“What I like the most about Morocco is its simplicity and its indescribable tranquil vibe”, says 27-year-old Moroccan stylist Noureddine Zouagui. Although he grew up between Casablanca and Italy, Marrakech is where he prefers to call home.
Inspired by spontaneity, Zouagui puts his own spin on Moroccan fashion, with looks that tread the line between tradition and modernity. “I like mixing different textures, materials and references”, he says, discussing how his inherently experimental work caught the attention of rapper SmallX (who was recently featured on The Fader and Les Inrocks). “Our new generation feels free and confident. The world is finally seeing us, and we want to express ourselves”, he says referring to the recent creative youth-quake that’s spreading across the country.
With Spring in full swing, here’s no better time to visit Marrakesh. Avoid the tourist traps and use Zouagui’s insider Marrakesh city guide for the best spots to eat, shop, drink and hang around the sun-soaked city.
Le Jardin I love this secluded riad-restaurant located in the Medina, because it is so peaceful. I’d say it’s the most beautiful corner in Marrakech. The atmosphere, the decoration, the vegetation – everything is so stunning. It honestly feels like Eden. The menu adapts with the seasons, which I find great because it’s always full of surprises. I particularly like how they serve beer in teacups.
Terasse des Épices
This is a discreet spot in the heart of the medina, located inside a gallery. The front door is tiny, but when you come in, you find yourself on this long elevated terrace, overlooking the city and its colonnades of palm trees, with the Atlas mountains in the distance. Couscous here is my favourite.
Bakchich CaféBakchich is a very casual, welcoming place that offers a true Marrachki experience. The cuisine is so flavourful and packed with aromas, the decoration is pop art inspired and you’re in direct contact with the city streets that are buzzing with life. And the juices are incredibly delicious!
El Kennaria This casual Riad is where I regularly go to chill with my friends. I love the patio, it’s so incredibly relaxing and cool— a great spot for afternoon tea or laid-back pre dinner drinks.
When I want to unwind and detox, La Mamounia is the perfect way to pamper and indulge in their luxurious spa. Their pool is also something that shouldn’t be missed, especially if you’re into palatial things!
Located in the heart of the Medina, Dada is literally the best gallery space in the city, celebrating local and international artists. The space has been garnering a lot of attention recently, thanks to their critical look and program that offers art that has a cultural context.
Agafay DesertOn the weekend, I love going to the Agafay desert and get lost in its otherworldly orange landscapes. We camp there and do our own barbecues; it’s the best way for me to restore my balance. So if you really want to get away, this is where you should go.
Riad YimaMorocco’s most famous artist, Hassan Hajjaj, opened a café-boutique in his old home. There aren’t a lot of people like him who embrace so passionately both Moroccan history and modernity. If you’re into traditional culture and art, Riad Yima is what you’re looking for. I love how they sell a myriad of different antique objects, handcrafted items and obviously his iconic photographs. You can also just take a seat and enjoy the delicious homemade green tea.
This is Artsi Ifrach’s shop, he’s a super eccentric Moroccan designer and the store is a collaboration with Mous Lamrabat, Morocco’s rising photographer. They sell super colourful clothes with shiny prints and crazy patterns. This one’s for you if you like maximalist looks.