TOP THINGS TO DO IN MARRAKECH
(PLUS ITS TOP HOTELS)
Discover our insider's guide to the top things to do in Marrakech and explore this enchanting city with ease. Marrakech holidays are (without doubt) a feast for the senses, with spice-filled souks, buzzing squares and melodious calls to prayer filling the colourful resort with a unique richness. Whether it’s the historic walled medina or the contemporary ville nouvelle (new town) you're most interested in, you're in for a superb city break.
WHEN TO GO TO MARRAKECH
Marrakech serves up a healthy dose of vitamin D almost year round. Spring and autumn are gorgeous times to visit the city, whereas July and August can be extremely hot. For top winter sun getaways, check out the destinations that made it into the winter sun hotspot list 2017.
DJEMAA EL-FNA SQUARE
The ideal place to kick-start your trip to Marrakech is at the famous Djemaa el-Fna Square. Located in the heart of the old city, this diverse space is starkly different by day than it is by night - you'll find acrobats, belly dancers and snake charmers entertaining visitors before the square brims with food stalls after sunset. There is plenty to see (and even participate in) and the street theatre is amazing too.
Next to the square is the Koutoubia Mosque, one of Marrakech’s most iconic landmarks. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside, but it's worth admiring the façade which presents some intricate designs. You can see the mosque from across the city, thanks to the local, and interesting, rule that forbids any other building in the medina to be higher than a palm tree!
On the other side of the Djemaa el-Fna are the city's vibrant souks, an excellent way to get wonderfully lost in Marrakech. Perhaps the best-known place for shopping, the iconic souks offer a labyrinth of covered alleys lined with stalls selling jewellery, spices, fabrics and souvenirs. Plus, the endless number of things to buy is enough to tire even the hardiest of shoppers!
HISTORIC PALACES AND TOMBS
Among the most awe-inspiring attractions in Marrakech are the two historic palaces. The El Badi Palace is mostly a grand shell where a former royal residence once stood, while the Bahia Palace is opulent and ornate, with architecture and design strikingly similar to Spain’s Alhambra. Close to the souks is also the Medersa Ben Youssef, a historic Islamic school with beautiful architecture. Not far away are the Saadian Tombs, stunning tiled graves in a burial ground from the 16th century.
Marrakech is full of authentic hammams with flawless domed ceilings and arched galleries, which were traditionally used as public bath houses. Hamman el-Bacha, La Mamounia and Les Baines de Marrakech are among the most popular places to be pampered, with a mixture of treatments, swimming pools and spa facilities within close proximity to the city's hustle and bustle.
BEST HOTELS IN MARRAKECH
Planning a holiday to this intoxicating city and want to know where's best to stay? Marrakech is split into old and new towns, so if you’re looking for a modern accommodation you’ll need to stick to the contemporary part, or book one of the resorts outside the city centre. If you want a more authentic experience, the medina is full of welcoming riads (traditional Moroccan houses converted into hotels) worth checking into. See our top picks below:
PULLMAN MARRAKECH PALMERAIE RESORT AND SPA HOTEL
Want to stay within easy distance of the main attractions, while being far enough away from the hustle and bustle? Book your holiday at the 5-star Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort and Spa Hotel. Everything here is immaculate, from the pool and gardens (including a pond that you can canoe on!) to the restaurants and bars. The resort facilities can keep you occupied for days on end, including a Kids Village for the youngsters and tennis courts, golf courses and a spa.
CLUBHOTEL RIU TIKIDA PALMERAIE
If you want to stay in a tranquil yet trendy hotel, the luxurious Clubhotel Rui Tikida Palmeraie is situated amid 13 acres of lush greenery yet is close by to the cosmopolitan centre of Marrakech. When you're not making a splash in the pool, indulge in the tasty cuisine at a trio of restaurants, pamper yourself at the on-site hammam or simply relax on the sun terrace.
AQUA MIRAGE CLUB
This 4-star hotel is a fantastic choice if you're visiting Morocco on family holidays. Cool off at Aqua Mirage Club's impressive on-site Aqua Parc and watch the kids fly down twisting flumes, before retreating to your authentic hotel room full of colour and comfort.
Riad Barroko knows how to make you soak in the essence of the city. As soon as you walk into the main hall, you’re transported into a luxurious mecca that echoes the charm and ethnicity of Marrakech. It boasts a beautiful outdoor pool and patio, terraces with views of the mountains and the oldest mosque in the city, the Koutoubia Mosque, and an authentic restaurant to sample Moroccan gastronomic delights.