Marrakech is a magical city. It’s a place which you will experience with all your senses. We were fascinated by all the colors and the hustle and bustle of the Medina and sometimes we were overwhelmed by all the fantastic tastes and new impressions. Marrakech is truly one of our favorite cities we have ever been and where we would love to go back to over and over again. In this blog post, we share our top things to do in Marrakech as well as the best places to stay and eat.
Best time to travel to Marrakech
In summer, it can get boiling in the city, so we wouldn’t recommend you go during the Summer months. The perfect time to travel to Marrakech is between October and April. Even though December is the highest risk for rainy days, it is not that bad to experience a bit of rain during your stay. It usually doesn’t rain for a week. We visited Marrakech in November and had a perfect sunny week.
How many days do you need to experience the best things to do in Marrakech
We spent one week in Marrakech, including one overnight trip to Ouarzazate, and this was the perfect amount of time to explore everything we wanted. If you plan on going on a desert trip to the Sahara, we would recommend you plan in more time. The Sahara is quite far from the city, and you should count in at least three days to do that.
Where to stay in Marrakech
When visiting Marrakech, it’s a must to stay at a Riad. Riads are traditional Moroccan houses with an interior garden or courtyard. There are many beautiful Riads in Marrakech, and it gets tough to choose. So we decided to stay at two different places during our trip.
Riad Jardin Secret
For the first three nights, we stayed at the fabulous Riad Jardin Secret, and we can highly recommend this Riad for your stay. This place has a beautiful interior garden with giant Banana trees and an even more gorgeous pink rooftop. We seriously didn’t want to leave this place ever again when we discovered this beautiful rooftop. We had breakfast on the rooftop every morning during our stay and also enjoyed a lovely sunset with delicious Moroccan tea up there.
What we loved most about this Riad were the great hosts and the fantastic food they served. They only cooked vegetarian dinners that we loved, and we enjoyed staying in one night and having a great dinner at home. Also, the breakfast was fabulous, and they serve vegan breakfast too.
The second Riad we stayed at was the Riad BE, which has the most stunning courtyard ever. It is in blue tones and is made with a lot of love for details. The people in this Riad are such lovely and great hosts. They serve a very delicious breakfast, and the coffee is fantastic. This is always a big plus for us coffee addicts.
Also, Riad BE has a beautiful rooftop, which is one of the things we loved most about Marrakech. The many beautiful rooftop places where you can enjoy Sunsets or your Breakfast.
8 Best things to do in Marrakech
There are so many unique places and amazing things to do in Marrakech. Even to stroll through the city, the colorful streets and the Souk (Market) can quickly fill up a day and is so much fun. If you like to shop in Marrakech, there are many great things to find, but don’t forget to haggle with the men in the markets, and don’t be afraid of it. It can be great fun if you practice a bit.
Besides strolling through the city and letting yourself drift and discover hidden gems, we recommend you visit the following places:
The Jardin Secret is truly a hidden gem. It is a beautiful garden where you can relax and read a book away from the hectic in the city streets. There is a rooftop Café inside of the garden and many beautiful places to discover. The entrance fee is 50 Dirhams.
The Bahia Palace is a set of different beautiful courtyards which are capturing the Islamic and Moroccan style. It was built in the 19th century and was home to the Sultan and his Harem. This place is full of beautiful tiled and decorated spots. We recommend you to go early because the crowds can make it hard to get a nice photo and to enjoy this beautiful place.
The Souk of Marrakech
The most colorful part of Marrakech is the large Souk, which contains many small streets full of shops and large marketplaces with artisanal work, food, spices, rugs, and much more. Around the souk, you can find many rooftop restaurants to take a break and watch the hustling and bustling from above. It can be a hectic experience, but one of the best things to do in Marrakech is to experience local culture and food.
Maison de la Photographie
The Maison de la Photographie is a beautiful Riad that hosts Moroccan photography from different times. It is worth a visit. The entrance fee is about 50 Dirhams, and there is a lovely rooftop Café if you need a rest. But besides the amazing photos in that, you can discover here the house itself is already beautiful to see.
Jardin Majorelle & Musee Yves Saint Laurent
Visiting these two places was one of our highlights of the things to do in Marrakech, but we highly recommend you go very early in the morning. We came at sunset time, and it was too crowded. We went to the Musee Yves Saint Laurent first because no one was waiting in line. We bought a combo ticket (for about 100 Dirham) there, so we didn’t have to wait in line at the garden after. This worked out very well for us.
The Museum was fascinating, and there are a lot of spectacular dresses that Yves Saint Laurent created to see. The Jardin Majorelle was the former house of this Legend, and it was so magical to visit this place. The garden is lovely, with a lot of different cactuses. There was also a little exhibition about the Berber culture, which was very interesting too. We loved this place and stayed for a coffee and smoothie at the cute Restaurant.
Visit Ben Youssef Madrasa
Formerly an Islamic colleague and today one of the most stunning historical sights you can visit in Marrakech. Especially to take photos; it’s an amazing place but also one of the most visited ones, so make sure to visit early in the morning when it opens at 9 am. This place was closed for renovation for many years, so we could not go during our visit. But we want to go back to Marrakech to see it one day.
Spa Day at the La Mamounia
It was not the most common thing to do in Marrakech, but we treated ourselves to a spa day pass at the spectacular La Mamounia. We had seen this place in many photos and wanted to see it in real life, too. Since this hotel is way too expensive for our budget, we decided to go for a Spa day. Even if you don’t want to go to a fancy Spa as we did, we recommend you go to a Hammam because this is part of the Moroccan culture and a fantastic experience.
The day pass at the Spa of La Mamounia is a bit pricey. It costs about 1600 Dirhams and includes lunch at the buffet, a Massage, a Hammam, and the most spectacular indoor swimming pool we have ever seen. You can make your reservation online and get your day pass at the Reception on arrival.
Desert Trip to Ouarzazate
We didn’t have enough time to go on a desert trip to the Sahara because it is pretty far from the city, but we wanted to visit this beautiful Oasis called Ouarzazate, which is well known from Game of Thrones what we love to watch. Also, this place was quite a long ride across the Atlas mountains, but it was worth the journey and one of our favorite things to do from Marrakech. We recommend you stay overnight at a Guesthouse. You can walk all the streets up to the city’s highest point, with a spectacular view. We also went in front of the city’s gate, which was a beautiful place to take pictures.
We booked our trip to Ouarzazate with Days Morocco Tours.
After our desert trip, we came back for the last night to the Riad BE and discovered they have a second new house, which is very beautiful too.
Where to eat in Marrakech
We wrote a separate food guide for vegan and vegetarian food in Marrakech. Of course, most of the restaurants we listed have other dishes too.
Vegan Marrakech – 8 best restaurants you have to try
Marrakech can be pretty overwhelming at first, especially for first-time visitors. What makes the city so unique is the cultural mix of its Berber origins and the Arab and French influence that has shaped the city over the years. Today, it is an excellent place for a cultural experience and to get lost in a totally new world of colors, spices, and art. The aesthetics of the Riads and the many amazing restaurants are one of our favorite parts about Marrakech.