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Once you’ve got your temporary home base in Marrakech arranged, venturing out into this far-flung part of the world can be an illuminating experience. But figuring out where to go on your own can be more adventure than you’d bargained for. We’ve been there.


My friend Alessandro and I came to Marrakech to experience Morocco through the eyes of Riad 72 owner Giovanna Cinel. She’s been living here for 15 years, knows her guests’ personal interests and whims, and has made some important contacts on the ground here. Over a ten-day stay at Riad 72, we followed her around the medina in Marrakesh, into the foothills of the Atlas, out to the local beach haven of Essaouira—and we even spent an afternoon enjoying her paradisiacal private home with poolside cocktails to boot. These are our favorite moments.


Explore our exclusive collection of itineraries and find the ones that are perfect for you.
We have personally tested them all


Beyond the neighborhoods are the sites and sounds of the city. Between cafes, gardens, history and nature, the variety of experiences is endless.
Marrakech is home to a myriad of wonders including its winding souks, the magnificent gardens, and hip neighborhoods of cafes and shops. However you spend your time, you’ll be delighted.


For art lovers, Marrakech has so much new energy to offer. From the lively café Le Jardin, to the Marrakech Biennale started by Richard Branson’s sister, Vanessa Branson, to bring international artists to Marrakech and to showcase Marrakech artists.


There are art cafés sprinkled throughout Marrakech with over 25 galleries in the city now, the melding of old Moroccan design with contemporary methods and approaches result in quite an adventure for the senses.


For gardens, one can never spend too much time in the Jardin Majorelle, a bright cobalt blue building and large tropical plants grow freely in this garden that never ceases to inspire and inform. Sit in one corner of the garden for a relaxing chat with a friend, or get a coffee in the café, or a lovely scarf in the shop. This is no tourist trap, this is exactly the place that artist were inspired by 40 years ago. The Jardin is the real deal.


Meander in the Medina, walk through the souks, bargain and chat with the shopkeepers, bags filled, you can climb up the Cafe des Espices and have a nice long afternoon meal while taking in the sights and sounds above the Medina.


Get geared up and walk up to the tannery section of the Medina and learn about how the leather is made, curve over to the antique section and end up in another ground level cafe to take a break. Snap photos of the beautiful arches of medina as you walk towards the Koutoubia Mosque, located near the DJema el-Fna. It is a perfect place to walk to and from especially during a slow sunset stroll out of the Medina.


Koutoubia comes from the word koutoubiyyin, which means bookseller, making the mosque known as the bookseller mosque. This name reflect the important bookselling trade that went on in the nearby souks. The pristine pink structure is a pleasure to take in against the blue sky and palm trees.


Another interesting site is The Bahia Palace was built in the 19th century and is known for its beautiful garden and the large courtyard and design are great illustrations of Eastern architecture. The palace was built by craftsmen brought from Fez and took 15 years to build. Known for its many rooms, it is believed it was built to house a grand harem.


The best part of Marrakech is the close proximity to mountains, beautiful villages, and another way of life. Get on the road and begin your journey.


A perfect day is an early breakfast on the terrace, and after that final sip of coffee, hop into a car and head out to the Berber villages around the Atlas Mountains. Take a good 1-2 hour hike up to a nice picnic lunch. Walk back down after a short rest in the sun or shade and finish the day off perusing the small village before hopping back into the car to get dinner at your Riad and a good night’s rest for the next day of shopping in the souks.


You can find some inspiration and ideas about excursions and places to see outside Marrakech in out itinerary section.