What To Do In Marrakech

All of our trips to Morocco enter and exit through Marrakech and it’s highly likely that you’ll spend a couple of nights here, so it’s time to explore!

So what’s to do and see given the time?

Want more time in Marrakech? – scroll to the bottom of this post.

MarrakechMarrakech’s Old City is bounded by the 6m high walled ramparts and inside those walls is where all of the action is (generally). You will pass through the wall entrance on your way to the hotel. The wall measures just 19 miles long all of the way around so if you spend longer here, you could cycle it quite easily (bikes are available for hire). The city is now expanding way beyond the wall.

Marrakech is famous for its main square- the Jemaa el-Fnaa. Whilst there’s plenty of activity going on during the day, it bursts into life at night in a sea of colour, noise, sights and sounds. There are rows of food stalls all brightly lit up vying for your business and an equal number of other stalls selling fruit juices and nuts and all sorts of other market traders. Story Tellers and other entertainers are there in abundance. A trip to Marrakech is not complete without visiting the Jemaa el-Fnaa under darkness.

Tip … please be very aware of pickpockets.

MarrakechAdjoining the square is the Medina. This maze of alleyways is home to the plethora of souks (markets) all interwoven. Stalls that specialise in particular wears (such as clothing or leather bags) tend to be found in the same area once you get further in. It can be great fun getting lost but thankfully, the locals are used to pointing tourists in the right direction. The stall holders are expert bargainers so if you are tempted to buy, know your prices and bargain hard, but politely.

Tip … keep an eye on the time and make sure you have the address of your hotel with you.

Restaurants. Most restaurants that surround the main square use fixed menus and are alcohol free. If you fancy a beer or a glass of wine and prefer a more choice and a cosmopolitan menu, then you need to head a little further out. Head out to the main Avenue Mohammed VI. You’ll find a few along there, notably the Portofino restaurant. It’s close, contemporary, good menu, sells alcohol and it’s air conditioned.

Bars and Nightclubs. Your hotel is likely to have a bar but if you wish to go to a bar/club then it’s best to google it and see what takes your fancy. If you fancy something really special, try the Le Bar Churchill in the La Mamounia Hotel. This is a top end hotel frequented by Sir Winston Churchill and there is a dress code with prices to match. The Hivernage District hosts several 4/5* hotels and they all have decent bars, music playing, etc..

Hammams. Traditional (and local) hammams are public bathhouses. Not all dwellings in the old city had hot running water so Hammams were installed in every community. The more traditional ones are where you are likely to be scrubbed to within an inch of your life. If you escape with your dignity in tact, you’re lucky! But it’s a great experience. Hammams have however, become big business in Marrakech and you’re likely to find a mid range or luxury spa in your hotel or not too far away. If you fancy one on your return from trekking, it’s best to try and book in advance (get the telephone number prior to departing on trek and get the guide to call on your way back to coordinate timings).

MarrakechSpices. If you enjoy cooking, then you might want to consider seeking out and taking home some of your more popular spices, such as ground ginger. They are a fraction of the price but don’t buy in the Medina. Find a local side shop and as ever, make sure you know your prices.

More Time In Marrakech? An extra 24hrs (1 night) added onto the end of your trip (maybe 48 hrs) is probably all that is needed to quell the appetite of most travellers here. Planned from the outset, a different return date (flight) is likely to cost nothing (we don’t charge admin fees for that) and the hotel night + return airport transfers will cost in the region of £40 – £45 pp if there are 2 of you. Call us on 01529 488159.

Getting Around – Marrakech is a very walkable place so wear sensible footwear! The Jemaa el Fanaa, the Medina and local restaurants are all very close. If you spent no additional time here, then what is mentioned above is going to fill your time with ease.
Any specific bars or clubs, etc… you may have spied on the web may require a ‘petite taxi’ to get you there a bit quicker. These little taxis are in abundance, just be prepared to bargain and if you can speak french, so much the better.

Our Treks:

Sahara Desert, 3 Peaks, Snow and Sand, Atlantic Coast, Mt Toubkal


About the Author:

Terry Crosby is the founder and co-owner of Travel and Trek Limited. He started the Company in 2005 after an long military career, which ultimately gave him the skills to set up, run, manage and develop what is now a global adventure travel company. He has extensive experience in all of the countries the company travel to and is an ex Mountain Leader and Arctic Survival Instructor.