Marrakech is a lovely destination if you’re looking for a nice escape from your stressful lives. “The Red city” will take you somewhere else, where the light and colors will enchant you, the souks will amuse you, the Moroccan tea time and delicious food will ravish you, the landscapes will astonish you … An amazing getaway just a few hours away from Europe.
Here are my 10 to dos for a memorable stay in Marrakech!
1. Get lost in the souks of the Medina
The souks of Marrakech are full of little shops where you fill find great objects to buy. You should negotiate all prices as this is a common practice there – you should start with 1/5 of the first price and hopefully close deal at 1/4.
2. Spend a day outside of the city
We went for a quad session in the desert before heading for a fantastic lunch at the Relais du Lac on the Lalla Takerkoust Lake. Stunning view and landscape for a nice and relaxing escape.
3. Go for lunch to La Pause (definitely my coup-de-coeur)
La Pause was one of my greatest discoveries of our trip. This wonderful hotel & restaurant is located about 30 miles away from Marrakech. Located in an oasis, this fabulous venue was created by a French couple who little by little extended this hotel, adding more rooms and tents. A real “haven of peace” in the middle of Moroccan wilderness. The images speak for themselves… A wonderful lunch under a Berber tent and relaxing time on the sun beds. Quads, bikes and other activities are also available.
La Pause | Contact Mustapha +212 (0)6 61 30 64 94 for more information
4. Visit the Jardin Majorelle
The Jardin Majorelle is named after Jacques Majorelle who dedicated 40 years to create this wonderful garden full or exotic plants and trees and wonderful bright colors. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered the Jardin Majorelle in 1966, during their first stay in Marrakech. “We quickly became very familiar with this garden, and went there every day. It was open to the public yet almost empty. We were seduced by this oasis where colours used by Matisse were mixed with those of nature. » … « And when we heard that the garden was to be sold and replaced by a hotel, we did everything we could to stop that project from happening. This is how we eventually became owners of the garden and of the villa. And we have brought life back to the garden through the years.”
5. Go for lunch to the Terrasse des épices
La Terrasse des épices is located inside the souks – and is therefore not so easy to find but trust me worth the time… ask someone in the streets of the souk to take you there (it should not cost more than 20 dirhams. You will be seating in the sun, enjoying a nice mint tea and some traditional moroccan food (tajine, couscous and many others). A nice moment away from the chaos of the souks, perfect a nice break in the sun.
6. Go to La Mamounia for an afternoon tea
La Mamounia is one of the most famous luxury hotels of Marrakech. The gardens are somptious and highly recommended for a walk. I would suggest to then head to one of the terraces or living rooms and have a nice mint tea in this amazing decor.
7. Walk around the Djeema el Fna square
The most famous square in Morroco. Have a look at the snake charmers and the monkeys around the square and have a tea in one of the many terraces overlooking the square.
8. Spend an afternoon at one of the Hammams
La Mamounia and the Selman (both luxury hotels ) have amazing spas where you will find all treatments. But Marrakech overflows with Hammams so you will for sure find the one which most suits you in terms of location, treatments and price.
I can suggest 2 Hammams: the Bains de Marrakech and the Hammam de la Rose. Both are reasonably prices and have great treatments in luxurious spaces.
9. Visit the ancient Saadian Tombs & the Koutoubia Mosque
Saadian Tombs | Flanking the south side of the Kasbah Mosque, the site of what is possibly Marrakech’s most visited monument is an ancient walled garden, the use of which far predates the Saadian era. Enjoy the mosaic graves built during the reign of Saadian sultan Ahmed El-Mansour.
Koutoubia Mosque | The minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech’s most famous symbol – built in a traditional Almohad style and topped with four copper globes – is visible from near and far. It’s not really that high (77 metres), but thanks to local topography and a local ordinance that forbids any other building in the Medina to be higher than a palm tree, it towers majestically over its surroundings.
10. Visit the tannery district
To experience Marrakech at its most medieval – and most pungent – visit the tannery district. The tanners have been here since the city was founded and their work remains a pre-industrial process, using hundreds of vats full of foul liquids to cure animal hides. The eventual products can be seen and purchased at the leather shops near the gate – and all over the souks, but you may prefer to get the hell out of the quarter and purge yourself in the nearest hammam.