The second you step foot within the walls of Marrakech’s medina, you get the feeling that you are very lost. Not necessarily the I-can’t-find-my-way lost, but an exhilarating lost, like you are about to discover something totally new and exciting at any given turn. Its part due to the maze-like urban fabric, to the utter chaos of motorbikes whizzing past and shop vendors yelling at you from every direction. The combination of all this and more inexplicable things (you have to just SEE it for yourself), lend you to lose all sense of direction, both literally and figuratively.
One thing I definitely recommend above all else to do in Marrakech is just wandering within the walls. Go down streets that seem lively or interesting, take turn after turn, and just get lost.
When you are ready to eat, see, and do the very best that Marrakech has to offer though, then here is your ultimate guide to Marrakech ‘s Must-Do’s. Everything is pinned on a downloadable Google Map here:
What to Wear Guide to Marrakech:
Dinner in Jemaa El Fnaa Square. The epicentre of the medina is the heart of all the action, with every major street running outward from it. By day it’s a thoroughfare, but as dusk settles the square comes alive. Food stalls set up shop in the middle, cooking everything from pigeon pie, sizzling meat skewers alongside Moroccan pita, to tasty soups served in communal bowls. The outer ring is packed with snake charmers louring cobras with flutes, woman coercing passersby into getting henna tattoos, and groups huddled around story tellers listening to their fables. It’s an experience like no other and one not to be missed! I suggest eating at Stall #1, then tracking down the soup stall at the opposite end, and finishing it all off with some mint tea and grabbing some sweets from one of the dessert cars being wheeled around.
Tea at the Royal Mansour. The world’s best hotel is located here in Marrakech, and few get to venture inside. If you’re feeling brave, simply walk in and tell the concierge or doormen that you’re there for a drink. Then perch yourself in the main lobby courtyard and people watch. You could spot some celebrities and even royalty, or at the very least, some very powerful businessmen. Drinking mint tea is religion here, and what better place to enjoy it than the lavish surroundings of the Royal Mansour?
Tea at the Royal Mansour Hotel
Lunch at La Famille. If you find yourself deep within the medina and are looking to get a break from it, then pop into this sanctuary for delicious homemade modern food, washed down with their mint iced tea.
Above two: La Famille Restaurant
Dinner (and Drinks!) at Nomad. This restaurant & bar is the hippest address in town. Enjoy an early dinner on their rooftop terrace and treat yourself to some very hard to come by cocktails.
Above three: (1) Nomad Restaurant Interior; (2) Nomad Food; (3) Nomad Rooftop
Dinner at Le Jardin. Another great alternative for an evening meal, this restaurant is a lush oasis, and also very popular with the young crowd. The moment you walk in from the souk streets, you’re overcome with the beautiful scent of orange flower, which I loved so much I hunted it down to bring home as soon as we left the restaurant.
Drinks at El Fenn. This Riad hotel is my very favourite. It should come as no surprise it’s the lovechild of Richard Branson’s sister, art collector Vanessa & her husband. Behind the entrance’s large black lacquered doors, everything is done impeccably while still maintaining a whimsical element of surprise. Ask to have drinks on the rooftop, the perfect time being watching the sunset over the medina.
Drinks on El Fenn’s Rooftop.
Stay at a Riad, a traditional Moroccan house. The medina is filled with riads that have been converted to hotels, all featuring unique central courtyard gardens. Riads are all quite hidden, and as soon as you open their doors you are transported into a sanctuary contrasting the chaos of the streets beyond. Stepping inside of one to discover its seemingly secret interior is my very favourite part of Morocco. If possible, I’d recommend staying at more than one to get a varied experience, as each one is so unique in it’s own right. Here is my Riad Guide to Marrakech:
WHERE TO STAY IN MARRAKECH
Walk through Jardin Majorelle. The private gardens of designer Yves Saint Laurent made public are just about the best thing to ever happen to architecture meeting fashion. From the over-saturated art deco residence building to the impressive fauna collection, walking through Jardin Majorelle is a psychedelic jungle wonderland, and is absolute must-see.
Relax at the Spa at La Mamounia Hotel. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage and mud bath treatment, or simply purchase the spa day pass, and enjoy the indoor pool facilities, which are way too Instagram-worthy.
Shop at the Souks. Put your haggling skills to the test, and scoop up traditional textiles like white beaded Moroccan Wedding blankets, embroided pillowcases, leather slippers, and if it can fit in your suitcase – brass Bedouin lamps.
For everything in this article pinned on one easy & convenient map, add this Guide to Marrakech to your Google Maps: