You can hardly miss the mass night market, street entertainment nor food stalls in the heart of the Old Medina of Marrakech. The sounds of the clanging bells and beating drums reverberate in your ears long after you depart. The whiff of charcoal singes your nostrils as you meander through the crowds waiting to be charmed by snakes or hugged by a monkey. Needless to say, Jemaa El Fna is a feast for your senses; the sounds will stay with you long after you depart.
If you plan to use your camera in this area (film photography or digital) also plan to have pockets full of money. The entertainers are there for one purpose and that is to be paid. Snap a photo and expect to pay. Believe me, their eyes are trained to find you and your camera. And, don’t fall for the gregarious fellow who promises he’s not taking a photo of you just for the fun of it.
Jemaa El Fna is a part of Marrakech that has an ever-changing character with the rising of the sun and well into the night. It is a cultural mix of colour, scents, sight and sound and is one of the liveliest attractions in Morocco. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend time in Jamaa el Fna, not only by day but also at night.
Jemaa el Fna has been the main square in Marrakech for decades. It is not just a tourist attraction since many locals also enjoy the activities that make Jamaa el Fna come alive. During the day, the square has numerous stalls, most of which sell fresh fruit juice, water and fruit. Visitors will also be able to take photographs of the snake charmers, but the performers usually request a small fee in exchange for a photo. The snack stalls and relaxed atmosphere makes it hard to believe that at night there is almost no place to stand as the Jemaa el Fna fills up to capacity.
In the early evening, the snake charmers, fruit juice traders and snack stalls pack up to leave. Slowly, Jemaa el Fna bustles with storytellers, musicians, healers, magicians, peddlers, Chleu (dancing boys) and sellers of traditional medicine.
In the evenings the food stalls have a large variety of traditional dishes to choose from and these may include meat, vegetables and fish. When a visitor sees something they like they simply need to point out the dishes they want and within a few minutes it is prepared. The food is delicious and if the locals have given it their stamp of approval, it is definitely safe to try. If the noise and activity become too much, there are quiet gardens and cafes nearby.
Jemaa el Fna is also one of the safest and most secure attractions in Morocco. The authorities in Marrakech are aware of the importance of the square to the tourist industry, so the square is always filled with a discreet presence of policemen. A visit to the heart of Marrakech is a truly wonderful experience and recommended to all that stay in this fascinating city.
Listen to the sounds of Jamaa el-Fna ::
Photo of Jemaa El Fna From Above
Where is Jemaa El Fna? How Do I Get To Jemaa El Fna?
Jemaa El Fna GPS Coordinates :: 31.6258° N, 7.9889° W
Map Showing the Location of Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech
Photo of Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech