From blushing sunsets to bustling marketplaces and the lingering scent of spice in the air – a holiday to Marrakech will indulge all your senses. Aside from its iconic attractions and captivating culture, there’s plenty to experience in Morocco’s spirited capital, whether you’re whisking away your other half on a romantic break, or heading off on an adventure with friends.
Morocco presents the perfect mix of old and new, showcased in its striking religious buildings and heaving nightclubs. For those in search of scenic surroundings, you won’t need to venture too far. The majestic Atlas Mountains serve as a backdrop to the city, offering a spectacular setting for keen hikers and cyclists.
Fill your days meandering the network of winding streets or exploring Marrakech’s famous marketplaces. Dip into a pavement café for a cooling mint tea, or uncover some of the city’s beautiful gardens. For those in want of a dose of culture, there are several museums and art galleries to explore, documenting the capital’s fascinating past.
Known as the historical heart of the city, Marrakech’s medina is ideal for those intrigued by the city’s past. A labyrinth of alleyways and shaded areas lead to traditional souks and old architecture, where you’ll sample an authentic taste of exotic Marrakech.
Popular with tourists, this section of the city is adorned with tree-lined avenues and luxurious hotels. Although the area is often quiet, you’ll experience a thriving nightlife – from its busy bars to its stylish nightclubs.
The Palm Grove District
Embrace your inner VIP and head straight for the iconic Palm Grove. Although some may say it isn’t as attractive as it once was, there’s still a certain glamour to be had about this part of the city. Amid millionaires and minor film stars, you’ll encounter a number of great hotels to stay in – most boasting magnificent pools.
Jemaa el Fna
For an authentic glimpse of Marrakech, there’s no better place to visit than Jemaa el Fna. While the square by day is just a vast open space, there’s plenty of culture to immerse yourself in. Snake charmers linger around the area, showing off their tricks, while street sellers show their wares. Come nightfall, this setting comes into its own. A myriad of storytellers, entertainers and musicians take to the street, mingled with music and the scent of some of Morocco’s best street food stalls.
The largest mosque in the city, Koutoubia is a must-visit for your trip to Marrakech. Decorated with curved windows and fenced in with lush gardens, it’s a spectacle to look at – dominating the skyline, you’ll find it hard to miss. The mosque dates back to the 12th century too, so there’s a wealth of history to be discovered inside.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
History fans on a Moroccan getaway should head to Ben Youssef Madrasa. Founded in the 14th century, it’s arguably one of the most beautiful sights in the city. Explore its stunning Islamic architecture, amazing stucco work and mosaics as you take a wander within its walls. Make sure you take time to see the prayer room – look up and you’ll see an impressive dome made up of a myriad of mosaic windows.
Enjoy the city’s gardens
Away from the noise and raucousness of the city’s souks is a charming collection of gardens. Located just outside the grand medina, the Arset El-Mamoun gardens were created in the 18th century and remain one of the most iconic sights in Marrakech. Walk through narrow pathways amid flowerbeds, orange groves and orange trees before settling down to afternoon tea on the rear terrace.
Visit Morocco’s museums
There are several exhibitions for those holidaying in Marrakech, whether you’re looking to delve into the city’s history or appreciate the wide collection of art on offer. The Dar Si Said Museum boasts a wealth of artwork made from ceramics, leather and cedar, while the Douiria Mouassine showcases a traditional apartment from the 17th century. Head into the Maison de la Photographie to catch a glimpse of over 8,000 photographs spanning from 1870-1950 – the museum’s terrace offers an ideal setting to linger over a drink or two.
Embrace the city’s nightlife
There’s plenty of great nightlife to be found in Marrakech, whether you fancy sipping cocktails in a rooftop bar or going all-out at one the city’s nightclubs. You’ll find a surprising amount of chic bars and cafes throughout the city, with entertainment often delivered in the form of loud live music or nightly belly-dancing performances.
Sightseeing in Marrakech
Marrakech is abound with alluring architecture and traditional buildings, meaning you won’t be short of sights to uncover on your holiday. The medina, or old city, is the main attraction for most, thanks to its bustling souks and infectious atmosphere. Head to the Jemaa El-Fnaa, the large square situated at the entrance of the old town. Here, you’ll discover everything from storytellers and musicians to market sellers and even snake charmers – it’s not hard to fall in love with Marrakech and the endless experiences it has to offer.
Those looking to grab an experience of the city’s religious buildings should begin with a visit to the Koutoubia Mosque. One of Marrakech’s most famous landmarks, it was built in 1162 and is an imposing figure over the city, making for a great photograph opportunity. For a real taste of grandeur, visit the Bahia Palace and marvel at its tree-lined gardens and elaborately painted ceilings.
Visit the tanneries
An increasingly popular spot for tourists, Marrakech’s famous tanneries are well worth a visit. This is where the raw material for fine leather goods is produced, some of which you’ll see being sold in and around the city. As the tanneries have been around since 1062, there’s a considerable history attached to the practice. Nowadays, as it was then, you’ll see men cleaning and curing animal skins in a vat filled with a cocktail of liquids before placing them to dry out in the sun. Offering a glimpse into the city’s history, this is a unique experience not to be missed.
Just outside of the walls of Marrakech’s iconic Medina is where you’ll find the glorious Majorelle Garden. The garden is named after its creator, Jacques Majorelle, an artist who settled in Marrakech. After his death in 1962, the gardens remained unkempt until they were bought by French fashion designed Yves Saint Laurent in 1980 and fully restored. Entry to the garden is through a traditional Moroccan door, leading through to an intimate courtyard complete with an ornate fountain. There’s an eclectic mix of flora and fauna in and around the garden, making it a pleasant place for a leisurely walk. The centrepiece of the gardens is Majorelle’s former residence, a grand two-storey structure painted in a bright blue and adorned with intricately carved frames.
Cuisine in Marrakech
Morocco’s capital is famed for its excellent cuisine, with many tourists hitting the city just to sample a taste of its exotic offerings. You’ll find food for just about any budget in Marrakech, from the street vendors to high-end restaurants, too.
Influenced by Spain, Arabia and France, Moroccan cuisine has a distinct flavour to it, mixing ingredients to create a unique experience. For breakfast, make sure you get your hands on B’sara. This deliciously rich soup of broad beans might not sound like it would alight your taste buds, but the olive oil and spices accompanied by fresh bread from the oven makes it a winning treat for the first meal of the day.
Tagine and couscous are also readily available on most menus in Marrakech, and worth a try for an authentic taste of the city.
Restaurants in Marrakech
Restaurants are hardly few and far between in Marrakech, with many serving up authentically Moroccan cuisine. While the medina has plenty of street food vendors, it’s wise to be picky about your choice. You’ll find particularly stylish eateries situated in the Gueliz area of Marrakech, while the Medina’s family-run restaurants boast great value eats and old family recipes.
Of course, Marrakech’s restaurants don’t just serve up local dishes. You’ll find a range of international flavours at some of the city’s award-winning eateries, everything from scandi-style offerings to Italian and fresh cuisine.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in its infectious atmosphere or delve deep in its historic side, you’re sure to fall in love with Marrakech. Whether strolling through its scenic gardens or tucking into the delicious dishes, there’s plenty to keep you captivated on a holiday to Marrakech.
Booking your getaway to Marrakech with easyJet holidays is the ideal way to enjoy a city break without the hassle. Best of all, you’ll save on your trip when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays.