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Marvellous Magical Marrakesh, Morocco

To be in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh is to be surrounded by an almost overwhelming mixture of colourful sights, overlapping scents, crowds of people and a cacophony of honking horns, roaring motorbikes and barking dogs. It is one of the four imperial cities and the third largest in the country.

The city includes two parts: the historical old city known as the Medina, and the modern city known as Ville Nouvelle or Gueliz. Gueliz is where modern restaurants, stores, and businesses are located. The Medina is an enticing labyrinth of narrow pathways and local culture. This post will share some background history as well as the activities that I most enjoyed and recommend, as well as some tips for travellers to Marrakech.

The main languages spoken in Morocco are Arabic and French but many involved with tourism industries speak English. English is more common in Gueliz than in the Medina but most vendors in the old city will have a basic understanding.

Officially, the local currency, the dirham, is a closed currency and can only be bought and sold in Morocco. In practice, however, you may be able to get some from travel agents or major airports outside the country. Credit cards are not accepted in many smaller shops and kiosks, so it's likely that you will need some cash. Transaction and conversion rates at the Airport ATMs are slightly higher than in the city. Many hotels and riads will exchange small amounts of euros for dirham -- most at a reasonable rate for their guests. Any dirham you have left at the end of your trip should be given as tips or converted before departure.