Morocco provides the perfect permutation of a relaxing travel break and a bustling city experience. From Tangier to Marrakech, the country has something for everyone and is most definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
The country’s capital, Marrakech, is an essential visit on any Moroccan escape, with its combination of modern industry and traditional souks and medinas. The ochre colour of the city is a hallmark, and dotted around are riads that provide miniature escapes for midday tagines. Although the country itself is English, French, and Arabic-speaking, the most widely spoken language in Marrakech is French.
I’ve put together a list of the most worthwhile experiences to have on your trip to Marrakech that mean you can skip out on the excursion searching and avoid wasting time once you arrive!
1. Visit the Movenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi
The Movenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi is one of the most authentic travel experiences there is to offer in Marrakech. As a longstanding staple of Moroccan culture, most native Moroccans will remember the palatial building from their childhood as one of the first hotels in Marrakech. The building itself is rich in history, inspired by the Great Sultan of the 16th century, and these nods to history can be seen throughout the restaurants and buildings as you venture around the grounds. At an affordable price, the hotel’s O de Rose Spa also offers traditional Hammam experiences, allowing you to relax in a truly Moroccan way. Their motto is to allow you to travel “within the hotel,” and even if you don’t make it your home for the stay, definitely visit for a bite to eat.
2. Ride Camels Along the Palm Groves
A popular (with good reason) travel experience in Morocco is camel riding, and you can find these excursions both online and through your hotel. The camel riding experience allows you to explore the vast palm groves of Marrakech, whilst donned in kaftans and headscarves, provided by your tour guide. Most tours finish with a refreshing drink of Moroccan mint tea and feature photo opportunities during the ride.
3. Go Gardening
Now, I don’t mean to suggest you’ll actually be gardening on your travels, but that one of the most famous aspects of Marrakech is its gardens. Majorelle Gardens is just one of many fantastic spots, featuring nodes of historical information, as the area was once owned by famed fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent. Another popular greenspace is Menara Gardens, which hosts numerous water features, placed to represent tranquillity and calmness, as well as provide coolness in the heat. The great thing about the gardens is that they are all quite compacted in the city, making walking an easy feat to get from destination to destination.
4. Experience a Moroccan Tagine
The first thing that comes to mind with the idea of Moroccan food is “tagine,” and you can find them everywhere. The best tagine we had in Morocco was at La Table Du Riad, which is a hidden gem nestled inside a busy souk. Their philosophy focuses on everything being fresh, so you are asked to order your food in advance as everything is prepared directly on the day. The honeyed lamb is definitely their top dish, and you can try sharing platters with bites of authentically prepared vegetables and dips. The rooftop setting is also unbeatable, so make sure to book in time for sunset!
5. See the Sahara
This one will require your stay to be a little bit longer, because Saharan treks will usually take a two-to-three day chunk out of your travel time. However, if you are an adventure seeker, don’t avoid arranging a visit to the Saharan desert. It’s best to book through your hotel or “Get Your Guide,” as they lay out the itinerary for you and include pickup and drop off from your port of stay. The trek is described as one of the hallmarks of Marrakech, as it allows you to bathe under blankets of stars and sleep in customary Moroccan tents at the hands of your guide.
6. Go Souk Shopping
Marrakech is famed for its markets, which feature colourful embroidery, large-scale tapestry, piles of spices, and engraved silver pieces at affordable prices. Djemaa el-Fna is the largest square in Marrakech and was previously the primary marketplace in the old town. Here you can find an array of Moroccan food and treats, as well as spices and oils. Souk el Attarine is another destination in Marrakech, famous for its spices and metal goods. Here, the spices hang in the air, and you can snap an infamous picture of the spice barrels whilst there.