Tips for Your First Trip to Marrakech
Finally I am back with an update on my blog after a bit of a hiatus. In April I went for a week to Marrakech in Morocco. It actually was the first time in my life that travelled to a country on the African continent. I was really excited, as I have seen and heard so many lovely things about Marrakech. Now that I my trip is already over I want to share my experience and some recommendations.
Friends invited us to stay with them at their villa a little outside of Marrakech and, of course, I couldn’t decline such an opportunity. After I got my Visa (I needed one since my passport is Georgian) we were all set to go. In the beginning we spent most of the time at the villa and did some short trips to Marrakech to see the Jardin Majorelle and visit the Souk. On one of the sunny days (yeah, we had a lot of rain in Marrakech during our stay) we went to see the Lalla Takerkoust Damn, 1h south of Marrakech. Our final destination was the Kasbah Beldi Resort, where we wanted to have lunch in their beautiful garden and later enjoy the pool.
We made a stop at the town to do a Quad tour of the area. I also never rode a quad and it was pretty fun. The landscape was really beautiful and we stopped at a berber tent for tea and sweets. The tour took about one hour and half and cost around 50€ per quad.
The rest of the week we would stay at the villa and depending on the weather we would go to the Souk or do some more sightseeing in Marrakech.
So here I want to share with you some of the places we visited:
What to see in Marrakech
Studio KO, the architecture firm behind this magnificent museum, surely created a masterpiece here. Perfect to pay tribute to all the masterpieces Yves Saint Laurent created and that are shown here. You will not only see some of his beautiful couture dresses but also find exhibitions on photography, art and fashion. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to go inside. We had to face a choice either between YSL Museum or the Jardin Majorelle due to some time restraints and we choose the later. I was advised that queue for both might be pretty long and that if you want to see both it is advised to buy a special ticket for both of them. Like that you can skip the line for the other one once you got your ticket.
Visiting the Jardin Majorelle was one of my highlights from the trip. Once the home of french artist Jacques Majorelle, the villa and botanical garden, had been bought by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé in the 80s. After some renovation the Jardin Majorelle is now open to the public and the villa houses the Berber and Islamic Art Museum.
I recommend visiting it either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun is a bit lower and the colours become just more vibrant. The villa is painted in a very intense blue with certain yellow accents and the colour is now known as “Majorelle bleu”.
One of the other places that was on our list was the Bahia Palace. Sebastian got the idea for his “parisianfloors” project from there and he wanted to go back and show it to me. The palace is full of beautiful wall and floor mosaics. It was a bit crowded, but it’s worth a visit.
If you haven’t been to the “Souk” in Marrakech then you haven’t really been to Marrakech. It’s such a unique and special place. The souk is a big partly covered market place, where local artisans/merchants sell their products. You can find the traditional Berber Rugs at the “Souk Zarbia”, traditional leather shoes “Babouche”, ceramics, bags and all kind of other stuff. It’s a real treasure chest. The only problem there is that it is quite a labyrinth and it’s tough to find your way through it. I highly recommend you to buy something right once you see it (after some intensive bargaining of course). I found some shoes on the first day and said that I’ll think about it and will come back the next day. It took us 2 days to find the shop again. In the end we bought some shoes (babouches), beautiful ceramic plates and mugs, a bag and coloured drinking glasses. We sure would have loved to bring back more but our luggage was already at the limit.
Where to stay
Riad Les Yeux Bleus
We wanted to spent one night in the Medina close to all the main sights and found an available room at the Riad Les Yeux Bleus in the heart of the city. As we stayed with friends in a villa, a bit outside of Marrakech, we had a spontaneous idea to stay for one night in the city, and we booked the room on the same day that we stayed there. A quick phone call if they would have one available room and after they confirmed we headed straight to the city. Due to the same day booking we even got a little discount.
Riad Les Yeux Bleus
7 Derb El Ferrane, Bab Doukkala, Medina
Of course we did some research beforehand on what other cool riads and hotels Marrakech has to offer.
So here are some ideas for your next stay in Marrakech:
Other Riads in Marrakech:
Hotels in Marrakech:
Where to eat
We had a great experience in Marrakech even tough the weather wasn’t really what we expected, but I can recommend a long weekend or week trip to the red city. I hope you liked my tips and maybe found some inspiration for your next trip.
Feel free to share with me your favourite spots in Marrakech in the comments!