Where to stay in Marrakech
Staying in a riad is definitely something you have to do when travelling to Morocco. We stayed in a beautiful local Riad that we booked through Airbnb, in the heart of Marrakech near the medina.
A riad is a traditional Morrocan dwelling built with a central courtyard. After a busy day shopping, there’s nothing better than stepping into the tranquil of your own riad. Other benefits of doing so include the fact that they are relatively cheap to book if you go in a large group – of course, more extravagant riads will come with a higher price. Our riad had a lovely hostess who made us traditional Moroccan breakfast for us daily.
Things to Do
Shopping in the souks
There is something to be said about the magnetic pull of the souks in Marrakech. The best way to truly experience the souks is just to get lost amongst it all. You will soon realise that it is all just organised chaos and vendors tend to co-locate themselves amongst competitors selling the same goods. Moroccan slippers, neatly-aligned terracotta tagines and mosaics of fruit and nut displays fill each laneway.
In the souks, you will be able to find anything from carpets, jewellery, metals, wood, pottery, clothing, and leather goods to food and beauty products like argan oil.
Haggling is essential. The general rule of thumb is to aim for approximately a third of the asking price – and do not be afraid to be firm about this! My tip is to go around and shop for prices before setting a price in your mind that you are not willing to exceed.
The Jardin Majorelle is this beautiful garden oasis in the heart of Marrakech. It was restored by Yves Saint Laurent and the garden served as a major source of inspiration for his work – acting as his atelier for most of the remaining years of his life.
The garden is an eclectic ensemble of cacti, bamboo shoots, ponds and water fountains. The refreshing shade of many plants makes a visit to this garden a very comfortable one. In addition, there is a small museum with Islamic art, folkloristic exhibits and paintings by Jacques Majorelle – the original owner of the cobalt blue house that sits in the middle of the garden.
I suggest getting in early to the garden as we lined up for over an hour just to get in!
Admission Price: 70 DH
Right next to the Jardin Majorelle, is the YSL museum which opened in October 2017. This museum exclusively celebrates the work of Yves Saint Laurent – guiding you into the life of his eventful, colourful and evidently not so easy life.
Stark terracotta walls embellished with intricately designed brickwork house a small courtyard through which visitors enter the main building – taking much of its inspiration from the landscape of Morocco.
Inside you will be able to discover the amazing life of YSL and look at the collections that defined his style. Inside are images of the designer, his notable campaigns, muses and other inspirations. Unfortunately, you are unable to take photos inside but being able to appreciate his art without any distracting was a nice change of pace!
Admission Price: 100 DH
The Bahia Palace is a well preserved historical palace and a set of gardens situated in the medina of Marrakech. The palace was intended to serve the personal uses of the sultan – and the whole complex is quite large, covering eight hectares. It is comprised of a series of walled gardens, pavilions and courtyard structures arranged in various scales.
Several fountains, along with orange, cypress, jasmine and banana trees, decorate the older part of the Bahia Palace. There are many ornate features, including decorative rooms with ceramic tiles.
Up next I’ll be taking you on my journey to the Sahara desert! Watch this space 🙂