13 Things You Must Do in Marrakech in Morocco

1001 Nights in Morocco: 13 Things You Must Do in Marrakech

1. Sit in a rooftop bar in Marrakech and enjoy the view.

The magic of Marrakech reveals itself to you especially when you look at the city from above. There are countless rooftop bars in the medina. Many of them built on narrow and cramped houses. Here you have to climb countless crooked steps before you reach the terrace. But these are precisely the cafes and restaurants that make Marrakech:

Hundreds of tourists sit in the large, obvious eateries with huge balconies and terraces. So it’s worth always looking around the corner or in this case up. Some terraces are just 10 square meters in size. But they are quiet, homey and above all, away from the tourist crowds.

Tip: As hidden and winding as the steps may be leading upwards: Always look for the way up to the terrace. Do not stay in one of the intermediate floors. The roof terraces in Marrakech are often not found at first glance. So keep your eyes open and always climb to the top.

2. Spend time around the Place de Epices.

One of the most beautiful places in the medina is the Place des Epices. The spice square a great place to shop for everything from spices and tableware to blankets and rugs. There are also many bars and cafes. Here you can drink tea and watch the hustle and bustle from above.

Tip: The most popular and casual café in the square is the “Café de Epices” with its red-painted facade. But it is in every guidebook and is accordingly full. But there are a few other places from which you have an equally beautiful view. You can even watch the hyped café, for example from the terrace of the “Café Shtatto”.

3. Get lost in the small streets of the medina.

In no other city does the mood change so quickly when you turn a corner as it does in Marrakech. Just in the middle of the hustle and bustle, the small alleys of the medina immediately swallow all the noise as soon as you turn into a quiet area. Then you may not meet a single person and experience the city from a completely new perspective. You should not be afraid of getting lost. On the contrary, it is the charm of the city to get lost in its labyrinth . You get to know corners that you would never have found otherwise.

Tip: If you get lost, you don’t have to worry. For one thing, the medina is not that big, so you will eventually come out again at a busy place. You will know your way around. And for another, children will appear very quickly to guide you out of the labyrinth. Note: Whoever accepts this help should have a few Dirhams at hand.

4. Get involved with the bright colors of Marrakech.

Marrakech is often referred to as the “red city”. It is because many of the buildings and especially the walls of the city (which, by the way, have been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985) shine in a reddish shade of ocher. In Morocco, the color red stands for power and fire, for infinity and vastness. But it is by no means the only color you see here.

If you stroll through the medina, every conceivable color reveals itself to you. It can be in the form of spices, pictures, and flowers, on carpets and tableware, on clothing and jewelry. Often one is almost overwhelmed with this colorful spectrum. People do not know where to look first. So despite the hustle and bustle in Marrakech, one rule always applies: take your time.

Tip: If you want to capture the many colors, you should always pay attention to how you photograph. If in doubt, always ask before taking photos at a booth. People should rather be avoided. Above all, never take photos without being asked.

5. Stay in a pretty riad instead of a hotel.

No question, there are plenty of fancy hotels in Marrakech. But the real authentic Marrakech experience comes when you book a room in a riad. The Arabic word means garden and stands for a traditional Moroccan house. These also come with an inner courtyard or inner garden. The special thing about this type of accommodation is, on the one hand, that most riads are not particularly large and. On the other hand, that they are located in the medina. So that you live centrally and can reach everything perfectly on foot.

Tip: Many riads have their own pool and great roof terraces. So it’s worth paying close attention to the amenities before booking. For the perfect Marrakech feeling, check into a riad with both!

6. Enjoy the culinary side of Marrakech

The culinary classic in Morocco is stewed in an earthenware pot: a tajine is always the ideal choice, whether with meat or vegetarian! In the typical Berber pots, which you can also buy on every corner in the medina, the Moroccans braise vegetables, fish, lamb, or chicken directly over the fire or in the oven. In many variations, almonds, dates, prunes, or apricots are added and, along with spices, provide an exotic touch. The classic accompaniment is couscous.

Tip: In the medina, there are many small bakeries that bake fresh several times a day on a few square meters and sell the best desserts. Just ask what’s fresh – and snack on the best snack for just a few dirhams!

7. Drinking tea in Marrakech

As good and aromatic as most of the coffee served in Morocco tastes by now, for the real Marrakech feeling, drink tea: hot, frothy, and from small glasses. The best-known variety is Thé à la Menthe, a strong green tea served with lots of sugar and fresh mint. You can also buy the tea leaves in the souks to let the taste of the city melt on your tongue again after your trip home.

Tip: The perfect Moroccan tea can be recognized by the fact that it foams. This is achieved by a simple hand movement: The teapot is lifted high above the glasses, and only then is the tea poured. The height creates the famous foam on the tea.

8. Marvel at a sunset over the rooftops of Marrakech.

Sitting in one of the many rooftop bars during the day is one thing – but if you arrive just before sunset and get a seat, you’ll see the colorful natural spectacle in the front row, foot-free, high above the city. When the sun goes down, the colors of Marrakech change again. As soon as it gets dark, the dynamics are completely different: Lights and fires go on, merchants change their assortment, cookshops open up, and the hustle and bustle of the city take place in a mystical shadow.

Tip: Although the prices are rather high, on the roof terrace of the “Kosybar” you have a great view of the illuminated minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque.

9. Moving around the houses at night in Marrakech

3 Day desert tour from Marrakech to Merzouga is one of those cities whose reputation at night seems worse than it really is. Especially when the nighttime hustle and bustle starts in the big squares, it’s fun to stroll through the middle of the action. The light is very special when fires are lit in the cookshops and cooking is going on like mad, jugglers show their tricks and tourists sit in the many restaurants. In the busy corners of the medina, you can walk completely unconcerned, even as a solo traveler.

Tip: If you are anxious, just avoid the narrow streets of the souks, as most of the stores are already closed anyway. However, there is so much going on in the squares that you don’t have to worry about.

10. Look at the stores in Marrakech

Rugs or tea sets, pillows or blankets? In addition to the countless small stalls in the souks, there are also many stores in Marrakech, some of which sell higher quality goods. It’s worth taking your time to stroll through the shops and look at everything at your leisure – and consider what you want to buy. One of the most beautiful stores in the medina is located directly on the Place de Epices in the restaurant “Nomad” (which, by the way, is also highly recommended). In the small store called “Chabi Chic,” there are great handmade products – from stylish cups to tea and spices.

Tip: Outside the medina, you will find the first concept store of Marrakech in the store “33 Rue Majorelle” at the address of the same name – the perfect destination for fashionistas!

11. Stroll through the souks in Marrakech

With a size of about 20 hectares, the souks in Marrakech are considered the largest bazaar in Morocco. It would take days to look at everything in peace, plus the narrow alleyways are laid out like a labyrinth and you constantly get lost. But that’s exactly what makes it so magical – in addition to all the goods you can buy. Whether colorful ceramics, handmade wool and silk carpets, spices, jewelry, Berber caps, or Argan oil – there is nothing that is not available. Here, it is simply a matter of drifting and getting involved in the flair.

Tip: Especially as a woman, you are often approached and sometimes stared at in the souks. Here a friendly arrogance helps: smile, say thank you, and move on. In general, you should be careful not to dress too revealingly (cover shoulders and knees, no deep neckline), so as not to intentionally draw attention to yourself.

12. Trade and store in the souks

Part of the culture of the Berbers and shopping in the souks is to trade. Always and at any time. If you accept the first-named price, you not only out yourself as an ignorant tourist, you almost insult the merchants who have a huge amount of fun negotiating the price with people; this is a big part of the culture in Morocco. The rule here is to negotiate the former price down to at least half – and always do it calmly and with a smile. Shopping in the souks is a ritual that should be celebrated.

Tip: If you have traded well, you will often be called a Berber. However, this is not meant as an insult, but as a compliment – and should be acknowledged with a broad smile and a thank you.

13. Despite the many tourists take a turn on the Djemaa el Fna.

Divide opinions about Djemaa el Fna: While some tourists love to stroll around the city’s most famous square for hours on end, others avoid it like the plague for precisely this reason. The “Square of the Jugglers” is actually called “Square of the Hanged” because the Almoravid rulers once chopped off the heads of criminals here.

Today, the colorful square is less brutal but almost as adventurous: snake charmers, fire breathers, and carnies want to impress tourists, all kinds of odds and ends are sold at small stalls, drum music is heard everywhere and thick fog rolls in at night when the cookshops open. But even if the Djemaa el Fna today is very touristy and crowded: At least once you must have experienced this whirl!

Tip: If the hustle and bustle between sunset and midnight is too much for you, stroll across Djemaa el Fna during the day. Then there are fewer tourists on the road and all the jugglers who constantly approach you are not yet there.