Marrakech

Classically North African

The ‘Red City’ of Marrakech is a fascinating urban hub that mixes ancient ritual with modern high density living. Morocco’s third largest city is now home to a million people – and it shows. Go, expect crowds everywhere, new scents and sensations, a visual feast, over-the-top shopping... and get set for some serious haggling!

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Shopping

First port of call for any shopping in Marrakech must be the medina’s souks but prepare for sensory overload. Follow your nose through the winding streets to fragrant mounds of colourful spices atone of the many spice markets (Rahba Kedima). Fondle fabrics, furniture and ceramics at craft co-operative Complexe d’Artisanat (7 Derb Baissi, Rue de la Kasbah). At Dar El Bacha, shops sell passementerie, jewellery and organic argan oil; ogle stylish leather bags and accessories from Lalla (Souk Cherifia, Sidi Abdelaziz). Outside the medina, sophisticated boutiques abound in the chichi modern district of Gueliz. Stop off at Michle Baconnier (12 rue des Vieux Marrakchis) for high-end contemporary clothes and hand-embroidered shoes.

Food & Drink

From street food to fine dining, Marrakech is a foodie’s delight. Head to Jemaa el Fna square after 6pm and choose tagines, pastilles and grilled meats from over 100 stalls – alternatively, head for rooftop cocktails overlooking the square at sunset; the view from the refined Terrace des pices (15 Souk Cherifia, Sidi Abdelaziz) is popular with local expats. Those hankering after evening entertainment along with their meal should try Le Salama (40 rue des Banques), a lively touristy dining spot featuring a belly dancing show most evenings. For special occasions, Gastro MK (14 Derb Sebaai, Bab Laksour) is the place to go, with a fearsomely good reputation for fine dining.

Events

Marrakech Marathon
January
Raise a cheer for the determined athletes at Marrakech’s annual marathon. Over 6,000 runners take to the streets, running a varied circuit that skirts the outer edges of the medina and takes in the scenic orange groves of the Menara gardens along the way.

Dakka Marrakchia Festival
February
This vibrant music festival celebrates the traditional Moroccan music that has been passed down through generations. The music features a combination of drums and chants, and blends together to make a lively, foot-stomping beat.

Festival National des Arts Populaires
June
Featuring everything from dancers and artists to snake charmers and theatre groups, this multi-day festival sees the city’s frenetic pace move up a notch as it rolls into town. Head to El Badi Palace and Jemaa el Fna square to be at the heart of the action.

Montreux Jazz Festival Morocco
July
At this Moroccan incarnation of the well-known Swiss festival, music lovers can enjoy listening to traditional Moroccan music in lavish settings such as Bahia Palace and Menara gardens.

Festival International du Film de Marrakech
December
Putting Moroccan cinema into the spotlight, Marrakech’s film festival attracts an international crowd keen to see the best of the country’s burgeoning film industry.

Hotels

Marrakech is full of hotel options catering for all budgets and needs. In the medina, ultra-chic Riad El Fenn (2 Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian) oozes understated glamour, combining traditional elements with modern touches. More affordable is the Angsana Riads Collection, consisting of six riads spread throughout the medina, each with its own distinct personality. Choose from opulent Riad Si Said, Thai-themed Riad Bab Firdaus and more. At centrally located Riad Itrane (113 Derb Jama Derb Dabachi), budget-conscious travellers can relax in the pool after resisting temptation in the souks. Beyond the city walls, boutique hacienda JnaneTamsna (Douar Abiad) offers luxurious boho surroundings away from the bustle of the city.

Essentials

  • Language

    Arabic

  • Currency

    Moroccan Dirham

  • Time zone

    GMT (Summer GMT+1)

  • Flight time

    4 hours

  • Holiday type

    Summer sun, City break, Winter sun

Weather

  • 31/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    32C max 19C min
  • 01/11/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    30C max 18C min
  • 02/11/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    28C max 19C min
  • 03/11/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    26C max 15C min
  • 04/11/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    26C max 16C min
  • 05/11/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    23C max 16C min
  • 06/11/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    20C max 13C min
  • Jan
    19°C max 6°C min
  • Feb
    20°C max 8°C min
  • Mar
    20°C max 11°C min
  • Apr
    25°C max 12°C min
  • May
    29°C max 15°C min
  • Jun
    29°C max 18°C min
  • Jul
    21°C max 21°C min
  • Aug
    37°C max 21°C min
  • Sep
    32°C max 18°C min
  • Oct
    27°C max 15°C min
  • Nov
    23°C max 11°C min
  • Dec
    20°C max 8°C min