Marrakech has an energy unlike any place I’ve ever been. Stepping into the souks will set the tone for your entire visit. The character of these streets is quintessentially Morocco: vibrant, busy, and culturally unique. You can have any adventure you want here – there’s so much to see within the winding streets and in the outskirts of town. If Morocco is on your mind, read on for our day guide to this amazing city…
9:00am — Breakfast
Staying in a Riad is like stepping into a hidden oasis. Riads are typical accommodation in Marrakech, and are often tucked away from the bustling streets of the town. We stayed at Riad Yamina, where I started my mornings with a traditional Moroccan breakfast while planning out the day.
10:00am — Hotel Mamounia
To experience Moroccan architecture at its finest, I recommend visiting Hotel Mamounia, a palace-hotel that dates back to the 12th century and has hosted the likes of Yves Saint-Laurent and Ray Charles. I could spend hours wandering the gardens of this incredible property. Dress appropriately (no shorts or sandals) and get lost here.
11:30am — Koutoubia Mosque
Next to Hotel Mamounia is the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. It’s perfect for a quick visit to admire the architecture of the tower and its surroundings. Note: you can only step foot inside if you are Muslim.
12:00pm — Jamaâ el Fnaa Square
I suggest wandering through Jamaâ el Fnaa square mid-day. It hosts food stalls, snake charmers, street vendors, and much more. I treated myself to an orange juice here and it was the best I’ve ever had!
12:30pm — Lunch
Getting hungry? Make your way through the souks en route to Café Zaza, which serves traditional Moroccan food and has an excellent rooftop view in the heart of the Medina.
2:00pm — Ben Youssef Madrasa
After filling up, I suggest paying a visit to Ben Youssef Madrasa, an old college dating back to the 14th century with some of the most beautiful tile work I’ve ever seen. You’ll feel like you are stepping back in time wandering through the grounds.
3:00pm — Shop the souks
Visiting the souks is an experience in itself, and is not to be missed! There are gems to be found in these busy markets. Take home a traditional Moroccan wedding blanket or some hand-painted bowls – but don’t forget to haggle. I typically paid 1/3 of the price that was originally given for anything we bought.
4:30pm — Tea time
For a late afternoon pick-me-up, why not indulge in some traditional Moroccan tea? There are plenty of options to choose from, and it also doesn’t hurt to retreat to your Riad if your hands are full from successful bargaining at the souks…
6:00pm — Pre-dinner drinks
If you haven’t wandered the streets enough yet, this is an ideal time. Getting lost here is inevitable, but there’s something to see around every corner! You could also grab a pre-dinner drink from the bar at Nomad Restaurant and watch the sunset over the pink rooftops.
7:00pm – Dinner
Enjoy a leisurely dinner and tasty Moroccan cooking at Naranj. It’s a new restaurant not far from the square which features Moroccan food with a Lebanese spin, and beautiful interior design.
9:00pm — Evening walk
After dinner, I recommend exploring the bustling town at night. You never know what you’ll find – and dessert is always close by. Plus, after a day in Marrakech, you’ll be happy to retreat to your hidden riad for some much-deserved relaxation…
If you’re spending more than one day near Marrakech, I highly recommend checking out our overnight glamping trip in the Moroccan desert for inspiration on stays outside the city.