Salam! Welcome to Marrakech, Morocco. We headed to this colorful location for our summer campaign, GO YOUR OWN WAY. The vibrant colors, electric energy and friendly people did not disappoint. From the magical nature of the winding souks to the rich scents of spices and fruits, Marrakech was chock-full of exuberant beauty. It’s a city that will surpass your expectations and exhilarate all your senses. We wandered through the twisting alleyways of the medina and ate our weight in couscous and oranges. Make the most of your next trip there with our three-day insider’s guide to this thriving city.
Jet-lagged? The jump into the frenzy of the markets sounding intimidating? Ease into the trip with a visit to La Mamounia, one of the oldest hotels in Marrakech. The luxurious hotel is quite the oasis, with colorful courtyards, fragrant gardens and Moroccan tiles as far as the eye can see. The tranquility makes it easy to forget that it’s located in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.
Grab an early bite to eat at La Famille. The vegetarian lunch menu offers options such as beautiful pizzettas and hummus plates. Outdoor tables are scattered around a lush garden, so you can soak up the afternoon light.
Head to Le Jardin Secret Marrakech. Go in the summer when the gardens are open until 7:30. The scenic buildings and grounds are pristine examples of Islamic art and architecture, and have been home to some of Morocco’s most important political figures. Insider tip: Make sure to bring a jacket—even on the warmest days, the temperature will drop when the sun goes down and you’ll feel the wind chill from the nearby Atlas Mountains.
After resting and fueling up, grab a water bottle (tap water is undrinkable, so make sure to keep bottled water on hand) and head to the souks to explore the labyrinth of shops. There’s no better place to fine-tune your bargaining skills. Local artisans handcraft the goods, from weaving boucherouite (or rugs) to hand-carving metal lanterns. Historically, craftsmen would sell their goods out of or near their workshops. This is why today, goods are often grouped together—different areas are dedicated to lanterns, rugs, spices, shoes and so on. Pick up a few souvenirs for everyone back home. Insider tip: A simple “choukran” accompanied by a smile is a sure way to thank the shop owners. Moroccans are extremely warm and welcoming, and it never hurts to return the kindness.
Wander throughout the souks and you’ll eventually find yourself in the main square—the Jemaa el-Fnaa. The main square of Marrakech, this open space is filled with locals and tourists alike. Snake charmers, henna ladies and other performers are posted throughout the square during the day. As afternoon crawls towards night, food stalls gradually pop up. Try a fresh-squeezed juice. Insider tip: Many of the food vendors in the Jemaa el-Fnaa will charge inflated prices, so be wary and stick to the stalls with locals in line.
Work up an appetite? Snag a rooftop seat at Nomad for a bite to eat and drink. Located in the heart of the medina, the terrace has quite the view. You’ll get to absorb the smells, sounds and energy from above without being swamped in it. Their Nomad burger is delicious, and you can’t go wrong with a couscous plate. Eat up (and enjoy the African sunset). Insider tip: Make sure to come hungry—Moroccan cuisine is filling and delicious.
You can’t spend a vacation in Marrakech without stopping by the Jardin Majorelle. The striking royal blue architecture contrasted with lush gardens of cacti and palm trees is a living work of art. Head there early—the gardens are a popular destination and the line builds quickly.
After exploring the gardens, it’s a must to check out the Musée Berbére, located within Majorelle. This museum is dedicated to the culture and traditions of the indigenous people of several African countries, including Morocco. The museum does a beautiful job of preserving their creative craftsmanship and sharing their colorful story with a collection of artifacts such as costumes, jewelry and instruments. Insider tip: Leave the camera in your bag–photos are not allowed inside the museum.
No better way to finish off a summer trip than an outdoor dinner. Fill up on a tajine seasoned with spices, dried fruits and nuts. Insider tip: Dusk is one of the best times of day in Morocco, as the heat has softened a bit and the sun is a little gentler.
You have your itinerary, now start packing. Explore our Morocco-inspired collection. Then, share your journey with us on Instagram by tagging @bananarepublic and #itsbanana.