This 3-day guide to Marrakech is designed so that you don’t miss out on anything important in Morocco’s most touristy city, making the most of your time and enjoying all the experiences it has to offer.
During the first two days you will have visited the most interesting places in the city such as the Jemaa el Fna Square, the Souk, the Ben Youssef Madrassa, the Saadian Tombs, the Mellah district or the Majorelle Gardens, among many others. On this third day, we propose you to visit some of the wonders of Morocco, which are not far from the city, like the beautiful city of Essaouira, the Ouzoud Waterfalls, the deserts of Merzouga and Zagora or the kasbahs of Ouarzazate.
First day in Marrakech
The route of Marrakech in 3 days begins by crossing first thing in the morning the Gate of Bab Agnaou, the most beautiful access of the great wall that surrounds the Medina. A short walk from this gate are the Saadian Tombs, one of the most visited places in Marrakech, which we recommend you do not miss and we are sure you will be surprised.
After the visit you can walk through the narrow alleys of this area towards the Bahia Palace, stopping before at the beautiful place des Ferblantiers.
It is recommended to know the history of this palace as the most important places in the city to have the help of an English speaking guide for which a good option is to book this free tour of Marrakech for free! or a private tour in which you choose the itinerary, both with an English speaking guide.
Continue with a visit to the Dar Si Said Museum, with its interior courtyards and magnificent decoration, which has become another place you cannot miss in the city.
When you leave the museum and before going for lunch, you will arrive at Jemaa el Fna Square, one of the places you must visit in Marrakech, where you will see great activity at any time of day.
To eat near the square we recommend Dar Cherifa, one of the most beautiful riads in the city and one of the best restaurants to eat in Marrakech.
After lunch, and to recharge your batteries, there is nothing better than getting lost in the souk in search of a bargain, where you can’t miss the dyers’ souk, the Henna souk, the Tillis souk, the Es-Seffarine souk, the Nejjarine souk, the Kissaria Serrajine souk and the Rahba Kedima square.
In addition to these recommended stops in the souk, don’t miss a visit to the spectacular Muslim school, Madrasa Ben Youssef, which we are sure will become one of your favourite places in the city.
After marvelling at its interior courtyard and the decoration of the Ben Youssef Madrasa, you can go to the Marrakech Museum, another essential visit in this area.
Very close to the museum is the Almoravid Qoubba, considered the last testimony of Almoravid art in the city, and the Souk Foudouq Ouarzazi, an old desert caravan, which now functions as a souk.
When the sun goes down, nothing better than setting off for the Koutoubia Mosque, with its large 66-metre high minaret, and then to the Jemaa el Fna Square, to enjoy the sunset from the terrace of the Café Glacier, the best place in the city to say goodbye to the day.
To finish the first day of Marrakech in 3 days in the best way, you can have a home-cooked meal at Dar Chef or Corner Cafe, two of the most recommended restaurants in the city.
Second day in Marrakech
The second day to be seen in Marrakech in 3 days starts with an early arrival at the Palm Grove, located 10 kilometers from the city center.
Although there are several tours available in this area of the city, the best and most responsible way to explore it is to book this quad tour, which will take you through palm trees and deserts. When you finish the tour you can take a taxi to the Majorelle Gardens, a small oasis of coolness and vegetation in the middle of the hot Marrakech.
If you have enough time, we recommend you to go to eat in the area of Guelíz, the modern part of the city where near the 16 de Noviembre square you will find good restaurants that serve western food such as Amaia Restaurant or Le Studio. For dessert we recommend the Arabian sweets of the Patisserie Amandine.
In the afternoon arriving by taxi to the old Jewish quarter of Mellah. Nowadays, although there is little presence of the Jewish community, you can find cheaper shops than in the souk and interesting places like the Al Azama Synagogue and the Jewish Cemetery.
To finish your tour of this neighbourhood, you can enter the Badi Palace, especially to see its enormous central courtyard, which, despite being in ruins, is one of the most impressive places in the city.
To rest from these two intense days touring the city, there is nothing better than taking a bath and a massage in a hammam, one of the best things to do in Marrakech.
Although there are hundreds of options, in this case we recommend that you opt for a more touristy hammam, as it will provide you with all the products for bathing and also allow you to enjoy the experience with your partner, in case you travel with her.
Among the most famous and recommended are Rosa Bonheur and Spa Click, which you can book in advance here.
To finish the second day of Marrakech in three days you can go to dinner at the Comptoir Darna, where you can see a traditional belly dance show.
What to see in Marrakech in 3 days or 4 days
On this third day, we recommend you to make some of the best excursions in Marrakech among which are the deserts of Merzouga and Zagora, Essaouira, the Ouzoud Waterfalls and Ouarzazate.
The choice will depend on the time available since in the deserts it is advisable to invest at least two days which would make this trip into 4 days or 5 days.
In our case, if we had to opt for a day trip from Marrakech, the first option would be the beautiful coastal city of Essaouira.
This jewel of the African Atlantic, declared a World Heritage Site, is one of the most essential places to see in Morocco, and we are sure you will fall in love with it as soon as you arrive.
Surprising for its white buildings and the Medina surrounded by a spectacular wall full of narrow streets and charming shops, unlike the chaotic Marrakech, Essaouira can be visited with tranquility in addition to enjoying its delicious cuisine based on fresh fish and seafood.
Among its highlights are the port, the Skala or port fortress, with the best views of the city, the square of Mulay el Hassan, the Great Mosque, Siaguin Street, the squares of Bab el Sebaa and Chez Chaoni, the old Jewish quarter or Mellah and of course, the beaches of Essaouira.
We went from Marrakech to Essaouira by bus with the CTM company, although you can also make the trip with Supratours. Several buses leave daily from Rue Aboubaker Seddi with CTM and from Avenue Hassan II for Supratours and the journey takes less than 3 hours with a stop halfway.
A good option to save time and learn more about the history of the city is to book this tour to Essaouira with an English speaking guide.
The second option that we would recommend would be the one-day tour to Ouarzazate. Before arriving at this city known as the gateway to the desert, there is the Ait Ben Haddou kasbah, the real jewel of this area, which you cannot miss under any circumstances.
In this beautiful town built in adobe and clay you will go back several centuries in time as you walk through its streets besides finding yourself like in a movie since we are sure, you will recognize some of its corners thanks to great movies like Gladiator or the series Game of Thrones, which shot some of their scenes here.
If you are interested in this topic, on the way to the city of Ouarzazate, besides the beautiful Kasbah of Taourirt, you can stop at the Atlas film studio, known as the Hollywood of the desert.
If you have only one day the best option to get to Ouarzazate is to rent a car which will take you there in a 4 hour drive across the High Atlas through a pass located at more than 2000 meters. If you don’t want to drive, a good alternative is to book this tour to Ouarzazate in a minibus with an English speaking guide.
The Ouzoud Waterfalls, the most spectacular in North Africa, is the third option. Located 150 kilometers from Marrakech, have a waterfall of more than 100 meters high and is the perfect place where you can swim at the base of the waterfall and relax by walking through an environment full of vegetation.
To get to the waterfalls from Marrakech you can choose to rent a car, take a taxi or book this tour with an English speaking guide who will pick you up at the hotel and drop you off at this natural wonder in less than 3 hours.
If you have two extra days on your trip to Marrakech, we recommend you spend one night in the Zagora desert, where you can visit the Dades and Todra Gorges and several Berber villages such as Tazarine and on the way visit the Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah and the Draa Valley, with a spectacular palm grove.
On the other hand, if you have 3 or 4 days, the best option would be the Merzouga desert, which is much more spectacular, where, as in Zagora, you can sleep in the middle of the dunes in a tent, enjoying a good dinner and a starry night.
If you want to make the visit by yourself you can rent a car and arrive in about 7 hours to Zagora and in about 9 hours to Merzouga. Once there you can hire a 4×4 tour that will take you to the camp in one of the agencies located at the entrance of the desert.
A more comfortable option and one that will avoid surprises is to book the tour with an English speaking guide in Marrakech. You will be picked up from your hotel in a minibus and when you arrive at the desert you will have a 4×4 waiting for you to do the route.
If you have less time you can follow the guide of Marrakech in 2 days. If you have more time, get to know the surrounding area: Essaouira, the Ourika valley, Ouarzazate, …