There are three criteria for a city in which I give my 100% stamp of approval — public transportation, quality of food and nightlife. So let’s talk about Marrakesh.
- Public transportation — there is a bus system for long distances, you don’t need it since everything of note is within walking distance and with taxis, you don’t want to take them.
- Quality of food — never had a bad meal
- Nightlife — you’ll find yourself back at your riad by 9-10pm because there’s not much of one
So go to Marrakesh!
The obvious reason is that Morocco is a predominantly Muslim and traditional country. There are bars and late-night restaurants, but they are near the new Almazar Centre Mall or in the new town. If you go, you’ll be spending most of your time within in walls of the Medina.
On my first night in town, after getting overwhelmed walking around the Jemaa el-Fnaa, I was looking for a drink. Heck, it’s Saturday night. That’s prime party-time. I wanted to see if I can meet fellow travelers.
My research showed that the rooftop bar, Rock-N-Kech was near the Jemaa el-Fnaa and a 20-minute walk from where I was staying. I love rooftop bars. Who doesn’t love rooftop bars?
I had to find it old school style with a trusty map from my Time Out guide since my global data plan doesn’t include Morocco. The cheesy party lights that you would buy at Spencer’s Gifts lighted my way to entrance. The guy out front was very excited to welcome me to the bar.
When I climbed up the flights of stairs to the bar, I can understand why the doorman was excited to see me. Here’s what I saw:
I’m the only one there … at 9:30pm … on a Saturday night … and they are playing the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
Eventually, two other loaner dudes like me came in to utilize the free WiFi. If anything, it’s a great place to be left alone and check your Facebook feed.
There is alcohol. The local Moroccan beer, Spéciale Flag and Casablanca, is gloriously unmemorable. There is Moroccan wine as well. I did not know the country produced wine. It was also unmemorable. Hey, at least you get olives and who doesn’t love olives and beer?
The ironic thing about my visit to Rock-N-Kech, I went the next night as well, just to use the WiFi so I could follow the NFL games and eat more olives.