Marrakech Travel Guide

This comprehensive tour guide offers everything to know about Marrakech, Morocco: places to visit, natural attractions, hiking/biking routes, food and drink scene, safety, transportation options, culture, and more.

Introduction to Marrakech

Marrakech, the Red City of Morocco, is a vibrant and exotic destination that offers a unique blend of Arabic, Berber, and French cultures. Situated at the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is an incredibly popular destination for tourists, thanks to its rich history, lively souks, and stunning architecture.

List of Places to Visit in Marrakech

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Koutoubia Mosque: The largest and most famous mosque in Marrakech.
  • El Badi Palace: A ruined palace that once belonged to a sultan.
  • Bahia Palace: A former palace that features stunning traditional Moroccan architecture.
  • Museum of Marrakech: A beautifully restored palace that now houses a museum of Moroccan art and artifacts.

Natural Attractions of Marrakech: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Jardin Majorelle: A stunning botanical garden that features exotic plants and vibrant colors.
  • Atlas Mountains: A range of mountains that tower over Marrakech, which can be explored on hikes, treks or mule rides.
  • Sahara Desert: A desert that is just a few hours drive from Marrakech, which can be visited during the day, or as part of an overnight camping excursion.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Marrakech

  • Mount Toubkal: The highest peak in North Africa, which can be climbed on a 2-day trek.
  • Ourika Valley: A beautiful valley with waterfalls, Berber villages, and a network of hiking trails.
  • Lalla Takerkoust: An artificial lake that is a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking.

Best Things to Do in Marrakech: Activities and Tours

  • Cooking class: A cooking class is a great way to learn about Moroccan cuisine.
  • Hammam: A traditional Moroccan spa. Hammam treatments are relaxing and rejuvenating.
  • Hot air balloon ride: A hot air balloon ride over Marrakech offers breathtaking, panoramic views of the city.
  • Day trip to Essaouira: A picturesque coastal town of Morocco that is only 2 hours away from Marrakech by car.

Week-Long Itinerary for Marrakech

Day Activities
1 Explore the Medina and visit the Koutoubia Mosque
2 Visit the Bahia Palace and Museum of Marrakech
3 Day trip to Essaouira
4 Hike in the Atlas Mountains
5 Hot air balloon ride over the city
6 Visit Jardin Majorelle and enjoy a relaxing Hammam treatment
7 Day trip to the Sahara Desert

Food and Drink Scene of Marrakech

Must-Try Dishes

  • Tagine: A flavorful stew that is cooked and served in a tagine pot.
  • Couscous: A classic Moroccan dish, made with steamed semolina and usually served with meat or vegetable broth.
  • Pastilla: A sweet-savory pigeon meat pie that is made with phyllo pastry.

Local Beverages

  • Mint tea: A sweet, refreshing tea that is popular throughout Morocco.
  • Fresh juices: Freshly made fruit juices that are sold in the souks and juice bars.

Where to Stay in Marrakech: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Riad: A traditional Moroccan guesthouse that features a central courtyard or garden.
  • Hotel: Marrakech offers hotels to suit all budgets, from luxurious, five-star hotels to small, budget-friendly hotels.
  • Hostel: Hostels can be found in Marrakech offering travelers on a limited budget a comfortable stay.

What to Buy in Marrakech: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Spices: Marrakech’s souks are famous for their spices, which include cumin, paprika, turmeric, and saffron.
  • Textiles: Morocco has a long tradition of weaving and embroidery, and many beautiful textiles are available in Marrakech’s souks.
  • Tagine pots: A tagine pot is a traditional Moroccan cooking pot made from clay or ceramic.

Local Culture and Customs of Marrakech

  • Islam: Moroccans are predominantly Muslim, and prayer is an important part of daily life.
  • Dress code: In general, it is best to dress modestly when visiting Morocco, particularly in more conservative areas.
  • Bargaining: Haggling over prices is a common occurrence in Marrakech and the rest of Morocco.

Best Time to Visit Marrakech

The best time to visit Marrakech is from March to May and from September to November when temperatures are mild and the skies are clear. During the summer months of June to August, temperatures can reach up to 40°C, and the city can be uncomfortably hot. Winter temperatures are cooler, and while rain is rare, it is not unheard of.

Do’s and Don’ts of Marrakech


  • Do dress appropriately: Dress modestly and in keeping with local customs.
  • Do learn a few words of Arabic: Any effort to speak the local language is appreciated.
  • Do bargain: Haggling over prices is expected in Marrakech.


  • Don’t take photos of people without asking: Respect people’s privacy and culture.
  • Don’t drink tap water: Tap water in Morocco is not safe for drinking.
  • Don’t be rude: Be polite and respectful to the locals.

Safety and Health

Safety in Marrakech

Marrakech is generally a safe city, but it is always wise to take precautions. Be aware of pickpockets and scammers in the souks and markets, and avoid walking alone late at night. It is also a good idea to stay in a reputable hotel or guesthouse.

Health in Marrakech

Visitors to Marrakech should take precautions against the hot weather by staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen. It is also recommended to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies before traveling to Morocco.

Getting to Marrakech: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Marrakech

  • Marrakech Menara Airport: The main airport serving Marrakech and surrounding areas.

Bus Stations Near Marrakech

  • Marrakech Bus Station: The main bus station serving Marrakech and surrounding areas.

Other Options

  • Train: The ONCF operates trains from Marrakech to various other parts of Morocco.
  • Car rental: Cars can be rented at the airport and in the city center.

How to Get Around in Marrakech

  • Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Marrakech, and are reasonably priced.
  • Bus: Buses are cheap, but routes can be confusing for visitors.
  • Horse-drawn carriage: A fun and traditional way to travel around Marrakech’s old city, Medina.
  • Walking: Walking is the best way to explore Marrakech’s sights, sounds, and smells.

Where to Go Next from Marrakech: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Essaouira: A picturesque coastal town about 2 hours from Marrakech by car or bus.
  • Ouzoud Waterfalls: A series of stunning waterfalls that are located in the Atlas Mountains, approximately 2 hours drive from Marrakech.
  • Ait Ben Haddou: An ancient mud-brick village that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Marrakech is a magical destination that has something to offer everyone, whether it is the excitement of the souks, the tranquility of the gardens, or the adventure of the mountains. Follow our guide and create your own itinerary, so that you make the most out of your visit to this exotic paradise.