Marrakesh, Morocco has it all with a rich blend of tradition and modernity—there’s Islamic architecture, ancient artistry, souks (markets) shopping, and the medina. The culture is vast, the food is unique, and the textiles can’t be beaten. When visiting Marrakesh, there’s so much to do, and here’s everything you should know before visiting the North African city.
If you’re staying around the medina, it’s easy to get to the souks and other touristy spots. If you plan on hailing a taxi, be prepared to bargain, as drivers may try to overcharge tourists. It’s important to know that you shouldn’t pay more than 35-45 Moroccon Dirhams to places around the medina and modern parts of the city nearby.
Where to Stay
Riad means garden in Arabic, and this traditional house in Morocco has an inner courtyard and garden. This riad is located in the medina, but it’s far enough away from the busy center.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Marrakech Carre Eden
This hotel is situated in the modern part of the city, just outside of the medina. If you’re looking for a more modern experience than staying in the riads, this hotel has a pool and spacious rooms and it’s not far from restaurants and shops.
Best Time to Go
The best times to visit Marrakesh are in March to May and September to November since the temperatures have cooled and the average high is around the low 70s to low 90s. This is also when you’ll get the best hotel rates.
What to Do
Souks are Arab markets and they’re usually open-air, open every day. Locals get everything they need from spices and tagine to glassware and scarves at the souks. You’ll want to haggle when you find something worthwhile.
Built between 1894 and 1900 for Bou Ahmed, the grand vizier and ruler of Morocco, the famous palace has beautiful courtyards, ceilings with colorful designs, colorful geometric mosaic tilework, carved plasterwork, and painted wood detailing.
Home to 66 members of the Saadian dynasty, which ruled Marrakesh between 1524 and 1688, the 16th-century burial ground has tombs including that of ruler Al-Mansour.
This striking 70-meter-tall landmark was built in 1162 and it’s the largest mosque in Marrakesh. According to legends, when it was built, the muezzin (a man called to prayer) had to be blind as the building was too tall.
What to Eat
Tagine, a traditional Moroccan dish, is named after the earthenware pot it’s cooked in. It’s pretty much a North African stew with meats and vegetables.
Moroccan Mint Tea
Mint tea is super popular in Morocco and Moroccans drink it during the day and evening. Usually the tea is made with spearmint leaves, but it can also be made absinthium or wild mint.
Made from strips of dough that have been rolled, twisted, and folded and shaped into a flower, before being fried and coated with sesame seeds and syrup or honey, this sweet pastry is popular, especially during Ramadan.
This traditional Moroccan soup is made from chickpeas, lentils, and tomatoes. Some recipes include beef, lamb, chicken, rice, and vegetables and it’s one of the cheapest street foods you’ll find.