Marrakech: Our Favorite Local Spots

Our Favorite Local Spots

Almas Hotel: This hotel is in the perfect location if you’re after the Gueliz neighborhood, home to shops, trendy cafes, and a European feel. The breakfast and amenities are wonderful and the value is unbeatable.

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Gueliz: If you are looking for a slight escape from the chaos of the Old Medina area, head over to the young and trendy Gueliz neighborhood. This area is absolutely worth a visit while in Marrakech.

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Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant: This is an amazing restaurant and training center for disadvantaged women, slightly off the beaten path. The food here changes daily, based on fresh ingredients and what the ladies are cooking. The organization aids disadvantaged women with training and empowerment. You can eat on Amal’s adorable outdoor terrace or even enroll in a traditional Moroccan cooking class (every day except Friday)! Reservations recommended.

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Kechmara: In the heart of Gueliz, Kechmara is a trendy fusion food restaurant with a roof top terrace. And get this…. They serve BEER and other spirits! Mint tea is great and all, but sometimes you just need an ice cold pint of bronze bubbly.

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Snack Al Bahriya:  Snack Al Bahriya is a favorite local joint in the New Town and serves the absolute best grilled seafood in the city. It has a super laid back outdoor atmosphere and is always busy. Get the mixed grilled seafood platter to share. Considering everyone gets traditional Moroccan bread and various dips to start for free, you are sure to leave here full and happy!

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Le Renaissance:  This fancy hotel has a roof top terrace with a bar and restaurant where you can grab a cold drink and snag some beautiful views of the entire city.

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O’Mulligan’s Pub: Not so much a “pub” atmosphere… But O’Mulligan’s serves great snacks and has a decent variety of beer (rare in Marrakech). If you want to catch a soccer match, O’Mulligan’s has you covered.

Hotel Riad Omar: On Marrakech’s longest street, Prince Moulay Rachid, Hotel Riad Omar has an excellent rooftop terrace with outstanding views of the city. The food is a little pricey according to Moroccan standards, but it is unquestionably great food in a great location. I recommend the Tagine Kefta, the Moroccan Salads, and the Harira.

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Jardin Majorelle: Jardin Majorelle, or Majorelle Gardens, are a must when visiting Marrakech. Entrance is 70 dirhams or 100 dirhams including the Berber museum inside (worth it). The buildings are all painted a beautiful hue of indigo blue, and the gardens contain hundreds of collections of cacti, exotic plants, and trees on over two and a half acres of land.

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Saadian Tombs: The Saadian tombs have been around for a long time, although they were just unsealed and rediscovered in 1917. The tombs are beautifully decorated with tiles, Arabic script, and ornate carvings. With entry costing 10 dirhams and being an escape from the madness of the area, the attraction is worthwhile and popular. There will likely be lines.

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Old Medina: This hustling, bustling center of Marrakech offers the quintessential Moroccan experience. Filled with souks (markets), street food, mules, “authentic fakes”, and pickpockets, this place is charming madness. The Old Medina is an absolute MUST when visiting Marrakech. It is the heart of the city and its culture. Many people choose to stay in ornate, beautifully decorate riads (old homes converted into beautiful hotels) in the heart of the Old Medina. If you’re up for it, I’d recommend looking for a riad in the Old Medina for the duration of your stay in Marrakech.

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Medersa Ben Youssef School: Medersa Ben Youssef was founded in the 14th century and was rebuilt in the 16th century. It previously acted as the largest boarding school in Morocco. The all-boys boarding school housed boys who learned various sciences and religious studies – each boy was required to memorize every single word of the Quran verbatim. The school is no longer functioning, but opened its doors to the public. Located in the heart of the Old Medina, the beautiful school is ornately decorated and the architecture is stunning. Absolutely worth the visit.

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Al Fassia: If you are after the best couscous in town, this place is hands down the place to come to. Al Fassia is an amazing restaurant operated by 100% women and is located in the New Town. I recommend the Moroccan salads – they give you 14 different kinds to try – and the couscous. Reservations are highly recommended.

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High Atlas Mountains: Less than 1.5 hours from Marrakech’s city center, the High Atlas Mountains are full of Berber villages and hikes. Many companies offer day trips to the mountains from Marrakech, and the mountains certainly offer a nice escape from Marrakech’s desert heat. If you are looking for a tour company to see the mountains (and maybe even ride a camel), I would recommend Atlas and Sahara Tours.

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Riad Jnane Imlil: If you take the Atlas Mountains tour with Atlas and Sahara tours, lunch will be provided at this beautiful riad in the middle of the mountains. Let me tell you… the food is AMAZING and the property itself is breathtaking. If you are looking for a trip in the mountains, outside of the madness that is Marrakech, I recommend Riad Jnane Imlil.

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Restaurant Bagatelle: This restaurant is in the New Town and specializes in French, Italian, and Moroccan cuisine. I know – sounds like a lot of different cuisines to be amazing, right? Wrong. This place does everything well. With moderate prices, they pump out phenomenal food!

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Ouzoud Waterfalls: The Ouzoud Waterfalls are absolutely breathtaking. There are multiple companies that run day trips from Marrakech to the falls. Please bear in mind the trip is quite long-three hours-and the waterfalls are very small. Realistically, you only need 2-3 hours there to walk around the entire area and grab a quick lunch overlooking the falls. I recommend hiring a private company rather than merely transportation through your hotel. Hiring transportation through the hotel is inexpensive, but uncomfortable, uninformative, and not worth the trip for the very limited time you get in the area.

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Heritage Spa: Heritage Spa is located in the Old Medina. I can’t say enough good about this accommodating, affordable, beautiful, and professional spa. They have all sorts of al la carte services and full spa packages. My husband and I did the romance package, and we had the most relaxing day of our lives. Definitely go for the traditional hammam, but the massages and facials are also to die for. You get tea and biscuits between each of the incredibly relaxing services.

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