On a vacation in Marrakech, you can immerse yourself in the Orient from head to toe, embarking on hour-long walks through the medina and discovering impressive buildings and magnificent palaces in the Old City. But that is not enough. The Moroccan metropolis has something to offer for everyone who wants to spend a vacation in Marrakech. Here are the most important tips and experiences from and for travel planners.
Optimal travel time for a Marrakech vacation
Marrakech is only a four hour flight from Germany. No other destination offers such a strong cultural contrast as Morocco in comparison to this small distance. A vacation in Marrakech is therefore not a strenuous long-distance trip, but can be inserted thanks to numerous flight connections to Europe today relatively easily.
Marrakech is an attractive destination all year round, but be aware that it can get very hot in the summer months. The cool courtyards of the riads and the shady walls inside the medina make you forget the dry heat, but still the best time to visit Marrakech is spring or fall.
Recommended travel duration
As with almost any big city, it is unfortunately impossible to make a general statement about how many days you should plan for a vacation in Marrakech. There are people who fly to the "red city" for a long weekend. Others spend two weeks in Marrakech and still feel that they have not seen everything. Whereby this kind of tourist usually does not stay there for the first time.
My rule of thumb: depending on how good you are on foot, you can discover the most important sights of Marrakech in 2-3 days and get an impression of the city.
If you have a whole week, you should take the opportunity for a contrast program to see more of Morocco's great landscape. For many, of course, a trip to the Sahara is a must. Such a desert tour lasts 2-3 days and offers besides a great road trip also a really impressive night in the desert. Here you can find such a tour offer with a detailed report.
Those who like to move and spend time in nature can get to know the fascinating mountain worlds of the High Atlas on a guided trekking tour. The mountains are only an hour's drive from Marrakech and can be seen from the city's roof terraces. Such an excursion is moreover well feasible with children. More details are in my report about such a trekking tour in the Atlas Mountains.
On a one-week trip, I also had good experiences combining a vacation in Marrakech with a three-day stay in the picturesque port city of Essaouira. Beach, sun, wind and bathing fulfill classic needs of a successful vacation, especially in the winter months when it is cold at home. In addition, Essaouira is a real place to be.
The easiest and cheapest way to get from Germany to Marrakech is by plane. From Germany there are direct connections several times a week. The flight is often the largest cost factor for a Marrakech vacation. If you want to save money here, you should definitely keep an eye on open jaw flights with a stopover – for example in Milan or Madrid. With an open jaw flight, you can actually fly from Germany to Marrakech or back on any day of the week.
Once you have arrived in Marrakech at Menara Airport, you only have to get to the city center. For this purpose the airport shuttle or a cab are suitable. If you are on vacation in Marrakech for the first time, you should book a private airport transfer online in advance for little money. This saves the waiting in front of the ATM at the airport and avoids stress. There are enough new attractions to be seen anyway.
Sightseeing: what to see in Marrakech?
When you vacation in Marrakech, you quickly learn to appreciate that almost all of the sights are in the medina and within easy walking distance of each other.
The heart of the medina is the Djemaa el Fna. Who has not strolled in the evening once over the big square, past the cookshops and storytellers, that was not in Marrakech. From Djemaa el Fna it is only a few hundred meters to the Koutoubia Mosque. It is the landmark of the city and may be missing in no photo album of the vacation in Marrakech.
In the Bahia Palace in the southern medina you can feel how splendid it once was to live as a ruler in Marrakech. Much smaller are the dormitories in the Medersa Ben Youssef. The former Koranic school is one of the most interesting buildings in the city, where Moorish craftsmanship can be admired to perfection.
"You have not been in Marrakech if you have not seen the famous blue of the Jardin Majorelle."
The Jardin Majorelle is by far the most beautiful garden in the city. Yves St. Laurent and his partner Patrick Berge bought and restored it in 1980. St. Laurent was also buried there. A memorial stone commemorates him. The Jardin Majorelle is internationally famous for its magical blue color. Although this garden is a real tourist magnet, at the same time applies here: You have not been to Marrakech if you have not seen the famous blue of the Jardin Majorelle.
These are the must-sees when visiting Marrakech on vacation. In addition, there are many other famous sights evenly distributed throughout the southern and northern medina. Recommended are among others the El Badi Palace, the Saadian Tombs, the Maison de la Photographie, the Musee de Marrakesh or the Museum Dar Si Said.
What else you can experience in Marrakech
These were only the most famous sights, where you will meet a lot of tourists and therefore you should visit them either very early or very late. There is much more to discover in Marrakech, especially in the medina with its market halls, foundouks and countless mosques. The Secret Garden near Djemaa el Fna, for example, the Jewish cemetery or the NGO Amal Womens Training Center.
If there is still time, the travel diary can be filled with more pages: Ever been under the knife of an Arab barber? Participated in a cooking class for foodies? Sneaking into La Mamounia and drinking overly expensive coffee among celebrities? Observed in the market hall, where the chicken breast comes from? Flying in a hot air balloon over Marrakech towards the sunrise? Two hours of haggling for 100 dirhams and a little later a whole extended family takes us to their hearts? There you go.
At the cooking class for foodies at the House of Fusion
One thing is for sure: If you can get involved with things and situations, neither adults nor children will ever be bored in Marrakech. But a vacation also means exploring a new cuisine, going on excursions, or getting lost in the shopping mecca of the almost infinitely large souks.
Accommodation: Which hotels can you recommend?
There are countless hotels, riads, guesthouses and hostels in Marrakech in all price ranges. Both backpackers and luxury travelers will have no trouble finding accommodations that fit their budget for their vacation in Marrakech. And yes, there are really breathtakingly beautiful riads in Marrakech, whose visit alone is worth the trip.
If you are still looking for a suitable place to stay, you will find carefully selected addresses in every price range in the Riad Guide. The riads recommended there are not only extraordinarily beautiful, but are also characterized by a very favorable location, which saves unnecessarily long distances.
With children on vacation: Marrakech with family
If you travel with children in Morocco, you will be surprised by the warmth and love that the Moroccans show to the little ones. For children it is exciting to wander through the alleys of the medina and to look at the displays of the merchants. to look over the shoulder of a carpenter or to marvel at a storyteller. Strange animals, strange smells, strange sounds. The muezzin or the desert as the largest sandbox in the world – in Morocco, adventures are waiting to be experienced around every corner.
Nevertheless, the crowds, the hustle and bustle and the permanent stimuli are sometimes too much for children. That's why you should plan regular rest or exercise room. The air in the medina is not very good. Especially with small children it can be quite exhausting for all involved in the long run. If you want to spend a vacation with your children in Marrakech, you should do them a favor and look for accommodation with a pool. Alternatively, you can visit the water bath outside the city or plan a few days in Essaouira. Trekking tours in the nearby Atlas Mountains are a highlight, especially for children who are already sure-footed and keen to move. And what pleases the children, pleases as well the parents in the end. Because not to forget: the parents want to make on top of it even in Marrakech vacation.
Logistically, Morocco is uncomplicated for families and young parents. In many stores diapers are sold, baby porridge is offered and everywhere you can get fruit, vegetables and couscous. The pharmacies in Marrakech carry local and international medicines, which can often be bought without prescription and cheaper than in Germany. There are several public hospitals and private clinics in the city, so there is a good medical care.
How much does a vacation in Marrakech cost??
The cost of such a trip depends on so many factors that the question of the total price can not be answered seriously. This includes, on the one hand, the cost of the flight, which is usually somewhere between 50 and 250 euros, and on the other hand, of course, all individual needs from accommodation to pleasure seeking.
As a backpacker with low expectations and a small budget, you can get by with about 5 euros per night for a cheap hotel and 10 euros for breakfast and two hot meals in simple street restaurants per day.
With about 20-40 euros a day you can get to know Marrakech without worrying about money; including eating out twice a day and the entrance fees. A double room costs in normal Riads depending upon season and equipment roughly estimated 40-70 euro per night. Numerous more expensive riads offer an even more luxurious ambience. Other cost factors besides accommodation are of course shopping as well as private tours and activities.
Example calculation for 2 persons
A typical vacation in Marrakech lasts one week and includes six nights of accommodation. Two of them will be spent on a round trip to the Sahara desert. The cost structure of such a Marrakech vacation might look like this listing, for example:
|Flight||ca. 150 Euro|
|Riad (4 nights)||ca. 120 euros|
|Meals (4 days + 3 days half board)||ca. 100 Euro|
|Desert Tour (3 days)||approx. 110 Euro|
|Entrance fees||ca. 15 euros|
|ca. 495 Euro|
All in all this is not even 500 Euro per person for one week, because Morocco as a travel destination is still very inexpensive. Not included in this example are the costs for the journey to the airport and all private expenses.
Of course, this is only a rough example of the costs involved in traveling to Marrakech. Nevertheless these numbers can serve as a rough orientation. The concrete expenditures depend as said in detail on different factors, as well as the requirements at accommodation and food, the participation in organized excursions as well as the self-discipline with the shopping.
Morocco is a very easy and cheap destination to visit, only a few hours away by plane. Nevertheless, the cultural contrast could hardly be greater. You should therefore be prepared for the fact that many things will be different from what you are used to at home.
If you want to bring home good experiences from your Marrakech vacation, you should be prepared to get involved with another country and its inhabitants. It is worth it, because the Moroccans are very warm and happy if you take the time to talk to each other.
The North African metropolis is a fabulous place that has a lot to offer tourists. If you are going to spend your vacation in Marrakech, you will most likely not regret this decision. Whether you experience the city on a city break with a cultural focus, on a backpacker trip, or use Marrakech as a stopover and starting point for excursions. Marhaba!