Marrakech surely has enough to offer to keep you busy for days. But we came to Morocco on a weekend in December for my birthday, so outside of the celebrations, we didn’t have much time left. Now, if you – like me, only have one day to spare, here are my suggestions on how to spend 24 hours in Marrakech:
Riad or hotel?
Definitely riad. The medina (the ancient walled city center) is full of beautifully renovated and stylish designed boutique riads that await to be discovered by you. Wandering through narrow dark streets with no windows to peek into, when all of a sudden a door to your left opens and you enter a huge courtyard flooded with light and luxurious decorations. Wow! For your stay we’ve picked Riad Dar K for you: it’s peaceful patio and rooftop will be the perfect spot to recharge from the sometimes overwhelming impressions of the Medina.
Address: Riad Dar K, 209 Derb Boucetta Lakbir N°23 Quartier Kaat Benahid – Medina / Marrakech
T: +212 (0)6 53 05 38 57
Get lost in the SOUK
Contrary to many recommendations I think you should not take a guide when exploring the souks of Marrakech. The whole point here is to get lost! Head north from the riad and visit the Ben Youssef Madrasa on the way, an old Islamic college that has stunning geometric cedar and marble carvings. Make it an early morning stroll to enjoy the narrow streets with fewer people. And if it does get busy and you want to avoid complications a simple “No, merci!” combined with a smile always helps!
Lunch at Nomad
Head to Nomad for lunch and enjoy the view over the pink buildings of the medina from the rooftop. Stylish decor and delicious food make this one of my favorite restaurants in the medina. From here you can then dive straight back into the busy streets of the souks if you haven’t had enough yet or followed my plan to explore one more stop just a little outside the city.
Address: Nomad Restaurant, 1 Derb Aarjan – Medina / Marrakech
T: +212 5 24 38 16 09
Calm your senses at ANIMA
Sure, you should definitely visit Jardin Majorelle but to be honest the more impressive and in line with the times garden is ANIMA gardens by André Heller. It’s a 40-minute ride from the medina, check out their free shuttle service. Also, it’s only just opened so it’s still not too well-known among tourists so you can easily find a calm spot to relax and enjoy the beautiful weirdness. That said it’s an experience you really have to have for yourself. We absolutely loved it here!
T: +212 (0) 661 241 737
SUNDOWNER & DINNER
This ultra-stylish hotel is the perfect combination of historic architecture and tasteful contemporary design. Discovered by Vanessa Branson in 2002 this former great private home has been transformed into a hotel that now expands over multiple neighboring buildings and offers 28 individually styled rooms. One of the things I love most about El Fenn is the terraces on multiple levels and the many hidden corners to kick back. Be sure to make a reservation before, as walk-ins are not accepted in order to keep the privacy of hotel guests. They have a super cozy rooftop lounge with a bar from where you can enjoy the sunset and let your day come to an end.
Address: El Fenn, Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, Bab El Kosur – Medina/Marrakech
T: +212 (0) 524 44 1210
Photo credit: Jessica Schoeller, David Lotus , Saad Alami, www.riad-dar-k.com, www.nomadmarrakech.com, www.anima-garden.com, www.el-fenn.com