Marrakech is a must see for once in your life. You can make it a city trip or use it to start/end your roundtrip through Morocco. You can buy some many nice/trendy stuff for such a cheap price, it is just amazing! (bring a big suitcase hihi!)
The big walls of Marrakech, which stretch for some 19 kilometres (12 mi) around the old medina, were built as protective fortifications. The walls are made of a distinct orange-red clay and chalk, giving the city its nickname as the “red city”.
What to explore?
- Jardín Majorelle (visit)
This place is heaven! The gardens, the colors, the flowers and the house makes it worth a visit for sure. I recommend to go very early 8-9 am to be one of the first because when you arrive later you will need to stay in a very long line to buy a ticket.
Garden: 70 Dhs
Museum: 30 Dhs
Le Jardin Secret (visit)
Within the small streets covered with souks there is an amazing garden and a lot of peace and quiet. You can walk around and enjoy the garden and beautiful architecture and drink some mint tea.
Entrance: 50 Dhs
When you stay a little longer then a weekend you can also buy a day pass for Club Med (and a few other hotels). You can use all facilities, have lunch, take snacks and drink as many as you like. (+Alcohol)
Day pass: 705 dhs (all inclusive)
Lunch: huge buffet with absolutely everything
Explore the old Medina streets with souks
The souks in Marrakech are a must to see. Get lost in the souks’ labyrinths for hours but try to look for signs which lead you to a familiar place again. The roads/alleys are usually not marked with a street name so you got to remember certain buildings.
Tip 1: Remember the road from your riad to for example Jemaa El Fna square. Walk it a few times and get some little signs on the way in your head. From the square you can walk some small rounds to familiarize yourself. Eventually you can take it more further so you have all kinds of signs to get back to the main Jemaa El Fnaa square. (and from here you know your way to the riad)
Tip 2: Don’t listen to the guys saying a road is closed or there is nothing to see where you are heading to. These are tricks to lead you to the “Tanneries” where they sell aggressively and you pay way to much. Better to plan your own way! If you are totally lost ask someone in a store, a trustworthy person or look at google maps!
What kind of souks are there?
You can find a lot of stuff while exploring the souks. There are some main products you will see a lot.
- Carpet souks (big variety of all kinds of colors,styles)
- Spice souks (saffron, 5 spices, curry, they have it all)
- Slipper souks (traditional Moroccan leather slippers called “babouches” in all possible colours)
- Lamp souks (traditional Moroccan lamps)
- Tried fruits (dates, apricots, vigs)
- At the charming ‘spice square’(in front of cafe espices) they sell a lot of handcrafted reed bags.
- Moroccan ceramics, pottery and tableware (bowls, plates, tagine)
- Hammam + Massage
You should definitely go to a hammam when you are in Marrakech. After you walked a lot and got lost in the many streets you can relax at the end of the day. Around 5-6pm is the most popular time to go because it will be dark by the time you finish (you will be covered in oil so sunlight is not good). Find a nice hammam close to your riad and make a reservation at least 1 or 2 day before you want to go as the spots fill up quickly during this time.
Hammam + black soap scrub + ghassoul body mask + scrub feet + soap + shampoo + shower + 1h relaxing massage (850 dhs p.p.)
- Bahia palace
“The Arabic word “Bahia” means ‘Beautiful’ or ‘Briliance’. The palace compound is about 8 hectares in size and has about 160 rooms. Only some of it is open to the public but it’s enough to see some of the best examples of the art and interior design. This place is really beautiful with all the mosaic tiles.
Entrance: 10 dhs p.p.
Book a Caleche (horse drawn carriage)
A unique way to see the old/new Medina. The big departure point is at the entrance of the Jemaa El Fna square close to the Koutoubia mosque. Regular journeys generally cost from 80 – 150 dirhams and last from 30 minutes to one hour. Price depends on how good you are at haggling.
Ben Youssef Madrassa
Unfortunately this was close for renovations. (already for one year 2017-2018). Definitely want to visit this when I go back.
Where/what to eat?
Marrakech has a lot of nice dishes on the menu. You should definitely try the chicken tagine, kefta tagine with eggs, vegetable pastille, figs, moroccan salad, dates, goat cheese, mint tea and on top of the iceberg; pastilla de poulet. (this is with chicken, almonds, sucker and cinnamon)
- Cafe Arabe
- Cafe des espices (amazing view of the Atlas mountains)
- Le Jardin (pet turtles walk around)
- The riad you are staying at
- Zeitoun cafe (at the Jemaa el Fnaa square)
Where to stay?
In Marrakech you should avoid the big hotels and stay at a Riad instead. I stayed at the Riad Tamarrakecht which was about 10 minutes walk to the Jemaa el Fna Square. On the was you pass a lot of souks. This place is truly magical and the family who runs it is just amazing and always Hospitable. * Riad Tamarrakecht
“The Riad is the Moroccan traditional house, normally with two or more storeys around an Andalusian-style courtyard that contained a swimming pool or fountain. The name comes from the Arab word ‘ryad’ which means garden.”
How to get there?
Best is to arrange an airport shuttle beforehand (via the riad you are staying). The driver will wait for you at the departures with your name on a paper. This will cost you a little more than when you go with the taxi however taxi’s are “officially” not allowed within the walls of old Medina so that means you have to walk a lot with your suitcase. The airport shuttle from a riad will drive you close to the riad within the walls.
- Be careful with arranging a taxi. Ask within the riad you are staying how much certain trips are because some drivers may be pleasant, others view tourists as easy pickings and will try to charge as much as they think they can get away with.
- From bab Aylan to Jardin Majorelle should not be more then 30 -50 dhs per single ride.
- From bab Aylan to Club med is about 70-90 dhs single ride.
- Arrange the price before you go in the taxi. It is considered rude to ask for the price on the meter.