Marrakech is a frantic circus of activity in the arid foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Lose your inhibitions and embrace this loud, colourful city and its hurried population. Try to walk ten paces in any direction and you'll come up against towering pyramids of spices, trundling donkey carts or stalls selling fragrant dishes. You can lounge like a sovereign in a palatial riad, graze the stalls at Djemaa el-Fna or peruse souks in the medina. If the marvellous mayhem gets too much, escape to the Ville Nouvelle for the contemporary art, restaurants and boutiques.
Djemaa el-Fna is a culture shock. Immersing yourself completely is the best way to get your bearings. Bask in the colours at Jardin Majorelle with its famous electric blue walls, cactus gardens and bamboo passage. Stop in at Cafe France at dusk to watch Djemaa el-Fna's transformation, as the snake charmers make way for street food stalls. You can sip a mint tea with the call of the muezzin as your soundtrack. And if time allows, head out of the city for a trip to the Atlas Mountains.