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No trip to Morocco would be complete without spending some time in Marrakech - a living, breathing glimpse into yesteryear. Marrakech is undoubtedly a culture shock. But in a good way. The focal point is Jemaa el-Fna. As author, Paul Bowles, commented, it's a place without which Marrakech would be like any other Moroccan city. This open-air theatre comes to life after dusk, with the sounds of storytellers, snake charmers and musicians reverberating through the square. The spicy aromas coming from the endless rows of food stalls also float across the night air.

Another one for the shortlist is the souks. Among the labyrinth of alleys, you'll find stalls selling everything from fruit and nuts, to hand-woven baskets and clothes. You'll also see artisans hard at work creating slippers or rugs or hammering out some sort of metal ware. It's this mixture of people, in addition to the sheer range of goods, that make it a real experience. And one that will really test your bartering skills - you can easily walk away with a bargain.

To escape the hustle and bustle, visit the Ben Youssef Medersa. The largest Koranic school in Morocco, it has a beautiful courtyard and prayer hall. It's a peaceful and meditative building with some wonderful examples of stucco decoration. You should also visit one of Marrakech's gardens. From the 11th century right through to the early 20th, this was very much a garden city. And today, the likes of Aguedal, Menara and the Yves Saint-Laurent-owned, Jardin Majorelle, are still well worth a visit. The latter also has a museum, with exhibits including jewellery, carpets and manuscripts.
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