Marrakech is one of the most important cities in Morocco. It is located at the south of the country, close to the Atlas.
It is also known as the “Red city” and if you go there you will understand why. It is a magical place, colourful, intense and you can´t get bored.
There are quite a few things you can do there in four days. Don´t you know where to start?
10 things to do in Marrakech in 4 days
1. Discover La Medina of Marrakech
Narrow and tiny streets. It´s not difficult to get lost in there, it´s like a maze. Red streets, colours, smells, disorientation, sensation of being lost, dizziness, surprise, impacts, impulse… loads of feelings when you are wandering around La Medina is what you are going to find.
2. Bargain in the souks
Finding bargains in this open-air market is easy and tough at the same time. Although if it is a bargain or not will depend on your haggle skills. Tip: ask for the price and then start offering 20% off the price you´ve been told. If you end up paying 50% or less of the original price, you can be happy. Don´t start bargaining if you are not interested in making a purchase. They take it seriously and feel really and truly offended. Don´t be surprised if they start shouting at you if you leave in the middle of a transaction.
3. Eat like a local
If you can and your stomach allows you to do it. Try the different tajine, couscous and fresh juices (give the avocado juice a go if you have a chance). If you are not sure about street food, there is an affordable restaurant close to The Jeema El Fna square called Riad Omar. There is a roof terrace where you can enjoy your lunch or dinner. There is a menu or you can also order a la carte. If you go for the menu, the price is 180MAD (*MAD is actually the Morrocan currency: MAD=Moroccan Dirham). Order one menu for every two people because portions are huge. We ordered 4 menus for 6 people and we didn´t know what to do with such amount of food.
Another option, a more luxurious one within a budget pocket is Le jardin, about 200MAD per person. Try tajine kefta with meatballs and egg with couscous, delicious!
If you are craving for something sweet, go to Pâstisserie Des Princes just next to the Jemmaa El-Fna square. The best Moroccan sweets in town!
If you are wondering where to find them, it´s easy: click on the below links:
4. Drink tea à la mint
In one of the roof terraces during the sunset around The Jeema El Fna square. Or after lunch, or after dinner… any time is the perfect time for a tea à la mint. If you are looking for the perfect views of The Jeema El Fna square during the sunset Hôtel Restaurant café de France is a good option, although a little bit expensive.
5. Visit the tanneries
Prepare yourself beforehand to cope with the intense smell. Go there in the morning, before everybody´s gone for the day.
Warning: please be aware that fake or non official guides are going to approach you to “sell” you a tour, led you to shops where they get commission, etc. Try to find the tanneries yourself and if someone approaches you telling you that they´ll give you a tour say “No thanks” politely; “Later” also worked very well. If you would like to know where to find them, please click here.
6. Experience a hammam
For those who don´t know what a hammam is, hammam traditionally means a communal bathhouse, however nowadays the offer in the hammam is more varied and you can find massages and different beauty treatments. Whether go local (traditional) or go posh (modern) is up to you and your budget.
Our experience was not very pleasant, so I can only say DON´T go to AABla spa, it was a fraud. They offered us 1h hammam and 1h massage for 300MAD per person, and the massage lasted only 20 minutes. This is one of the reasons why I would not recommend you to go there, but there are more.
I will tell you everything in another post. Oh wait! The post is ready so if you want to check it out you just need to click here and have fun.
7. Discover exotic spices in the Jewish neighborhood
It is the paradise of the spices! Spices everywhere! If you are a spices lover, you are definitely going to find your own paradise in there.
8. Stay in a riad
It is not going to be the same if you don´t stay in a riad. We stayed at Riad Essaoussan in the heart of La Medina of Marrakech. It was a very quiet stay and the place was conveniently located and very clean. We were six and there was a shared room for six, so it worked out perfectly for us. The price was about 100MAD per night per person with breakfast included. There is a nice terrace upstairs where the breakfast was served. The only con was that there wasn´t a shared space inside and the lower ground floor was quite dark. Otherwise it covered our expectations.
Credits: Thanks Mari for taking the pictures of the Riad, I completely forgot about it!
9. And don´t forget to do some sightseeing
Attractions that you can´t miss, besides La Medina and The Jeema El Fna square, are:
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Koutoubia mosque and minaret
10. A day trip out of Marrakech
If so, you can visit Essaouira, Ouzoud waterfalls or Ourika Valley . These are the closest day trip escapes. We went to Essaouira and, to be honest, I didn´t fall in love with this city. It is true that it´s more chilled and relaxed compared to the intensity of Marrakech, you can walk around the souks without being bothered by anyone (and it was heartwarming), but it didn´t meet my expectations. What really deserves a mention is the fresh fish that you can eat there in the fish stalls for just nothing, so cheap. They say the best are #4, 5 and 10.
If you are lucky and have more time, you can enjoy a 3-4 days trip to the desert. I couldn´t do it, maybe next time 😉 will see.
Final thoughts: Marrakech is intense, be prepared for that and you will love your stay.
Have fun and see you around witties!!
Special mention to my Marrakesh travel buddies: Monica (the birthday girl), Veronica, Lidia, Cris and Mari. We had loads of fun, hope we can travel again soon.