I recently went to Marrakesh with my boyfriends parents. It was a great experience. I really bonded with his parents.
I have included a quick itinerary for some things we did. We went in the end of November.
Day 1 (Thur)
Landed approx 18.15 and the sun was setting, we were haggling with taxi drivers as they were trying to charge us 250 Dirhams that is approx £23. I was not having it so we negotiated and got it down to 150 Dirhams about £13 for 4 people. We were staying in the Medina about 15 mins drive from the airport.
We quickly dumped our bags in the Riad and was greeted with Morocoo Tea, please ensure you say 'NO SUGAR' as they will put one tea spoon of sugar. We headed of to the Souks and grabbed a bite to eat.
Dinner in - beautiful restaurant in the square Le Marrakchi- belly dancer and Shisha (£8) at 9pm.
Fresh Juices in local shops are better. £1 each
Day 2 (Friday)
It was a beautiful day - approx 28 degrees and we decided to walk to the Jardin Majorelle which was lovely it was about 37 min walk through the Medina. It was 70 Dihrams per person. We had a few drinks before we went in so we were high on life. Very good place for those 'instagram' pictures.
Day 3 (Sat)
We decided to have a more chilled out day.
Horse and Carriage ride around Marrakesh which was brilliant so we could see parts we would usually couldn't see. Costed us for 4 people 250 Dhirams we believe the going rate was 200 Dihrams,
We even had some massages and hamman.
My boyfriend and I headed out in the evening we got a taxi approx at 1130pm to Sky5 which is a shisha lounge were Grey Goose shots were 40 Dhirams cheaper than the local places in the Medina and then we went to Club555 which plays RNB, HipHop and Trap alongside House which killed my mood so i left at 2am.
What a amazing city - my plan was only 2-3 days and I had already booked my outbound. But if I didn't I think I would have extended my stay. But I believe it was the hostel we stayed in.
Jugaadus Eco hostel was honestly the best hostel I have ever stayed in.
We had a delayed flight from Dubai which made us tired,cranky and cold. We arrived to the hostel at lunch time- Sanjay and the gang were so welcoming. My friend who I was travelling with is American and never been to India let alone a hostel. So this was a big culture shock. I booked a private room incase but it was very clean and accommodating
Everyone was lovely and staff made the amostphere pleasant which didn't make anyone awkward. My friend felt comfortable is making conversation easily which surprised me as he has never been in this type of situation.
The golden temple tour was really good which the hostel organised.
The layout of the hostel was rooms around the lounge area. Lounge area had food and drinks free - donations are acceptable. Everyone usually chilling in the lounge area.
Then we randomly got invited to a hostel workers cousins wedding. It was very last minute but worth every second.
cleaning dishes at the golden temple which feeds 100,000 daily
front of the golden temple in the night
Wedding guest and I
The happily married couple
Day 2- Desert safari
Explore the night-time secrets of this golden, sandy paradise with our desert safari tour packages. But first, our evening safari packages will give you the rare chance to embark on thrilling activities in the desert. Unleash the daredevil in you with an exhilarating round of dune bashing, quad biking, or sand boarding. Then, quench your thirst with any of the unlimited refreshments provided on the site. We have soft drinks and water to cool you, as well as tea and coffee for those who want to feel relaxed.
Experience the distinctive traditional Arabic culture with a photographic opportunity wearing their conventional clothing, or adorn your body with intricately designed henna tattoos.
Dubai on a budget - it is possible I did it.
BUT Men - Alcohol can blow the budget easily but you can pick and choose the nights you decide on to overspend on or find girls to go with!
Places to stay
I would say al Rigga /burjuman and even possible downtown Dubai if you bag yourself a deal it's not expensive as jumeriah and it has many restaurants to grab domestic / international food.
You can get hotels from £40-60 per night -3/4 star in a decent area.
The union station is located in al Rigga it is to get from there to the main attractions . One jorney 5-7.50 AED
The burjuman station is locations in bur Dubai and it's very convenient
Metro stations are conveniently located and since they consist of only two lines it’s pretty simple to understand.
I would do it simple - if you can stick to local restaurants I would. I would recommend Nando's it's nothing like the UK plus the prices are similar to the UK.
For girls it can be pretty cheap even for the best nights out whether you are a couple or girls only you can get free so I would definitely check out the website Dubainights.com it will set you up for the night or for the upcoming events.
I went with a friend out one night and he ended up paying 118AED double shot vodka and cranberry per drink.
Nasimi beach was good for girls as it was free but boys pay 150AED just to take a seat which I think it's a bit steep.
But good places for RnB and HipHop
Club - White Dubai, cirus de solices
Bar - dusty's in DIFC
Day 1 - Deira Gold Souk
Marked by a wooden arch, this bustling bazaar features many stalls selling dazzling gold jewelry.
Walk from naïf road into the souk it's pleasant and then at the end of the gold souk you can see the spice market.
You may get haggled here and vendors may approach you - but just ignore them they are harmless
It's a very humble experience especially when you see downtown Dubai.
Day 3- especially if it's a Friday you should check out barasti beach club - http://www.barastibeach.com/. They have free entrance and you can grab a bed. Drinks and food is standard Dubai prices. Happy hour is from 4-7 pm. But please check as this is Jan 2017 prices. You can have a corona for 27 AED.
Day 4 - The hop on hop off bus is a good way to spend the day it is about £50-60 from memory so not overly expensive
Day 5 you can either do the river boat cruise or aqua water parks.
The Palm Atlantis was interesting but wasn't as amazing as I expected - the walk is very beautiful and you even eat some light snacks on the sea front. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend you take some snacks with you. But if you have about £20-30 to spare then you can enjoy some seaside specials e.g. Ice cream, fish and chips ,burgers etc.
How to get there palm jumeriah by the metro and get off at damac properties - it's easier to get a cab from there which cost us 20-30AED.
Planning Destinations & Key Destinations
“If ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letter” CLAIRE COOK. Planning is really important to me it may not be to others. It will give a rough estimation on how much time can be spent in the area likewise how much budget maybe required. The plan doesn't have to be definite but in case your phone dies or you have no internet connection you have some rough indication - you do not want to be wasting time. It nice to lounge around but if you are in place like Dubai/Singapore were it is quite expensive to even lounge around planning may be essential. I believe it always better to have more things than less things planned – again you don’t have to stick to it, but it will give you direction. For example, a friend and I went to New York early this year – it was my first time. Bless her she did most of the planning, even just walking towards the Meat Packing district which was our end goal we saw the Chelsea Market met some New Yorkers on the way it was pleasant. I love the history but after one or two temple, I think I am done. I am a Hindu so fortunately been surrounded by temples and culture my whole life. So ensure you can find other things which interest you. I have come from financial services background so I live for spreadsheets.
So I started this simple spreadsheet which gave me a starting point.
Country Things to see Stay near Night Life Things to buy or do Food to try Hotel Price
Istanbul Blue Mosque Taskim Dogzstar Turkish bath Menemen $15-25
Tip : if you can walk/public transit to your place of interest – highly recommend it.
Ice Breaker with a local: Ask for help – in your opinion what would you recommend seeing in this city?
Recently, my father discovered a website Cleartrip.com which is like the western Skyscanner.com and will help you book local flights, trains and even bus journeys – around the Middle East and South East Asia mainly India, I have realised the rates are better than Skyscanner. Coupons are also advertised to ensure that you are getting a great price on your travels. I have even managed to obtain 6 different ways of travel and prices from Udaipur to Jamnagar. For example https://www.cleartrip.com/tourism/routes/dd/udaipur-to-jamnagar-route.html
Cheap airfares, low cost airline tickets, good connectivity and excellent in-flight service had altogether make Domestic Airline in India very popular in the recent time. Air Deccan, Air India, Alliance Air, GoAir, Indian Airlines, IndiGo, Jagson Airlines, JetLite, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Paramount Airways, SpiceJet, MDLR Airlines, Kingfisher Red and Jet Konnect are the Domestic Airlines flights operating in India.
Trains and Buses are very popular in India and easy to get to part where flying maybe inconvenient.
Is it safe to travel by Trains in India
Travelling by train in India is safe but make sure you travel by AC class and avoid Non AC travelling and just make sure you have an eye on your luggage and have it locked under your Seats/Berths allocated to you.
More on travelling by train - https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g293860-c63603/India:Travelling.By.Trains.Booking.Tickets.html