MARRAKECH HALAL-FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS

RECOMMENDED PROPERTIES IN MARRAKECH

Halal-friendly City Breaks in Marrakesh

 

Five reasons why Marrakesh is perfect for a halal city break

  1. Enchanting medina
  2. Choice of halal-friendly accommodation
  3. Delicious halal food
  4. Shopping in the souks
  5. Relaxing hammam spas

The Enchanting Medina of Marrakesh

 
The Medina is an atmospheric, walled, medieval city in the very heart of Marrakesh. One of its best-known attractions is the square of Jemaa el-Fnaa, which really comes to life after sunset, when it fills with street entertainers, stalls selling delicious street food and, of course, the famous snake-charmers.

It is a maze of narrow streets, which is a fascinating place to explore. Peruse the stalls in the souk, or stop and get something to eat. Try one of the places with a view over the square. Many of the more traditional restaurants in the medina do not serve alcohol and all food is halal.

If you want to stay in the medina itself then HalalBooking offers a choice of riad style hotels, which are an excellent choice for Muslim families. They are authentic, family-run properties, many of which have their own small swimming pool. The vast majority do not serve alcohol, and some can be hired entirely for the use of your family group, ensuring complete privacy.

Choice of Halal-friendly accommodation - where to stay in Marrakesh

  • Halal-friendly Resort Hotels in Marrakesh

HalalBooking offers a wide choice of accommodation in Marrakesh. Choose from halal-friendly resorts such as Le Vizir Center Park & Resort, which has a dedicated outdoor pool for ladies only or Mogador Palace Agdal. Both resort hotels have dedicated spa facilities for men only and women only.

  • Halal-friendly Riads in Marrakesh

Another great option for a Marrakesh halal city break is to stay in a riad style hotel. These are traditional mansions, mostly located within the historic medina of Marrakesh, which have been converted to small boutique hotels. They are built around a central courtyard – in fact the name ‘riad’ means garden – and many have a small swimming pool in the courtyard. They are usually family-run and the vast majority do not serve alcohol. It is possible to book an entire riad for your own family group, ensuring complete privacy.

  • Halal villas in Marrakesh

Those who want the freedom of self-catering and a private space for their own family group, may want to consider HalalBooking’s villas. They range from luxury properties such as the highly-rated Villa Koutoubia right through to those fitting more modest budgets. It is easy to buy halal food in Marrakesh and some of the local supermarket chains, such as Marjane and Acima are alcohol-free.

Enjoying Delicious Halal Food in Marrakesh

 
Muslim visitors to Marrakesh will be reassured to find that all food is halal. It is also relatively easy to find halal restaurants which do not serve alcohol, especially if you stick to restaurants in the medina, and avoid those which target tourists.

Two of the halal restaurants in Marrakesh medina, which are alcohol-free and have a good reputation are Nomad and Naranj, which serve a delicious selection of local dishes.

Don’t miss these great halal dishes in Marrakesh:

  • Tagines – made from chicken, lamb or fish these tasty stews are a staple of Moroccan cuisine.
  • Couscous – this delicate wheat pasta is a great accompaniment to tagine.
  • Chebakia – this mouth-watering sweet treat is flavoured with sesame and coated in sticky syrup.
  • Snail soup – this may be an acquired taste but this spicy broth is very popular on the streets of Marrakesh.
  • B’stilla – flaky pastry topped with icing sugar and filled with pigeon or chicken.

What do people drink in Marrakesh?

  • Mint Tea – fresh mint tea is extremely refreshing and often drunk to accompany meals
  • Freshly-squeezed orange juice – Morocco is famous for its oranges, so it’s not surprising that you can find stalls selling freshly-squeezed orange juice all over Marrakesh, including on the popular Jemaa el-Fnaa square

Shopping in the Souks of Marrakesh

Shopping is always a big part of any halal holiday, whether it’s finding souvenirs to take home, or looking for presents for the family.

Marrakesh is renowned for its bustling souk, with hundreds of stalls sharing different wares. Get ready to barter and enjoy the experience. You may be lucky enough to be offered a glass of mint tea to accompany the deal!

What to buy in the souk in Marrakesh:

  • Leather slippers – known as ‘babouche’ or ‘belgha’ – these brightly coloured traditional Berber slippers are made from very soft leather and great for wearing around the house.

  • Head scarves – you can find some beautiful scarves and pashminas, made from silk or cashmere – don’t forget to bargain to get the best price.

  • Djellabas – traditional Moroccan dress for both men and women makes a great cover-up. You can buy them in many different materials, colours and patterns – beautiful!

  • Ceramics – traditional ceramics and pottery is brightly-painted with beautiful patterns and is perfect for brightening up your home

  • Lanterns – elaborate Moroccan lanterns decorated with brightly coloured glass, are the perfect way to bring back a taste of Marrakesh to your house or garden.

Relaxing in the Hammam

 
Enjoying a traditional Moroccan hammam is a great way to relax during your trip to Marrakesh.

The experience usually consists of a number of different stages – a steam bath to open the pores, followed by lathering with the traditional black soap, made from olive oil, sometimes combined with a massage. Next comes the scrubbing with the ‘kessa’ mitten to remove dead skin, and finally washing with cold water.

To enjoy a local hammam experience, visit the Hammam Dar el Bacha in the medina of Marrakesh. It is open to men and women separately at different times of the day – men in the morning and women in the afternoon and early evening.

At the other end of the scale, is the Royal Mansour, a sumptuous spa, beloved of the rich and famous which is spread over three floors. There are separate hammam sections for men and women or for complete privacy rent a private hammam suite and choose from a range of treatments.

The Fascinating History of Marrakesh

 
Marrakesh is one of Morocco’s four Imperial cities along with Meknes, Fez and Rabat. In fact, it is from the city of Marrakesh that the country of Morocco takes its name. Marrakesh was first founded around 1070 by the Almoravids, although Berbers had been living here since Neolithic times. It became their capital and also served as the imperial capital city of the Almohad Caliphate from 1147. It was during this period that some of its most impressive buildings were constructed, in their unique architectural style featuring domes and arches. In 1269, when the capital relocated to Fez, Marrakesh remained the regional capital of the south of Morocco. It enjoyed a period of resurgence in the 16th century under the Saadian sultans, who built palaces such as El Badi Palace.

Until 1867 Europeans could only enter the city of Marrakesh with permission from the Sultan. In 1912, Marrakesh was taken by the French, when they colonised Morocco, and it remained French until Morocco gained its independence in 1956. Guéliz is the area of the city, where the French influence can most be seen, in its wide boulevards. Of course, the colonial influence can also be seen in the fact that French is widely spoken throughout Morocco.

Marrakesh is a fascinating treasure trove of ancient monuments, historic remains and beautiful gardens – the perfect place to explore on a short break.

Sightseeing in Marrakesh

 
These are the top sights for Muslim tourists to visit during a Marrakesh city break:

  1. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square
  2. Jardin Majorelle
  3. Koutoubia Mosque
  4. Saadian Tombs
  5. Bahia Palace

Jemaa el-Fnaa Square

This famous Marrakesh square is the place to take an evening promenade. It is an atmospheric experience to mingle with the street entertainers, snake-charmers and browse the stalls selling everything from freshly-squeezed orange juice to snail soup and sheep’s heads.

Jardin Majorelle

This luscious oasis of calm is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was the life’s work of French designer Jacques Majorelle, who filled it with over 300 different plant species. It is a great place to wander along pretty paths amongst lush greenery, discovering rare flowers and trees and unusual water features as you go.

Koutoubia (Kutubiyya) Mosque

The minaret of this impressive 12th century mosque, rises above the roofs of Marrakech. It is built from gigantic blocks of distinctive red stone and reaches a height of 77 metres.

Saadian Tombs

These elaborately decorated tombs are part of the Kasbah Mosque complex. They are the mausoleum of the sultans of the Saadian dynasty, dating back to the 16th century, and are famous for their intricate marble, cedar wood carvings and stucco work.

Bahia Palace

This splendid palace was built in the late 19th century and is set in two acres of beautiful gardens. Its name, fittingly, means ‘brilliance’ and it is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture

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