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Djemma al Fna

Djemma el Fna, Marrakech, Morocco
All the labyrinthine streets of the medina lead to Djemaa el Fna. Before sunset, sit on a terrace, sip hot mint tea, and take in the panoramic view of the teeming central square. As the sun lowers in the sky, the ancient mud walls turn pink to orange and smoke wafts as hundreds of cooks start barbecuing. The food stalls are organized in rows; the local fare is sumptuous; and the prices are fixed, which is a nice break after haggling in the souks or square for everything from henna to a photo with a monkey or snake charmer. Seating is picnic table-style so don't be shy, grab a seat and talk with your neighbor. It's a great chance to meet fellow travelers and locals alike. After a feast of tagine, cous cous and olives, wash it down with fresh orange juice. Wander the square and be entranced by fire jugglers, musicians, dancers, fortune-tellers and storytellers. As you walk back to your riad through the medina, listen for the evening call to prayer rising from the Koutoubia Mosque. Marrakech is one of the most magical cities in the world.
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A Meal and a Show
Shish Kebab made to order in the Djemaa El-Fna food stalls in central Marrakesh. Eating here is not only extremely affordable, but it's a meal with a show as well. You get to sit side by side with the locals and Moroccan tourists, eat freshly made local delicacies and watch the enjoyable chaos of the old city unravel in front of you.
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Djemma El-Fna by Night
Place Djemma El-Fna, the pulse of any visit to Marrakech, is a vibrant square by day with souvenir vendors, orange juice and dried fruit stalls, and myriad performers as well as a perfect base for getting lost in (I mean, exploring) the medina. As dusk falls, however, this crowd gives way to rows upon rows of food and mint tea stalls, like the above, ready to fix something up for locals and visitors alike. It's an exciting time in the square, which hopefully you'll have time to visit by sun and moonlight!
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Souk Du Jour
While wandering the souks in the Medina of Marrakech, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a small square of food stalls. The smell of cinnamon, lamb and grilled vegetables was too enticing to pass up, and we decided share a tajine. We were the only foreigners in the square and felt a little hesitant to order, but it turned out to be the best meal of our stay. The tender lamb was cooked perfectly and they gave us the most delicious sweet round of bread. Paired with a small glass of mint tea, it was a meal I will never forget! Lesson learned: eat with the locals.
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Night food stalls at Djemaa el Fna - Marrakesh, Morocco
Spending any time at Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakesh will blow your mind. It's a constant assault on the senses in ways that are both good and bad, mostly good. I loved it. It's insane, madness, loud and unlike anything else you've ever seen. At night it turns into another world and hundreds of vendors set up their food stalls. You can get just about anything here and it is all fantastic.
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Moroccan Street Bites
In the center of Marrakesh, in the medina (old city), a transformation occurs right around sunset each night: juice vendors, henna tattoo artists and snake charmers move out of the central market place known as Djamaa-el-Fna, to make way for over 100 food stalls. This is where you get your inexpensive local's dinner while rubbing elbows with Moroccan folk.

There is the food that you would expect, such as roasted lamb kebabs made with distinctive Moroccan spices and sauces. For the adventurous, try steaming snail soup, sheep's brain and skewered hearts or sheep’s testicles. Whatever you choose, you're sure to have a meaningful 'locals' experience.
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A Midnight Snack
Djemaa El Fna is one of Morocco's most famous spots, mostly for it's exciting night life and noisy food carts that come alive just after dark. Boiled snails in broth are a favorite among Moroccans in many cities, and although they may seem off putting at first, there is nothing more rewarding that fishing a good, fat snail out of it's shell with nothing but a toothpick and your wits to guide you. The trick with these little guys is to be patient and gentle with your toothpick, and if you have a weak stomach, don't look too hard. Choose wisely: there are many snail carts lining he outer rim of Fna's labyrinth of food carts, and each may seem more appetizing than the next. Your best bet is to follow your nose and let the vendors do the rest. Remember to drink the broth at the end, it is arguably the best part!
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A Maze of Souks
The Jemma Al Fna in Marrakesh, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will set your senses on fire. Explore deeper and get lost in the miles of souks that like splinter off like octopus tentacles.

There's a different souk for everything - food, spices, carpets, scarves, ironwork, yarn, turtles, iguanas, lanterns, bracelets, tea sets, leather. It's candy for cameras.

And as much as you may not need leather Moroccan slippers, you find you go home with a pair or three because they're so colorful and everywhere you turn. Or maybe it's just because they're called babouches.
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Marrakesh’s Public Squares
Simply put, the Djemaa el Fna is at the heart of everything in Marrakesh. This large public square is many things—a meeting place, entertainment venue, and dining spot all rolled into one. Fringed by orange juice sellers and traditional herbalists, it springs most fully to life in the evening, when dozens of food stands strike up their pans and grills, and the cooking smells and smoke mix with bright lanterns and the songs and drums of the roving entertainers, plus the chatter of Moroccan families out for the spectacle. While smaller squares and souks exist to the north, nothing compares to the grand entertainment of the Djemaa el Fna.
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Derb Chtouka, Marrakesh 40008, Morocco
+212 648-284465