A city break in Marrakech

Craig of That Dapper Chap takes us on a city break to Marrakech wearing Burton Menswear

Bored of the standard two weeks in the sun, we decided last year to take more city breaks, indulge ourselves in cultural differences, and sample traditional living in some very different places. With Budapest and Prague under our belts we went further afield and landed in Marrakesh in 100 degree heat.

Marrakech sits in North Africa under Spain and to the left of Algeria in Morocco. An Islamic state, we did receive cautions from friends and family about travelling to such a place considering the troubles various parts of the world have experienced over the last few years. Having done our research it became clear that Marrakech was no more of a risk than any place in Europe.  With tourism as a main trade, Police and the military mark the streets to protect tourists and maintain a healthy calm.

With three days and four nights we not only had to decide what to see while we were there but also what to wear! The heat of course had a say in my attire, so shorts seemed like a very good idea. These linen mix shorts in light blue are smart enough to maintain a sophisticated look but cool enough to ensure I didn’t overheat. At £25.00 they make a good addition to your summer wardrobe.

What better than a clean white, well fitted shirt to reflect the sun. This shirt is the skinny fit shirt with stretch and is £22.00. Because of the stretch it travels very well and looked very crisp.

Footwear came in the form of blue leather loafers. At £48.00 you’re getting a lot of style and comfort in real leather. I did wear ‘invisible’ socks to make sure that I could get them on and off easily and to help with the obvious issues that extreme heat can afford!

Moving on to the jacket, I wore the blue jersey blazer. Priced at £60.00 it again travels very well due to the nature of the material. It is lined but is still light weight enough to be suitable for early morning and evening warmth. 

To protect my eyes from the solar glare I needed sunglasses, but I wanted something a little different to the usual tortoise shell and would contrast nicely with the blue. The green keyhole sunglasses were my eyewear of choice.

My top Ten tips for Marrakech

If you decide to travel to Marrakech there are a number of things that you should know.

1) Stay in a traditional Riad rather than a hotel for  a ‘real feel’ of Marrakech. Often family run it’s more of a friendly guest house and Ibrahim our Manager could not have been more attentive.

2) Eat only in established restaurants or in your Riad. Street food has been known to cause significant stomach issues!

3) Ladies need to respect the culture and cover their flesh suitably, particularly when entering any place of religion, long sleeves and trousers are recommended. Avoid swimwear in the streets! But be prepared for admiring glances from the local men and even the odd comment, even when suitably dressed.

4) Be prepared to haggle or you’ll be ripped off. Be firm but be polite. A bit of banter helps. Market traders will  play a hard game and use all the tricks in the book to make you part with your cash at a much higher price than it item is worth.

5) You will be approached by men who want to ‘help’ you and ‘guide’ you. Be polite and walk away. All they want to do is take you to their brothers shop.

6) Don’t drink the water or have ice in your drinks. Its not contaminated but it isn’t suitable for the stomachs of people from other parts of the world.

7) When you buy bottled water, get it from an established shop and check the seal before drinking it. Vendors pay children to collect empty bottles and then refill them with tap water. Be aware.

8) The currency is Dirham but virtually all places will take Pounds, Dollars and Euros without a problem. The money cannot leave the country so you have to take your usual currency and change it there. There are many banks that change money easily and quickly and even cash machines change money. Make sure you tell your bank that you’re going as they may need to activate your card for use in Marrakech.

9) Everyone will expect a tip even if they do something for you that you didn’t ask for. Again, be polite but be firm. They will be offended if you offer them pound coins as they are only able to change up notes. If you have some spare Euros take them with you to tip the taxi driver who takes you from the airport to your location and for the man who will inevitably grab your cases for you the second that you get out of the cab at your destination. 

10) Don’t take pictures of locals without asking. They find it very offensive. Ask them first and if they do let you take a picture, they will expect payment in return!

This is a sponsored post of honest and unbiased opinion

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