The highlight of most travelers to Marrakech is the famous square, Jemaa el Fna. Located on the edge of the ancient medina between the souks (markets) and Koutoubia Mosque, the cultural setting comes alive at night. As you walk into the square, the first thing you will encounter is the thousands of people gathered for the evening. To your surprise, you will quickly notice that the majority of them are locals; Moroccans who have come for an evening of entertainment, fun, and food.
The tables are out; the barbeques are going! Each of the stalls is offering a different variety of Moroccan food from grilled meats to Moroccan soup.For those who are brave and want to experience the Real Morocco, have a seat at one of the tables (our favorite is 81) and order something that you will never get in your home country. As you sit and enjoy your food, you will hear strange music coming from the square.
Gather around as the musicians and story tellers give their onlookers a treat. Everything is done in Arabic, so just enjoy with your eyes the diverse cultural entertainment. Occasionally the performers will not perform until they have enough money from the audience; don’t feel pressured to give more than a few dirhams to watch the show. From acrobats to boxing, singers to dancers, and a lot more…enjoy the famous square of Marrakech.Some people prefer to observe this amazing square from a distance. If that is your more your cup of tea, you might want to sit in one of the cafes near the square (like the Argana) and watch the action from the 2nd floor. One word of caution, please watch your wallets in the masses of people as we have heard of a few people being pick pocketed.
Don’t let this scare you…The Jemaa El Fna is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy Moroccan culture. Something like you have never experienced before, the square will open your eyes to Moroccan culture that many would never believe.