Poetically referred to as ‘The Daughter of the Desert’, this is a travel destination to awaken all your senses, from the vibrant colours of the buildings to the fragrances that fill the air throughout the renowned Marrakech souks.
Easily one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Morocco, no trip to Northern Africa is complete without checking out Marrakech. This 1000-year-old city is home to a thriving medina, amazing shopping, and some of the most gorgeous architecture you’ll find anywhere in the world. Heading to Morocco this year? Here’s the ultimate Marrakech travel guide
Language: In Marrakech, you’ll hear a flurry of languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, and Berber. English is common anywhere touristy, but it’s definitely handy to know a few words of French.
How to get to Marrakech?
Marrakech has its own airport so it is easy to fly in. If you are traveling through Morocco you can take the train from Casablanca, Rabat or Fes.
You can also take the CTM bus from most cities in Morocco, rent a car or hire a driver.
Marrakech is a popular destination with nearly year round sunshine. Summers (June-September) can get quite hot with temperature near 100 degrees F while the winter months can get chilly with night time temps dipping into the 30 degree F range. March-May and September-October are generally pleasant with highs in the 70s and 80s.
What is the currency in Marrakech/Morocco?
Morocco uses the Moroccan Dirham (MAD) and it is a closed currency. This just means that you can only get local currency in the country – whether via an ATM withdrawal or currency exchange. You will also need to convert any leftover cash back before leaving the country (and at usually less than favorable rates) so try and get out only what you need.
What to do in Marrakech
Visit the El Badi Palce and Bahia Palace (more on that in a bit) are nearly next door to each other, so visit these together. Go to El Badi first since Bahia is the real eye-orgasm you want to save. Built in the 1500s by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, it took 25 years to construct and was the jewel of the city until it was completely stripped by another sultan to use in the construction of his own place. While the dazzle is left to the imagination, the mass and scale is awe-inspiring, as are the sunken gardens and reflecting pools. Plus, the museum in the former dungeon is a great place to cool off and learn a bit about the history of the city.
These 66 tombs were only recently discovered in 1917. They are the final resting place of the royal family of the Saadian dynasty. The first grave was created in 1557, the last in 1659 when the dynasty came to an end. Since the new ruler Sultan Moulay Ismail wanted to remove traces of the former ruling family, he sealed the tombs. The tombs were forgotten and nature took over the complex until 1917, when aerial photographs revealed the existence of the tombs. The architecture of this place is breathtaking!
Go Shopping at the Souks
No matter how many markets you have visited around the world, you will have never experienced one quite like a souk. Selling everything you can think of from pottery to spices, the vast array of goods available makes exploring these traditional souks exhilarating and if you find something you love, get ready to haggle for the best bargain
This is probably the most popular sight of Marrakech. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought this garden in 1980 to save it from destruction to make room for a hotel complex. They restaured the garden and now you can visit the garden and the museum. The trees, plants and flowers are simply stunning. it represents beauty, peace and history. This one is definitely not to be missed.
Take a day trip to the Desert.
No trip to Morocco would be complete without getting out among the sand dunes. Whether you go out for a half-day desert tour, or combine it with an off road buggy adventure or a sunset camel ride, there’s just something special about being out in the desert.
The Koutoubia mosque is the biggest mosque in Marrakech. Although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering, but the area around the mosque is beautiful to explore, like the park and the ruins of the former mosque. you’ll be able to take as many pictures as you want from the outside! The outside of the mosque is a masterpiece and beautiful to observe. Be sure to take your time appreciating this ancient building
Where to eat and drink in Marrakesh
- Le Bougainvillier: a Moroccan restaurant near Jardin Secret. Not only do they serve traditional Moroccan food like tajine and pastilla, they also make very good pizza (and I loooove pizza!).
- Café des Epices: This trendy restaurant at the Place des Epices has an incredible rooftop terrace with a fantastic view on the square. The menu consists of salads, tajines and sandwiches. You need to reserve a table if you want a good one on the terrace.
- Café Snack Rahba Kedima: Less trendy, but more traditional than the previous one and also situated on the Place des Epices with a small tooftop terrace (but with a better view than Café des Epices).
- Nomad: Another trendy restaurant at the Place des Epices from the same group as Cafe des Epices with a nice rooftop restaurant.
We hope that our guide has inspired you to get your trip to the magical city that is Marrakech Morocco booked and in your diary! We also love hearing from our readers, so be sure to comment below and tell us your favourite things to do in Marrakech.