Marrakech is for many people the first experience with the country Morocco and this fairytale royal city is very popular for a trip of several days. Marrakech is located in the interior of Morocco. This city is one of the four royal cities (Fez, Meknes, Rabat) of Morocco and is nicknamed the red city, because of the many red houses that are there. It is a city where you can wander for hours in the souks and get lost in the many narrow alleys and you will be amazed by the various fantastic palaces and mosques. Are you looking for tips for a citytrip to Marrakech?
These are my 11 tips for a citytrip to Marrakech!
1. The Djemaa El Fna square
This is the famous square in Marrakech and it is the central heart of the medina. This must be on top of my list with tips for a citytrip to Marrakech! As a tourist you will come here several times and it is an easy landmark in this chaotic city. During the day you will find everything here, such as snake charmers, acrobats, monkeys, beggars, fortune tellers and there are various food stalls where you can buy fresh orange juice and dates. In the evening the square is super attractive because it then comes to life. The atmosphere is different and finer than during the day and it is basically a large open-air restaurant with all the typical Moroccan delicacies.
2. The souks
The colorful souks are located in the middle of the medina. This is a collective name for the many small stalls and these are all grouped per branch. So you see all leather bags, all clothing, carpets and ceramics together. It is a true maze of souks and getting lost is something that goes with the experience of visiting the souks. Negotiation is an important aspect that you have to do if you buy something from these souks. See this as a fun game that you just really have to play.
3. Medersa Ben Youssef
This is the old Koran school of Marrakech and this building is a gem in terms of architecture and use of many colors and details. This school was founded in the 14th century by Merinid Sultan Abu al-Hassan. The garden is super nice and the decorations everywhere are a feast for the eyes. The 69-meter high minaret of this school served as an example for the Giralda in Seville. Do not forget to also look up, because the chandelier is really impressive.
Marrakech is a city full of hammams and it is wonderful to visit one of these beautiful bathhouses. Relax, relax and be pampered with a good scrub and massage in one of the many hammams. Visiting a Hammam must be on my list for your citytrip to Marrakech!
5. Jardin Majorelle
This is a beautiful botanical garden that owes its name to the French designer Jacques Majorelle. Especially the amount and variety of plants is special. You will find cacti, palms and bamboo trees and much more. In the garden there is a beautiful blue colonial villa with a museum with Islamic art. Many aspects in the garden and the villa are painted in the same cobalt blue color that was later named after Majorelle. Nice detail is that this garden was bought years ago by the fashion king Yves Saint-Laurent.
6. A cooking course
The cuisine of Morocco is highly recommended and the use of spices is very tasty. On a cooking course you will learn the secrets of Moroccan cuisine and how to make a delicious tagine yourself. You first visit the market to buy all the ingredients fresh and then get started yourself. I had to put a cooking course on my list with tips for a citytrip to Marrakech!
7. Palace de la Bahia
This palace is a true gem and should not be missed when you visit the city. It was built in 1880 and contains 160 rooms and was once the grand palace of Morocco. It is a bit of faded glory, because the palace was once completely plundered. The terrace of the palace is a great place from which to enjoy the view over the city.
8. The tanneries
The tanneries of Marrakech can not match the tanneries of Fez, but they are also nice to pay a visit and therefor they are on my list with tips for a citytrip to Marrakech! You can see here how the skin of a cow, goat or sheep changes after a number of steps into the leather as we know it. First they are stripped of the meat and then they put them in barrels to make them firm and then they are made smooth again and dyed in one of the many colors. The stench is especially overwhelming in the summer. A fascinating process that is great to see and it is good to realize that making a leather bag takes much longer than you probably think.
9. Ali ben Youssef-mosque
This is the largest and oldest mosque in Marrakech. This mosque was built in the twelfth century by Sultan Ali ben Youssef. The mosque was completely rebuilt in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately you can not enter this mosque as a non-Muslim, but from the outside this mosque is also beautiful to see.
10. The museum Dar Si-Saïd
In the museum Dar Si-Saïd you get a lot of information about the history of the city of Marrakech. The museum is located in a beautiful old palace and various jewelry, clothing, carpets and furniture can be admired here.
11. Sleep in or visit a riad
A riad is an old house of a rich Moroccan and these houses are beautiful and usually have a number of rooms and a very nice courtyard. Actually it is a kind of small B&B. The great thing is that most serve as a hotel or as a restaurant. These riads are located in the Medina and therefore the location is often perfect. Many riads have a great roof terrace from where you have a beautiful view.
These are my 11 tips for a citytrip to Marrakech! What are your tips for a citytrip to Marrakech?
From the airport to the city
When you walk out of the airport you will see several taxis ready to take you to the city. The taxis all actually ask the same price for a ride. At the far left you can see the bus waiting and it will take you to the city for a lot less money and it will stop at the central square. The journey time from the airport to the city is about half an hour.
The first impression of the city can be a bit overwhelming and negative. The city is busy and somewhat dusty and the amount of people on the street sometimes causes a small shock. But pierce through those issues and be enchanted by the beautiful sights.
I loved my stay at Riad Zentihya. The place is charming and beautiful! But the best thing about this small hotel is their people, what a wonderful hospitality! The location is great and it’s very accessible to all the sites and restaurants. The rooms are beautiful rooms!
- Not what you are looking for? Find here more great places to stay in Marrakech!
Read more about Morocco
- 10x what to do in the royal city of Fez
- Tangier, the forgotten city of Morocco
- The blue town of Morocco: Chefchaouen
- 12x why Morocco should be your next destination
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