Ramadan....in Marrakesh

Right you crazy bunch. I've booked a long weekend in Marrakesh.

I've just realised that the weekend I go is Ramadan......and not being the religious type I've no idea if that will fcuk the weekend up.

Anyone been at that time? Should I cough up to change the dates??


up to you, but i live in a muslim country and wouldn't recommend holidaying in one during ramadan.

ramadan is not the most enjoyable time to be in a muslim country. the people are tired / irritable, especially after a couple of weeks. driving is dangerous as a result - more crashes on the roads. you can't eat, drink or smoke in public during the day. restaurants will be closed. it's a really uninspiring time to be in a muslim country.

however, it really depends on where in morocco you are going. i understand there is a sizeable ex-pat community (french, presumably) so you might be ok there.

on the other hand, hari raya / eid / the end of ramadan tends to be party time :)
Mmm.... provided you're prepared to eat discreetly in the day, it could actually be better- everyone will be having a massive blow-out in the Djma Al-Fnaa (sp?) once the sun goes down...

And it's hardly a big drinking town anyway, unless you're staying with friends/in a riad/hotel arrangement.

Also, there's the dull-but-liberal French colonial quarter outside the walls- can't remember the name- where you should be able to get some scoff without being glared at.
Be prepared to smell cat pish all over Marrakesh it reeks of it. Plus many cafe's dont sell beer even to westerner's TBH I didnt think it was such a great place spend your money elsewhere
Thanks for the advice. I'm staying in a Riad.

I'm not that fussed about eating/drinking in the day. As long as I can party in the evening if I want to?

I want to see Marrakesh for what it is though, not a half arrsed view, with lots of moody Muslims.


As an infidel you won't notice it's Ramadan in Marrakesh, you won't be able to eat in the street in some areas though, its considered bad drills to be seen eating when the locals won't be.

You'll still be able to go on the lash in the usual places, if you're staying near Djemaa al Fna it's a short taxi fare away.

If it's a bit quiet in the daytime that's to your advantage for looking about and it is busier at night during Ramadan (which might not be to your advantage?!!)
The constant aggresive begging put me off. That and the twat who put a snake round my neck without warning in that square/souk place where the snake charmers are.

They are going out of their way to make Marrakesh appealing to westerners and there was no problem with a drink in the hotel bar during Ramadan three years ago.
Surely not busy during the day will be bad if I want to get about and look at shops etc? Will they close them?

On the lash in the usual places? Where are they? Any hints/tips welcome!

Certainly any lively bars, and good places to eat will be good to know. Guides are all well and good but 1st hand experience counts in my book.
I (and my ex) ended up befriending a drunk Moroccan & his GF in a very decent bar near the old Jewish quarter (rue de fablentiers/rentiers or something) & staying at his for a few days.

he turned out to be an ex-French Marine & aristo with a huge riad full of antique furniture- which was nice- but also a temperamental crack addict (which got slightly awkward).

Still: he took me to a club where all the staff were dwarves. It was a nice touch, them scurrying around with brass trays of drinks on their little heads.

Also: the food in the Jemaa (thanks Mr_D!) was actually far better than in any of the pricey restaurants above/around.


Some shops will close, that's good as you'll get hustled less.

Ask your security bloke where you're staying where the disco under the hotel is and he'll get you a cab. The women in there are 'working girls' obviously and don't drink yourself to oblivion, it's not that relaxed! Black Diamond (Diamond Noir) http://www.concierge.com/travelguide/marrakesh/nightlife/19305

Have you read the Lonely Planet guidebook? Read that in your digs and then just go explore without it, sit in the square first, drinking tea and soak in the atmosphere for an hour or two before you do anything.

Have some loose coins handy, it is the done thing to make small donations to those who walk past begging. Discretely hand them a small amount, you'll see Moroccans doing the same, it's seen as an informal social services facility. Poor there really means dirt-poor and you don't get Walt-beggars like in UK, its the done thing to hand-out small amounts.
Right, here's that bar I was talking about:

"KOSY BAR". 47 PLACE DES FERBLANTIERS. (KZADRIA). 40 000 MARRAKECH. PHONE: +212 (0) 24 38 03 24. FAX: +212 (0) 24 38 03 42
I'm at Riad Yasmine. Apparently it's not much to look at from the inside, but inside is a different story?
Oh and before I forget the beer and wine are sold in small mesures in most places beer normally in 330cc bottles and if your going to drive watch out for the police with speed guns. It can also get a bit foggy with all the car fumes on a clear day as well.

If your going to take pictures in the main square/Soak try and do it discreetly as if someone see's you taking a snap of them they will want paying for it
No information specifically on Ramadan but if you check out ThornTree you might be able to wee what happened to others. Mind you, they are probably spotty backpackers who wanted to immerse themselves in the 'culture', fasted, and wiped their hoops with their fingers.

There is a bottle shop about two miles from Fna (towards the railway station) where you can sort out takeaway booze. It's a short cab ride and an interesting, dusty hike back.

I suggest you take a compass (GPS won't work in the souk). This isn't to reduce the spontaneity of getting lost, but to prevent you from walking in circles all day and seeing the same fcking merchants at five-minute intervals.


War Hero
I was once in Egypt for Ramadan and fck all was open - Everyone acts like you've rubbed a sh1tty cloth in their face. I'd cough up mate and the party at the end is worth it :D


It will not be a problem. We were there a few years back touring on a motorbike and found plenty of places to eat as tourist. Most places in teh city will be open as usual. Drink is a bit harder to find, but the western style hotels all have bars & a few of the larger local ones. May be worh taking a bottle with you if you're in a smaller place.
Thanks for all the advice. I'm considering keeping the dates. Quiet days walking around, and a bit of a party atmosphere in the evenings sounds ideal :)
Speak French?? FRENCH?!!!! We won the bloody wars......why would I want to speak the God awful language??

Well I've bitten the bullet and payed a bit extra to move the dates to after Ramadan. Been reading up a bit on Marakesh, and looking forwards to it.