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Stephanie Murray, Senior Short Break Specialist

"Discover the unrivalled atmosphere of Marrakech by visiting the beautiful Bahia palace and gardens, a testimony to true Moroccan and Islamic architecture, then roam the colourful Jemaa el Fna square where you will find a bustling diversity of entertainers, freshly prepared food and orange juice stalls and peddlers selling everything from traditional medicines to henna tattoos."

Marrakech at a glance

Discover the vibrancy and excitement of sunny Marrakech where relics from ancient days collide with a buzz of exotic marketplaces. A place where palaces, tombs and baths preserve historic traditions, while creative fashion shops, art galleries and trendy restaurants keep pace with all things modern. In this ever-animated destination there is a never ending list of exciting sights and experiences to discover.

Known as the ‘red city’, Marrakech’s red sandstone buildings were constructed between1122-1123, some 60 years after its founding. The city thrived early on as a centre of religion, trade and culture. Sufi pilgrims came to Marrakech to visit the tombs of Morocco’s seven patron saints. Wealthy sultans built extravagant palaces and called for renovation work on historic monuments. And of course there was Jemaa el-Fnaa, the busiest square in Africa, a feat which still holds true today.

There is nothing slow-paced about Marrakech. In its crazy tangle of streets filled with snake charmers, story tellers, dancers and merchants it’s easy to get lost in an intoxicating, wholly other world, that only an ancient city, once caravan route, now international destination, can produce.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • A bustling city break
  • Art and culture
  • Historic attractions

Getting around

Marrakech is best explored by foot with plenty of interesting sights to see as you go from one attraction to the next.

There is a public bus network in the city, but it often can get very crowded. Taxis are also available for a more efficient transport.


You will want for nothing amongst the wealth of shopping options in Marrakech. Moroccan art and handmade products are among some of the popular items you will find along with leatherwork, antiques, interior furnishings and clothing ranging from traditional to trendy.

The souk is a shopper’s paradise where a myriad of specialized markets combine down winding streets with live poultry, bottled spices, and copper kettles sold beside stalls of silk slippers, perfumes, and high fashion clothing.

Dining in Marrakech

Thanks to Marrakech’s widening appeal as a short break destination, its gastronomic choice has expanded from primarily Moroccan and European based dishes to a more internationally appealing diversity of cuisines.

Setting plays an important role in the dining experience here, with many restaurants catering to those looking for a romantic, candlelight dinner with a view.  There are also plenty of street stalls and small, tucked away restaurants serving a variety of traditional and international fare.

Must-try local dishes

  • Harira – soup consisting of lamb, chickpeas and lentil
  • Tajine – a savoury meat stew with vegetables or dried fruit that is slow cooked in a special clay pot called a tajine
  • Chebakia – a flower shaped cookie coated in sesame seeds that is fried and coated with honey

Osprey Holidays top tips

Everyone must experience Le Souk, the famous market with winding streets that offers an amazing collection of traditional handicrafts, leather crafted goods, carpets, clothes, spices and numerous other items native to Marrakech! Do not hesitate to haggle here, as it is more or less expected!

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Marrakech designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Marrakech hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 1,063,415
Languages Arabic, French
Currency Moroccan Dirham
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

When shopping in the Medina, be prepared for plenty of haggling. Try not to buy anything during the day when prices are highest.

Distance from airports
Marrakech-Ménara 8 km
Railway stations
Station Marrakesh

Things to do in Marrakech

  • Jemaa el Fna: The large central square at the entrance to the market, with food stalls, snake charmers and street entertainers.
  • Koutoubia Mosque: The city’s main mosque with a stunning minaret, which dominates the skyline.
  • Jardin Majorelle: A beautiful garden full of tropical plants - a true oasis in Marrakech.
  • Les Bains de Marrakech: Wonderful traditional spa, a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the souks and markets.
  • Bahia Palace: Historic palace, decorated in mosaic and featuring a beautiful courtyard garden.

Tours and Excursions

Private Half-Day City Tour

This personalised city tour takes you door to door by air-conditioned minivan with multilingual driver and expert local guide who will lead an old city walking tour. Highlights include the Majorelle garden, an oasis of tranquility with connections to iconic French designer Yves Saint Laurent, the Royal Kasbah and Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace and tranquil palm groves. There are small charges for some entrances, to be paid on the day.

Ouzoud Falls Day Trip

Travel to the Atlas Mountains to witness one of Morocco’s natural wonders, the Ouzoud Falls. Your guide will take you on a gentle hike around the falls so you can view them from various angles and perhaps see some of the Barbary apes that congregate here. A boat tour around the base of the waterfalls is also included. 

Tagine Cooking Class

Start with a quick Arabic lesson before heading into the souks to barter for ingredients with local vendors. With everything you need in hand you will then head to a traditional Moroccan riad where your cooking class will take place. Using your local purchases you will learn how to create an authentic Tagine while hearing about life in Marrakech from your host then sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour.  

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.