Sunlit Souk (Wanderlust)
Blog Words : Peter Moore | 28 February

The Wanderlust guide to the best of Marrakech

Accessible and exotic, Marrakech has it all: boutique riads, labyrinthine bazaars and some of North Africa's tastiest food. Here's your guide to jumping on board the Marrakech Express

Whether you want to explore the medieval alleys of ancient medinas, packed with donkeys, traders and the scents of Africa or mingle with the exceptionally hospitable locals, Marrakech is your kind of town. But get ready for your senses to be assaulted – and to drink more sweet mint tea than you thought was humanly possible.

The main square (Wanderlust)

Looking for inspiration?

Not sure where to start? The Wanderlust team have put together the Ultimate Top 5 Guide to Marrakech with advice on where to stay, where to eat and what to do. There are also tips on planning your trip and getting your bearings once you arrive. It’s the perfect place to start planning your trip to Morocco’s fabled red city.

Looking for more personal advice? Dina Snaith visited Marrakech with Wanderlust Journeys and lists the 5 things you must do, from touring the town in your own horse-drawn caliche to spending the night in Riad Magie. Barnaby Davies did the same trip a d gives a more ‘street-wise’ guide to get the most out of Marrakech, starting with having a chat to the local taxi drivers for the best inside advice.

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Ultimate Top 5 Guide to Marrakech – The Wanderlust Team

Top 5 Must-dos in Marrakech – Dina Snaith

Top 5 tips for making the most of Marrakech – Barnaby Davies

Haggling (Wanderlust)

Shop 'til you drop

What would a trip to Marrakech be without a shopping trip to the souk, haggling with traders over a colourful souvenir of your visit to this fascinating city? The tight, atmospheric lanes and pathways have changed little since medieval times and, for many, are the highlight of a visit to Marrakech.

The crowds and the bustle can be intimidating though, and with that in mind, Rachel Rowe has put together 10 tips for tackling souks in Marrakech.  Her tip on walking on the right is worth the read alone – moped riders, donkey carts and assorted locals will thank you as they hurry to get past.

Rachel’s article on how to haggle in Marrakech will save you a lot of grief too – and help you bag the best possible price for that ceramic tagine you probably won’t end up using.

For a more gentle introduction to the sights and sounds of shopping in the souks, Lynn Alexander’s account of her attempt to buy argan oil really captures rhythms of life in the dusty, atmospheric corners of Marrakech’s souks.

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10 tips for tackling souks in Marrakech – Rachel Rowe

Top 5 tips for haggling in Marrakech – Rachel Rowe

Shopping for argan oil – Lynn Alexander

Moroccan food (Rob Palmer)

A Moroccan Feast

Marrakech is a foodie paradise, a veritable feast for the senses. Indeed, you your taste buds won’t know what has hit them. 

From stalls selling aromatic bunches of mint compete with colourful displays of ras al hanout, through to the stalls in  Djemaa El Fna, the city's bustling main square, selling delicious slow-cooked lamb, there’s something for every taste.

Want to learn to cook like a local? Mark Kensett recommends the courses run by Souk Cuisine. From buying trips to the souk, cooking in an open courtyard through to enjoying the fruits of his labour at a communal table, Mark says it was a highlight of his trip.

Wondering what to do with than tagine you bought from that particular persuasive hawker? Fear not. We also have a selection of delicious Moroccan recipes you can try at home. Make sure you check out the recipes from Ron and Sophi Palmer, a husband and wife team who scoured Morocco for traditional, family recipes.

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Exploring the food markets of Marrakech – Rachel Rowe

Learn to cook like a local in Marrakech – Mark Kensett

How to breakfast in Marrakech – Andy Harris

3 delicious Moroccan recipes and the stories behind them – Rob and Sophi Palmer

Tasty Moroccan dishes to try at home – Jeff Koehler

Hammam (Emily Luxton)

Getting active. Or not.

What better way to unwind and relax than a visit to a traditional hammam? They’re dirt cheap and you’ll lose layers of dirt and maybe more than a little dignity. Read Emily Luxton’s account of her visit to Hammam Ziani and see if the beatings, the scrubbing and the public (near) nudity is for you.

Looking for something a bit more high-adrenaline?  Amanda Williams suggests trying canyoning in the Ourika Valley, in the High Atlas Mountains, only 45 minutes away from Marrakech. She overcome her fear of heights and enjoyed a view to die for. (Not literally, of course.)

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My hammam experience in Marrakech – Emily Luxton

Canyoning in Marrakech – Amanda Williams

Hammam (Wanderlust)

Capturing it on film

Marrakech’s bustling main square, Djemaa El Fna, is one of the most photographed places on earth, but countless other photo opportunities abound in this most photogenic of destinations. Renata Roge suggests turning your lens on the locals and provides a host of tips on how to do that in a sensitive and fruitful way.

If it’s inspiration you’re after, looking no further than the gallery of images taken by the lucky folk lucky enough to accompany Lyn Hughes on the Wanderlust Destinations tour of Marrakech. Or any of the images posted by our readers from their journeys to this magical city.

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Photographing the locals in Marrakech – Renata Roge

Wanderlust on Assignment photo gallery for Marrakech

Reader’s Photos

Moroccan tea pots (Wanderlust)

Everything you need to know

Ready to start planning your trip? Our Morocco Travel Guide is the perfect place to start. Long-time subscriber and myWanderlust contributor, Kavey, has also put together and extensive guide to the city and the multitude of things to do.

If you have a particular question, pop over to the myWanderlust forum where our knowledgeable community is ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions people have already asked about Morocco and Marrakech. The answer to yours might already be there.

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Morocco Travel Guide

Morocco Essential Info

How to travel in Ramadan – Hazel Plush

An introduction to Marrakech – Kavey

Things to do in Marrakech – Kavey

Friendly locals (Wanderlust)

Ready to go?

Here’s a selection of fantastic tours offered by our partners. From amazing city breaks to incredible outdoor adventures, there’s something for every taste and budget. You’ll find the full list of tours available here.

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Trip Finder can help you find adventures in Marrakech.

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