Our guide to Marrakech
Discover Marrakech on your Morocco holiday
Marrakech, the ochre city where tradition meets modern to form an unusual and exciting blend. Head to the ancient medina, explore and get lost in the narrow, winding, lively streets to discover the hustle and bustle of the souks, the locals selling their wares whilst haggling with customers over a Moroccan mint tea, and the rich aroma of stalls piled high with exotic, potent spices. The experience is something of an assault on the senses, but likely to leave you with one of the most enduring memories of your holiday. Be sure to try the varied and tempting street food!
The medina spreads like a large spider's web from the multifaceted Jemaa el Fna; the main square. During the day the square is a hive of entertainment with everything from traditional dancers to snake charmers, but at dusk and until late into the night it takes on a very different persona, the square is filled with stalls serving every type of street food from a peppery 'babbouche' broth filled with snail to a couscous tagine, enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike.
Jemaa el Fna is the usual starting place for anyone looking to explore the medina in Marrakech and for first timers it can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. Luckily the square is surrounded by cafes and restaurants with most offering roof terraces, an ideal sanctuary to sit and watch the square and ready yourself for your exploration into the souks and immersion into Marrakech!
Marrakech isn't all about the narrow ancient souks though. Outside the walls of the medina lives a very different city, visit Gueliz or Hivernage, offering modern shopping centres with famous European shops, cafés and restaurants. In these areas you will also find the large modern hotels, bars, casinos and nightclubs.
There is plenty to see in Marrakech, from the Sabine Tombs in the heart of the medina to the beautiful and tranquil Majorelle Gardens on the outskirts. There is also plenty to keep the young and young-at-heart entertained, with water parks, an amusement park, go-karting or maybe even a camel ride!
The city is set against the backdrop of the mighty, often snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Just a 45 mile drive from Marrakech, you can be hiking the Atlas foothills, exploring traditional Berber villages, or, in winter, enjoy a few hours skiing at Africa's highest ski resort of Oukaimeden.
For a true Marrakech experience stay in a Moroccan riad in the heart of the medina. A riad, meaning 'garden' in Arabic is a traditional townhouse formed around a central courtyard. Riads usually offer a small pool in the courtyard and a roof terrace, ideal for enjoying a hearty breakfast, soaking up the sun or having a drink at sunset.
Marrakech is a great winter sun destination in our opinion, with pleasant temperatures ideal for exploring all that this intriguing city has to offer.
The city has some truly world class hotels; why not take a look at some of our favourites.