Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Djemaa el-Fna

What it lacks in beauty, the large town square of Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna (Square of the Dead) makes up for in pulsating liveliness that belies its name. Every day the square is a colourful circus of performing artists where snake charmers, musicians, storytellers and healers vie with each other to be noticed by the milling crowds; every evening food stalls take over and the competition is fierce among them for the passing trade, offering anything from boiled snails and sheep's heads to thick vegetable soup, kebabs or fresh salads. Freshly squeezed orange juice stalls stand side by side encircling the market and offer a refreshing drink both day and night. The square is a fascinating place to sit awhile at one of the surrounding cafes, watching the swirling parade. The square is also the gateway to the souks (bazaars) of Marrakech, tucked away in the surrounding labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys. It is easy to lose your way, but well worth exploring the plethora of craftsmen offering their wares. Bargain for anything from water mugs and dates to exotic Moroccan carpets. The souks are also well shaded from the searing Moroccan sun and therefore provide a respite from the heat.


Language
Arabic is the official language, but eight other languages are also spoken including Berber, French and Spanish. English is generally understood in the tourist areas, but French is the most widely spoken.
Money

The unit of currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), which is divided into 100 centimes. ATMs are available in the larger towns, but can be unreliable; currency can be exchanged at banks or official bureaux de changes, which are also widespread in major towns. Dirhams cannot be obtained or exchanged outside Morocco and receipts must be retained as proof of legal currency exchange, as well as in order to re-exchange money when departing. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops, hotels and restaurants. Travellers cheques can be used in tourist areas, but are not prevalent; they are best taken in Euros or Pounds Stirling.


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