A central starting or ending point for most Morocco trips, Marrakesh is one of the nation’s four imperial cities. Let’s see what this increasingly modern town has got to offer!
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Location: Central Morocco. 2 hour 35 minute car ride or train from Casablanca.
When to visit: Any time of year. Spring is cool and considered an off season (when I visited)
How many days: I only had one day here but you could explore comfortably 3 days-1 week, depending on how much time you have for day trips to see the surrounding area.
Parking: There is lots of street parking.
Things to Do
This will be your starting point, since many core itinerary items are accessible from here. Be prepared to hold your bags in front of you and continue walking if sellers are pressuring you. While we never felt unsafe here, local friends provided us this advice and it was effective. Pickpockets are not uncommon here after dark.
Now for the fun stuff: shopping, fresh smoothies, rooftop restaurant/bar views from the main square. There is one currency exchange here for travelers looking to transfer over to the Morrccoan Dyram (which you will need if you are making any market purchases throughout Morocco).
Jamaa El Fnaa Square
Jamma El Fnaa is really what the Medina is centralized around. We ate at two higher end restaurants here that were both delicious with traditional moroccan cuisine: ____ and Argana.
Couscous is a staple dish of the country. It is absolutely delicious! It is served with a small bowl of sauce on the side for pouring. For my vegetarian friends, it is traditional for chickpeas to be sprinkled along the edges so your protein fix is there.
It is also traditional to serve dishes with this type of lid over your plate. Many medina shops also sell variations of this for home use, or home decor.
A short walk across the street from the medina and square, you will be standing in front of the beautiful koutobia (and an awesome white building).
Super cool to explore the beautiful architecture, alongside nooks and crannies throughout. There was no entrance fee.
Explore Gueliz, New Town
(Photo credits to my friend Meghan from A World to Discover Traveling, as I did not make it to Majorelle gardens so she provided the photos and information)
(Photo credits again to my friend Meghan from A World to Discover Traveling, as I did not make it to Ourika on my visit but absolutely plan to on my next trip).
Honestly, I cannot speak highly enough about our day trip to Aitben Haddou! I wished we had made it a two day trip as the drive is 4 hours, and we wanted to take our time. However, it is totally doable in a day if you get a very early start. There are also neighboring cities to explore such as Ouarazate. The drive up is very winding and with steep incline; this combined with my jetlag made me motion sick, so I really wish I had packed some sort of medicine or remedy for the car.
There is no entrance fee but there are many options to hire a walking guide for a negotiable price when you enter. Some guides will offer access to locations that tourists cannot enter on their own, some of which require a small fee. It is up to you which you wish to prioritize. I am certain your experience will be enjoyable no matter what. Click the complete guide here.
Have you visited Marrakesh, or elsewhere in Morocco? Questions? Drop a comment below!