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One Day In Marrakech: The Ultimate Marrakech Itinerary!

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last Updated:
March 31, 2020
Travel stories
Only got one day in Marrakech? Don't worry! That's enough time to experience some of the best highlights of this awesome city! Keep reading to plan....
one day in marrakech
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You might be thinking to yourself, is one day in Marrakech really enough? Well if you’re not a lover of manic cities, and prefer to see the sights and move on, then yes! Actually, we are kind of like that with cities, and with Marrakech city, you can really see most of the best spots in one day. If you’re short on time, then this one day Marrakech Itinerary will work well for you too! 

So let’s delve right into it. When we visited Marrakech for one day, we created an easy sort of sightseeing loop that took around 1-2 hours of walking, but honestly didn’t feel long and we had an awesome time. If you’ve only one one day in Marrakech, then I suggest you stick to this loop, and if you’ve got some extra time, I’ll add in a few extra spots that you could include. 

red city marrakech
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One Day In Marrakech: The Perfect Itinerary 

This one day Marrakech itinerary is assuming you’ll be starting your day near or at the Jama El Fana Square which is probably the most famous square in Marrakech city centre. 

Stop 1: View the Koutoubia Mosque & Gardens 

The Koutoubia Mosque is a feature of the Marrakech skyline. It’s iconic, beautiful and a really nice place to visit. You cannot enter unless you are Muslim and praying, but can wander outside and relax in the beautiful gardens that surround it. 

The gardens are actually a wonderful tranquil oasis and is a very “red city”. There are fountains, benches to read a book and people constantly selling mint tea (otherwise known as Moroccan whisky! :P) in case you get thirsty. A perfect start on your Marrakech itinerary. 

mosque in marrakech

Stop 2: Visit the Saadian's Tombs

The next stop on your one day itinerary in Marrakech is the unique Saadian Tombs. Now if you’ve been to Egypt and seen some of the tombs there (as Bradley has), then this not be as impressive.

However, if you read the story and history on the tombs, then it’s actually quite interesting. It’s a relatively small complex and it doesn't take too long to get around (unless you’re going to queue for certain photos). I would say 20-25 minutes is enough time there. 

Entrance fee: 80 Dirham each 

saddian tombs marrakech

Stop 3: Admire the Badii Palace Ruins 

This is my favourite spot in all of Marrakech and a must see on your Marrakech itinerary. The Badii Palace ruins have a really cool history, and I’m not going to go into it here, because you can read all about it when you visit. When you enter you will first head “underground” to where the servants operated and it’s been turned into a “photography” based museum. 

Afterwards you’ll head upstairs and admire the amazing palace grounds, including one of the biggest remains of a swimming pool ever. The area has lots of beautiful orange trees and if you head to the roof top you’ll get amazing views over Marrakech city. 

This is such a beautiful place and worth spending around 40 minutes exploring! 

Entrance price: 80 Dirhams per person 

one day in marrakech itinerary
Amazing views from above!

Stop 4: Check out Bahia Palace 

So Marrakech has a reputation for its beautiful walls and buildings with stunning mosaic art work, and Bahia Palace is a place that showcases this. I can’t say that I overly appreciated every single room I entered, it began to become a little samey, but it’s definitely worth a visit!

We did visit around 3 o'clock and it was very busy, which I feel ruined the experience a little..I can’t imagine what it’s like in peak season! 

But it’s a great place to admire some Moroccan beauty and is worth a visit with only one day in Marrakech. 

Entrance price: 80 Dirhams per person. 

bahia palace

Stop 5: Have lunch at a rooftop restaurant 

The streets of Marrakech are very busy, and can sometimes be a little smelly (due to the countless butchers around the place), so if you don’t like crowds, then the best way to experience this wonderful city is from above. Thankfully there are MANY amazing rooftop restaurants that will provide an awesome atmosphere to admire Marrakech from above. 

I found a place called “Nomad” on Instagram, and went on Tripadvisor and turned out it was a pretty good spot. It’s actually a little pricey compared to other spots in Marrakech, but the food and service is of a very high standard and we enjoyed the vegetarian options. 

PLUS THEY DO REAL COFFEE. That’s in capitals because no offence people of Morocco, your coffee is terrible, but since mint tea is the specialty, it doesn’t really surprise me. 

Anyway, if you want a real espresso coffee hit, then Nomad is a great place. It’s also really cute that they provide you with hats to protect your head from the intense sun! We didn’t visit for sunset, but I imagine this is a really good spot to catch it. 

It’s a beautiful view with the markets below you and the Atlas mountains behind you as the backdrop! 

This stop for lunch should mark the halfway point on your Marrakech itinerary! But you can spare at least an hour for lunch. 

cazzy at nomad cafe
food at nomad cafe in marrakech

Stop 6: Visit the Souk Markets 

Okay, now it’s time to brace yourself. I know you will have heard the “horror stories” of visiting the markets in Marrakech. Well I might be the first one, but I actually thought it was absolutely fine.

People weren’t pushy with us, haggling is always fun, and we had a normal market experience. Maybe we got lucky, or maybe we are used to it, especially with some of the chaotic markets we have visited in South East Asia..

So, if you’ve been to markets in Asia, then Marrakech will feel like a library (okay not that quiet..but I’m making a point :P), but if you’ve never been, then you may find it all a bit daunting. 

Tips to surviving the markets in Marrakech: 

  • The price they give you, cut it by half AT LEAST. If they don’t agree, just walk away, chances are they keep shouting prices out to you and when they reach the number you’re happy with...turn around and have a giggle. Haggling is all about being fun with it, otherwise it’s just stressful!
  • Don’t feel pressured into buying anything. If the person selling is charging you a high price and it’s too high but you feel awkward, just leave it, they all sell similar stuff and you’ll find someone else. For example, I went on the hunt for my typical shot glass I always buy from my travels (I have about 50 now!), the first place tried to sell me at 200 Dirham, (lol), I literally said, I’ll give you 20, and walked away, the next guy went in at 50 and wouldn’t come down, I still wasn’t paying it, then I went to a third guy, who was actually selling even nicer glasses, and I thought okay, I’ll pay 40 for this...and I asked him the price and he said “20” and I was like...YES! Haha, so I got an even better shot glass for the price I wanted...just by waiting! 

Anyway, the souk markets are a great place to pick up delicious spice in all flavors, colours and textures. It’s a dream and actually a really cool place to get pictures. I would perhaps buy some spices, then ask if you can take a picture, they’ll say yes since you’ve purchased something. 

markets in marrakech

Stop 7: Pick up souvenirs at the Medina (don’t get lost! :P) 

The Medina is intertwined with the souk markets and the locals love it when you get lost, because when you ask them for help, they’ll make you even more lost and charge you money to get out….mwahahaha…

Anyway, the problem is google maps signal struggles here because of the walls and crowds of the medina, but it does work, just be patient. I suggest you ignore all offers of help (we had people tell us to go directions and we knew from google they were sending us on a dead end)...

That being said, we did have one or 2 people who actually did show us the right direction! Not all people are looking to scam you..

Anyway, the Medina is huge, and great fun if you’re looking for presents. You will find everything you could possibly need here..it’s a maze of wonders! 

They do amazing rugs and pillows, which I wish I had room in my case to have brought back...I may return in the future just to buy stuff to decorate my home with..

tagines

Stop 8: Grab an ice cream in Jama El Fana Square 

Your final stop on your Marrakech itinerary will be the Jama El Fana Square. This is the most famous square in Marrakech and it’s always buzzing and busy. There are some nice ice cream spots and it’s super cheap, so I suggest you grab yourself a refreshing ice cream (and eat it quickly in the heat!) then have a wander.

There are street performers whom some are interesting to watch. But just some words of guidance..

You will have ladies ask you if you want a henna tattoo, I simply said no, had a little joke, then was left alone the rest of the time..so there ya go! 

Do NOT engage in the stupid idiots who have snakes and monkeys with chains around their necks. You will see the little monkeys trying to take the chains off their neck as they are clearly in distress. Some tourists pay to take pictures with them...I can’t even begin to explain the horror with that...just avoid it. 

Extra stops: If you’ve got more time, you can also visit the Secret Garden (which is within this loop!), or the Jardin Majorelle which is attached onto the YSL Museum. These too stops are not “within” the loop and if you want to visit, I suggest you jump in a taxi to get you there or back if you don’t fancy walking far in the heat. 

Read Also: Our Trip Planning Guide

famous square in marrakech

When is the best time to visit Marrakech? 

Marrakech is actually a pretty great year-round destination. However, the most popular time to visit Marrakech is around the months of May, June because the weather is VERY warm, but not the mad temperatures of the summer months. 

However, Bradley and I visited in January and it was a brilliant time. Temperatures hit around 27 degrees and the weather was just perfect for us. The crowds are lower (although it’s still pretty busy, so I dread the high season).

Plus everything is cheaper in the winter season, including flights and accommodation, so I definitely recommend Marrakech if you’re looking for a spot of winter sunshine. 

brad in marrakech

Is Marrakech safe to visit? 

Yes. I had no issues with safety in Marrakech and I didn’t see anything that concerned me safety wise. If you are a solo female traveller, you may experience some wolf whistles (I did have this), but most mean actually tend to leave you alone if they see a ring on your finger...so wear a ring! 

But all in all Marrakech felt pretty safe to me. If you are a solo traveller and prefer the chance to meet other travellers, or even be with a group then why not take a city tour of Marrakech on a tour group. 

This is one of my favourite tours here. 

How much should I budget for one day in Marrakech? 

Marrakech is actually very budget friendly. You’ll find there are options to suit all types of traveler. If you’re on a strict budget, then you can eat street food for very low costs, entrance sights are pretty much 80 per sight, and you can walk to all the sights so no need to spend on public transport. 

If you’ve got a mid-range budget, then hopping on the “hop on, hop off” bus might be a good way to get around that’s quicker and will give you more time. And you’ll find plenty of restaurants that are reasonably priced. 

And if you really want to go fine dining, then you’ll have a lot of options, and you can even hire a private guide or driver for the day! 

It will be the same price for everyone at the markets, it all depends on how well you can haggle for the best deal! Haggling gets easier the more you do it, when I first started I hated it with a passion (some days I still can’t be bothered), but if you do it with fun and banter, then you’ll enjoy it. 

baddi palace

Getting around Marrakech in One day 

  • Bus: Marrakech has a hop on- hop off bus which is great for getting to all the top sights (most of which I’ve mentioned in this Marrakech itinerary), in a short period of time. You can book your tickets ahead of time here. 
  • Walk: So this one day in Marrakech itinerary can all be achieved with walking. You'll be burning some calories, but actually the walking doesn't feel so long because you’re stopping at some many cool sights. Just pop on a pair of good shoes and you’ll be grand. 
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Marrakech, and if you do decide to use them, all negotiate a price before you drive. It’s natural you’ll be quoted a higher price because you’re a tourist, so just find a price you are comfortable with. Sometimes it’s a good idea to ask a local what the price should be (a local you can trust such as your bus driver, or someone at the hotel, or at a restaurant etc) 

So there you go! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on one day in Marrakech. All these sites are very achievable, since it’s exactly what we did! If you have any comments or questions, then just leave them below and I’ll get back to you…

PS, if you need a hotel in Marrakech, check booking.com for the best prices and choices..

Happy travels! 

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