Marrakech is the thriving heart of Morocco. The city is located on the edge of the Sahara Desert and is home to some of the most incredible culture, architecture, food, and experiences you’ll ever encounter. As with most city breaks, the longest you’ll need to stay in Marrakech is three to four days. That’s enough time to see the city before moving on to explore the desert or Morocco’s beautiful coastal towns. This 3 days in Marrakech itinerary is jam-packed with exhilarating experiences, cultural sites, and recommendations for the best food and drinks spots in the city! So let’s jump right on into it…
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Hannah Ludlow.
Where to stay in Marrakech
Marrakech has loads to offer in terms of accommodation, from luxury hotels to budget hostels to traditional Riads. I’d recommend finding a Riad to suit your needs. These Moroccan villas often have pools, cooking facilities, and roof terraces. This means you can make your own meals as well as have a more local experience.
Marrakesh is full of Riads, which you can book a room in, or hire the whole place for large groups! They are located in the heart of the city, and often have beautiful water features on the ground floor, with balconies with views of the entire Riad.
Many Riads provide an option for breakfast and dinner which is great at the start or the end of a busy day! Riads are at the upper end of the price range in Marrakesh, costing around £100 a night for a deluxe room.
Hotels and hostels
However, if you’re on more of a budget, hotels such as Palais Calipau and IBIS Marrakech Palmeraie are more affordable but are still located centrally with all the amenities necessary for a three-night stay. Or if you want to seriously save your pennies, Marrakech has many top-rated hostels at great prices too.
How to get around Marrakech
I found that getting around the city on foot was the best option. This is because it’s cheap and provides more freedom to explore the narrow streets and stop and chat with sellers! I’d recommend using Google Maps or buying a map of the city to help you find your way around on foot. (It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle!) Also, make sure you note down all the landmarks next to your accommodation so you can find your way back.
Taxis are another great way of getting around Marrakesh, especially to and from the airport, and for any long-distance trips you might go on. The main supermarket, Carrefour, is located slightly outside the city’s walls, so I’d recommend getting a taxi back with your shopping. If you only want the essentials then there are markets that are accessible by foot!
Finally, if you’re looking for a different way of travelling, you can hop on board a tuk-tuk. Not only do tuk-tuks take you around the city, but they can also take you for day trips to places further afield such as the mountains or the coast.
Day 1 of your 3 days in Marrakech itinerary
Morning: Explore Marrakech and its market squares
To avoid a sense of culture shock upon your arrival in Marrakesh, I’d suggest taking the first morning to walk around the city and get your bearings. The souks (market streets) are labyrinthine passageways, often leading to huge market squares which can be quite overwhelming. When you first walk out of a narrow souk and into the bustling hub of stalls, you’ll be met by traders trying to get your attention from every angle, against the noise of people, music and animals.
The Jemaa el-Fnaa is the largest marketplace in Marrakech, and should definitely be the first stop on your tour of the city. Shop to your heart’s content in the hundreds of market stalls that line the square. However, even if you can’t take too much home with you, just walking around the stalls is an experience in itself. You can spend hours getting lost in a psychedelic array of spices, fabrics, jewellery and decorations. Plus, you’ll soon work up an appetite and want to grab a snack or a smoothie from one of the many food stalls on offer.
Top tip: If you get lost amongst the hundreds of souks, just ask anyone for directions to the Jemaa el-Fnaa. You’ll find your way back in no time from here – it’s the epicentre of Marrakesh!
Midday: Lunch at L’Mida
Address: 78 bis Derb Nkhel Rahba Kdima, Marrakech 40030
Phone number: +212 5244-43662
For lunch, I’d recommend finding a rooftop restaurant to escape the pandemonium of Marrakech’s streets and enjoy the peace and the views on offer. My favourite rooftop eatery is L’Mida, which combines a peaceful escape with chic décor and delicious food. Expect traditional Moroccan dishes, such as tajines and salads, made with local produce.
The best part about L’Mida’s menu is their amazing fruit mocktails: perfect for a refreshing lunch beverage when you want to keep your wits about you during the afternoon!
Early afternoon: Walk around La Mamounia
Address: Avenue Bab Jdid، Marrakesh 40040
Phone number: +212 5243-88600
In the afternoon, you might fancy a more relaxing walk around the hotel gardens of La Mamounia, which are free to walk around if your arms and legs are covered up. This exquisite hotel has beautiful gardens to match. And once you find yourself in this oasis of calm you won’t want to leave!
With expansive greenery, huge swimming pools, and tennis courts, stepping into the gardens of La Mamounia is like stepping into paradise. It’s a great place to take a breather after a busy morning in the souks.
Mid-afternoon: Walk around The Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum
Address: Rue Yves St Laurent, Marrakech 40000
Phone number: +212 5242-98686
The Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum are next on your afternoon agenda. Home to water features (such as marble pools) and beautiful plants (including banana trees and coconut palms), this unique garden was restored by Laurent. The museum itself is a fascinating glimpse into the life of the renowned fashion designer. It’s well worth a visit!
Late afternoon: Visit the Saadian Tombs
Address: Rue de La Kasbah, Marrakesh 40000
Phone number: +212 5244-33407
Finish off the afternoon with a trip to the Saadian Tombs, where 66 members of Moroccan royalty are buried. Inside the royal Kasbah Mosque, you’ll be able to explore this historic site. The tombs were built by Saadian Sultan Ahmed Al Mansour Ed Dhabi in the sixteenth century, who filled the tombs with Italian Carrara marble and gilding honeycomb plasterwork.
With high ceilings, dramatic columns and intricate designs, the Saadian Tombs are an unforgettable feat of architecture. If you’re looking for a bit of culture and history in and amongst the shopping and eating, both the Yves Saint Laurent Museum and the Saadian Tombs will whet your appetite!
Early evening: Dinner at Al Fassia
Address: 55 Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni, Marrakech 40000
Phone number: +212 5244-34060
I’d recommend booking a restaurant for your evening meal, as the best places get booked up. This includes Al Fassia, a gorgeous restaurant run exclusively by female chefs, who make the best lamb I’ve ever tried!
The menu is extensive, with loads of different options to try, including filo pastries, soups, tagines, kebabs, and couscous. Oh and that’s not to forget the delicious desserts that add the perfect finish to your meal. If you’re looking for some exquisite Moroccan food to enjoy on your first night, this is definitely the place to be!
Late evening: Party at 555 Famous Club
Address: Hotel Ushuaïa Clubbing، Boulevard Mohamed VI, Marrakesh 40000
Phone number: +212 678-643940
After dinner, why not experience the best night out Marrakech has to offer at 555 Famous Club, located at Hotel Ushuaia Clubbing, Boulevard Mohamed VI? As its name suggests, 555 Famous Club is renowned for its famous DJs, dramatic red lighting and luxurious décor!
Or if you’re looking for a less boujee night out, why not try Cantobar, where you can sing karaoke and drink cocktails to your heart’s content?
Day 2 of your 3 days in Marrakech itinerary
Morning: Visit the Atlas Mountains
Once you’ve completed an action-packed day of tourist activities in and around Marrakech, you’ll be in the mood for a change of scenery. And no trip to Marrakech is complete without journeying to the nearby Atlas Mountains.
On the second day of your Marrakech itinerary, I’d recommend taking a taxi ride to the village of Imlil, which is around a forty-minute drive from the centre of Marrakech. You’ll drive through the mountains, with stunning views from up high, and you can stop off at the Argan Orchard and Workshop on the way. Here you can witness a small-scale production of argan oil and purchase some local products!
Top tip: If you’re feeling adventurous and love a full-day hike, why not hike up into the Atlas Mountains from Marrakesh? A seven-hour route through Berber villages takes you to the highest point in North Africa, Jbel Toubkal at 4167m.
Midday: Lunch at Kasbah du Toubkal
Address: Kasbah du Toubkal، Imlil 42152, Morocco
Phone number: +212 5244-85611
Once you’ve reached Imlil, you can start climbing up to the Kasbah du Toubkal, taking in the beautiful views of the Atlas peaks which will be covered in snow (so make sure you take extra layers!). Known as ‘Morocco’s Premier Mountain Retreat’, this Kasbah is perfectly positioned to provide panoramic views of the mountains. Plus, it’s an amazing spot to stop for lunch, with delicious tajines on offer!
After lunch, take time to explore the fortress where the local leader would have lived. I’d recommend getting a little snap happy here. With the snow-topped peaks of the Atlas Mountains and the beautiful blue skies, these might be some of the most dramatic photos you’ll ever take!
Finally, spend a few more hours trekking up the mountain before returning back to Marrakesh in a taxi.
Afternoon: Head to a spa
Once you’ve arrived back in Marrakech, you might fancy a trip to the spa to relax after a long day of walking. Hammams, or public baths, are perfect for recalibrating after spending time in the hustle and bustle of the city.
Marrakech has loads of Hammams to choose from, including Hammam De La Rose and Les Bains de Marrakech. Find one that is accessible from your accommodation, to make life easier for yourself after a busy day! This cultural activity is a great way to feel immersed in Moroccan life.
Early evening: Dinner at Naranj
Address: 84 Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid, Marrakesh 40000
Phone number: +212 5243-86805
After relaxing in a steam room, an intense body scrub allows you to wash away the sweat and dirt from hiking, leaving you feeling refreshed in time for your evening meal. I’d recommend the Lebanese restaurant Naranj for your second meal. With fresh dishes and traditional décor to match, it won’t disappoint!
With a minimalistic, yet luxurious interior, and dishes including Shawarma and slow-cooked lamb, you’ll leave feeling fulfilled.
Late evening: Drinks at Kosybar
Address: Place des Ferblantiers، Rue de Berrima، Marrakesh
Phone number: +212 5243-80324
After a relaxing spa trip and a delicious dinner, you might be in the mood to try one of Marrakech’s most renowned bars: Kosybar. This rooftop bar has everything you could want from a bar. Amazing cocktails, brilliant views overlooking the Medina of Marrakech, and a relaxed atmosphere!
Potentially the best thing about Kosybar is its lighting. The funky lampshades seem to grow out of the floor and hang over your table! They give your experience an enhanced ambience and provide some warmth on a cooler night.
Day 3 of your 3 days in Marrakech itinerary
Morning: Visit the Bahia Palace
Address: Avenue Imam El Ghazali, Marrakech 40000
After a relaxing time at the Hammams the previous evening, day three of your Marrakech itinerary is all about action, adventure, and making some great memories! Start your day with a trip to the jaw-dropping Bahia Palace. This historical feat of architecture was built by Grand Vizier Si Moussa in the 1860s.
Walk from courtyard to courtyard, taking in the beautiful Zellik terracotta tiles, and experience the unique quirks of each different room. A trip to Marrakech isn’t complete without visiting this renowned palace. So make sure you spend as much time as possible marvelling at its beauty, aspect and design.
Midday: Lunch at Restaurant El Bahia
Address: près du palais Bahia, N° 1 Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid, Marrakech 40000
Phone number: +212 5243-78679
If you’re looking for a lunch destination that incorporates the beauty of the Bahia Palace, look no further than Restaurant El Bahia. With its terrace overlooking the palace and a plethora of fresh, traditional dishes to choose from, including couscous and chicken, it’s a no brainer really. Order some mint tea to refresh yourself, then head back to your base to get ready for the next activity on your Marrakech itinerary!
Afternoon: Quad bike through the Sahara
I recommend wearing leggings/shorts and an old t-shirt for today’s afternoon activity: quad-biking through the Sahara Desert! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can be booked for only £25 and is an unforgettable experience!
A guide will take you on a path across sand dunes, as you meander around palm trees and watch locals play football on the dusty earth. Finish off your afternoon with a spot of afternoon tea at the quad-biking base. Here you’ll be offered mint tea and sweet pancakes to rejuvenate you after an action-packed afternoon.
Evening: Dinner and drinks at Baromètre
Address: Rue Moulay Ali, Marrakesh 40000
Phone number: +212 5243-79012
What better way to end your Marrakech itinerary than with a night out at Marrakech’s most unique underground cocktail bar Baromètre? Baromètre is the first bar entirely dedicated to mixology in the whole of Morocco. This hidden gem will perfectly round off your holiday. Sit at the bar and watch the skilled mixologists at work, creating cocktails that look more like works of art. (And taste incredible too!)
Upon arrival, the mixologists will ask you questions about your cocktail preferences, such as ‘do you like sweet or bitter flavours?’ and ‘do you prefer creamy or fruity cocktails?’ Instead of choosing your own cocktail, the mixologists create your perfect cocktail from your answers. And they get it right every time!
This unique and exciting experience allows you to try cocktail combinations you’ve never thought of before. Baromètre also serves delicious Mediterranean food, such as risottos and fish dishes, so you won’t need to move from your seat all night.
Hopefully, this 3 days in Marrakech itinerary allows you to experience Marrakech in the best way possible! While it might seem like you’re cramming lots of activities into a short space of time, a tight Marrakech itinerary will allow you to take it slowly while still experiencing everything you want to! But no matter how you choose to spend your 3 days in Marrakech, you’ll have a great time.
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