During your stay

We are huge fans of Marrakech and have spent lots of time over the last decade getting to know the city. These are some of our tips. We also strongly recommend you get your hands on a guidebook to get more thorough details on what this amazing city has to offer. TIME OUT new guide is the best


The Moroccan currency is the Dirham. £1 sterling = sadly now fallen post Brexit to approx 12 dh . The exchange rate is linked to the euro. You are not allowed to take more than 1000 dirhams out of the country. A bureau de change is available at the airport by luggage collection or in Arrival Hall. ATM machines are plentiful in Marrakech. You will be lucky to find dirhams in the UK

Ask for some small notes which cashing money at the desk, and also some coins. Morocco is a place where tips are customary, so collect as many single dirham coins as you can, to keep in your pocket. Everyone, especially locals, hand out 1 or 2 dirhams continually to deserving causes.

Getting Around

Avoid guides official or unofficial – it’s more fun without either! Regrettably there are no shortage of either species so move swiftly on! Aziza or Mbarek will show you to Bab Tagzout and they will walk with you to the Square and / or explore the medina if this is your first visit . Mbarek will walk a few steps ahead to avoid being taken for an unofficial guide and being spot fined! For intrepid travellers ask Mbarek for a whistle stop tour on the back of the house moped. If you survive give him 100 dh for his time and fuel at the end of your visit! If you do feel a formal guide would be useful Aziza will arrange
..avoid shopping with guides for obvious reasons.
An accurate map of the Medina is impossible to find, so a useful aid is the internet or a compass! The streets teem with people , bikes, scooters, donkeys and carts and the occasional car. The general rule is to walk purposefully on the right hand side. Be careful – the pace is manic but fun !

Hassling tourists has been banned, and the Tourist Police have a strong presence which helps . This makes the souks much less daunting to wander around than before.

Turn left outside house and head towards the nearest city gate of Bab El Khemis famous for its flea market, not unlike a glorified car boot sale. The little street leads past many small joiners, metal workers, upholsterers and above all moped repairers. Turn right and you will quickly get to Bab Tagzout via the impressive square of the Zaouia and then through the arch of the ancient fonduk. Karim in the fonduk is a good hairdresser


Petits TAXIS beige coloured Renault 5s .Taxis the world over can be a hassle and Marrakech is no different. Taxi sharing with others is usual, so flag a taxi if you see a seat is available. Empty taxis are a rarity in the Medina and remember petits taxis only take 3 people and have meters, RARELY USED . If confident tell the driver to put it on and you will hear back it is broken!! So simple solution 1. Tell driver where you are going and pile in 2. Dont ask the price 3. For trips to Gueliz hand over no more than 30 dhs without discussion, 40 dh at night . More local journeys 20-30 dirhams inclusive of tip (no more) to the Place Djemma El Fnaa 30 dhs at night.  When returning ask for Bab Tagzout (pronounced exactly as written) and retrace your steps home.

Taxi drivers will not know or understand the house address as a bit out of the way so easier to ask for Le Parking at Bab Tagzhout and 4 mins walk.

Grands Taxis are all old Mercedes painted beige – these are the city taxis. They are for longer trips, do not have meters and price definitely by negotiation. They have no restriction on numbers and 7 + large passengers can be squashed in!


BEST OF ALL Hameed  is the driver to pick you up at the airport. He is very  courteous and speaks English & French.He has been working for us for several years and is super reliable. Even better he now has a 7 people carrier! Give him as much notice as possible. he is able to take you almost anywhere – from trips to the local supermarket, to morning tours around Marrakech, to a full day on the coast, half day trip to the mountains or even the 3 day round trip to the desert. Day trips usually 1500dh and Aziza will arrange. If you are dining out in the new town (Gueliz or Hivernage) best to get him to pick you up at the house and when you get the bill after dinner you can call him and have the hassle free return. Preferred arrangement for many.

Hameed has a set of fixed tariffs so there is no confusion – please confirm with him or via Aziza before you go.


Marrakech is not overloaded with attractions as this is an on foot exploring and people-watching town but do pay a visit to:

  • Yves St Laurent owned Jardin de Majorelle
  • close by the new Yves St Laurent museum a stunning museum with a collection
    of his designs and history of his life
    Also visit the new and impressive museum of contemporary African art

  • Le Medersa
  • Amazing Maison de la Photographie
    close by the Musee de Marrakech

    Saadian tombs impressive if not crowded

  • Palais Badii
  • Place Djemaa el Fna for local action early morning to late at night and the souks
  • Bab El Khemis for a mega car boot sale. For those who like to see everything imaginable for sale.. a definite must. A 10 min walk from the house. Amazing sights! Aziza or Mbarak will always be happy to walk with you. Open 7 days but frenetic on a Thursday and quiet on a Friday .
  • Rue Liberte in Gueliz and the new malls there for more expensive european High Street gift shopping if thats your bag !!

Longer trips Head to the seaside at Essaouira for the day or stay over. Plenty of small hotels of various quality and look at the room first ! You can take a Supratours coach from main coach station next to train station. Booking tickets in advance is essential – expect to pay about 80 -120 dh pp one way. Early coaches leave at 8.30 and returns are at  16.15.about 4 per day. Journeys with comfort stop are around 3hrs through interesting countryside – look out for tree climbing goats after argan oil nuts as you approach Essaouira! Book a return as soon as you get there as taxi only alternative if no bus seats – costing 800dh average for taxi back to Marrakech and you are likely to share with others . 1200-1500 if no sharing!

Eating Out

Like many emerging cities the average foody experience standard is “formula” cooking and prices for guide book listed restaurants are catching up to euro levels! We have listed those that give decent value:

Cafes in Medina

Place Djemaa el Fna and the souks:
Coffee or Tea on the rooftop of the Maison de la Photographie with a fantastic view of the city
Coffee or light lunch at the Terrasses de L’Alhambra or the many cafes around the square. Chose the ones frequented by the locals.
Café d’Epices – nice roof top for lunch or dinner 15 mins walk from the house . Watch for the sign as it’s not easy to find for the first time so Mbarak will walk with you !

Cafes in Gueliz

Up several levels is the Sultana Hotel to the south of the medina. Roof top restaurant is recommended
Sit with the local businessmen for a coffee in the traditional Café Les Negociants on the Blvd Mohammed V.  Just a bit further away in the Rue de la Liberte is a smart modern café Kechmara  –  smart small designer café, and a total contrast from what is going on elsewhere.

Evening Restaurants

There are plenty of average ones – these are the ones I like. It is always best to book. Ask Aziza and she will always book for you to avoid disappointment.

Maybe on one occasion starve yourself and have one go at the local idea of gastronomic treats which is an all inclusive menu of Moroccan food and drink (usually included) in stylish settings. Only problem is the vast amount of dishes that arrive and is often too much for the average appetite. Don’t be pushed to go down this route too often. Go top of the market and follow the guide if tempted. Dar Zelige, quite close to the house would be my choice with nice roof top bar for a pre dinner glass.

Most listed  restaurants have licences to serve alcohol. Check first as licences are granted or taken away at random and bars are often found at the more stylish places. In bars you usually have to take a little tapas, usually just a bowl of nuts to get over their licensing laws. Unfortunately many of the bars have a less than stylish choice of DJ and music!


Le Fonduk is walkable  from the house with decent decor and the food is a local/asian mix. Just by Medersa, easily walkable once you have got your bearings. Alternatively Mbarek will take you and you can call him to collect when you are ready. The best part is the terrace for warm evenings – ensure you ask for a table there!

Le Marrachi on the Place Djmaa el Fnaa, not bad – standard cuisine and budget prices. Great view of the Square.

Chez Chegrouni next door to Le Marrachi. Good budget priced Moroccan food and excellent views on its highest terrace.

If tempted eat in the Place Jemaa El Fna. Choose fish rather than meat, and avoid anything that’s not been cooked, like salad. Enjoy the atmosphere of the worlds largest BBQ but beware if you have a fragile stomach!

Kosy Bar,  Place Ferblantiers in the Medina. Best roof top bar in the medina  with storks looking on.  Best to go for early evening drinks , eating not recommended. Cool music, great view, but average staff!


Al Fassia is owned and run by women. Best example of local cuisine. Friendly service and NOT a fixed 5/6 courser.

Cafeé de la Poste is a smart brasserie themed on traditional French brasserie. A formal set up in black and white décor as expected, with stylish attentive service. French food is the best of its type in town. Very popular amongst ex pats so can be a bit too much. Has a couple of late bars upstairs. Managed impeccably by Eric.

Eating Out of Town

Bo-Zine 3km out on the Ourika Road. Fashionable Pan Asian . Taxi essential but they have a chauffeur service so ask when you book on 024388012 and they will pick you up and take you back. Arrange this in advance or book Hameed.

Kasbah Toubkal  1½ hours away, but worth it. This great lunch venue is in the lower Atlas. Perfect setting and great food. Not cheap but special. Steep walk up from car park. Mules available if necessary! Make it part of a day trip

If you want, spend the day at Club Med Palmeraie  – 500 dh per person for your parasol and lounger and your lunch. Predictably decent set up with a large pool. Phone for availability – there is a bus available from the square.

La Pause  is Located in the desert of Marrakech about 20 kms out of town. It’s in the middle of nowhere with a lunar landscape (often used for photo shoots). Frederic has set up camp in the one oasis for miles. It’s fashionably spartan, with no electricity, but you dine/sleep under canvas in berber tents or in a number of studios dotted around. The food is standard but good . There are horses for a good trek. Best to get there in the late afternoon and have diner or stay over in one of his 5 lodges. Spend next day hanging out. Expensive Dinner, B & B with collection and return likely around 120 euro per head but check in advance. All a bit casual but for the moment !

Day time Pools/restaurants

Red Beach /Plage Rouge/ Nikki Beach  are lidos with big pools and plenty of young bling!

Oasiria is a Large pool with water shutes and againplenty of youth and noise

Beldi Country Club has a very nice pool and restaurant. Set in large gardens and very quiet. Recommended for a relaxing day. Sun bed and lunch inc 350 dh , sunbed only 200 dh (again, check in advance).

Bars & Clubs

Plenty of them and look in the Guides



Tailor Boubka next-door-but-2 makes a great jacket/ trousers/shirts in 3 days and he’s a classy cutter and incredibly reasonable. Rated by Herve of Dover Street Market. Take a photo of what you want!

Marrakech is the place to get anything repaired inc jewellery, watches etc. Mbarak can help on this.

The Souks are great fun and no real hassle – just be be firm. Most tourists want to enter to look at the history and the interest of the place, while shopkeepers don’t want you to leave empty handed. Walk around purposefully & avoid eye contact, be polite and firm if being pressed. Avoid guides for shopping. They will take you to a shop owned by a cousin and then take commission.

– Zone Industrielle. Out of town so you need a taxi driver there and back 50dh each way.Full of little studios where the products are made but with time you can source all in the medina and have never found much of interest in the Zone .

Visit Bab El Khemis (as above) near riad for a crazy Portobelloesque market. For professionals and locals so no hassle….


LOrientaliste – 2 shops: one on the Rue de la Liberte, and the other round the corner. It has great presents – cutting edge Moroccan style.

Darkoum further up is a very stylish arts & crafts place, again with great small presents and big spends if you want. Doubles as a gallery.


Mustapha Blaoui for the Ali Baba of warehouses – if you want to buy lanterns, glasses, mirrors, pottery etc (see Time Out Guide). Nice courteous staff, with Mustapha generally around. It’s easy to find, 10 mins walk from house. Anything you buy can be wrapped for the journey. No hassle to buy and he always gives a fair price. Mustapha is a friend and most charming. Just take a seat on his settees and watch the wealthy come and go…

Other Diversions


Golf is increasingly popular and there are 6 + courses around the city. The best is probably the oldest, Golf Royal, 15 mins by taxi. Very pretty course, well maintained and well protected from the sun by the trees. Approx £20 per round with caddies at £5. Good club house facilities with garden bar and restaurant. There is a decent set of clubs at the house  you are welcome to borrow. Clubs can also be hired from the club.


The Arab steam baths are a big social occasion for locals and are definitely worth a try. Take a towel & soap and bag for clothes. They are single sex and you leave your clothes and a tip at the reception. Locals keep your pants on! Go local for the full experience!