Where to go out in Marrakech
Just 10 years ago finding a place for a tipple in a public bar in the Marrakech Medina was as hard as searching for H²0 in the Sahara desert. Today, a night at a local bar is one of the essential things to do in Marrakech – and it’s a little easier to find the city’s watering holes although most of best venues are scattered in the Ville Nouvelle.
In the Medina, the decor of Rock ’N’ Kech (no website) is off-kilter, but you can’t beat it for dusk-to-nighttime views of the Koutoubia mosque. A glass of chilled Moroccan wine on the terrace of El Fenn with the fashionistas (and any Hollywood star who happens to be wafting through) is a rite of passage.
But it’s the Marrakech bars out in the modern Ville Nouvelle that are packed with partygoers on most nights. For modernist cool on the alfresco roof terrace, it’s Kechmara on the fashionable Rue de la Liberté. For late-night antics, it’s the packed bar at Jack Is Back (no website) tucked into a tight corner of a restaurant. And, for the last word in French colonial elegance, recline into the leather sofas at the Grand Café de la Poste (no website).
Partying into the night? Head to Silver at Jad Mahal where European DJs often perform. Or for more of a local insider’s experience, head to Café Clock on Sunday evenings to hear gnawa musicians, Wednesday nights for open jam sessions and Saturday nights for local Marrakech bands. There’s no alcohol at Café Clock but the date milkshakes, nus nus (milky coffee) and the camel burgers, more than make up for that. And, of course, there’s the nightly spectacle of the Place Jemaa el Fna where musicians jam, transvestite dancers swing their hips and the reedy melancholic sound of the oboe filters through the hot and sticky night.
Bar and venue details
Rock ’N’ Kech Rue Fatima Zohra, Medina. +212 643 22 14 70.
El Fenn 2 derb Moulay Abdallah Ben Hezzian, Bab El-Ksour, Medina. +212 524 44 12 10.
Kechmara 3 rue de la Liberté, Guéliz. +212 524 42 25 32.
Jack Is Back 10 Rue Oued El-Makhazine, Guéliz. +212 524 43 38 90.
Grand Café de la Poste Place 16 Novembre, behind post office, Guéliz. +212 524 43 30 38.
Silver Downstairs at Jad Mahal, 10 rue Haroun Errachi, Hivernage. +212 663 73 15 42. Admission 200dh.
Café Clock Derb Chtouka. +212 535 63 78 55.