On the south side of the main square there is a concentration of banks most of which have ATM machines.  One of the best known is the French owned Societe Generale on the main Bab Agnou shopping street.  Alternatively  walk  in the direction of the Koutoubia mosque to the adjacent Rue Moulay Ismail

A long established family business this is the largest and best carpet shop in Marrakech located opposite the Ben Yussef fountain behind the Ben Yussef Mosque.

Shopping here is a pleasant and relaxing experience. You will be stunned at the Aladinns cave behind this modest front door. Most carpets are labelled with a price (turn over the corner to see the ticket). Our App users benefit from a 10% discount on presentation of the rewards page.

Larger items can be shipped anywhere in the world.

Dar Habiba or Riad Papillon will be your home for a three night culture break.  Just ten minutes walk from the drama and chaos of the Jemaa al Fnaa Square you could hardly believe the oasis of calm provided by the Riad courtyard. Great Value at £199 (Euros 239) per person.

Explore the fabulous souks with a personal guide, visit monuments and museums, a real highlight will be the opportunity to see Marrakech form a horse and carriage.

The Culture Break includes:

*  Three nights sharing a double or twin bed Luxury Riad room with en suite shower.

*  Arrival and departure transfers from Marrakech Airport.

*  Delicious and healthy arrival evening dinner, suggested menu: seasonal moroccan salads;  lamb tagine; followed by fresh fruit.

*  Your room equipped with fine cotton sheets, towels and bathrobes, room safe, hairdryer, and airconditioning.

*  Fantastic Moroccan breakfasts served at the time of your choice.

*   Full use of the Riad facilities including the stunning roof terracelounge,  and traditional Riad Courtyard with dipping pool.

*  Complimentary Mint tea throughout your stay.

*  A morning walking tour with a registered Marrakech guide

*  A morning Tour by horse and carriage, following the ramparts of the walled mediaeval city with stops at palaces and gardens.

*  The loan of a local pay as you go phone for the duration of your stay (one per room).

*  The support of our Riad staff providing a complete concierge service.

Optional extras:

+  Extra night £40 (Euros 48) per person.

+  Add a one day private excursion (8 am to 7pm) to the charming fishing port of Essaouria £50 per person (Euros 60). Lunch not included.

Not included:

–  Flights

–   Travel Insurance

–  Other drinks and meals, items from the minibar etc.

Our Culture breaks are popular throughout the year, make contact today to secure your preferred travel dates.

Enjoy one of the best tasting menus in Marrakech in a relaxed atmosphere either in the spacious dining room or at a table by the pool.

Try the cous cous which is among the best in Morocco.

Visit Bennina shoes early in your stay and  you can leave with a pair of hand made shoes a bargain at just 400 dirham (about £32).  Three days in normally enough but be sure to check when you order.

A variety of modern styles are available all hand made from Moroccan leather and suede. Every pair is unique.

The Bennina shoes shop is located at 94 rue Dar El Bashah near to the well known Pashah’s Palace.

Keep It Secret!

Not such a well kept secret these days is the KIS boutique on Mouassine not far from the main square.  Clothes, accessories, bags, toiletries and household items from contemporary Moroccan and international designers.

There is a small Cafe on the roof terrace.

Among the traders in central medina district near the Sidi Abdelaziz shrine you will find English expat Jo from Essex and her wonderful boutique Rock the Casbah.

Bags scarves bracelets postcards and a variety of distinctive souvenirs. Look out for the donkey!

Some of the most amusing and remarkable characters in the Medina are the Taureg traders who offer tinkets and jewelry as well as art and antiquities.

One of our favourites is the charming Abdou (to the right) who will always offer a mint tea and smile, whether or not you buy from the shop on Riad Zitoun street.

Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Marrakech. Located inside English owned Riad mk in the L’Ksour district of the Medina.  A fusion of Moroccan and modern french cuisine, five course tasting menu at 650 Dirhams.   Chef Omar visits each table at the end of the evening which is a nice touch.

Classic family owned restaurant, serving a wonderful multi- course Moroccan banquet. Go early and go hungry.

The ‘all inclusive’ format provides for an apperatif on the roof terrace then an evening of fabulous food and entertainment with wine included. You will love the gnawi musicians and belley dancers.  The tea ceremony at the end of the evening is another particular favourite.

Located opposite the well known Dar El Bashah Palace.

Il lomoni, or to give its full title, il giardino dei limoni,  the lemon garden was newly opened in 2013.  Classic Italian with the attentive owners usually on the premises.  The bohemian atmosphere is set with a Bob Dylan poster in the lobby and continues throughout.

Simple high quality food well presented and reasonably priced.  Try the ravioli limoni with a light lemon sauce. Desserts are also a speciality

Panoramic restaurant located just off the main Jema al Fnaa square, one of the classic Marrakech  ‘dinner and show’ venues.

Moroccan owned with a upscale traditional Moroccan menu, great atmosphere enlivened by a pianist and belly dancers.

Fabulous, Italian owned and run and without doubt one of the top restaurants in Marrakech.  Set in a spacious and beautifully designed Riad courtyard, perfect for any special occasion.

Gourmet food and outstanding service are the hallmarks of this restaurant.  Not surprisingly classic Italian dishes feature heavily on the menu, there are also Moroccan favourites and seasonal specials.


Kosy Bar is a Marrakech institution.  Unrivalled views from the two stunning roof terraces which overlook a lively square.  Glance across to the Storks nesting on the walls of the nearby ruined palace.  This is probably the best place in Marrakech for a ‘sundowner’ and an eternal favourite for a drink or a meal.

The menu includes Moroccan classics as well as international dishes including fabulous sushi.


Les Perles des princes is one of the best places in Marrakech from which to buy gold and silver jewelry. Conveniently located on L’avenue des princes, adjacent to the djema el fnaa square, you can find a small collection of shiny shops which sell rings, wedding bands, ear rings, bracelets and many more Moroccan and Berber jewels. It is also just a short walk from our traditional dar habiba. Even if you do not plan on buying gold or silver it may worth just going in, you never know what you may find.

Marrakech is a a city of great contrast, fantastic colours and unforgettable smells so make sure is next on your “must see destination” list and book you stay today!

Close to habiba on the way to pepe nero restaurant jamade boutique  is a great place from where to buy nice jewelry, handbags and many other small items, most of which would fit your hand luggage. Although it has  an European look, this cute little shop still have that Moroccan feel to it…but you can’t haggle here.

Mostapha blaoui owns and runs a traditional bazaar located behind an unmarked door in the dar el basha area few steps from the charity project henna cafe.

Here you can buy carpets, lamps, leather and art items, mostly manufactured within the local area. It is a great place especially if you are an inexperienced haggler or just want to get away from the beautiful madness of the Marrakech souks. You will not come out empty handed…


Several small vehicles lined up along the corners of the square each evening, they present a myriad of forms of traditional cakes and Moroccan sweets both home-made and the product of specialist bakeries.

Many of these cakes are holidays specialities and all are best accompanied by tea.  They contain sugars, spices, honey, chocolate, Sugar, Fruit and Other as well as flour, starches, almonds dry fruits and other nuts.

Famous varieties include: ‘Fakkas’ meaning hatcher, ‘Ghriba’ meaning strange, ‘keab ghzal’ meaning Gazelles horn.

A mixed assortment typically costs around 30 dirhams (around UK £2.50) and the quality is generally very high with the mobile stalls subject to food hygiene inspections.

The perfect dessert after your barbecue dinner!

Destination restaurant in the new town of Guiliez.  Serves both Moroccan and European food.  Distinctive decor, a favourite among expats in the know.

Magical atmosphere on busy evenings often featuring a pianist and Jazz singer.

With so many beautiful artifacts to see, the Dar Si Said Museum is maybe worth the detour. Less well laid out than the nearby Tiskiwin museum, the displays comprise Carpets, jewellery, daggars, ottomans, chests, leather crafts, objects in beaten copper, weapons and Berber jewellery. The painted wood ceilings, mosaic-covered walls and wooden doors are particularly impressive.


Location: Riad Zitoun el Jadid Medina Marrakech
Opening Times: Open every day except Tuesday from 9h to 12h15 and from 15h to 18h15
Entrance fee: Adult 20 dh / Children under 12 year : 5 dh

Kui zin is a simple and delightful cafe restaurant established in 2013 and currently not licensed for alcohol.  Located near the the Sidi Abdelaiz shrine in the centre of Marakech. The name is a play on words.  TheFrench cuisine meaning kitchen and the Moroccan arabic zin meaning attractive or good.

Chef Kenza produces mainly traditional Moroccan food to a high standard at reasonable prices.  Excellent bread is baked daily on the premises.  The menu is more extensive than most medina cafes extending to pizza lasagna and European style salads.

The staff are friendly and welcoming with the owners, a charming Moroccan couple, normally on the premises.

Budget airline Easyjet have added a convenient new flight from Bristol to Marrakech.

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!

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

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.

View from cafe de France

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.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» 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.

Mint sellers

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.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

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.

Grand Balcon Sign

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.

Grand Balcon View

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. 


Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

Poste Maroc

On the south-western side of the central square of Jemaa al-Fnaa you will discover a large post office (Poste Maroc).

Sending a postcard or letter is usually cheap, but in Morocco it is especially so. For less than 10 Dirham (around 70p) you can send a postcard to anywhere in Europe. The yellow post boxes are also found out of the front of the building; a top tip from us is that there is no international postbox, so no confusion.

post boxes

Jemaa al-Fnaa is the beating heart of the Marrakech Medina and is but a 10 minute stroll from the newly opened luxury Riad Star. 

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

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