From December 14th 2013 the service will operate on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
When you arrive our Riads in Marrakech provide the perfect base from which to explore the Red City.
If you stroll through the winding streets nearby Rue Riad Zitoun el Kdim and the Riad Dar Habiba, you may be lucky enough to spot Hamza.
Hamza is a street cleaner by his daily trade, however he also has a burning passion for the dance moves inspired by Charlie Chaplin!
He’s somewhat of a celebrity among the locals in this sleepy residential area and I was lucky enough to get this one-off show!
Conveniently located on the eastern side of Jemaa al-Fnaa you will discover Café du France. Unlike the quaint café’s that you will find are scattered throughout the Medina, Café du France is a spacious, multiple floored café-restaurant that is seeped in character and history.
Café de France bears many similarities to Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier, a likewise establishment just a few minutes walk across the square. Both locations are widely known by locals, so if you are travelling to the red city of Marrakech in a large group they make for ideal meeting locations.
As it is with Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier, perhaps the best time to visit is as the sun is setting over the red city. You can enjoy a traditional Moroccan tajine or go for a slightly more European selection and enjoy an Italian pizza for around 60 Dirhams (£4.48), all whilst watching central hub of Marrakech come alive as musicians, performers and open air
stalls flood into this ancient space. The eclectic mix of tourists and locals that frequent Café de France makes for a very interesting atmosphere. If you send an hour here enjoying a mid day coffee and seeking some respite from the intense Moroccan sun you are likely to hear a flurry of North African and European languages. Café de France is used by many people as a meeting point and as a result the atmosphere inside nearly always seems alive with energy. The Café is but walking distance from the newly opened Riad Star in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. » Explore the Jemaa al Fnaa Map
Scattered throughout the Medina you will see the many mint salesmen going about their daily trade. Mint is an absolutely key staple in Moroccan society, used in marinades for a variety of dishes and of course in the traditional mint tea.
And the central hub of the red city is of course no exception to this. In the north-western area of Jemaa al-Fnaa on the tip of Rue de la Koutoubia you will discover a congregation of salesmen all specialising in the mint trade.
For around 50 Dirhams (£3.73) you can pick up a bag of dry Moroccan mint leaves to take back home with you. This is a commodity that’s truly unique to this corner of the world and there are a myriad of different culinary uses for this intensely flavoursome ingredient.
However after trying a couple of glasses of Moroccan mint tea for yourself, the only thing you’ll be wanting to do with it is to use it to make your own! Read our mint recipe here for all the relevant information.
Perched on the southern corner of Jemaa al-Fnaa, just off Rue Riad Zitoun Kdim you will find Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier.
Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier is one of two café-restaurants that due to their larger than average size have a distinct prominence within the central square of the red city. No matter where you are standing in Jemaa al-Fnaa, you will usually be able to see the decorated signs of Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier or the Hotel Restaurant Café du France (the second of the two establishments) through the jostling crowds of the square.
At Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier you will discover a selection of traditional Moroccan refreshments. During the day this venue is ideal for enjoying a glass of mint tea, which at 20 Dirhams (£1.49) isn’t the cheapest that’s on offer within the confines of Jemaa al-Fnaa. However the unique ambiance of this grand café-restaurant with it’s towering, high ceilings and original Moroccan design makes it more than worthwhile.
It is perhaps in the night that the Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier shows its most magnificent colours. If you traverse through the downstairs foyer of Le Grand Balcon and climb to the establishments roof you will discover a long, stretching terrace that is bustling with tourists and locals alike, taking photos of the food stalls being set up and generally absorbing the splendour of the square.
As the Marrakshi sun begins to set this is the ideal time to try a bottle of Hawai soft drink, at 15 Dirhams (£1.12) it again isn’t the cheapest drink you will find in the square. Yet atop the roof terrace there is nothing quite as refreshing as enjoying a bottle of it and observing newcomers to the red city watch in wonderment as the musicians, magicians and acrobats pour out into the ancient space of Jemaa al-Fnaa to perform for the passers by.
Le Grand Balcon leaves its doors open right through the late evening and is but walking distance from the luxury Riad Habiba.