If you love nothing more than to be lost in an open-air market for days at a time, then Marrakech is your soul town. Markets aside, there’s also fabulous food, tiny riads (hotels) and – importantly if you happen to be in Melbourne at the moment – balmy temps. Which can only mean no need for saggy grey trakkies and thick, knobbly socks.

It’s the world’s ultimate market: Djemaa al-Fna pumps from morning to night, with snake charmers, fortune tellers, monkey pimps and men dressed like female belly dancers, with scarves across their stubbled faces, shimmying to a crazy band, money in the tambourine, please.

On sale is everything from fake sunglasses to spices: rule of thumb is the closer to the main square, the higher the prices. Light, brightly coloured throws of fabric woven from aloe vera are a good buy but beware, most tagines are either sealed with a lead glaze or unsealed, so they leak.

The Sex in the City girls were mooching around there at the same time as I was doing the research, apparently banned from filming in their preferred location, Dubai, for being too raunchy. Dirty bints. more