The riads, food, and amount of detail in all artisan work will be some of the few things in Marrakech that will leave you captivated and wanting more. I had the pleasure of spending 2 incredible days in Marrakech and I’m excited to share the perfect way to spend a short amount of time in this incredible city!
With so many amazing riads, be sure to stay local for an authentic experience! Check into your hidden Riad, typically hidden in an alley way, keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow the provided instructions carefully. Often when asking strangers for help, they will take you astray and ask for compensation (this happened to us!).
Get lost in the Souks
Start your morning by wandering towards the souks! It isn’t too hard to get lost, trust me on that. As soon as you enter the narrow pathways and start getting distracted by the numerous vendors, you’ll find yourself lost in this chaotic but mesmerizing space. Be sure to go during daylight because once the sun sets, it does get dangerous and you may not feel at ease trying to find your way back out. Do go shopping and don’t forget to heavily bargain for a better rate!
Djemaa el Fna
Next stop is the Djemaa el Fan, this large open square is sensory overload and very easy to find once you’re at the souks. All the juices, cafes and food being cooked are not only going to stimulate your taste buds but you’ll be shocked to see all the sights this space offers (no really.. it offers everything)! When walking around you’ll encounter snake and monkey charmers, people playing chess, fortunetellers, dentists, belly dancers, oh the list goes on! You’ll be in for a treat and never bored.
This mosque is easy to spot from the Medina and worth taking a moment to admire the intricate designs. As it is viewable from the Djemaa el Fna, and not too far of a walk, I would highly recommend heading that way for a closer view.
Eat at Nomads
This instagrammable cafe offers amazing views of the Medina as well as the Atlas Mountains. The food and drinks are also quite tasty! Be sure to try their Pastilla as it was the highlight of our meal at Nomads.
After getting yourself familiar with Marrakech, petting all the cats (there’s a lot in Morocco), exploring the Medina and learning how to bargain; you’ll be ready for a full day of museum hopping and historical site explorations!
Start bright and early at the Jardin Majorelle. This famous garden was created by Jacques Majorelle and was later purchased and gifted to Marrakech by the famous fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). YSL had purchased this beautiful garden in order to preserve it from hotel developers. Although this is a tourist hot spot, it is rather beautiful and in my opinion worth while to check out. Admission costs are 70MAD/person which is roughly ~10CAD.
Right beside the Jardin Majorelle is the YSL museum, a place dedicated entirely to the creation and life of Yves Saint Laurent. Even if you’re not interested in high end fashion, this museum illustrated the life of YSL, why he fell in love with Morocco and the meaning behind his work. As you’re already in the area and this is right beside the garden Majorelle, I highly recommend taking a glimpse into the life of YSL for 60MAD (~9CAD).
These rediscovered tombs are beautifully designed and a must see. You could spend a couple hours or even half an hour wandering around admiring the eery yet tranquil area.
WOW. simply WOW. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy my tour around the Bahia palace as much as I did. Not only is this place huge, but the designs, gardens, and colours used are just stunning. For only 10MAD (~1.30CAD) this needs to be on your must see list!
Unfortunately Ben Yourself was under construction while I was there, but when I return to Morocco, you can bet this will be the first place I go to! If you get the opportunity to go into Ben Youseff, you should definitely go. It resembles a larger version of the Al Attarine Madrasa in Fez and I simply fell in love with that place. To read more about this stunning location, read my post about what to see in Fez!