1. EXPERIENCE A SENSORY OVERLOAD AT DJEMMA EL FNA
Make sure you pay a visit to Africa’s largest square, a shopping paradise selling everything from spices and jewellery to carpets and furniture. There’s plenty of magical sights to soak up with snake charmers, musicians and acrobats entertaining the masses. At night, countless food stalls appear where you can tuck into a succulent kebab or if you’re feeling really brave, a skewered sheep’s heart!
2. SPEND YOUR DIRHAMS AT THE SOUKS
A trip to Marrakech wouldn’t be complete without getting lost in the winding souks, filled with countless treasures ranging from shoes and handbags to ceramics and food items. Pick up a Berber-style beanie, a kaftan or maybe some exotic spices, and don’t be afraid to haggle for the best price.
3. TAKE A STROLL AROUND JARDIN MAJORELLE
Originally the home of famed landscape painter, Jacques Marjorelle, this twelve acre botanical garden is a true oasis in the middle of the bustling city. Saved from dereliction by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé in the 1960’s, the garden is a sea of exotic plants,soaring cacti, palms and orange trees backed by ‘Marjorelle blue’ painted walls. Whilst you’re here, why not take the opportunity to visit the exceptional Berber Museum, showcasing ancient artefacts, jewellery and textiles.
4. LEARN ABOUT THE SAADIAN TOMBS
Situated near the Kasbah Mosque is an ancient walled garden which houses the Saadian Tombs. Constructed by Sultan Ahmed el Mansour in the sixteenth century as a burial ground for himself and his descendents, it wasn’t until 1917 that the site was rediscovered. Magnificently decorated with colourful tiles, Arabic script and elaborate carvings, the Saadian Tombs are one of Morocco’s most popular sights.
5. FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH MOROCCO’S HISTORY THROUGH ITS MUSEUMS
Morocco has many fascinating museums which cover a range of interests. Dar Si Said, also known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts, has one of the finest collections of artefacts in Morocco showcasing ceramics, leather and weapons as well as beautiful cedar carvings. For a visual representation of Morocco’s history, visit La Maison de la Photography, and for a more modern take, head to Ville Nouvelle and the vibrant district of Gueliz which has a flourishing art scene.
6. RELAX IN A TRADITIONAL HAMMAM
As an integral part of Morrocan life, Marrakech has dozens of hammams to choose from whether you’re after indulgence or total authenticity. In the steam-filled interior, a tebbaya (bath attendant) will coat you with savon noir (black soap made with olives), before scrubbing off layers of dead skin and then applying a purifying clay mask. In most hammams you can have a relaxing massage and by the end, your skin will never have felt better.
7. STAY IN A LUXURY RIAD
If you’re staying in Marrakech then you should spend at least one night in a luxury riad. We recommend Riad Mamounia, one of the most exclusive rental properties in Marrakech with five-star hotel service, beautifully manicured gardens and a private courtyard swimming pool.
8. DINE ON DELICIOUS MOROCCAN CUISINE
Marrakech has many culinary highs and we definitely recommend sampling the local cuisine which includes mechoui (spicy roast lamb), khobz (bread), couscous, tagine and sweet mint tea. There are plenty of opportunities for fine dining in the city – one of our favourite restaurants is Latitude 31, a recent addition to the restaurant scene with a shady courtyard, a modern take on traditional dishes and exquisite presentation and service.
9. ENJOY A COCKTAIL ON A ROOF TERRACE
Where better to appreciate the sights of Marrakech than from a terrace overlooking the city, cocktail in hand. Situated in the Medina overlooking the square, we love Kosy Bar with its attractive terrace, well-stocked bar, low lighting and lounge music which make for an intimate and relaxing ambiance.
9. GO ON A DAYTRIP
A trip to Marrakech wouldn’t be complete without exploring the nearby Atlas Mountains. Discover the high peaks surrounding the picturesque Ourika Valley, the magnificent Todra Gorge or traditional Berber villages near Jbel Toubkal. Ride a camel, explore the desert on quad bikes or simply spend a night under the stars at a Berber camp, experiencing traditional food and music by the camp fire.