Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Every year around my birthday I like to go on a trip (ok, I always want to go on a trip) but instead of partying and drinking I love to explore a different part of the world. Traveling for me is way more enjoyable than clubbing or anything else. This year I decided to go to Marrakech. I had some collabs lined up so I thought this was the perfect occasion to combine work, travel and happiness all in one. In this blogpost I will share my itinerary with you.
What to do in Marrakech?
* Tours inside Marrakech
When you only have 3 or 4 days in this beautiful city you have to make decisions and I HATE to make decisions. I was offered a tour by @marrakechcitytours and I had 3 day tours that I could pick from. These tours will give you an idea of the highlights of Marrakech and must see things.
1. Historical and Monumental tour: Bahia Palace and Dar El Bacha
2. Garden Tour: Jardin Secret and Jardin Majorelle
3. Hidden gems of the medina: workshop tour
I picked the garden tour but I think each of these tours are great to discover Marrakech. If you have more time I would definitely combine the garden tour with the historical monumental tour to see the historical places and monuments in Marrakech.
Soufian, our tour guide and owner of Marrakeshcitytours picked us up at our riad and brought us to the El Fnaa square where a carriage was waiting for us! Sofian explained that this was my birthday gift since we were doing the tour on my birthday and honestly I thought this was so much fun and a very kind gesture! I felt so spoiled!
The garden tour started off at Jardin Marjorelle: a beautiful garden that now is in the hands of Yves Saint Laurent. I loved the excotic plants and trees and also the Berber museum that can be found in the garden was very interesting. Soufian explained everything very well.
Right next to Jardin Majorelle you can find the Yves Saint Laurent museum which we also visited. I loved to see the desings he made throughout the years, all inspired by the places he traveled to. For me this was the most memorable part of the YSL museum.
Up next was Le Jardin Secret, located in the busy medina and very easy to miss if you let your eyes wander through the busy streets. I guess the garden was named 'Le Jardin Secret' or 'secret garden' excactly for that reason.
I loved this garden even more than the other one. It was smaller but this also brought a feeling of peace and relaxation. In one of the corners of the garden you can find a tower that, after climbing a couple of stairs, gives you a view of the whole city of Marrakech. On this part of the garden you can also find the terrace. Here you had the opportunity to drink some tea and have some cake. Of course we went for the birthday-cake with the stunning view of the garden.
* Tours outside Marrakech
- the desert (2-3 days or longer tours)
- Ourika Vally
- Ait Benhaddou
- Ouzoud falls
All of these places are located outside Marrakech varying 1-3 hours driving. In my opinion this is a great way to see more of the country and to escape the rush of Marrakech city and I would definitely recommend doing this.
Our private driver and also co-owner of the company picked us up at the El Fnaa square. This is where our journey started. Minutes after we started to drive away from Marrakech the beautiful landscape of Morocco began to reveal itself. Beautiful landscapes with the Atlas mountains in front of us were passing by while driving higher into the mountains. The first stop was at one of the authentic Berber villages. We got to see their way of living, baking bread, tea and taking care of the household.
The next stop was an argan oil factory where they showed us how argan- and other oils are being made and after another short drive we finaly arrived at one of the villages located near the Atlas mountains: Sti Fadma. We discovered the village and hiked all the up the Atlas mountains, made a stop at one of the waterfalls and saw amazing food places where you got to put your feet in the water of the Ourika river while eating. Of course the hike made us hungry so we decided to eat at one of these typical berberian places.
It was a great experience and I learned so much about Morocco. This tour made me even hungry to see more of this beautiful country. I would highly recommend booking a day tour to explore the country outside of Marrakech. The ambience is so different and the landscapes are a must see in my opinion.
* Explore the medina
The old and new medina of Marrakech are great to wander around. Just make sure you don't get lost which is pretty easy since everything looks alike. The shops with leather, lamps, clothing, pottery etc are so much fun to look at and walk by.
The medina is like a maze so make sure you buy a simcard at the airport to have good internet connection while strolling through the city. Trust me, you will need google maps more than anything else and still, your gps may not even be able to locate certain streets.
* Djamaa El Fnaa square
This is the heart of Marrakech. A very big square where you can find restaurants, cafés, a ton of vendors and sometimes a market is held there. The ambience is wonderful and the adrenaline rush you get from this super busy place is indescribable.
Where to eat
My favourite food place in Marrakech was without doubt La terrasse des épices. If you like to wine and dine this is the place to be. The terrace looks amzing with lounge seats, beautiful pillows and the food is just a-mazing. Definitely the best place I tried in Marrakech.
For lunch I would recommend NOMAD or La terrasse. Litteraly everything is called 'terrasse this or terrasse that' in Marrakech. This is because they all have a rooftop with a view over the city.
Where to stay
I stayed at riad Dar Ten. You can find my article about the riad here.
This was in collaboration with the mentioned companies in this article. All opinions and other tips are my own.