Marrakech is a must-stop when traveling in Morocco. The Red City is now considered the most popular tourist destination in the country and attracts a large number of visitors. To get the most out of your stay in Marrakech, it is important to know where to stay.
This guide will show you the best areas in Marrakech, along with their advantages and disadvantages. It describes the tourist and cultural richness of the city and its location. It also provides recommendations for hotels and riads.
What to know when staying in Marrakech
Before moving on to an explanation of the places to visit when choosing accommodation in Marrakech, here are some important things to know from a tourist’s perspective.
Accommodation in Marrakech
Here are the main places to stay in Marrakech
The real Marrakech: Jemaa el-Fna and the surrounding area
En Medina is one of the most authentic places to stay in Marrakech. It is the heart of the city, traditional and unrivaled.
It is very touristy and most of the monuments and other attractions are located here. No visit to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to the bustling Jemaa el Fna Square and the famous Koutoubia. It is therefore advisable to find accommodation for the duration of your stay.
A stroll through the souks will reveal small craft shops that are very touristy and where you can bargain. I love the maze of busy alleyways, which I seem to rediscover every time I return. You can only explore on foot. However, the locals cleverly guide their scooters and zigzag through.
Among travelers Walking through the city, you will encounter riads, palaces, and Ben Youssef, one of the oldest mosques in Marrakech.
Cafés and restaurants in the area are good places to relax. Some also have terraces with beautiful overlooks. The rooftops of cafés along Jemaa el-Fna Square also offer a view of the sunset over Koutoubia.
Furthermore, the hotel’s location is ideally central. It is within walking distance. Alternatively, if you want to take a taxi close to the square, you can easily find one on Mohamed V Street, a short walk away. In this case, bear in mind that you can get around all the sights in about 10 minutes.
If you are looking for typical places to stay in Marrakech, this area is ideal. If you are staying on the site, you can choose one of the many riads. There are also several hotels nearby, but not in the medina itself.
Stay in Bab Duqqala, north of the medina
Bab Duqqala is a district northwest of medina. You enter the town from the city walls through the beautiful gates that gave it its name.
It is located a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the tourist traffic and is an authentic part of the old town. It is pleasant to stroll through the narrow streets of the town. It has a folksy atmosphere with fruit and vegetable sellers, butchers, and small shops, and is mostly populated by locals.
There are no museums to visit. However, when walking around, one inevitably comes across the Bab Dukkala mosque. Within the old town, the mosque can be reached on foot. Koutoubia Square and Jemaa el-Fna are about a 15-minute walk along the busy streets.
Further sights can be explored by taking a taxi northwest or south from Bab Duqala Square to Mohammed V Street.
Most places to stay in Marrakech in this region are in riads. They are plentiful and cater to all budgets. Some have to be earned, as you have to find them first in this maze of narrow streets. But authentic and typical Moroccan places are guaranteed. As you can imagine, this area is less touristy than the center of the medina, but it still has its charm. You will find lovely riads.
Places to stay in Marrakech: Kasbah accommodation
Located south of the historic center of Marrakech, it is the oldest part of the medina. It is also close to the Royal Palace. It still occupies a large part of the Kasbah.
Despite its proximity to Jemaa el-Fna Square, which is only a 15-minute walk away, it is quieter and less touristy than the old town. The area is culturally rich and has many attractions, including El Badillo Palace, Saadian tombs, and the magnificent Bahia Palace nearby.
Apart from a few cafés and restaurants near the particularly beautiful Moulay El Yazid mosque, most of the time you will be staying in the Kasbah, a small maze of quiet streets.
Unlike other parts of the medina, there are only a few streets where cars can drive. So, as in other parts of Marrakech, access is easy. If you need a taxi, simply get off at Ibn Rochd Street or near the Bab Agnaud Gate on the high ground.
Accommodation in the Kasbah is available in a number of riads and guesthouses, depending on your budget. However, the good location, quiet atmosphere, and relatively few accommodation options make it a trendy area.
Large hotels accommodation close to the city center
Located southwest of the medina, towards the airport, Hivernage is a Marrakech retreat. Koutoubia Square and Jemaa el-Fna are a 10-minute taxi ride away.
The wide boulevard is lined with palm trees and has a peaceful atmosphere. To the southwest, the Menara Gardens create a contrasting landscape to the area as a whole. In a modern context, the area is lined with flats, offices, and modern and sometimes luxurious hotel complexes. To the west of Hibernate, a new neighborhood called M Avenue is being developed. This is a long shopping promenade lined with luxury boutiques, international brands, restaurants, and hotels. It creates an upscale environment modeled after the Emirates.
In terms of accommodation, most of the accommodation is upscale. As a rule, they are major chains. Most of them have swimming pools, spas, restaurants, and bars.
So, as well as enjoying such accommodation, they come to the area to be relatively close to the medina and a short taxi ride away. At least, much closer than those staying in Palmeria. Moroccan travelers staying in Marrakech can also easily park at hotels in the area.
Geliz: staying in the new center
Located northwest of the old town, Gueliz is the ‘new center’ of Marrakech, a young neighborhood established as a French protectorate in the early 20th century. It is now predominantly middle-class and has many offices. The area is home to tourist attractions such as the Majorelle Gardens and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
Living in this area means living in a modern, western-influenced neighborhood. This is mainly due to the presence of shops and shopping malls. However, there are also international restaurants, fast food outlets, and cafés.
Geliz is easily accessible thanks to the main arterial road. Other cities can be reached in less than 10 minutes for about 30 dirhams.
Housing is plentiful, especially in hotels. It is far from an authentic medina with large streets and buildings. This needs to be taken into account. However, if you are on a budget, Marrakech has reasonably priced accommodation within walking distance of the center.
Palm Grove Holidays
Palmeraie is located approximately 10 km northeast of Marrakech. It covers approximately 15,000 hectares and is so-called because of its many palm trees. In recent years, the number of resort-type hotels has increased, welcoming tourists seeking relaxation and warmth.
Because of its remote location from Marrakech, if you choose to stay in Palmeraie, you will choose a hotel and spend most of your time there. Touristic activities such as camel riding, quad biking, and golf are available, but the emphasis is on hotel accommodation and relaxation. People come here to relax, swim and unwind.
Resorts in Palmeraie vary in size. People come here mainly to relax and enjoy the climate. Many travelers staying in Palmerai have already visited Marrakech or are not interested in exploring the city’s rich culture.
Taxis and hotel-provided transport are available to get around the city, but traffic tends to be light except for the occasional excursion or trip to the medina. For reference, a taxi ride costs around 150 dirhams.
There are many facilities in Palmeraie, sometimes luxurious, sometimes resort-style. Either way, you can find a room to suit your budget.
Because of the number of tourists who choose the site, Palmeraie now concidered one of the suitable places to stay in Marrakech.
Overnight trips around Marrakech train station: is it a good idea?
Marrakech train station, on the north-western edge of Guerrilla, combines a modern feel with traditional Moroccan style. It is located at the intersection of two main avenues – Hassan II Avenue and Mohamed IV Avenue North. Its location is very convenient and easily accessible.
The advantage of living next to a train station in Marrakech is that it is far from everything. As part of a walking tour of Morocco by train or bus, this situation is convenient for exploring the rest of the country: the ONCF train station and bus station are close by; the train station is a short distance away; the train station is a short distance away from the city center, and the bus station is a short distance from the city center. Poor location and unpleasant area, notwithstanding the cheapness of some facilities.
It is clearly remote. To get to interesting places in the city, you have to take a taxi every single time.
The area is not exactly pleasant. The area consists of several major traffic arteries.
You can get to the center by taxi in about 10 minutes and a few dirhams, but it is not easy as there is a lot of traffic in and out of the city. An overnight stay is very convenient if you need to catch an early train or bus the next morning. Alternatively, it is best to avoid it.
As the number of tourists in Marrakech increased, several places to stay in Marrakech also increased. You can choose according to your interests, budget and situation. The important thing you should bear in mind is that your comfort comes first no matter what’s your situation.
Read also, Morocco’s imperial cities.