I want to start this off by saying that of all the places I’ve visited in the world, there’s nowhere quite like Marrakech. Even now, I can still remember the pleasant warming heat, the rose gold tint and fragrant incense creating a heady glow wherever you venture.
It’s one of those places that you never forget. Not least because of the magical atmosphere but because of its friendly people and copious amounts of hidden secrets to uncover around every corner. But, of course, there are some that are vital to any city break to Marrakech and this is what I wanted to share – it’s only fair that you discover the hidden ones for yourself when wandering the labyrinth-esque city!
Things to do in Marrakech
1 – Revel in the theatre of the city’s main square
No matter what time you visit the UNESCO heritage site of Djemaa el-Fna, you will always be surrounded by people – this can be anxiety-inducing for some but others it’s exhilarating. If you can keep up with the constantly moving landscape of market sellers, story tellers and entertainers, then it’ll prove a real gem on your trip. The best time to visit is just as the sun is setting as it’ll feel like you’re being immersed in a Cirque de Soleil performance – what’s more you’ll be able to grab the tastiest bites on the communal barbecue as you watch beneath the vibrant lanterns.
Visiting hours: Open daily from 7am-2am.
2 – Lose yourself in the specialist souks
If you don’t visit a souk in Marrakech, then you haven’t truly been. Walk among the medieval old-town of the city to discover Souk Sebbaghine where you’ll walk past freshly dyed wool as they’re hung out to dry, Souk Lebbadine where you’ll find intricate woodwork, Souk Smata (my personal favourite) where you’ll find traditional slippers in every colour of the rainbow and Souk Semmarine where you’ll find an assortment of high-quality leather goods. This is truly a shopper’s paradise – just remember to barter, it’s all part of the fun!I
Visiting hours: Open daily from 10am-7pm.
3 – Soak your tired feet in a traditional bathhouse
After all that walking and the unrelenting desert heat, you’ll want to take some time off your feet. There’s nowhere better for this than a traditional bathhouse. There are many steam-filled hammams you can choose from, there may even be one where you’re staying; each have their own bath attendants who’ll guide you through the process, soaking you in olive soap before rubbing you to within an inch of your life, before coating you in an attractive mud mask. Take a sip of your (often complimentary) rose-flavoured mint tea before you do.
Visiting hours: Most hammams are open between 9am-10pm.
4 – Delight in a tropical oasis in the heart of the desert
If you’re craving a haven away from the bustle of the city, take a trip to exotic Jardin Majorelle. Be surrounded by a harmonious botanical wonderland of fuchsia bougainvillea, quirky-looking cacti and sweet-smelling lotus flowers. Originally home to landscape painter, Jacques Majorelle, his vivid villa is clearly influenced by his artistic boldness, coupled with burnt-orange walls and green reflective tiled pools – complete with water lilies. Follow the shaded paths and go inside the villa to see a beautiful exhibition of tribal garments and artefacts.
Visiting hours: Open daily from 8am-5.30pm.
5 – Gaze at the majesty of Marrakech’s mosques
In the middle of Marrakech’s medina opposite Djemaa el-Fna, Koutoubia Mosque stands proud as the tallest building in the city. Although you cannot visit inside the largest mosque in Marrakech unless you’re a Muslim – it is a place of worship – you can wander its grounds and listen to the enchanting call to prayer that echoes around the walls of the city. I personally found it captivating.
Let me know in the comments if you’d recommend anywhere you’ve found in Marrakech, it’s about time I went back!
If you’d rather visit the beautiful Moroccan seaside on a spa break, take a look at Laura’s Le Jardin des Douars hotel review.