Tips on travelling to Marrakech from Abdessamad Abennaou

Abdessamad is a tourism expert based in Marrakech, with lots of advice to share with travellers in Morocco.
Visit Abdessamad's tours in Morocco website for more information.

How well do you know Marrakech?

I live and work in Marrakech. I know it by heart. As a travel agent, I have experienced most of the tourism-related products, historical sites and activities of the city. 

What is the appeal of Marrakech for travellers?

It is the most exotic destination within three hours flight from most European cities. Imagine, you can fly from Stockholm or London in the morning and find yourself inside the Medina in the afternoon. What a big contrast! In a short stay in Marrakech, you will be able to experience many activities unique to the destination, including amazing riads and boutique hotels, gourmet Moroccan restaurants, fun nightclubs, various shopping opportunities for Moroccan crafts, trekking in the surrounding Atlas Mountains, or even a trip to the Sahara desert. 

When is the best time to visit Marrakech?

During July and August Marrakech is not really suitable for kids and the elderly as it is extremely hot. The rest of the year is much more pleasant. The best time to visit is October and April as the temperature is warm but comfortable.

Anything special I should pack for travel to Marrakech?

A good camera to take some great shots, sunscreen, and a gift list for your family and friends! For those with a weak stomach, some stomach medication is a good idea, just in case. 

What's the best way to get around in Marrakech?

The Medina itself is walkable - most of its labyrinthine streets are not accessible to cars anyway. Outside the Medina, it is fun to hire a horse-drawn carriage in Jamaa Elfna Square for a tour around the Medina ramparts, Gueliz (the old French quarter), and the Palm groves. 

Where would you send a first-time visitor in Marrakech?

The colourful souks (markets) and Majorelle Gardens.

Anything or anywhere travellers should avoid in Marrakech?

Just avoid walking in the less crowded Medina streets late at night.

How safe is Marrakech?

Marrakech is safer than most major cities in the world. You might get approached by some street touts in the Medina, but a firm thank-you should get them off you. There are tourist police cops all over the Medina and the new city, and they keep a close eye on any suspicious persons picking on tourists. 

What is the best thing to do with kids in Marrakech?

Quad biking and camel trekking half-day excursions in the outskirts of Marrakech, a private cooking class in  a Medina riad, or take a day trip to the Atlas Mountains to visit some Berber villages and visit a local farm on your way. There is lots to do with kids in Marrakech.

What are your favourite restaurants in Marrakech?

Dar Marjan is good for traditional Moroccan food, and Bo-zin is a favourite international option. Both have great food and atmosphere.

And your favourite Moroccan meals?

A Seafood Pastilla. You cannot find this in all the restaurants, and the meal needs to be ordered in advance, when you make your reservation, but it is well worth the forward planning! 

Where is the best place for a drink in Marrakech?

Bo-zin Lounge and So Lounge are two of the best bars.

And what would you recommend drinking?

Ask your barman to make you a Mojito using Moroccan fresh mint tea. It adds a nice flavour to the drink.

What are the best souvenirs to buy in Marrakech?

A Berber rag, lanterns and leather slippers.

Is Marrakech an expensive city?

Not really, it can accommodate travellers with all sorts of budgets. You can spend a 100 euros on a meal in a fancy restaurant, or 3 euros for a snack in Jamaa Elfna square. You can book a 1000-euro suite in a posh riad, or a 30-euro room in a cosy budget riad in the Medina.

Visit Abdessamad's tours in Morocco website for more information.