A panoramic picture of the stalls and medina souks overlooking Jemaa el-Fnaa square

Marrakech| Top Ten Things to do on a budget

How much money do you need to spend in Marrakech? Spend less in the Red City with EvBeing guide, here are the best budget-friendly things to do in Marrakech.

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  1. BEST PANORAMIC VIEWS TO JEMAA EL-FNAA SQUARE
  2. WHERE ARE THE MARKETS IN MARRAKECH?
  3. WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES FOR MUSEUMS IN MARRAKECH?
  4. CAN YOU VISIT A MOSQUE IN MARRAKECH?
  5. TOP TEN THINGS TO DO ON A BUDGET IN THE RED CITY
  6. WHAT ARE THE BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN MARRAKECH?
  7. WATCH THE VIDEO MARRAKECH| TEN THINGS TO DO ON A BUDGET

Estimated Reading time 5 min 43 sec

Marrakech, one of the oldest cities of Morocco, is the fourth largest city in the country, after Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. The Red City, founded around 1062 by the Almoravids, has been gaining popularity over the recent years.

A panoramic view of the main square of Marrakech and the red flag of Morocco
The spectacle of Jamaa el Fna is repeated daily and each day it is different. Everything changes — voices, sounds, gestures, the public which sees, listens, smells, tastes, touches. The oral tradition is framed by one much vaster — that we can call intangible. The Square, as a physical space, shelters a rich oral and intangible tradition | Juan Goytisolo

BEST PANORAMIC VIEWS TO JEMAA EL-FNAA SQUARE

  • Jemaa el-Fnaa is the main and most crowded square of Medina, the old city of Marrakech.
  • Take a seat, grab a quick coffee in Le grand Balcon du café glacier. Le grand Balcon is located in Jemaa el-Fnaa, offering one of the best views to the square and the souks.
  • Visit Cafe de France open terrace overlooking Jemaa el-Fnaa square, sit back, relax and capture breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Take the advantage and visit a variety of beautiful rooftop terraces overlooking the square. Order a coffee or a soft drink to have access to the balcony, grab a nice seat and enjoy the sunset. Subscribe to read my guide on where to eat well and on the budget in Marrakech.

WHERE ARE THE MARKETS IN MARRAKECH?

Gold colour pendant lamps hanging in a souk in the Medina Market in Marrakech
Souks in Marrakesh employ over 40,000 people in pottery, copperware, leather, metalwork which includes brass lamps, iron lanterns, candle holders, teapots and tea trays
  • Jemaa el-Fnaa is considered a sacred place for Marrakshis, an open and cultural museum. The square is a cultural site, UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk around the souks that sell from clothing to spices and lamps, discover the alleys within Medina, get lost in the labyrinthine narrow streets.
  • If you visit the square during the day you will find orange juice stalls, multi nuts stalls, water sellers, individuals with chained Barbary macaques, snake charmers, snails, monkeys.
  • Later in the evening, the square becomes more crowded. You will come across Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, young boys boxing.
  • During the night the square is filled with food stalls. Jemaa el-Fnaa transforms into a bustling food bazaar. The square welcomes locals and visitors offering ready to eat Moroccan street food. One thing travel has taught me is to eat where the locals eat.
A woman is producing argan oil in a pharmacy in Marrakech
A woman is producing argan oil in a traditional Berber pharmacy in Marrakech

WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES FOR MUSEUMS IN MARRAKECH?

  • Visit Dar Si Said Museum to admire the Moroccan art at its best! Si Said was a minister of war and the original owner of this 19th-century palace. Si Said was the brother of Grand Vizier Bou Ahmed, who lived at historical Bahia Palace. The museum displays the history of Marrakesh carpentry. Get your cam ready to photograph the amazing Moroccan mosaics! There is a lovely garden to visit and relax.
  • Visit Bahia Palace, one of the most exquisite buildings in Marrakesh, which was built in the 19th century.
  • Dive into Morocco art by visiting Maison de la Photographie. The museum hosts a private collection of 8000 photographs, covers the period from 1870 to 1950. The museum’s collection includes a wide variety of black and white photography, exhibits Daniel Chicault’s ”Landscapes and Faces of the High-Atlas” film. Visit the terrace to capture the gorgeous views of the city.
  • Would you like to learn about the culture of Moroccan women? Then visit the Musée de la Femme. Get to know about the Moroccan women mastering in the aviation industry, photography, cooking and the activists working for Independence.
  • Experience the beauty of Majorelle Garden, which extends over 9,000 m². The garden has a history of forty years, consists of exotic botanical specimens and has a great history as in 1980, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé purchased the Jardin Majorelle.

“For many years, the Jardin Majorelle has provided me with an endless source of inspiration, and I have often dreamt of its unique colours.” Yves Saint Laurent

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Three colourful rugs hanging in the orange wall and a black pot in a shop in Marrakesh

CAN YOU VISIT A MOSQUE IN MARRAKECH?

  • Walk around Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakesh. Koutoubia is the most emblematic building of Marrakesh. The square and the gardens around the mosque are considered historical landmarks of the city, the square is a popular meeting point. Visit the mosque during the day and on sunset. When you visit the Koutoubia look on the top, as there is a signal that shows the direction of Mekka. Non Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.
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  • Take a picture of Mansouria Mosque, located in the Kasbah district. The Kasbah Mosque was originally built in 1185-1190 CE, is considered one of the most important historical mosques in the city.

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A dark brown door of a house in the Medina of Marrakech

TOP TEN THINGS TO DO ON A BUDGET IN THE RED CITY

  1. Join a tip based walking tour! If you are a Spanish speaker check the walking tours provided by toursgratis.com.
  2. Visit a Berber pharmacy to learn how the argan oil is produced, taste and experience the natural treatments of Marrakesh. The whole experience is amazing as you will know about the therapeutic treatment of Moroccan natural ingredients. Smell natural non-synthetic perfumes, apply to your body exfoliating cremes, experience a massage with black eucalyptus, purchase cream of saffron, sip green tea mint and taste honey!
  3. Visit a hammam, book a massage and a facial treatment. Treat yourself to natural smells, local oils and scrubs.
  4. Watching the sunset in the city of Marrakech is one of the most memorable experiences. The places I recommend you to watch the sunset is over Jemaa el-Fnaa coffee terraces, over the Koutoubia Mosque and the Palmeraie.
  5. Walk for free across the gardens of Mamounia hotel in the city of Marrakesh. This 5-star luxury hotel is considered to be one of the best in the world. You can visit the bar for a drink or a coffee. Wander around and take some amazing shots of the Moroccan architecture. Smart dressing is required, no shorts and flipflops allowed.
  6. Visit the Medina souks. Over 3000 stalls sell from clothes and accessories, spices and foodies, lamps, jewellery to leather, carpets and rugs. Remember to bargain and negotiate the price!
  7. Do you like door photography? Metal, bronze and copper decorated with calligraphic motifs was used to decorate and protect the doors of many medieval mosques and madrasas in Morocco. Wander around Medina alleyways  and hidden streets to photograph some of the most imposing doors you have ever seen in your life.
  8. Join a food tour or eat in a locals house. I was lucky enough to be invited to a delicious dinner in a family’s house.
  9. Escape the tourist beaten path and explore Kasbah neighbourhood. The Kasbah is a large walled district historically served as the citadel. Today part of the district is occupied by the palace of the King of Morocco.
  10. The chance of getting lost in the city of Marrakesh is high. Make sure to direct yourself by spotting the Koutoubia Mosque. In case you get lost make sure to ask not a local for directions, but the police station located in Jemaa el-Fnaa. In case a local approaches you to help or show you around say no to avoid getting scammed. Subscribe to read my guide on how to survive on Marrakech.

WHAT ARE THE BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN MARRAKECH ?

Palm trees under the sunset in the palm oasis of Palmeraie in Marrakech
African sunsets are considered to be the best in the world
  • Join a camel ride in Palmeraie, a palm grove located 8 kilometres from Medina. Explore the palm oasis of Palmeraie, a vast area of 54 square miles, 5 miles in length. Do research online, read tourists reviews to make sure the camels on the tour are treated well.
  • Do quad biking in the palm grove, book your own quad along with your friends. At the end of the tour sip mint tea served in a traditional Moroccan teapot.

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Colourful Baskets filled with colourful spices in Marrakech market

How much spending money do you need for a day in Morocco? Following the budget things I recommend you should plan to spend 30-35€ per day on your holiday in Marrakech. This post recommends additional tours and activities to get the most out of your holidays in Marrakech.

4 thoughts on “Marrakech| Top Ten Things to do on a budget

  1. Thanks for the helpful tips. I am always fascinated with Marrakech. I love markets, doors, and hammam. Definitely worth a visit!

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  2. @Vinn You are very welcome 🙂 Well worth a visit! Travelling solo in Marrakech? Stay tuned to read my article on how to survive/travel safely in Marrakech

    Like

  3. LOVED these photos & this blog. Morocco has been at the top of my bucket list for soooooo long, & I am really hoping 2021 is the year. Pinning & saving this blog for when I finally make it there.

    Liked by 1 person

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