During your visit to Morocco you will discover Marrakech’s central square (Jemaa al-Fnaa) to be a sensory overload of sight, taste and sound whether you visit at night or at day.

From the stalls selling fresh orange juice to the open air cooking stands that appear once the sun begins to set over the red city, there is always something new to be found in this ancient space.

One stall that you might hear before you see however, are the various CD sellers that are scattered about Jemaa al-Fnaa. As well as selling a variety of local music that’s impossible to buy hard copies of in Europe, come night and day they will be setting the rhythm of the square, filling the air with the sounds of Gnawa and the Arab world.

After working with a team of international journalists and DJ’s on a radio station in Oslo, Norway I’ve become keen to find new and interesting sounds that don’t make it onto the airwaves in the British Isles.

So after approaching one of the stalls I was delighted when the stall owner, whose name was Jalid came over to tell me more about the types of music the stalls collect. Jalid informs me that the stall collects Western sounds as well as Arabic, Berber, Gnawa and traditional Arabic music from artist’s hailing from all over North Africa.

Jalid goes on to tell me that in the 5 years he has been working in Jemaa al-Fnaa he has developed a love for house music. So after a long week’s work Jalid and his friends exchange the timeless traditional characteristics of the Marrakech Medina for the bright lights and modern bustle of the new town of Guiliez, in search of discos and contemporary music.

During your stay in Marrakech, strike up conversation with one of the many music salesmen scattered through the city square, they will be delighted to hear you take an interest in the native sounds of North Africa. They will also be more than happy to recommend an artist for you and a CD from a local musician makes for an eye opening gift for a friend back home.

Finally, don’t be too shy to recommend some music from your own corner of the world to the salesmen themselves! Music is their passion and they will only thank you for it. Jemaa al-Fnaa is the beating heart of the red city of Marrakech and is only a 10 minute walk from the luxury Riad Star.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

The best way to experience the Old Town Medina of Marrakesh is to stay in a Riad. Marrakesh is an ancient caravan trading post in Morocco, historically the meeting point between Europe and sub Sahaaran Africa. Now one of the hottest destinations for a weekend, short break, or holiday, a variety of hotels, hostels, villas, guest houses and maison d’hotes are on offer in Marrakesh. The first thing that sets the Riad Marrakesh experience apart is the location of your accommodation in the heart of the ancient Medina now a UNESCO world heritage site. The second is the stunning architecture of the Riad itself and the third is the wonderful welcome of your Riad Marrakesh staff.

The present layout of Marrakesh, known as the Red City, was established in the eleventh century. The ancient Medina is constantly evolving but retains its distinctive flavour and character. Our Guide to Marrakesh is regularly updated and offers the visitor a fantastic resource also covering the new town of Guiliez and popular excursions such at the Atlas and Essaouira.

We offer guests the choice of two recently renovated luxury Riads. Beautifully decorated and exquisitely furnished they are your oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the Souks. Visit our Riad Marrakesh homepage, look more closely at our boutique riad hotels then make your reservation!

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