Planning a trip to Marrakech but don’t know where to start? Here’s your ultimate guide to visiting Marrakech, Morocco. This Marrakech Travel Guide covers everything from where to stay and how to get to Marrakech, to the best things to do when visiting Marrakech for the first-time and much more. I spent five days exploring this incredible, vibrant, colourful city and it completely stole my heart. Fusing east and west in a delicately entwined and dusty package, there are two very different sides to this city and I’m excited to share how you can make the most out of your visit. Whether you’re planning a solo trip, a couples break or a holiday with friends or family, Marrakech is the perfect destination for all budgets.

Imagine a city where you can explore the dusty, winding streets through bustling souks, discover archaeological and architectural gems, taking a moment to rest in shaded gardens with trickling fountains and gorgeous rooftop bars for sunset. There are so many things to do in Marrakech, Morocco, and it doesn’t stop at the city, you can venture further afield to the beautiful Atlas Mountains to explore waterfalls, or even spend a night in the Agafay Desert watching the sunset fade into a starlit sky. It’s time to live your desert princess dreams and book a trip to Marrakech today!

Spices stall in Marrakesh Morocco, souk

Travelling to Marrakech: Everything You Need To Know

Booking flights from the UK to Marrakech

If you’re flying from the UK, it can be super cheap and easy to get to or from Marrakech, Morocco, with around 125 flights per week. The cheapest month to fly is March, when flights start from £35, while the most expensive is August from £143. Flying into Marrakech Menara Airport is easiest as you are just 3km from the city. Flights are available with a range of airlines from London including Jet2, EasyJet, Ryanair, British Airways and several others. Jet2 and Tui also provide package holidays to Marrakesh in case you prefer to book everything in one go and take the stress out of organising. The flight takes 3 hours and 51 minutes from the UK to Marrakech. Find cheap flights to Marrakech now

Read: 5 tips for finding cheap flights for any destination

How many days do I need in Marrakech?

You could easily do a long weekend in Marrakech and that would be a perfect length trip. There’s a lot to see and do in the city, but I think you only need a few days there or the heat and bustle of the city can become oppressive. We actually visited for five days and found it a great length of time for us, but we also chose to do some day trips out of the city which really made the trip. If you have time to stay longer, it is worth doing if you plan to take a few day trips from Marrakech. Keep reading this Marrakech Travel Guide to find out the most unique things to do in the city and excursions around Morocco.

Medina Marrakech exploring the souk, visiting Marakech

How to avoid getting sick in Marrakech

It’s always a worry when visiting somewhere new that your body might not agree with the destination. The change of foods, the travel and the water all pose risks that could result in a poorly tummy. However, that’s no reason to not travel to a destination, just all the more reason to travel prepared. I was a bit poorly in Marrakech but it didn’t stop me exploring – here’s my Marrakech Travel Guide top tips for avoiding getting sick and enjoying your stay:

  1. Don’t drink the water or use it to brush your teeth!
  2. Avoid anything fresh including salads or even olives served in restaurants that could have been exposed to water
  3. Drink plenty of bottled water and stay hydrated in the heat (it was 40ºC when we visited!)
  4. Take time to rest and stay cool in the shade during the hottest parts of the day
  5. Travel with sickness/diarrhoea medication in case you get caught short
  6. If it is really hot while there, it’s worth taking rehydration sachets and adding them to your water daily
  7. If you do get sick, make sure you see a doctor if needed and seek medical advice
  8. Always get travel insurance! It can be a lifesaver if you do get poorly and need medical help.

Check out this post for my travel insurance recommendations!

Read: Saviours for when you’re struck down by travel sickness

Jemaa El Fna, the famous square of Marrakech

Marrakech Travel Guide: Tips for Exploring Marrakech and the Medina

It can feel intense and overwhelming to explore Marrakech’s city centre (the Medina) especially during peak season. I highly recommend travelling in the quieter seasons – we actually visited in June and it was nice to explore and quieter than usual. However, the temperatures did vary a lot from 30-40ºC over the course of the week. Here’s some key things we learned from our week-long visit to Marrakech:

  1. Always carry cash as well as card – most businesses will accept card payments however, market stalls in the souks and food stalls will not.
  2. Don’t accept help from strangers – they will try and pretend they work for a hotel and will take your luggage but then they will ask for a tip.
  3. Be firm when you say no and be prepared to say it a lot! Everyone will try and sell to you, their livelihood depends on it. Be kind and firm and remember it is a different culture to what you might be used to.
  4. Remember to haggle when shopping – this is part of their way of life! So don’t be scared to negotiate and drive the price down so you’re not just paying the standard tourist rates.

What to wear when visiting Marrakech

It’s important when packing for a trip to Marrakech to remember that, as an Arabic country, Morocco is more conservative than your standard holiday destination. I do want to preface this by saying that Marrakech did seem a lot more relaxed than I expected and I did see a lot of tourists walking around the main square and sitting in bars with bare shoulders. However, that doesn’t mean that you should. Please be respectful when walking around public areas including the Medina and the souk, visiting tourist attractions and generally places of worship or historic buildings. Ensure that you wear clothes that cover your shoulders, dresses or skirts that are below the knee and choose loose fabrics over clingy ones.

For women, it’s the perfect place to crack out the maxi dresses and midi skirts, loose linen trousers and shirts and maybe even carry a pashmina for extra coverage where needed. For men, I’d recommend long shorts or trousers and t-shirt or even a shirt over it. It’s always good if you’re visiting certain places or tourist attractions to check online if there are any specific dress codes or restrictions as some places are more conservative than others. If you’re heading to any of the more Westernised bars or rooftop bars, you will see people dressed far less conservatively and that’s perfectly okay, but worth remembering that you may have to walk to a venue and need to cover yourself during this time. If you are a woman / solo female traveller visiting Marrakech, I would recommend covering yourself particularly to limit stares and unwanted attention. I found travelling as a couple this was fine, but as a solo traveller I might cover up slightly more.

What to wear in Marrakech Morocco

Marrakech Travel Guide

Finding the Perfect Accommodation in Marrakech for Your Budget

There are so many types of accommodation to choose from when visiting Marrakech, it can feel a little overwhelming to decide. The key things to decide are your budget for the trip and whether you would like to stay in one place or experience different types of accommodation during your trip. Then you need to think about whether you prefer boutique and traditional vibes in the riads, budget hostel community vibes or whether you prefer the vast luxury of an all-inclusive or luxury hotel. When choosing your Marrakech hotel or accommodation, make sure you check whether you are booking in the Old Town or New Town – if you’re planning to sightsee around the Medina it could be a pain to have to get taxis over to the Medina every day.

Always remember, the three rules for choosing accommodation:

  • ALWAYS read the reviews! And cross-check across Booking and various other websites – some accommodations have fewer reviews on certain sites but loads on one.
  • Price check between booking websites and the actual accommodation website – sometimes it can be cheaper to book direct, however you can also benefit from rewards on such as free upgrades/free breakfast/airport shuttles etc.
  • Make sure you look at location & on a map view to check how easy it is to get between places in a location. Ideally you want to be able to walk everywhere, so check that is possible and you’re not the other side of the city as you can end up spending a lot on transport.

Stay in a riad marrakech morocco, riad livia

3 of the Best Budget Riads in Marrakech

It can be a minefield trying to choose the perfect riad for your stay in Marrakech, there are simply so many to choose from! I highly recommend you book a riad when visiting Marrakech, if only for a couple of nights before going to a hotel. It really is such a unique experience of accommodation and the hospitality is faultless. During my stay in Marrakech I stayed in four riads which was great for providing a well-rounded experience of both riads and Marrakech. You’ll notice that I’m only recommending three of these riads because they provided such an amazing experience that I would happily go back and stay at them again, and would love for you to experience them. The fourth? Well let’s just say it had a few too many critters running around for my liking which was a shame considering it had potential to be the most visually spectacular.

Breakfast in a riad, marrakech

But what is a riad?

Well the term means a “traditional Moroccan house” and comes from the Arab word ‘ryad’ which refers to the townhouses that have been turned into accommodations. They provide a truly unique experience and are much smaller than the standard hotel counterparts, often with only around 10 rooms. This means that they are so uniquely decorated with each room having a truly magical finish that provides you with an experience, not just a stay.

Riad Hikaya, stay in a riad marrakech, the best riads in marrakech

Riad Hikaya – £££ (from £140) Rated 9.7 on Booking

Riad Hikaya is a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of the Medina and a place that instantly makes you feel like you’re in a movie set from the moment you walk in the door. “Hikaya” actually means story in Arabic, and this beautiful and opulent surrounding certainly makes you feel like the main character in your story. With just eight rooms surrounding the tranquil courtyard and year-round outdoor heated pool, it provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets. An oasis of calm in the centre of the city with direct and easy access to Marrakech’s top tourist attractions and sights, including just a 10-minute walk from Djemaa El Fna square. The service is incredible and the hospitality of the small team is faultless, bringing a homely feel to this centre of elegance and luxury. The rooms are intricately decorated in the traditional Moroccan style, including the stunning bathrooms with ornate freestanding bathtubs fit for a princess. Don’t forget to enjoy a leisurely Moroccan breakfast fit for a king on the beautiful rooftop overlooking the Medina.

Book a stay at Riad Hikaya now

Riad Livia, stay in a riad, marrakech riads

Riad Livia – ££ (from £100) Rated 9.4 on Booking

If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxing experience and hideaway from the busy Medina, Riad Livia provides the perfect boutique escape. With just five suites, it can feel almost like you have the whole place to yourself. Imagine the serenity of a spa, with the scent of orange blossoms mingling with the sound of birdsong as you enter the cool entryway. The suites are vast and luxurious from the unique and exquisite design, to the vibrant colours. Experience incredible Moroccan hospitality with a kind and warm welcome from the team as you walk through the door. Don’t forget to head to the rooftop, where the true magic awaits. It’s the perfect place to relax, take in the sights and sounds of the Medina as you relax in the sunshine and enjoy the plunge pool. My favourite part was the leisurely breakfasts in the bright sunshine as the birds chirped and sung, and the Media came to life beneath us. This is a stay where you can experience full luxury on a budget while having easy access to the heart of the Medina.

Book a stay at Riad Livia now

Riad Ayada, book a riad in Marakech, riad hotels

Riad Ayada – £ (from £69) Rated 9.5 on Booking

If you’re looking for a real budget stay but don’t want to scrimp on the homely, welcoming hospitality that is so well-loved in Morocco. Riad Ayada is the place for you! This authentic riad is located just 600m from the very centre of Morocco but on the other side of the main square to the other two riads I have recommended and gives a totally different experience. You enter the Medina from a different place and while still vibrant, colourful and lively, it feels like a totally different place. We loved both experiences and highly recommend this riad. Our lovely French host, Delphine, was so thoughtful, kind and couldn’t do enough for us, including taking the time to call her friends and book us tables at popular rooftop bars and advise us on the best things to do in Marrakech. We stayed in two different rooms while visiting, one downstairs in the cool and shaded courtyard, and another at the top of the building which came with a beautiful tented room and rooftop terrace where we could enjoy a private breakfast. The rooms are hugely spacious with plenty of space to relax by the pool and in the sunshine.

Book a stay at Riad Ayada now

Breakfast in a riad, riad hikaya, book a riad in marrakech

The Best Hotels and Hostels in Marrakech

If you’re keen for luxury getaway to a hotel in Marrakech, here’s some great Marrakech hotels:

If you prefer to travel on a tighter budget and to meet other like-minded travellers, here’s some hostels to try in Marrakech:

Riad hikaya marrakech, stay in a boutique hotel in marrakech, morocco

Marrakech Travel Guide: 8 Unique Things to do in Marrakech

If you’re looking for unique experiences when visiting Marrakech, I’ve got some gems in this Marrakech Travel Guide for you to try:

  1. Moroccan Cooking Class with Farmer’s Market Visit – discover Moroccan flavours and ingredients at the market, then visit a chef’s private home to enjoy a cooking class and prepare a meal together.
  2. Luxury Spa Massage and Steam Hammam – a traditional Moroccan hammam is an experience you simply have to try. The ultimate spa, scrub and massage experience, enjoy this luxury package and relax in tranquil surroundings.
  3. 3-Hour Colourful Souks Tour – explore the vibrant open-air markets and souks of Marrakech with this tour of the most vibrant and colourful labyrinth of stalls.
  4. Ben Youssef, Secret Garden, & Souks Walking Tour – take in the stunning architecture of Marrakech with a walking tour of the city’s most beautiful buildings, the lively souks and the lush oasis of the Secret Garden.
  5. Ouirgan Berber villages & Salt mine Day trip from Marrakech – support the local villages by joining this tour to discover rural life, traditional Berber villages and the salt mines.
  6. Quad Bike Tour to Palm Oasis and Jbilat Desert – go on an adventure you won’t forget as you ride through the palm trees to traditional Berber villages on quad bikes before taking a break with local bread and honey.
  7. Desert and Palmeraie Horse Riding Tour – if you love horse riding, this trip is the one for you. Sip traditional mint tea, admire the palm trees, and pass by traditional Berber villages.
  8. Hot Air Balloon Ride with Traditional Breakfast – a hot air balloon ride is always a magical experience, imagine starting your day with an incredible sunrise over Marrakech before a traditional Moroccan breakfast.

street food tour in marrakech

Marrakech Travel Guide: Best Things to do in Marrakech at Night

The sightseeing and travel experiences don’t have to stop just because of nightfall, if anything it is the time to really explore the city in the cooler temperatures. Here’s some ideas for things to do in Marrakech at night:

  1. Marrakech: Street Food Tour by Night for a taste of the local cuisine and delicacies from the bustling souks and markets.
  2. Visit a rooftop bar for sunset – I recommend Kabana Rooftop, Dardar Rooftop and El Fenn for amazing sunset views!
  3. Medina by Night Tour to explore the colourful wonders of Jemaa el Fnaa medina, shop and try the local tea.
  4. Go to a Jazz Bar and enjoy live music – I recommend La Pergola for amazing food, drinks and music!

rooftop bar dardar marrakech

6 Best Day Trips to Take From Marrakech

Ouzoud Waterfalls Guided Hike and Boat Trip

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the beautiful Atlas Mountains and visit an oasis nestled at the foot of the mountains. The Ouzoud Waterfalls Guided Hike and Boat Trip is a great way to escape the city and visit a totally contrasting landscape, experience the beauty of Ouzoud Waterfalls and have lunch with a view of the falls after a relaxing boat ride with the locals.

Agafay Desert Sunset, Camel Ride, and Dinner

The most magical experience of the trip, I half expected a magic carpet to whisk me away into the sunset. The Agafay Desert Sunset, Camel Ride, and Dinner is an experience you won’t want to miss when visiting Marrakech. Just a few hours over the evening, it’s perfect for getting out of the city and witnessing the beauty of the desert and watching the stars come out to play. Enjoy a relaxing dinner under the stars with local Berber musicians. Although this trip does come with the opportunity for a camel ride, I chose not to take part in this activity. Please always do your research before riding animals and ensure they are well looked after.

Ouzoud waterfalls atlas mountains day trip marrakech morocco

Atlas Mountains Full-Day Hiking Trip

If you love getting outside, the Atlas Mountains Full-Day Hiking Trip could be the perfect day trip for you. This scenic hike takes you through the traditional Berber settlements of Ait Mizan, Targa and Imoula before enjoying lunch in a Berber house in Ait Souka.

Atlas Mountains and Berber Village Day Trip

Skip the hiking if you prefer but still experience the magic of the Berber community and lose yourself in the beauty of the Atlas Mountains on the Atlas Mountains and Berber Village Day Trip. Experience traditional and local life in villages throughout the mountains, including Tizi N’Tacheddirt, the highest village in the Atlas Mountains.

agafay desert day trip, dinner in the desert marrakech morocco

Full Day Trip To Essaouira city From Marrakech

Missing the ocean? Take a trip to the seaside with a Full Day Trip To Essaouira city From Marrakech and visit this beautiful fishing village where you can experience Morocco’s seaside culture and learn how argan oil is extracted. Take a stroll around Essaouira’s Medina and witness traditional agriculture and architecture

Merzouga 3-Day Desert Safari with Food

Fancy something a little more adventurous? Why not book the Merzouga 3-Day Desert Safari with Food and spend a few days travelling through the desert on a safari you won’t forget? Spend the night at a Bedouin camp in the Erg Chebbi dunes. Ride a camel to watch the sunset and sunrise. See the Kasbah of Ouarzazate, and much more. Again, if you chose to ride camels, please do your research beforehand and ensure the animals are not being mistreated.

Souk marrakech morocco