The Magic of Marrakesh


Morocco is a destination that truly has the ability to cater to every type of traveler.  Lose yourself in vibrant bazaars brimming with intricate rugs, refresh in rejuvenating hammam rituals, and embark on thrilling desert escapades, where camel rides and sand dune surfing await those seeking adventure. Generally the best times to visit are outside of the Late June to August and December to February periods to beat the extreme desert heat. Though the summer time does bring large crowds as well despite the sizzling conditions outside. Marrakech is the perfect starting point for your Moroccan adventure, with endless neighborhoods to explore and the mesmerizing Agaffay desert just a thirty minute drive away. Below are the spots you won’t want to miss during your visit. 

Where To Stay

Medina is my top pick for the area you should stay in during your visit. Medina is close to the majority of the tourist attractions you will be visiting and staying here will cut down on time and money spent on taxis. There are tons of hotels in this area but I suggest staying at a traditional Riad, these establishments resemble a bed and breakfast and often have stunning interiors with traditional Moroccan tiled courtyards. I suggest looking at Riad’s in the Bab Doukkala area to stay a little out of the way of all the busy tourist streets. 


Jemaa el- Fnaa Souk Market 

In the center of the Medina area you will find the Souks, which are major markets that have almost everything you can imagine and more. The Jemaa el- Fnaa Souk Market is a must do and great place to start exploring the area from. Many of the Souks and Moroccan establishments will not accept credit cards so bring cash. Be prepared to embrace the vibrant chaos within the Souks, you can also hire a guide to help you navigate it. Show up before sunset and watch the Souk transition into an incredible food night market. If you aren’t into crowds,  I have listed some restaurants below that are amazing to watch sunset over the Souk. 

(Bahaia Palace) 

Bahaia Palace 

This palace is the ultimate photo spot in Marrakesh and offers a peaceful oasis compared to many of the other tourist gardens / attractions. The palace has breathtaking architecture and brilliant gardens as well. If you show up early enough on a weekday you won’t encounter any other tourists as you roam the palace.  

Madrasa Ben Youssef

Located in the heart of Medina the Ben Youssef Museum is a historic building that is absolutely worth it. A walk through will transport you into Morocco’s rich architectural history, and don’t forget your camera for amazing pictures. 

Restaurants & Bars In Medina 

Nomad – My favorite lunch spot for Moroccan Food, they also have a rooftop open seasonally. 

Cafe Glacier – If you want to skip out on the Chaos of walking through Jemaa el- Fnaa Souk Market, hangout at this cafe instead and grab some mint tea as you watch the market come to life around sunset. 

L’amazigh Rooftop – This is an awesome sunset rooftop spot with a great happy hour, make a reservation if you are visiting during high season. 

(Jardin Majorelle)


Considered to be “New Marrakesh”, Gheliz is the ultimate trendy shopping neighborhood. As you wander its  tree-lined boulevards and stylish cafes, you’ll be immersed in a vibrant atmosphere teeming with contemporary art galleries, chic boutiques, and French influence. You’ll notice a stark contrast between Gheliz and Medina, this area has a much more modern vibe to it and tons of European and Western restaurant options if you need a break from Moroccan cuisine. Start off at the Matisse Art Gallery and get some shopping in Mohammed V Avenue  before spending your afternoon relaxing at Jardin Majorelle

(Via Jardin Majorelle Official Website) 

Restaurants & Bars In Gheliz

Bacha Coffee– This cafe is absolutely beautiful and has an incredible selection of different coffees, a great place to start the day or get an afternoon pick me up. 

Point bar – This place has immaculate vibes and cocktails, it’s a tapas restaurant and often has live music. 

Dameh – One of the best restaurants in Marrakech, make a reservation. Their menu could be described as Peruvian Mediterranean Fusion


Looking for a night out on the town? Hivernage is the place to be, this shopping district turns into the nightlife hub of the city as the sun sets. This is considered to be the luxury district of Marrakesh with tons of high end restaurants, boutiques, and even casinos if you want to try your luck. This is definitely the glamorous side of Marrakesh and worth a visit even if you aren’t big on nightlife. 

(Via Comptoir Darna Website) 

Restaurants & Bars In Hivernage 

Comptoir Darna – I highly recommend this for an immersive dinner experience with live entertainment and classic Moroccan dishes. I suggest making a reservation, also check their website for “smart dress code” requirements. 

Montecristo Club – This nightclub is a very safe spot for a night on the town complete with shishas on the menu. It is a bit on the pricier side, it’s a bit more on the chill side as far as nightclubs go. 

Theatro-  This is the place to dance all night long. It’s your typical club scene with loud music and dancers but has a great variety of music and tons of security to ensure safety. Make sure you are dressed for the occasion and be prepared to pay a small entry fee. 


On the outskirts of Marrakesh you will find Palmeraie, a desert oasis of several hundred thousand palm trees. It’s about a 17 min drive (traffic depending) from the center city and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon escaping the city life. I highly recommend a quad or camel ride during your visit but it’s also a great place to have an afternoon lunch and simply relax at a cafe. Start off your visit at the Musée de la Palmeraie

Agafay Desert 

Less than an hour outside of Marrakech lies the stunning Agafay Desert, truly a must for anyone seeking to take a desert ATV tour or spend a night under the stars. If you were expecting the typical sand dunes, you won’t find them here but instead impressive rock dunes and mountain views during the winter time. Getting here requires an experienced driver as some of the roads are narrow and small city cabs are not permitted in this area. Emeraude Camp and Be Agaffay are two of the top “camping” hotels if you’re looking to stay the night. Even if desert camping isn’t in the cards during your visit you won’t want to miss a day trip here. 

(hot air ballon ride over the Agaffay desert) 


Don’t leave Morocco without getting pampered at a Hamman. Within hammans you will experience a traditional cleansing ritual in a steamy, tiled chamber. After sitting in a hot room you can expect to be thoroughly scrubbed with black soap and a kessa glove, followed by a rinse with warm water. The experience will have your skin feeling like a newborn baby, not to mention your visit always concludes with a delicious hot tea. My favorite Hamman is Alphais Spa, but there are countless to choose from. Due to drought issues the government has closed the spas on certain weekdays so check before you go. 

Safety In Marrakech 

Marrakesh is a very popular tourist destination and perfectly safe to visit and explore, however make sure you are aware of the following to take extra precautions during your visit. 

  • Respect local customs and dress modestly. 
  • Be particularly aware of your belongings in tourist destinations and avoid backpacks or putting things in your back pockets due to pickpocketing. 
  • Use licensed tour guides only, do not accept any strangers offers for tours or help. 
  • Plan transportation in advance, opting for registered taxis or pre-arranged transfers to navigate the city securely.

Written By: Tara Katims for the Abroadeez Team

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