Marrakech, a place where beauty and chaos dance together in an ever-enchanting manner. A place where snake charmers, fortune tellers, and street market hustlers gather to captivate the attention of those puppy-eyed tourists.
Yet, aside from all the hustle and bustle, Marrakech is a place where you can find peace; getting lost through the cities endless mazes, finding riads with internal gardens and architecture so beautiful that you’ll never want to leave.
However, navigating through Marrakech can be tiresome, so without further adieu, read on for our Pocket Guide to Marrakech.
Where to eat
Eating Tajines daily can take a toll, and after a few days, we were happy to find Nomad: a trendy restaurant serving international cuisine with a Moroccan twist. You’ll still find local favourites, but geared towards westerners missing familiar foods. There’s also a spectacular rooftop with panoramic views over the Medina (worth it for just this alone).
An understated local eatery that served one of our favourite Moroccan meals. Helmed by the former chef to the previous king, Chez Lamine dishes up 9hour slow cooked beef over charcoals. No need for knives and forks, simply pluck with bread.
An upmarket Moroccan restaurant outside the hustle of the Medina. You’ll find all the classics here, yet in a refined and elegant setting with white tablecloths and beautiful silverware. Al Fassia can fill out quickly, so try to book as early in advance as possible, especially when heading during the busier months.
A cute lunch spot for aperitif or light snacks. La Famille is set inside a luscious green garden, a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech’s Medina which can often be overwhelming.
Where to shop
Majorelle Sofiane Zarib
Arguably the best carpet store in all of Morocco. Soufioane Zarib has been exporting his tremendously high-quality rugs to the world for over 3 generations. Head to their showroom and be mesmerized by the rugs on offer. All are made locally, by hand, with designs that would look more at home in MoMa than Marrakech.
If you’re after some hand-made scarfs for your upcoming desert adventures, drop into By Faissal, where you’ll find a plethora of scarfs, each with different levels of artisanal craftsmanship.
A beautiful and stylish boutique that sells Moroccan garments, homewares, and accessories. There’s a distinct bohemian twist on the Moroccan Street Style, which is purportedly the first of its kind in Marrakech. Max&Jan is a must visit!
What to do
Delve into the world of the mastermind behind his eponymous label, Yves Saint Laurent, at Musee YSL. This masterfully designed space showcases his most famous collections, with a cinema and gallery inside.
Next to the Musee YSL, you’ll find the most iconic gardens in all of Marrakech, the Majorelle Garden. Hundreds of tourists visit each day so be sure to get in early to avoid the traffic.
There’s plenty of rooftop hangouts overlooking Djemaa El Fna. Kick back, relax and watch the hundreds of tourists get swindled by hustlers.
Learn how to cook traditional Moroccan dishes at Faim d’epices. Their class is located a short drive outside of Marrakech in a beautiful compound surrounded by fresh seasonal produce. Walk away from this day and impress your guests at the next dinner party!
Where to drink
While drinking is often frowned upon in Morocco, you’re still able to enjoy a few cocktails in certain places, if you desire. La Mammonia is a 5-star hotel, where you’ll find multiple bars inside. Arguably the best and most well known is Le Churchill, which comes with the recommendation of its namesake, Winston Churchill, who drank there often.
Where to stay
Anywhere close to Djemaa El Fna, the towns most popular city square. There are a plethora of chic riads available on Airbnb and the like!
There are hundreds of scam artists sifting through the streets of Marrakech, often it’s incredibly hard to distinguish between someone trying to help you, and someone trying to get cash. Here’s a few to typical scams to be wary of.
‘’The street is closed’’ – GoogleMaps is useless here. The shoulder with mazes coupled with poor reception means getting around is done the old school way.
‘’This one is free for you’’ – More often than not, they’ll request money after handing over whatever they’re trying to sell.
Keep your smarts about you, and you’ll be fine.
French and Arabic, but able to get by comfortably with English.
The best times to visit Marrakech are from March to May and between September and November. These shoulder seasons are known for their desirable weather. Peak summer is extremely hot.
$1 AUD = ~6MAD
They say your first trip to Morocco is never your last, and we’re already itching to get back.
This Guide was last updated on the 29/04/2019.