It was short, intensiv and it blew me away. A city without beach and far away from the sea and I fell head over heels.
Visiting Marrakech if you have only four days – is this a good idea ? Absolutely !!!
I got lost in the small streets and lost in colours and smeells and have taken unforgettable impressions home with me.
How to get there
Marrakesch has an international airport and there are many direct flights from different German cities at reasonable prices.
As we (which means my sister and me) decided for Marrakech only a few days before our departure we had not so many options but thanks to Skyscanner we found matching flights: from Frankfurt to Marrakech with Air Arabia and back to Cologne with Germanwings.
How is it to fly with Air Arabia ? We had nothing to complain about. I admit that I was sceptical in the beginning as I knew noone who had travelled with Air Arabia before. Actually it was a good choice and I would do it again.
Book a riad
There are many good options for accomodation in Marrakech but if you want to feel the spirit of this place choose a riad in the old part of the town.
Non-descript from the outside the houses turn into a dream of 1001 nights as soon as you enter. They mostly have beautiful patios and rooftops with incredible views. A real problem when planing a visit in Marrakech is that there are hundreds of riads. How to find the right one ? In the end you have to trust your gut.
We were lucky with our choice riad CharCam . I had asked for a transfer from the airport in advance and it was perfectly arranged. As the streets in the old part of the town are very narrow the taxi could not stop in front of the riad. Instead we had a five minute walk with our driver and some guys who decided to walk with us. In the beginning it was a bit strange – as we arrived in the late evening- to enter a dark and very narrow street without being able to see where it will lead us. And suddenly we were standing in front of the door of our riad.
We were welcomed with one of the most friendly smiles I have ever seen when Ilhame opended the door. In the „Blue Suite“ I had booked we felt comfortable as soon as we entered. In the riad there are 5 rooms each one following a different colour scheme.
The breakfast was served on the rooftop where you can also get a good dinner in front of a little fire. It was one table for all guests which made it easy to get in contact with others. There is a little pool on the rooftop – not for swimming but to refresh- and many different places to sit and relax.
Bruno, the owner and our host, takes good care of his guests. He explained us how to find back to riad whenever we get lost and arranged excursions and had some good advice where to go for lunch or dinner. Whenever we had a question he was ready to answer and to provide his help. At our departure he walked us to the taxi.
The riad is only a few minutes away from the square Jemaa el Fna – as soon as you have found out which way to take.
Now let us see what makes Marrakech so special and where you should go.
Don’t miss … !
A garden – but have a look at these incredible colours. They are even more intensive as on the photos. I really love that blue.
The garden was made in 1923 by the Frensh painter Jaques Majorelle and was bought 1980 by and his partner. When Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008 his ahes were sqattered in the garden. Even if you are not interested in plants this garden has many options for you. The colours, the relaxed atmosphere and a very tast advocadoshake at the little cafe inside the garden are good reasons for a visit.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
The Islamic college was founded in the 14th century and closed down in 1960. The architecture and many details are breathtaking. A good option to take a break from the many impressions in the lively streets of the old part of the town.
Unfortunately it is much that is left of the Palace but the remaining pieces give a good impression of how magnificent the palace must have been in the past. Today a visit is a good oportuity to spot storks. From the terrace you do not have only a good view on the storks but also on the town.
Build in the late 19th century the Bahia Palace is a quite young palace. It has a very impressive architecture and details as carved ornaments. Moreover it is sometimes used as location for parties, for example P. Diddy hired this place for his birthday.
If you are not muslim you are not allowed to enter the mosque but already from the outside the Koutoubia Mosque (build in 12th century) is a Must-See in Marrakech. You have a very beautiful view on the Koutoubia Mosque from Jemaa el Fna.
Jemaa el Fna
„The Square“ ist the center of the old part of Marrakech. All streets lead to the square and when you got lost it is always a good option to find the way back to the square and to make a fresh start to find your way from there.
During the day you will already find many juice-stalls offering fresh juices at a price starting from 4 DH and different types of entertainment.
In the evening the scenery changes. Many food-stalls are build up, the square gets more and more crowed and you can find a wide range of entertainment opportunities. Snake charmers, story tellers,musicians, dancers, magicians and many others compete for attention. And obviosly only tourists but also locals come to the square to find some distraction.
How is it for two blond girls visiting Marrakech without a male companion?
Much better than expected. We had no situation in which we felt really uncomfortable. In the beginning it felt a bit strange to enter narrow streets where only men were standing around for no obvious reason but with some knowledge of the place and the right words to answer, it was never a problem.
The people in Marrakech are very friendly and communicative. If they cannot explain to you in words how to find your way through the streets they often go with you and show you. It is always better to ask someone who is not offering it without being asked. There are some „false guides“ who bring you to your destination -maybe with a short stop in a carpetshop- but will take money from you for their service.
If your feet are aching from walking around and you want to try somethingh different it might be time for a carriage ride. You better bargain the price before departure in order to avoid indesired surprises in the end.
It is normal to get lost in Marrakech more than once. Stay calm, relax, enjoy the colours and all the other impressions, sit down for a mint tea and if you still don’t know your way afterwards ask someone to show you the way to the square and start again.
Marrakech is colours, smells und 1001 sounds. Let go and explore the streets with curiousity.
Marrakech is a feast for all senses- go for it !
Even if you stay only for a few days you can go on an excursion. We visited the Atlas Mountains and Quarzazate. It was a long day but it was worth it because of the breathtaking landscape: