Marrakech holidays from
Rock the Kasbah
Prepare to be mesmerised in the Medina
The culture, beauty and diversity of the centuries-old Imperial city of Marrakech have long intoxicated visitors. The Red City is famed for its souks, spices and snake charmers, just as much as it is for its modern, fashionable galleries, trendy boutique hotels and riads, luxuriant gardens and indulgent hammams. Add to that some striking Islamic architecture and a host of other cultural influences that helped to put this thriving caravan town on the map.
Explore the deluxe Bahia Palace and the decorative Almoravid Koubba – the city’s oldest building – and absorb the sacred architecture and haunting call to prayer of the Koutoubia Mosque. Hit the souks early to avoid the heat and clamour and to haggle for everything from handmade rugs to glorious glassware.
Marrakech’s cuisine will seduce you, whether it’s delicious traditional tagines, barbecued meats and fish or more outlandish delicacies like sheep’s head. Wander through Djemaa el-Fnaa square and take in the aromas. Try a Moroccan chicken pastilla – a savoury pie sprinkled with almonds, cinnamon and sugar – followed by a mint tea.
With its sensational interior design, glitzy belly dancers and electrifying atmosphere, Comptoir in Hivernage is the place to be for a night out, or try the Palais Jad Mahal where your drinks are enlivened by fire-eaters, acrobats and belly dancers. Book your flights to Marrakech today and prepare to be wowed.
Carefully selected Marrakech holidays
Best hotels in Marrakech for all types of traveller
We have a great selection of hotels in Marrakech. The Four Seasons Resort Marrakech has an adult-only pool, numerous family areas, immaculate gardens and a large spa. The Sol Oasis Marrakech is a family-friendly, all-inclusive hotel with a large swimming pool, kids’ club and three restaurants. The Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech offers an 18-hole golf course designed by Cabell B Robinson and the city’s largest kids’ club. The Iberostar Club Palmeraie Marrakech has three heated pools, including one reserved for adults, and a free bus service. The Oberoi Marrakech is set amid landscaped gardens that are full of orchards and olive groves and dotted with water features. Finally, the all-inclusive Be Live Experience Marrakech Palmeraie offers sublime views of the Atlas Mountains and the Marrakech Palm Grove.
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Marrakech holiday FAQs
Trying a hammam is an absolute must. This authentic Moroccan spa experience is a bathing and cleansing ritual. Enjoy the heat of a steam room to open all your pores, then have a full body scrub with a traditional Kessa glove to remove dead skin. Then bathe in cold water to finish and feel like new.
What are the best things to do in Marrakech?
1. Take in Marrakech’s most famed monument the Kontoubia Mosque. The 12th Century tower is a masterpiece of Moorish design complete with scalloped keystone arches and jagged merlon crenellations. The 250-foot-high minaret with its Amazigh design square peak has inspired designs in Rabat and Seville.
2. The Red City has over 1,000 riads to choose from, complete with shady inner courtyards, some featuring ponds or pools and many with roof gardens. Some of the best include La Sultana Marrakech with views of the Atlas Mountains from its terrace, Riad Palais Sebban, a stylish 19th Century riad and Riad Spice, with its outdoor pool and shared lounge.
3. Marrakech’s old town, the original walled city known as the Medina, dates to the 11th Century. It’s a lively maze of cobblestone streets and souks where donkey carts replace cars. Take in the impressive Koutoubia Mosque and the fascinating Saadian Tombs.
4. Stroll around the stunning Jardin Majorelle. These exquisite gardens acquired by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge showcase over 300 plant species sourced from five continents. Its centrepiece is the art deco studio which houses the fascinating Berber Museum that displays some 600 artefacts. Afterwards chill out in the garden’s attractive courtyard cafe.
5. Visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. This institution covers the 40-year career of the legendary French fashion designer who made Marrakech his home. Its textured contours make it one of the most eye-catching pieces of contemporary architecture in the city. There’s a 150-seat theatre and museum library (by appointment only) to complete the experience.
How to haggle in Marrakech
In the souks, in taxis and at cafes it’s usual to haggle. Be calm, smile and don’t be afraid. Shopkeepers often speak a lot of languages, so don’t presume they can’t understand. Offer fair prices, as they are trying to earn a living – about half of the opening price is a good place to aim. Finally, walk away if you think they are ripping you off, you may well be followed with a better offer.
How to respect local customs in Marrakech
Dress modestly. Morocco is a Muslim country and has traditions regarding clothing. Men should try to cover shoulders and have knee length shorts, at least. Women are advised to wear longer skirts or shorts, and have neck and shoulders covered, and it is recommended to keep hair covered in rural areas. Avoid public displays of affection, especially near religious buildings. Check the latest Morocco travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office before your departure.
Where are the best places to visit in Marrakech?
The Medina is the heart and soul of Marrakech. The original walled city contains surprises round every corner of its dusty pink ramparts, from simmering food stalls to shops selling beautiful artisan wares. Pause for reflection at the Marrakech Museum to discover countless artefacts and stroll around the 19th Century Bahia Palace – adorned with lush gardens and vibrant tile mosaics.
Djemaa el-Fnaa is a busy square with acrobats, fortune tellers, henna artists and snake charmers by day, and transforms into one big dining hotspot by night with many cheap food stalls popping up, accompanied by plenty of thrilling live entertainment. Watch the drama unfold from a rooftop terrace, glass of mint tea in hand.
The Hivernage neighbourhood has a reputation as a playground for hip young things ready to splash their cash. There’s plenty of high-end hotels, elegant restaurants and buzzy bars, plus the Casino de Marrakech and Theatro, one of the city’s leading nightclubs. In the daytime explore the cutting-edge Cyber Park Arsat Moulay Abdeslam.
Similarly hipster-centric is Gueliz in the European sector. There are scores of cool cocktail bars and restaurants serving alcohol, which are otherwise absent in the more historic parts of Marrakech. This modern enclave is packed with upmarket shops and boutiques. Call in to MACMA Museum of Marrakech for top contemporary art by local and regional names.
Palmeraie is an oasis of hundreds of thousands of trees, including over 100,000 palm trees, on the northern fringes of the city. It’s known for its collection of ritzy spa resorts. The area provides an escape from the city. Enjoy unhindered views of the Atlas Mountains and good access to Marrakech’s many golf courses. You can also take a quad bike tour of the surrounding desert.
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