Language: In Marrakech, you’ll hear a flurry of languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, and Berber. English is common anywhere touristy, but it’s definitely handy to know a few words of French.
Currency: Morocco uses dirhams, and one US dollar will get you about 11 of them. When it comes to spending money, carry cash and expect to haggle in the markets.
Climate: Marrakech is warm all year. Average temps are around 55 in the coldest months and 85 in the summer. It can get super hot (100+) on summer afternoons so plan for some steamy days.
Culture: Morocco is a Muslim country and so you’ll quickly notice some cultural differences. For starters, I’d recommend packing lightweight, loose fitting clothing that covers your shoulders and knees (think maxi skirts and scarves).
Cleanliness: When you are interacting with people, remember that the left hand is considered unclean so people always use their right hands for interactions and eating. Also, if you’re there on a weekend, it’s good to know that Fridays are holy days so some things are closed.
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Marrakech is famous for its beautiful riads (guesthouses often converted from family homes) and you’ll find amazing little boutique riads dotting winding streets all over the city.
It’s pretty easy to get around the city of Marrakech by foot and by taxi. We mostly walked, but I recommend having a map or using a phone with data to use Google maps as some of the directions can be tricky! You can also download offline maps in advance if you know where you will be headed.
City hopping in Morocco is easy and cheap. I took an overnight train from Marrakech to Tangier during my trip and had a good experience. If you’re traveling between Tangier, Fes, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, or any other major area in Morocco, train travel is the way to go.
I’d recommend opting for first class tickets since they’re only a bit more expensive than second class, and worth the comfort.
For spots farther afield, Supratours buses are a great option. It takes a little bit longer but it’s comfy and will take you anywhere you want to go.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll see why Moroccan food is famous the world over. There are so many traditional foods to try in Morocco that you won’t want to miss.
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Ben Youssef Mosque: The oldest and most important mosque in the city, no visit to Marrakech is complete with a visit to the beautiful Ben Youssef Mosque.
Shopping: I’m obsessed with Moroccan style. There are so many incredible handcrafted goods here. From leather bags to artisan rugs to spices, Marrakech is a shopper’s dream.
Bahia Palace: This 19th-century palace is now home to the Moroccan Ministry of Cultural Affairs. For a view of North African architecture at its best, don’t miss out on this palace.
High Tea: While it’s not the first place you might associate with high tea, the tea culture here is strong. You’ll find delicious mint tea all over the city or you can go to spots like Riad Chayma or La Mamounia for a classic high tea.
Spa: Marrakech has world class hammams and spas offering specialty treatments. One of my faves is La Mamounia.