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sightseeing, shopping & cooking
A lovely restaurant in the same area as the 4 and 5 star hotels. Lovely Moroccan decor; music and belly dancing after 1030. You have to book, would suggest for 9 ish. Costs £25 per head, not a huge menu but a mix of Moroccan and some international food.
Kasbah area, near Saadien tombs. Owned by a Venetian antique collector, so do ask to pop upstairs and have a look at the pictures and furniture he has collected. 2 fixed menus on offer for £20 pp, one Italian, one Moroccan. Musicians play in the background.
A superb overview of the city and a tanned face can be achieved for £8! Stops at major tourist sites and ticket is valid for 24 hours for hop on/off with buses every 30 mins.
Excellent fun, though not cheap. Bought this as mum's birthday present for about £45 per head (cheaper of there's more than two of you). Posh hotel runs its own cookery school on the outskirts of town, which they take you to for 1/2 day. Cookery school in beautiful grounds with olive trees and herb gardens and the local cooking you do is great fun.
Shopping in the souks is exciting, but a little nerve-wracking to start with. Ask price of an item, offer 1/4 to 1/3 of the price and expect to pay between 1/3 and 1/2. For cleaner, sometimes better quality items and to be able to have a good look at local crafts without being hassled by traders, take yourself to one of the government controlled fixed price enromous shops called l'ensemble d'artisanes. There's one a few hundred yards along the road from the Saadien tombs and its air conditioned and pleasant.
This is delicious in hotels, bars and cafes. You can buy it from the traders on the main square marketplace, but I'm not sure how clean their glasses are!
The main square is great fun with acrobats, snake charmers etc. Felt really safe and great fun to wander around or to sit at cafe at the edge of it.
These gardens are owned by Yves Saint Laurent and well worth a visit. Not v big, a walk round takes about 30 mins. There is also a small museum of Islamic art.
Local traders at every shop/stall will ask you to come and look. They are good natured and if you are able to say no in French (non, merci) and wish them a good day (bon journee) they let you go much quicker!
Several people have asked where I stayed. I cannot speak highly enough of the riad jonan, in the nice Kasbah old part of town. It's almost opposite the Saadian tombs and a 5-10 min walk to the main square. It's run by English people and v nice. I would recommend one of their larger rooms (there are 5 rooms altogether), as we stayed in Saafi which is quite small. Please read my review of riad jonan.