How to Spend One Day in Marrakech (And Make the Most of It)

Wondering how to spend one day in Marrakech? Here’s the ultimate guide to making the most of it!

From the vibrant souks and colorful markets to the stunning architecture and bustling streets, Marrakech is a feast for the senses.

Even though 24 hours is definitely not enough to see everything the city has to offer, one day in Marrakech will give you plenty of time to see some of the major attractions.

Getting to Marrakech

If you’re planning to spend a day in Marrakech, you’ll need to figure out how to get there. Here are some options to consider:

By Air

Marrakech has its own international airport, Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK), which is located just a few kilometers from the city center. You can fly into Marrakech from many major cities around the world, including Paris, London, Madrid, and Dubai.

Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to the city center. A taxi ride will take about 15 minutes and cost around 70-100 MAD (7-10 USD), while the bus will take around 20-30 minutes and cost about 30 MAD (3 USD).

By Train

Another option is to take the train if you’re spending one day in Marrakech as part of a larger Morocco itinerary. The city is connected to other major cities in Morocco, including Casablanca, Rabat, and Fez.

Trains are generally comfortable and affordable, and the journey from Casablanca to Marrakech takes around 3 hours.

Once you arrive at the Marrakech train station, you can take a taxi or a bus to your destination. Taxis are readily available and should cost around 20-30 MAD (2-3 USD), while the bus will cost about 5 MAD (0.50 USD).

By Road

If you’re already in Morocco, you can also reach Marrakech by bus or car. There are several bus companies that offer routes to Marrakech from major cities such as Casablanca, Rabat, and Fez. The journey can take several hours, depending on your starting point.

If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and make the journey yourself. The roads in Morocco are generally in good condition, but you should be prepared for some traffic and occasional potholes. Keep in mind that driving in Marrakech can be challenging due to the narrow streets and heavy traffic.

Things to Do if You Only Have One Day in Marrakech

Even if you only have one day in Marrakech, there’s a ton you can fit into your itinerary. Here are some ideas of things you can do during your day in Marrakech:

1. Explore the Medina

If you only have one day in Marrakech, exploring the Medina is an essential activity.

The Medina is the old walled part of the city and is home to many of Marrakech’s major attractions. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit:

  • Start your day early to avoid the crowds and heat. Aim to arrive at the Medina around 9:00 am.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking on uneven surfaces.
  • Bring cash as many vendors in the Medina do not accept credit cards.
  • Don’t be afraid to haggle when shopping in the souks. It is expected, and you may be able to get a better price.
  • Be respectful of local customs and dress modestly. It’s best to cover your shoulders and knees.

Once you’re in the Medina, there are several must-see attractions. Here are a few highlights:

  • Dar Si Said Museum: This museum is a great place to start your day. It features exhibits on Moroccan arts and crafts, including textiles, ceramics, and jewelry.
  • Saadian Tombs: These tombs date back to the 16th century and were only discovered in 1917. They are a beautiful example of Moroccan architecture and design.
  • Bahia Palace: This palace was built in the late 19th century and features stunning gardens and intricate tile work.
  • Koutoubia Mosque: This mosque is the largest in Marrakech and is an iconic landmark of the city. It is not open to non-Muslims, but you can still admire its beauty from the outside.

2. Visit Jardin Majorelle

Wake up early to beat the crowds and head to Jardin Majorelle, one of the most beautiful gardens in Marrakech. Try to arrive at the garden’s entrance at 8:00 am when it opens so you can be one of the first visitors of the day.

One Day in Marrakech

Take your time strolling through the garden’s winding paths, admiring the beautiful plants and flowers that are carefully curated and maintained.

One of the highlights of Jardin Majorelle is the iconic blue villa, which was once the home of Jacques Majorelle, the garden’s creator.

Here are some tips to make the most of your visit to Jardin Majorelle:

  • Arrive early to avoid the crowds and the heat
  • Wear comfortable shoes as there are some uneven surfaces and stairs
  • Bring a hat and sunscreen as there’s not much shade in the garden
  • Don’t miss the Berber Museum, which is located within the garden and showcases traditional Berber culture and art.

3. Experience Traditional Moroccan Cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is a blend of Arabic, Berber, and Mediterranean influences, and Marrakech is the perfect place to indulge in the country’s culinary delights.

One Day in Marrakech

From street food to fine dining, there are many options to explore.

Street Food

Marrakech’s street food scene is vibrant and offers a variety of flavors. You can find grilled meat skewers, sandwiches, and fried snacks like msemen, which is a type of flatbread.

One popular street food item is the Moroccan pancake, or m’smen, which is made with semolina flour and served with honey or jam.

Another street food favorite is the traditional Moroccan soup, harira. This hearty soup is made with lentils, chickpeas, and tomatoes, and is often served with dates and bread.

Fine Dining

For a more upscale dining experience, Marrakech has plenty of fine dining options that serve traditional Moroccan cuisine.

One popular dish is the tagine, a slow-cooked stew that is traditionally made with meat, vegetables, and spices. The dish is cooked in a conical clay pot, which helps to infuse the flavors.

Another must-try dish is couscous, a staple in Moroccan cuisine. The dish is made with semolina grains and typically served with meat and vegetables. Some restaurants also offer vegetarian options.

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4. Shop in the Souks

You can’t visit Marrakech without experiencing the souks, a maze of narrow streets lined with shops selling everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and leather goods.

One Day in Marrakech

Here are some tips to help you navigate the souks and find the best deals if you only have one day in Marrakech:

1. Don’t be afraid to haggle

Haggling is a way of life in the souks, and vendors expect it. Start by offering about half of the initial price and work your way up.

Remember to be polite and respectful, and don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t agree on a price.

2. Know what you’re looking for

With so many shops selling similar items, it can be overwhelming.

Do some research beforehand to figure out what you want to buy, whether it’s a specific type of spice or a leather bag. This will help you focus your shopping and avoid getting sidetracked.

3. Bring cash

Most vendors in the souks don’t accept credit cards, so make sure to bring cash. Small bills are best, as vendors may not have change for larger bills.

4. Watch out for scams

Unfortunately, there are some scams to watch out for in the souks. One common scam is claiming to have “genuine antiques” when they are actually copies.

If you’re buying something expensive or rare, it’s a good idea to have a guide or someone local assist you.

5. Take your time

The souks can be overwhelming, so take your time and enjoy the experience even if you just have one day in Marrakech.

Stop for a cup of mint tea, chat with vendors, and soak up the atmosphere. And don’t forget to look up – many of the shops have beautiful architecture and intricate details that are easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.

5. Take a Moroccan Cooking Class

If you want to immerse yourself in Moroccan culture, taking a cooking class is a great way to do it.

Marrakech has plenty of options for cooking classes, and you’ll get to learn how to make traditional dishes like tagine and couscous.

One popular option is the Moroccan Cooking Class with Chef Khmisa, which you can book through Viator.

The class takes place in a traditional Moroccan kitchen, and you’ll learn how to make a full meal, including a salad, a main dish, and a dessert. You’ll also get to learn about Moroccan spices and ingredients and how to use them in your cooking.

Whichever class you choose, you’ll get to experience Moroccan hospitality and learn about the country’s rich culinary traditions, which is an amazing way to spend one day in Marrakech! Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious meal at the end of the class!

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6. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque

The Koutoubia Mosque is the city’s most famous landmark and a must-see even if you only have one day in Marrakech.

One Day in Marrakech

The mosque’s minaret has been standing guard over the old city since the 12th century, and it is still an impressive sight to see today.

Although non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque, you can still appreciate its beauty and learn about its history from the outside. The mosque’s gardens are a great place to relax and take in the views of the minaret.

If you are in the area during prayer times, you can hear the muezzin’s call to prayer, which is a beautiful and unique experience.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when visiting the Koutoubia Mosque:

  • Dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees out of respect for the mosque’s religious significance.
  • Take a guided tour to learn more about the mosque’s history and significance.
  • Visit the mosque at sunset to see the minaret in a beautiful golden light.
  • Be respectful and quiet when visiting the mosque and its surroundings.

7. Check out the Bahia Palace

The Bahia Palace is a sprawling complex of gardens, courtyards, and rooms is a beautiful example of Moroccan architecture and design.

One Day in Marrakech

The palace was built in the late 19th century by the Alawids, and its name means “brilliance” in Arabic. As you explore the palace, you’ll see hints of both Andalusian and Moorish influences in its architecture.

One of the highlights of the Bahia Palace is its stunning gardens, which are made up of lush greenery, colorful flowers, and fountains.

Inside the palace, you’ll find rooms filled with intricate details and vibrant colors.

Be sure to look up and admire the intricate carvings on the ceilings. The palace also features a large courtyard with a beautiful pool and plenty of seating areas to relax and take in the ambiance.

The Bahia Palace is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the entrance fee is 70 dirhams. Keep in mind that closures may happen during royal visits and other events, so it’s always a good idea to check ahead of time.

8. Experience a Traditional Hammam

Taking part in a traditional hammam is one of the coolest (not to mention most relaxing) things to do in Marrakech.

One Day in Marrakech

First, you’ll need to find a hammam. There are many to choose from in Marrakech, ranging from luxury spas to more traditional bathhouses. Some popular options include Les Bains de Marrakech, Hammam de la Rose, and Hammam Dar el-Bacha.

Once you’ve chosen your hammam, it’s time to prepare. You’ll need to bring a few things with you, including a towel, swimwear, and toiletries such as shampoo and soap. Some hammams provide these items, but it’s always best to double-check before you go.

When you arrive at the hammam, you’ll be greeted by an attendant who will guide you through the process. The hammam is usually divided into three steps:

  1. Steam Room: You’ll start in an extra-hot steam room to open your pores and prepare your skin for the scrubbing to come.
  2. Scrubbing: Next, you’ll be lathered in olive oil-based soap and scrubbed with an exfoliating glove (kiis) to remove dead skin cells and impurities.
  3. Rinse: Finally, you’ll rinse off with warm water and relax in a cool room to cool down and let your skin breathe.

After your hammam experience, you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s a great way to experience Moroccan culture and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

12. Ride a Hot Air Balloon

Riding a hot air balloon is one of the best ways to experience Marrakech. As you soar high above the city, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Atlas Mountains, the sprawling desert landscape, and the vibrant city below.

One Day in Marrakech

As you glide over the city, you’ll see the iconic landmarks of Marrakech, such as the Koutoubia Mosque and the Bahia Palace from a completely new perspective – it’s also a great way to pack a ton of attractions in one go if you only have one day in Marrakech!

This hot air balloon ride tour is the one we recommend. You’ll get picked up from your hotel and include a visit to a traditional Berber village after your flight!

Sample Itineraries to Spend One Day in Marrakech

If you only have one day to spend in Marrakech, you can still experience some of the best attractions and activities the city has to offer.

Here are four different itineraries that include different activities to help you make the most of your day:

Itinerary 1: Cultural Experience

  • 9:00 AM – Start your day with a visit to the Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens, a beautiful and iconic feature of the Marrakech skyline.
  • 10:00 AM – Head to the Bahia Palace, a stunning example of Moroccan architecture and design.
  • 11:30 AM – Visit the Saadian Tombs, a historic royal necropolis that was rediscovered in the early 20th century.
  • 12:30 PM – Enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch at one of the many restaurants near the Saadian Tombs.
  • 2:00 PM – Explore the vibrant souks (markets) of Marrakech, where you can find everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and pottery.
  • 4:00 PM – End your day with a visit to the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a beautiful Islamic college that dates back to the 14th century.
One Day in Marrakech

Itinerary 2: Nature and Gardens

  • 8:00 AM – Start your day with a visit to the Majorelle Garden, a stunning botanical garden that was once owned by Yves Saint Laurent.
  • 10:00 AM – Head to the Menara Gardens, a peaceful and scenic park that features a large reflecting pool and stunning views of the Atlas Mountains.
  • 11:30 AM – Visit the Palmeraie, a vast palm grove on the outskirts of Marrakech where you can take a camel ride or a quad bike tour.
  • 1:00 PM – Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Palmeraie just outside of Marrakech.
  • 3:00 PM – Visit the Jardin Secret, a hidden oasis in the heart of the city that features two beautiful gardens and a traditional Moroccan house.
  • 5:00 PM – End your day with a visit to the Agdal Gardens, a historic royal garden that dates back to the 12th century.

Itinerary 3: Food and Drink

  • 9:00 AM – Start your day with a traditional Moroccan breakfast at one of the many cafes near the Jama El Fna Square.
  • 10:00 AM – Take a cooking class and learn how to make traditional Moroccan dishes like tagine and couscous.
  • 12:00 PM – Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Marrakech’s many street food stalls, where you can try local specialties like b’stilla and harira soup.
  • 2:00 PM – Visit a traditional Moroccan tea house and sample a variety of teas and pastries.
  • 4:00 PM – Take a guided tour of a local winery and sample some of Morocco’s best wines.
  • 6:00 PM – End your day with a rooftop dinner at a restaurant with a view of the city.

Itinerary 4: Adventure and Excitement

  • 9:00 AM – Start your day with a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains, one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in Morocco.
  • 11:00 AM – Take a guided hike in the Atlas Mountains and explore the stunning scenery and traditional Berber villages.
  • 1:00 PM – Enjoy a traditional Berber lunch in a local village.
  • 3:00 PM – Take a quad bike tour through the desert and explore the rugged terrain and sand dunes.
  • 5:00 PM – Visit a local hammam (traditional bathhouse) and relax with a traditional Moroccan massage.
  • 7:00 PM – End your day with a traditional Moroccan dinner and entertainment at a local restaurant.

Where to Stay in Marrakech

There are plenty of incredible riads in Marrakech for a truly unique experience. Here are a few of them:

  • La Sultana Marrakech: This riad is a luxurious oasis in the heart of the city. With opulent decor, a rooftop pool, and a spa, La Sultana Marrakech offers an indulgent experience for those looking to splurge.
  • Riad Dar Anika: This riad offers a perfect blend of luxury and affordability. With beautifully decorated rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a pool, Riad Dar Anika provides a relaxing and comfortable stay without breaking the bank.
best riads in marrakech

Travel Insurance for Marrakech

While we hope that your trip goes smoothly, accidents and unexpected events can happen and having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of emergencies.

We recommend Safety Wing. Safety Wing offers comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, trip interruption, and more.

It’s important to note that many healthcare providers in Marrakech require payment upfront, so having travel insurance can be especially helpful in these situations.

Additionally, some activities in Marrakech, such as camel riding and hot air balloon rides, may not be covered by standard travel insurance policies, so be sure to read the fine print and consider purchasing additional coverage if necessary.

One Day in Marrakech: FAQs

Any recommendations for a one-day tour of Marrakech?

If you only have one day in Marrakech, a great way to see the city is by taking a guided tour. Some popular options include a walking tour of the old city, a visit to the Bahia Palace, and a trip to the Koutoubia Mosque.

Marrakech has a variety of restaurants serving traditional Moroccan cuisine. Some popular options include Le Jardin, which has a beautiful garden setting, and Cafe Arabe, which offers a mix of Moroccan and Italian cuisine.

What is the best time to visit a hammam in Marrakech?

Hammams, or traditional Moroccan bathhouses, are a popular attraction in Marrakech. The best time to visit a hammam is in the morning or afternoon, as they can get crowded in the evenings.

Is Marrakech tourist-friendly for solo travelers?

Marrakech can be a great destination for solo travelers, but it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Stick to well-lit and busy areas, and avoid walking alone at night.

How many days do I need to explore Marrakech fully?

To fully explore Marrakech and see all the main attractions, you’ll need at least three to four days. However, if you only have one day, you can still see some of the highlights of the city.

What are the top things to do if you only have one day in Marrakech?

If you only have one day in Marrakech, some of the top things to do include visiting the Koutoubia Mosque, exploring the Bahia Palace, and shopping at the souks in Jemaa el-Fnaa.

How do you make the most out of a day in Marrakech?

To make the most out of a day in Marrakech, it’s best to plan ahead and prioritize the attractions you want to see. Consider taking a guided tour to maximize your time and see as much as possible.

Is one day in Marrakech enough?

While one day in Marrakech is not enough to see everything the city has to offer, it’s still possible to see some of the main attractions and get a taste of Moroccan culture.

One Day in Marrakech: Conclusion

Even though one day in Marrakech is not enough to see everything the city has to offer, it will definitely give you the chance to get a good taste of it as well as check out some of the major attractions.

We hope this guide to how to spend one day in Marrakech helped you plot the perfect visit to the Pink City!