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Morocco

Welcome to Marrakech

City description  

With the intoxicating fragrances of jasmine, orange blossom and mint tea, bursting with life and lilting sounds, the Red City shouldn’t be underestimated by its nickname: its streets are multicoloured, with Majorelle blue, bright greens – like in its fabulous palm grove with 100,000 trees – canary yellows and shimmering coppers. An impressionist palette in the shade of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is truly bewitching.

Constantly jostled by shades of ochre and yellow, but also by the spicy fragrances of Ras el hanout and harissa, the oriental aromas of musk and amber, bustling souks and the charming litanies of muezzins, the city is incredibly seductive. It has to be at Jemaa El Fna that it reveals all of its power. Storytellers, dancers, orange squeezers, snake charmers and public writers give real soul to this “meeting place” (the literal meaning of its name). A crossroads in space and time, overlooked by the 12th-century minaret of Koutoubia, Jemaa El Fna is all of these things and more: the site of modern-day miracles, a place to socialise, a location for taste sensations and entertainment that reach their climax in the evening. The indisputable bridge between Morocco’s past and its future, this legendary marketplace epitomises the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. It is also the gateway to the Medina (the Old Town) where secular savoir-faire and traditions really come to life: silverware, goldsmithery, beautifully tanned leather… Crafts in all their splendour jump out at you around every corner of the souk, leading to the enchanting Maison de la Photographie, the Marrakech Museum and the Ben Youssef Madrasa, the deconsecrated Islamic college boasting stunning architecture. These three sumptuous buildings, witnesses to Marrakech’s rich heritage, are only a stone’s throw away from each other, right in the heart of the Medina. Close by, the Majorelle Garden, restored by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé, hits you like an oasis of fresh air. The fashionable couple fell in love with the site, following in the footsteps of many artists who have succumbed to the charms of the city.

Bustling with creativity, Marrakech appeals to the international crème-de-la-crème, as well as encouraging local designers to follow their dreams without abandoning their traditions. Norya Ayron, Hassan Hajjaj and Hanout, pursuing fashion, art and design respectively, bring to life their own interpretation of Morocco, whether at the Souk Cherifia, in the trendy boutique at 33 rue Majorelle or in the modern streets of Gueliz. Marrakech celebrates creativity as well, all through the year, with flagship events that bring in stars from around the world: comedians traditionally flock to the “Marrakech du rire”, a festival founded by Jamel Debbouze in the former El Badi Palace, while music lovers throng to the Marrakech Jazz Festival. Knowledgeable art lovers flock to the Marrakech Biennale, celebrating artistic expression, while sports fans look forward to the Marrakech Grand Prix or the Marrakech Marathon. But the most highly anticipated event is the prestigious Marrakech International Film Festival, which has attracted an impressive array of stars since 2001, from Monica Bellucci to Marion Cotillard. Boasting its fair share of celebrities, pleasure-seeking visitors and fashion designers, as well as Michelin-starred chefs from around the world, the fascinating city of Marrakech is truly flourishing.

Top things to do in Marrakech

Enjoy our selection of finest attractions

  • All
  • Highlight
  • Art & design
  • Shopping

Where to Eat

  • Sofitel restaurants
  • Restaurants

Bo & Zin

Located outside of the Marrakech’s city center, Bo & Zin will captivate you with its enchanting alfresco restaurant set beneath the stars, surrounded by a lush, leafy garden. Savour the delicious menu which offers both Thai and Moroccan delicacies.

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La Terrasse des Epices

La Terrasse des Epices offers you the opportunity to enjoy a delicious casual meal in the heart of Marrakech’s bustling souks in the Medina. Its terrace and its many floors are the perfect hangout to sip a mint tea accompanied by lovely views.

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Le Foundouk

The "Foundouk", meaning caravanserai, is nestled in the Medina close to Place Moukef. Enjoy delicious Moroccan cuisine fused with French influences while dining on the romantic interior patio or on the beautiful rooftop terrace.

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Le Tobsil

Le Tobsil restaurant offers the ideal setting to plunge into the romantic plunge of Marrakech’s vibrant Medina. Set within a sumptuous riad, the restaurant offers a 5-course tasting menu accompanied by live traditional music.

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Al Fassia

Located in the modern district of Gueliz, Al Fassia restaurant has been a dining institution in Marrakech since 1985. Savour traditional Moroccan cuisine, such as the famous golden lamb, in an intimate local setting. Al Fassia also offers a second Marrakech restaurant in the district of Agdal, located close to the Medina.

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Grand Cafe de la Poste

The Grand Café de la Poste is an institution in Marrakech that has kept the irresistible imprint of grandeur of the early 20th century. This cult address in Gueliz, set within a former post office, is now a renowned restaurant and cafe serving French-inspired cuisine.

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Djellabar

For a fun-filled evening in Marrakech, Djellabar is the place to go. Located in the upscale neighborhood of Hivernage, the bar boasts stunning porcelain decorations, excellent music and intricate belly dance performances.

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L’Orangerie

With palms silhouetted against an indigo sky and sweeping views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, L’Orangerie restaurant enjoys a city-wide reputation both for its superb cuisine and stunning setting in the Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial. Offering an irresistible medley of Moroccan and French cuisine by Chefs Dominique Oudin and Ahmed Ed-Defaa, L’Orangerie is also home to a picturesque terrace which is the ideal setting for candlelit romance. Start with the velvety terrine of foie gras, followed by the traditional slow-cooked tagine with fluffy couscous to enjoy the very best of both culinary worlds. Immaculate service and sultry, lantern-lit interiors make this a highlight of the Marrakech dining scene.

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Practical information

  • where to stay
  • when to go
  • Travel transportation
  • event calendar

Marrakech • Morocco

Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa

Designed in a contemporary Andalusian style and situated in sumptuous gardens, t...

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Marrakech • Morocco

Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial

The Sofitel Marrakech Palais Impérial is a magnificent Moorish palace set in the...

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When to go

Located on the northern side of the Atlas mountains and being a desert environment, Marrakesh has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and winters that are mild and wet. The average temperatures fluctuate from 12-13°C during the winter and can easily reach 35°C during the summer, with extremes of 40-43°C.
The best time to visit Marrakesh is from April to June and during the Autumn, October and December, when the temperatures are warm, but not unbearable. Keep in mind that from December to February the nights can be cold in Marrakesh with minimum temperatures of 6-7°C. It coincides with the rainiest period of the year.

Marrakech annual calendar

  • Jan

    Marrakech International Marathon, late January

  • Fev

    Citroen 4L Trophee Raid, late February to early March

  • Mar

    Marrakech Bienniale, contemporary art, all month of March

  • Apr

    Marrakech Grand Prix, automotive event, mid-April

  • May

    Morocco National Day, 23rd of May

  • Jun

    Marrakech du Rire, comedy festival, mi-juin

  • Jul

    National Festival of Popular Arts, late July

  • Aug

    Ramadan celebration

  • Sep

    Marrakech Art Fair, late September to early October

  • Oct

    Marrakech Tour, vintage sport cars race, late Octobre

  • Nov

    Morocco Independence Day, 18th of November

  • Dec

    Marrakech International Film Festival, early to mid-December

Travel transportation

Transportation

Methods of transportation recommended are local cabs, private car services and rental car.
You can also rent motorbikes and bikes, however it can be dangerous due to the traffic and the state of the roads.
Keep in mind that when driving in Morocco, you must drive on the right side of the road.

Taxis

Taxis in Marrakesh are convenient even for short distances and at night when there is no other option of transport. Taxis are very cheap, however taxi drivers usually do not speak English and tend to negotiate a fix fare, usually superior to what would be the metered fare.
Taxis can be hailed everywhere, found at taxi ranks or booked in advance through one of the several taxi companies.
The initial charge is the equivalent of 1.40 Euro. The final price should not be superior to 30 dirhams (dh) if you travel within Marrakesh.
Credit cards are rarely accepted and an additional charge fee may apply.

getting to & from the airport

Marrakesh International Airport (Menara) is located 6 kilometers from the Medina, 7 kilometers from Gueliz and 14 kilometers from La Palmeraie. Expect a 10 minutes journey to the Medina and a fare of about 10 Euros/Dollars. Metered taxis are available and private transfers can be arranged at the airports.
You can also expect bus shuttles from Marrakesh Airport to the major touristic areas.

Getting around

Other destinations

* Prices start from. Offer subject to the hotel's conditions and availability. See the sales conditions for the rate. Depending on the country, these prices may not include taxes, may include VAT only or may include all taxes (VAT and city tax). When prices do not include all taxes, the relevant taxes (VAT and/or city tax) will be stated in the following stages of the reservation process. The price is only guaranteed at the time of reservation.

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