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How to spend a day in Marrakech

Unearth Marrakech’s most enchanting cultural treasures

Marrakech, Morocco

Posted on

10 Dec 2021

A city of cultural treasures and majestic architecture, there is much to be unearthed in Marrakech. From dazzling maze-like souks to mesmerising, ornate buildings that have stood the test of time, this walled city has many spellbinding experiences to offer curious travellers. Although you could easily spend a week whiling away the time here, for those on a cruise to Morocco with only a brief window of time, we’ve put together a guide on how to spend a day in Marrakech, making the most of the sights, culture and food.

Things to do in Marrakech

Explore a traditional souk

Exploring a souk is an absolute must when visiting this enchanting city. Navigating a souk provides a real look into Morocco’s time-honoured trade culture while stimulating the senses with divine smells and twinkling trinkets.

“Here, the air is rife with cries of gipsies, snake-charmers, wandering minstrels, magicians and folk-singers,” explain Savi and Vid from Bruised Passports. “There are tanneries on pavements, street artists in every corner and vegetable vendors popping out of alleys. If you’re not paying attention, you could end up with a monkey on your shoulder or a snake wrapped around your arm! Overwhelming? Yes, but they are the perfect amalgam of colour, energy and vibrancy. They sell everything here; perfumes, spices, bags, clothes, baskets, shawls, carpets, shoes and even safety pins.”

Enjoy Moroccan cuisine

One way to immerse yourself in a culture is by trying local cuisine. As well as sampling Marrakech’s otherworldly dishes, you can get a deeper understanding of the country’s colourful gastronomical heritage by taking a cookery class.

“The Amal Center is a non-profit organisation in Marrakech dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women through restaurant training and job placement,” Gemma from Vegan Foodie Gems explains. “I took part in a cookery class to learn how to make a traditional tagine. It was amazing hearing how the centre had helped all the women and knowing the money I paid for the class would help them to do more. Oh, and my tagine was delicious, it was a trip highlight!”

“One of the reasons to visit Marrakech is the amazing food,” Heather from Conversant Traveller told us. “There’s no better way to get to know the local culture than by taking a cooking class. There are several in the city but our favourite has to be the classes at the famous La Maison Arabe. Located on the edge of the medina, this restaurant/hotel runs half-day courses in their stunning gardens where you get to learn how to cook tagine and traditional Moroccan salads (and get to eat the results of course!) They also have express workshops where you cook a tagine in just one hour.”

Dine with a view

After exploring Marrakech, take in the reaching views of this remarkable walled city while enjoying some delectable food and drink. Becky and Vanessa from We Are Travel Girls recommend dining at rooftop restaurant Nomad. “This rooftop restaurant is an oasis above the medina. After a morning of bargaining for spices and scarves, you’ll be rewarded with a calm and tranquil spot to enjoy your lunch.

“Nomad serves up what’s described as modern Moroccan food based on simplicity, using fresh local produce and spices to create twists on traditional recipes. We highly recommend the courgette and zucchini feta fritters.”

Relax at Le Jardin Majorelle

Part garden, part museum, a visit to YSL’s Le Jardin Majorelle is a must for nature lovers. Jenny from TraveLynn Family says it’s the perfect space if you’re craving some peace and quiet; “You’ll find a small botanic museum, plant-lined walkways and striking blue doorways waiting to be explored. In a city that can sometimes feel like the volume button is stuck on max, spending an hour or so here can help to remind you what silence sounds like.”

Claire from Stoked to Travel also recommends a visit to Le Jardin Majorelle. “Visiting Le Jardin Majorelle, which is also known as Majorelle Garden or the Yves Saint Laurent garden, is one of the top things to do in Marrakech.

“It was originally created and designed by the French artist, Jacques Majorelle. However, it has since been lovingly restored and enhanced by Yves Saint Laurent following the purchase of the garden in the 1980s. It can take an hour or two to wander around the gardens, which also features an interesting Berber Museum and a coffee shop.”

Witness the natural beauty of Ouzoud Falls

Get away from the hustle and bustle inside the city walls and get back to nature at Ouzoud Waterfall. Natalie from Hello Cuppies told us, “I will never forget the day trip we took to the Ouzoud Falls. The journey itself is exciting and once you arrive, you can walk around a little Berber village and visit an Argan oil cooperative. Monkeys roam around, the locals set up orange juice stands to keep you refreshed and once you reach the waterfall the views will blow your mind.

“Nothing quite prepares you for when you turn the very last corner and suddenly, you’re greeted with the most thunderous sound of the falls and the most beautiful of sights. The walk back up has lots of little shops and restaurants too.”

Marvel at towering cacti at Cactus Thiemann

If you love quirky day trips, you certainly won’t want to pass up the opportunity to visit Cactus Thiemann, one of North Africa’s largest cacti farms covering 17 acres of land. Founded by German agricultural engineer Hans Thiemann in the mid-1960s, the nursery has attracted many visitors to wander around the rows of these sky-high, spiky succulents.

“I visited Marrakech for a long weekend a few years ago and of the best things we did was head off the beaten track,” Yaya from My Dreamality told us. “Cactus Thiemann is like a sea of cacti, most of which are as tall as buildings. There are about 150 cacti and it is like being in a cacti maze!”

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