jemaa el-Fnaa
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Marrakech Day Tour from Essaouira
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Shopping in the Souks of Marrakech Private Tour
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Evening Food Tour in Marrakech
Ranked #18 of 163 things to do in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This is the entrance to the outdoor market and food court of the city center.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Sit and watch the world go by”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

There is a lot to see and experience in Jemaa el Fna and I found the best way to do it was to sit on the terrace of either in Le Grand Balcon or the Cafe de France. If you sit one row back from the front edge of the terrace the beggars and peddlers can't pester you but you have a great view of all that is happening on the square including snake charmers, water sellers, acrobats, henna tattooists etc.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank CapnDarcy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
278 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 299 helpful votes
“Mixed bag really”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

In a way I loved it and in a way I was disappointed by it.

At day it is a collection of snake charmers and monkey merchants with a few dance troupes as well and a continuous ring of fresh juice stalls.
It is certainly a hive of human activity in the day and you can while a way many a pleasant moment people watching from the terraces of the cafes.

The people in the square such as the snake charmers are the entertainers, if you like, if you want to take a photo then expect to pay to be entertained by the snake, or the monkey or the dancer when you take a photograph.

It galled me to see how people reacted when they asked to take a photo and were asked for a coin or two....it is how they earn a living and if you don't want to pay then don't think you can just take a photo up close without some hassle...it's an easy concept. A dirham or two isn't going to break a bank!

Daytime though I was a tad disappointed as it wasn't that full of anything, however night time and this place comes to life in a riot of noise and the smells of many food stalls selling full meals, soups and snails assails your senses.

As you walk up and down the food stalls you will be constantly asked to visit their eatery, it is all good humoured and great fun to see the responses to your I'm full or I've eaten whilst trying to decide which one to eat at.
All the food is freshly brought in and cooked in front of you near enough so the chances of being ill are probably far far far less here than at your hotel buffet.

The musicians start slowly but build up to a crescendo of noise and sounds, all very rhythmic and trance like.

Henna tattoos will be offered everywhere by women sitting down, just be careful as the black henna is chemically laden apparently.

There are a few market stalls selling wares, again haggling works and there are many juice, spice and fruit sellers. The sweet carts offer excellent value.

There are kids who will try to sell you a few toys (the rage was propellers with LED in that float down when we were there) but a polite non merci does the trick.

When you've eaten your fill, when your ear drums are full and your legs walked off then sit down in the Cafe Glacier and watch the crowds mill around in front of you.

So a bit dull in the day but wow what a place at night...if you can visit just once then make it the night but if you can do both then Jemaa el Fna is a must see.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Ollossm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poole, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Dirty and you are hassled”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

The only good thing here is the orange juice sellers but take a straw and always check your change, If you can get any from them that is.

Visited November 2013
Thank Ali S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Best viewed from a cafe rooftop”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

The square is the heart of the medina in Marrakech. It is a bustling street market by day and evolves into a tented eatery by night, plus street entertainment. We viewed the many activities from the Cafe Glacier from late afternoon through to early evening and watched the transition.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank colinr_03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Crazy place”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Visit during the day as well as at night as totally different. Expect to be approached to go the food stalls or into the shops but you can always so no. The square at night is alive with snake charmers, performing monkeys, dancers, henna artists and loads more. It's an experience not to be missed.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Jackijack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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