Marrakech was my first trip to Africa and a solo trip at that. I did an extensive amount of research before I went and I fell in love with the city. While I stayed just four days, I would consider a one week Morocco itinerary or 2 weeks in Morocco if you have the time.
There is so much going on and it can be overwhelming on all the senses, but if you are open to it, Marrakech will wow you in ways you never thought possible.
My life is somehow different having traveled through the winding roads of the Medina – but I assure you it is all for the better.
From Marrakech tours and day trips, the Medina, the food, the people – it’s going to be a magical trip!
Here are 7 experiences I recommend when visiting Marrakech:
Get wonderfully lost in the Medina
Easily the highlight of my trip and will most likely be yours too. The Medina can be – overwhelming.
Knowing that before you enter is probably the best way to tackle it. The winding roads, the salesman that are on the brink of being too pushy, overwhelming scents of spices, being immersed in the food being cooked around you, the motorbikes whizzing by, the beautiful cats – its a lot to take in at once but its also amazing.
There are many hidden treasures to be found here whether is through the rugs, lamps, secret garden, amazing food (that is very cheap – I think I got a full meal for less than $5 USD), all the beautiful doors, and in the people you meet. Everyone has a story to tell – be open to hearing it.
*Tip – a lot of the streets of the Medina are not labeled. I was lost for quite some time and it felt like I was walking in circles.
I recommend paying attention to street corners when you turn them or you can ask anyone in the Medina for help – just make sure and tip them.
**Tip – it is expected you tip if anyone does anything for you – so keep small bills on hand.
Prior to visiting Marrakech I had heard very mixed reviews about the city, especially the Medina.
Everyone has a completely different experience when traveling anywhere – just be open to getting lost and experiencing the culture – which may include some cat calling and very nice salesmen – but I found them to be harmless.
Eat all the food!
I feel like this goes without saying – one simply doesn’t visit Marrakech and not eat everything! There are so many amazing dishes to try so I narrowed down a few of my favorites:
- Moroccan crepe
- Corn on the cob
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Tucked away in the Medina (and it took me a few tries to actually find it due to the winding streets) but worth the effort.
This used to be an Islamic college until it closed in 1960, and reopened 22 years to the public in 1982. I promise you will be blown away by the beauty of this historic site. The tiles, archways, design – all of it is gorgeous. Makes me wonder how a college could be so beautiful and close its doors. I would never leave.
Stay in a Riad
Stay inside the Medina for at least 1 night in a Riad – which is typically owned and ran by a family and its a home that usually has a courtyard or garden in the interior, sometimes pools. A stay in a Riad typically comes with a Moroccan breakfast – which will not disappoint.
Explore Majorelle Garden
Located outside of the Medina on a sprawling two and a half acres is this gorgeous garden .. in the desert. Originally owned and designed by Jacques Majorelle for about 40 years and then later purchased by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé, where they restored it and lived there. The garden is popular for its vibrant blue walls and building with cacti growing among it.
Drink copious amounts of mint tea
A tradition in Morocco and you will find it just about everywhere. I am a huge fan of tea and this mint tea was fabulous.
You won’t have to go far to find it – I can recall being offered mint tea just about everywhere I was – even shopping in the Medina.
Visit Jemaa el-Fnaa
This IS the icon of the Medina. Everything is happening in this square and the streets branch out through the Medina.
You will find fresh produce, restaurants and food everywhere, snake charmers, witch doctors, dancers, people of all ethnicity’s and backgrounds telling stories – and most likely, a cultural experience for yourself.
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Marrakech is definitely on my must do list. As I too travel solo it was great to see another solo traveler enjoying Morocco. Wonderful photos.
YES! It was amazing – highly recommend
This is definitely somewhere we want to go someday, especially to see all the unique and beautiful doors like you mentioned. The colors are so pretty! Although not sure how we would do with getting lost because the street signs are limited. That may be stressful. Will definitely add Majorelle Garden to our list though. Everything sounds amazing!
I think I spent half a day trying to photograph doors lol – theyre all very different
Amazing pictures! I would love to get lost in Medina!
It is so amazing in Marrakech!
Marrakech is truly interesting. From the pictures, it looks very bright and festive! Are the spices cheaper than they are anywhere else?
Yes everything is cheaper in Marrakech – compared to Western prices
Looks amazing and I’m a huge fan of Moroccan food, love to make it myself too. Tagines are my favourites. The Medina sounds fabulous, even though it’s a haven for getting lost. Sometimes that is the best part, provided you can find your way out again. Just spent time in India and one city and one market were like this for me….all narrow lanes, nothing marked, heaps of people etc etc. Interesting experience though. Marrakech is definitely on my list of places to go sometime.
Amazing pics!I have posted about Marrakesh as well 🙂
Such enticing pictures. You make me regret for not having visited Morocco yet. The food scene is most tempting. I have to try all the dishes mentioned by you. 🙂
I’m so surprised you did Marrakech as a solo trip! (Props to you for that because I’ve heard so many stories about female travellers getting harassed, etc.) I’ve honestly been dying to visit and this just makes me wanna go even more badly. Will keep in mind about the streets not being labeled!
Perfect timing! I’m heading to Marrakech in two days! We’re in Fez now and the medina here is also insane. So many alleys and nothing labeled. Haha. Thanks for the great tips. I know I want to stay in a Riad in Marrakech for sure!
For Sure I will get in the colourful market of Median. Madrasa College is so beautiful; I will not feel like getting out of it. Staying in Riad will be on the list for sure. Majorelle Garden too looks amazing. I am already in for visiting Marrakech. Great pictures and post
Medina looks epic with its design! The biggest appeal for me about Morocco is its food – I want to try all the local eats!!
You are gifted as a photographer. Great tips as well. I long to visit Medina and hope to find that college one day.
Marrakech has always fascinated me. Beautiful photos! <3
I’m so impressed you did it solo! I visited at the beginning of the year with a few girlfriends and that felt crazy enough!