Ultimate Guide to Marrakesh, Morocco

img_2565Marrakesh, Morocco is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco. This magical city is filled with markets, palaces, mosques, gardens and people! Keep reading for where to stay, what to wear and what to do during your cultural excursion toMarrakesh.

☾Where to stay:

Riads, are basically old houses turned into hotels and the most common form of  housing in Marrakesh. The Riad where I stayed provided pre-arrival information and an organized shuttle service from the airport. 

Our Riad was absolutely gorgeous. Tapestries hung from the walls, a large tree stood in the center of the main courtyard, and the open roof gave us a great view of the city. The bathrooms were tiled with colorful mosaic pieces. We were greeted by the manager of the Riad who has been working there for the past seven years and has lived in the Marrkesh area his entire life; making him a very informative guide of the city! Each morning, we were given homemade Moroccan bread, pastries and hot Moroccan mint tea.

My last night in Marrakesh, we were cooked a classic Moroccan meal and given a taste of the Moroccan wine and beer. We were served a squash soup as an appetizer with delicious homemade bread. Next, we were served a meat and vegetable meal that originated in Marrakech, Tangia. You could tell that the meat was extremely fresh and the veggies were all cooked to perfection! For dessert, we were given a homemade Moroccan chocolate cake.

These meals, travel instructions and airport shuttle were all included in our Riad stay!

☾What to wear:

One of my biggest questions when planning my trip to Morocco was what to wear. I had heard stories of locals spitting on foreigners if they believed that their clothing was not appropriate. Following is a list of respectful clothing items to pack for you trip to Marrakesh!

  1. Harem pants- Harem pants are light weight, easy to pack and come in a variety of fun colors. It is important to be covered but sometimes that is hard in the 100 degree humid weather! I wore harem pants both days I was visiting Morocco and I did not feel overheated.
  2. Long-sleeve cotton or linen shirts: Cotton or linen fabrics are breathable and great for the desert heat.
  3. Closed-toed Shoes: Finding treasures in the Old Medina is a must-do for tourists. However, the area is also populated by dogs, cats, donkeys and with that comes piles of stuff you may not want to step on in sandals!
  4. Scarves: Scarves are a great option as the nights get chillier. Also, my roommate was blonde, and as the sun started to go down, she covered her hair with her scarf. She never felt unsafe, however, blondes are pretty rare in a place like Marrakesh so that can bring unwanted attention.
  5. Kaftans: Purchase a kaftan, a long and loose dress, to wear and to bring home as a souvenir!

Note: While in Marrakesh, I saw tourists wearing shorts and tank-tops. Even if you feel comfortable, I would recommend wearing more conservative clothing during your vacation just as a matter of respect to the more conservative clothing in Morocco.

☾What to do:

  1. Medina: Stroll through to Marrakesh Souk to find leather goods, tea sets, spices, herbs, carpets, colored lamps and much more. Make sure to barter; it adds to the fun!
  2. Jardin Majorelle: These gardens were designed by the French artist, Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s. The botanical gardens are on twelve-acres in the middle of Marrakech. Walk along the winding paths of the gardens while admiring the cobalt-blue buildings and 15 different bird species that inhabit Jardin Majorelle. Visit the pristine garden for a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  3. Horse-drawn Carriage: This is a great way to see the city. We took a horse-drawn carriage to the Jardin Majorelle.
  4. Bahia Palace: The grand palace which is not to far of a walk from the Medina.
  5. Local Cuisine: Take advantage of your time in Morocco to experience some local cuisine! I recommend any couscous dish. img_2663


  1. Bring spare cash for gratuity. If you are seen taking a picture of snake charmers, for example, you will most likely be asked for some money.
  2. Bring hand sanitizer and tissues as most bathrooms do not provide soap or toilet paper.
  3. Agree on a taxi fair before entering. Also, try to avoid taxis lined up outside tourist destinations; the prices will be higher.
  4. Drink lots of bottled water! The desert heat is dehydrating and you most likely will be doing a lot of walking.
  5. “Salam Alikome” is the phrase for “hello”. It also means ‘peace be with you’.
  6. Be aware of the monkeys on chains in the town square. We walked up interested in the monkeys and they were placed on our shoulders without permission. My roommates and I then had to pay a hefty sum of money.

Marrakesh is an enchanting and culturally-rich city. Close in proximity to Europe and fairly inexpensive, this city is a great destination to expand your global horizons.

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