A Complete Travel Guide of Marrakech

Marrakech, with its wonderful Berber history and Arabic culture, is a must-see city during a tour to Morocco. It is home to amazing shopping, where Marrakech's vibrant souks (Marrakech's markets) are waiting for your exploration. Gorgeous architecture, and riads (traditional Moroccan accommodation), can be seen dotting winding streets, many of which are already converted into charming and comfortable hotels. Enjoying a cup of fresh mint tea on a rooftop bar or restaurant, your stress and exhaustion will be reduced gradually with a wide vision of the whole city.

The best time to visit Marrakesh is between March and May, and September to November. These seasons have comfortable weather (24 degrees to 32 degrees). Pay attention to religious festivals, such as Ramadan and Christmas, because they may have an impact on your journey from public transport to hotel prices.

1. Jemaa el Fnaa Square

This touristy place is famous for its various sellers and entertainers: food stalls, orange juice stalls, jugglers, and snake charmers. The scene changes as the sun goes down, and more people fill the square. A walk through the crowd is an assault on the senses: the storytellers, musicians, comedians, magicians, and Chleuh dancing-boys…your ears and eyes will be packed full. It is a world of fantasy and carnival, with the steam from food stalls spreading around.

If you feel tired, numerous rooftop bars and restaurants are your good choices. Just walk to the edge of the square, enter a bar or a restaurant, and order a cup of fresh mint tea. Your tiredness and pressure are released from minute to minute with the changing sight of the city.

2. Souks in the Medina

Arabs call a market or a bazaar "a souk", where you can meet multiple small stalls or shops. It is an open-air area, the sun shining on exotic items: carpets, tagines, babouches, teapots, lamps, lanterns, carves, spices and so on. Most of the time, the most valuable and expensive commodities are sold in the heart of the souk.

Entering the souk from Jemaa el Fnaa Square, you will find a labyrinth of alleys and streets. Therefore, it is better to take maps with you, and you can also use some map apps on your mobile phones.

Bargaining is a unique experience in souks. In most cases, shopkeepers set the price more than twice as high as it actually is. So, when they ask how much you tend to pay, you just state a price 1/3rd of the given one. DO NOT ask for the price if you are not going to buy the item, because to do so will annoy vendors.

Marrakech Souk at NightMarrakech Souk at Night

3. Bahia Palace

Embodying Morocco's lavish lifestyle, this 19th-century palace housed members of the Moroccan royal family before it was open to the public, who still occasionally stay there now. You can visit the public areas of the property, where gorgeous decorations like mosaics, stucco, latticework, zellij tiles and arabesques can be seen on the walls, floors, or ceilings. It is a paradise for those who have a great passion for art, architecture and history.

In the palace, the Grand Riad is worth visiting, which has sunny courtyards and gardens, as well as luxurious chambers. There one can better appreciate the traditional architecture of Morocco with the royal atmosphere.

Bahia Palace is within the walking distance of Jemaa el Fnaa, so it is convenient for travelers to visit them all together. To avoid crowds, it is recommended to check out the palace before 10 AM.

4. Koutoubia Mosque

Near the Jemaa el Fnaa, there is another must-see sight Koutoubia Mosque, which dates back to the 12th century. This mosque is a landmark of Marrakesh as a typical and essential example of Almohad architecture. Its 77 meters height minaret tower has an important influence on the designs of other religious buildings, like the Giralda in Spanish and the Hassan Tower in Morocco.

What you must be mindful of is that this mosque's inner place is not accessible to non-Muslims, while it is free for Muslims to enter it. However, every visitor can enjoy their time in Koutoubia's plaza and vast gardens around, away from the noise of the city.

Koutoubia MosqueKoutoubia Mosque

5. Ben Youssef Mosque

It is regarded as the oldest mosque in Marrakesh, with a history of more than 700 years. This mosque has a large internal courtyard, in which there is a beautiful fountain.

This mosque is not so spacious, but it is still quite a highlight. According to previous visitors, this attraction is like a place in a picture book. It has a variety of amazing decorations, like Islamic geometric patterns, arabesque and some other ornaments with epigraphic style. The wooden ceiling in the mosque is noticeable, which has attractive painted motifs.

Around the mosque, there are all kinds of houses, annexes and facilities. A cultural center known as Dar Bellarj lays at the mosque's northeastern corner and the southeastern corner has a library, known as the Ben Youssef or Ibn Yusuf Library.

6. Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle)

It is a special place to visit in the city, which has a lively and green scene. The garden is located in the northwest of the medina, next to the Barber Museum and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Bought and redesigned by the French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, the garden was opened to the public after his death. Various plants can be seen in the garden: huge cacti, thick bamboo, tall palm trees, water lilies and so on. The garden is peaceful, showing the beauty of nature.

Mostly, it needs to wait in long queues to enter the garden, so it's better to avoid lunchtime and buy a combined ticket for the garden, Berber Museum and Yves Saint Laurent Museum to skip the line. A gift shop, a café, a bookstore and an art gallery are also available on-site.

Majorelle GardenMajorelle Garden

1. Taste Street Food

White linen and formal dining may not provide you with a deep experience of Marrakech's food characteristics. Walking on the Jemaa el Fnaa, you can meet various food stalls that show you the charm of Marrakech's food. Here are some examples.

Tagine: It is said that you do not really go to Marrakech without eating Tagine. It is a classic Berber dish, cooked in the pot. It has fired onions and some spices as the base, and then different meat and veg are added, which all are steamed for a long time.

Merguez sausage: This kind of sausage is a tradition in northwest Arica. When the square enters the night, vendors will fill hefty sandwich pockets that will merguez with other meat and veg.

Briouat: Shaped in a samosa-style triangle, this pastry is the best in Marrakech. It has two kinds of flavors, sweet and savory. The former has almonds and honey, while the latter is made of some meat.

2. Enjoy the Spa & The Hamam

To visit a traditional Moroccan hammam is an unforgettable experience. Marrakech offers the first class of hammams and spas in the world, which has special treatments. Just enjoy personalized service and take a journey to heal the mind and the body, leaving feeling completely rejuvenated.

3. Admire the Crafts

As a city with a long history, many craft skills have been passed down for generations. An important one is the unique art of Tazoukt, where complex and delicate patterns are painted on the wooden items. Moroccan leatherworkers are also amazing, from handbags to shoes to lanterns. Moreover, metal craftworks made by Marrakech's talented blacksmiths are beautiful and special.

4. Classic Balloon Flight

It can give you a wonderful bird's-eye view of Morocco's deserts and the Atlas Mountains. When the hot air balloon rises with the sun, the whole picture of Marrakech and even Morocco is gradually unfolding before your eyes, which definitely is a memorable point in your travel.

5. Ride a Marrakech Quad Bike in the Desert

If you are tired of the cityscape, you can visit the Marrakech desert by quad bikes. Out of the hustle and bustle of the city, an adventure with wildness will refresh your mind. There are some Marrakech villages along the way, where you can share a cup of mint tea with local people.

1. Is Marrakech Worth Visiting?

Marrakech, with its profound history, is one of the most important and famous cities in Morocco. There you can explore the treasures of human culture, most of which have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. As the gateway to the Sahara Desert, Marrakech's traditional crafts and food, exotic entertainments, fantastic shopping, and impressive dessert adventure will bring you a unique travel experience in the world.

2. It is safe to travel to Marrakech?

International SOS considers Morocco as a low-risk country, so in most cases, travelers are safe in Marrakech. However, you still need to be alert. Keep your valuables and important items in your front pockets or wear your bags in the front. Moreover, female travelers should avoid walking around at night or in empty places alone.

3. What should I know before going to Marrakech?

Language: English is commonly used in Marrakech, but if you know a little French, it will be convenient. You can hear Spanish, Arabic and Berber in the city as well.

Currency: Dirham. One can also use the US dollar or euro.

Clothing: It is better not to wear in a provocative way in Marrakech, as it is a Muslim city. It is recommended to cover your shoulders and knees with loose clothes.

Customs: In Marrakech, people use their right hands to interact and eat, as they believe the left hand is unclean.

4. What should I avoid in Marrakech?

Take photos of animals in Jemaa el Fnaa. You should avoid taking pictures with a snake or a monkey, otherwise, the snake charmer or its handler will ask you for money.

Ask a strange guide for directions. When you get lost, some guides will offer to show you the way and then take you to the wrong places. They may pester you for tips if you want to go back to where you were.

Enter a taxi without a meter. It is necessary for you to ask if the diver has a meter before getting into a taxi, because some drivers may overcharge.

Travel with Odynovo

Plan your travel in Marrakech with Odynovo. We will organize remarkably tailor-made trips for you and recommend wonderful attractions and experiences in this charming city according to your personal preferences and needs.

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