Hamman in Marrakech recommended
Hamman in Marrakech recommended ,Before walking out the door of our riad we had a change of plans. We felt like going to the hamman. I had a couple of them pointed and after asking Karim, the receptionist, we decided on the Hamman Les Bains de Azahara. It is highly recommended and we say this with full knowledge of the facts, as I – Angela – worked in this sector for 15 years. It is located in the Zouhra Derb Ezzaouiya Zouhra No. 1 in the Rmila neighborhood. Morocco Tours 5 Days
A woman who spoke Spanish welcomed us kindly. As we arrived early in the morning (at 10 am) we were lucky and they took us despite not having a reservation. Otherwise, our plan b was to book for later and in the meantime go to see the Ben Youssef Madrasa and the Moroccan Museum, but it was not necessary.
They did not explain the treatments to us because I had already seen them on the hamman’s website. So we indicated that we wanted to do the pack that they have on offer every day from 10 am to 2 pm consisting of hamman + foot massage + 1 hour body massage + tea. You don’t need anything to go. They give you flip-flops, disposable underwear, soap and a bathrobe. Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm every day of the year. Price 400 dirhams/person during the offer time. Consult their website
But what is a hammam?
To begin we leave our things in a locker and go to the hammam area. It is a dark room with steam, very similar to a Turkish bath. It has 2 heated marble benches and a pool of water. After we lay down on the benches a woman dipped us with a dipper and then applied a soap that she left on for a few minutes. Then she rubbed us with a horsehair glove (which is personal and they give it to you in a bag to take with you). After a few minutes, she applied a nice smelling soap again, washed our hair and left us with our feet in a bucket of cold water. After a while we took a shower and went to a relaxation area with skin softer than a baby’s. Morocco Tours 8 days
When we came out of the intense heat of the hammam we were a bit dizzy. We were immediately offered a tea to drink while we had a foot massage of about 5 minutes. It is very gentle. We came to the conclusion that it is simply to wait a few minutes for the body to recompose itself. When we finished we were as fresh as a daisy and went upstairs for the massage -we did it as a couple as well. In this case Jose had a relaxing massage and I tried the Moroccan massage. It is a strong massage, but still relaxing.
We really enjoyed this very typical experience and we definitely recommend this hamman in Marrakech if you like «Salute Per Acqua» as much as we do. It is not only because of the price, but also because they were kind, they kept the time perfectly, they worked very well and for us, very important, everything was very clean!
We visited the most authentic district of the city…
To get there we went through a neighborhood that captivated us because it is not touristy. It is 100% for Moroccans. In Rmila we found traditional barbers, appliance stores, grocery stores, construction stores … etc.. Something that caught our attention is that they had tiled sidewalks and wide streets. In contrast, in the Medina you have to be careful not to put your feet in a gap. So they are more curious about what they use than what tourists go to see. If you want to buy djellabas, buy them in this area, the prices have nothing to do with those of the old city. viajes a Marrakech
Leaving the hammam we crossed our favorite neighborhood to get to what would have been our Plan B. In just 10 minutes walk we arrived at the Museum of Marrakech following the directions of the Gps. It is located in the same square as the Ben Youssef Madrasa. It is the only place that left a slightly bad taste in our mouth, although the building itself is beautiful.
It is a palace where Mehdi Mnebbi, Minister of Defense of the nineteenth century, lived. The typical Moorish architecture is amazing. The ceiling, chandeliers, windows, even a collection of oil paintings is wonderful. Tours en Marruecos
But then you get to the showcases where Berber jewelry, clothing, weapons and the one that does not have 15,000 fingerprints on the glass, has melted bulbs and otherwise a layer of dirt with sill.
This museum is open since 1997 when it was bought by the Omar Benjelloun foundation to rehabilitate it. Before that year the palace was first housing and then the women’s college of Marrakech. Today just past the door there is a small cafeteria from where you access the main courtyard. Fortunately, after our visit they have conditioned it a little. Hours: from 9 am to 6.30 pm.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Perhaps this is the place we liked the most next to the Bahia Palace. You will probably also see it written as Medersa, but the important thing is to know what it is. A madrasa or medersa is a Muslim school where the Koran is taught. The one in Ben Youssef was made for the children who went to the nearby mosque to study, which is also called that. It is really big, the largest in Morocco. It follows the traditional architecture and all the rooms are distributed around the central courtyard.
To us they seemed more like dungeons than rooms. Small, many of them shady or without windows. Others did not, others had views. We imagine that like everything in this life, it depends on the family you belonged to.
What is truly marvelous is that patio covered with colorful tiles. Seeing it in its day with the fountain working must have been amazing. Every single detail is stunning, from the tiles to the carved cedar wood on the ceilings and windows. This place is best seen early in the morning to avoid groups of people arriving in waves after 11:00 am. Hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Eating at Le Jardin, another must
Le Jardin is an oasis in the middle of the Medina. It is all so reddish that seeing shades of green is appreciated. It is amazing what the narrow alleys hide, you would never say that behind that wall hides such an orchard.
They have a varied menu and normal prices. We ordered a Nicoise salad that was super good and a hamburger. It had to be said that it was a bit small and not very good, so it was better to order something else. Jose ended up eating my salad, which was a big one. The dishes and a large water were 219 dirhams. Opening hours; from 11am to 11pm every day.
Moorish tea in the heart of the craftsmen’s souk.
We were walking through the souk of artisans and we saw a very high rooftop that seemed a good place to have tea. It is the Kafe Fnaque Berbere. It is a restaurant a bit peculiar because it is very narrow and has a somewhat strange distribution. To go up to the rooftop you go through the kitchen, but that made us notice how good everything they were preparing looked and we wrote it down to eat another day.
We went up to the terrace from where we had good views and enjoyed a tea with Moroccan pastries, in the sun and peace. From up there you can’t see the chaos or the murmur of the crowd. It was a very welcome break without a doubt. In addition, the prices were very cheap. Here is a photo for you to take a look. Opening hours: from 9 am to 9 pm every day. Price for 2 teas with Moroccan pastries 50 dirhams.
Strolling through the souk of Marrakech
We stroll for the umpteenth time through its streets. The sellers do not even bother to see us, they know that we are impassive to their commercial tricks. What we don’t know yet is how they know we are Spanish if we go quietly and don’t say a word. There is everything you can imagine. As in any bazaar, there are usually specific areas of X products. And that makes one street full of lanterns -I would buy them all-, in another one the jewelry stores and so on. Then there are those who do not have any order, and you have to see it!
We are so used to the excess of codes and norms here, that to be able to see how everything is mixed and works perfectly is a slap in the face. Nothing happens because you see a stall selling clothes followed by a butcher’s shop with chickens hanging from the awning, followed by a motorcycle shop burning oil. Nothing happens at all! Can you imagine the same here? There are not enough complaint forms in this world.
On the way to the souk from the Madrasa you pass through a street where this marvel is located. I confess that we passed by there on different days and each of them I took the photo. I hoped that the soul that was trapped in that beautiful wooden door would have moved even a little.
The juices of the Yamma el Fna Square
In the Yamaa el Fna square nothing else, but all the juice stalls you want. They all call out to you telling you that they have the best fruit juice in the square. We tried several and all are similar, but for the best. They are the best fruit juices we have had so far. But you can already see the fruit on the carts, it can’t look any better. The juices in the square cost 4 dirhams a glass.
After the souk walk we felt like sitting down and just people watching. We already said that this was an enjoyable trip, no rush. We opted to have a juice at the Aqua restaurant pizzeria. They also have a terrace but we chose to be downstairs to see it from another perspective. It is close to Café France. The prices are much higher than the juices at the street stalls, but it is a bar. Each tasty juice costs 30 dirhams.
Sunset from the rooftop of Café France.
On previous nights we chose to go to dinner shows to enjoy traditional Moroccan music and dance. This time, we were going to dine in the center of the Yamma El Fna Square. For that reason, we stayed in the area to watch the sunset from one of the most popular rooftops in Marrakech.
Café France has several terraces at different heights. Obviously the top floor is the most sought after and it is hard to find a table. We were lucky and we had 2 soft drinks while the night was falling completely. There was a moment when the moon rested over the Koutubia Mosque, what a pity we didn’t have a super lens to photograph that moment! The 2 soft drinks were more expensive than the day before at Cafe Glacier, but the views are better.
Dinner at the Yamma El Fna Square
For dinner we opted to go to Chez Chegrouni. It is a restaurant overlooking the square. We dined on the second floor balcony with great views. They have a menu in Spanish and the waiters are very nice. But beware, you can’t pay with a credit card here, only with cash. For dinner we ordered lamb cutlets, beef skewers, a salad and oranges with cinnamon for dessert. All that, plus water and 2 teas with mint cost us 190 dirhams. In other words, it has very cheap prices, in fact, the tea costs 6 dirhams each. Opening hours from 12:00 to 23:00 every day.
After dinner we walked back to our riad, the streets of the Medina fall asleep long before us and it is like visiting a different place. Do not miss what we did the next day, because it was a whim highly recommended if you are going to be several days in the city.