Wondering where to sleep in Essaouira during your stay in Morocco? Discover the best places to stay in Essaouira now!
Some people call it the Moroccan Saint-Malo, because of the ramparts around its Medina, others call it the city of artists or the trade winds. The beautiful and authentic Essaouira in Morocco has no shortage of nicknames. With its high white walls, blue windows and ochre ramparts, the Medina of Essaouira is recognizable at first glance. The old town with its winding streets is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Wondering where to stay in Essaouira and how much you can afford?
Accommodation prices in Essaouira average between 45€ and 90€ depending on the season. That said, you won’t have any difficulty finding a bed in a youth hostel for less than 20€ a night, or a room in an Airbnb or a riad for less than 30€. Even in the most coveted areas of the city!
Strong points: lively and authentic neighbourhood, large number of dwellings
Places of interest: fishing port, beaches, ramparts, souks, synagogue of Simon Attias …
Good addresses: Restaurant Khmissa, Café Taros, Yoo, Caravane Café, Triskala café, Malaïka Riad, Mega Loft by Othman Chic…
To enjoy the unique atmosphere of picturesque Essaouira, it is recommended to stay in the narrow streets of the Medina. This one has the advantage of being located close to the ramparts, the beaches and the fishing port. In addition to being the best place to soak up the atmosphere of the port city, there is also a high concentration of accommodation, including riads. There is something for every budget, from the tightest to the easiest.
A detail that is not a detail if you travel with large and heavy luggage: no motor vehicle is allowed to circulate inside the Medina. If this is your case, prefer accommodation close to one of the gates of the old town. There are four main ones which are :
Bab Sba’a (Lion’s Gate): sea side
Navy Door (Bab Al Marsa): port side
Porte de Marrakech (Bab Marrakech): new city side
Bab Doukkala (Doukkala Gate): New town side
So, where to stay in the Medina of Essaouira?
To the north-east of the Medina is the lively alternative district of Chbanat and its street of the same name. While strolling around this district, you are likely to come across talented craftsmen, art galleries and very pretty houses!
The Kasbah district is located south-west of the Medina and extends to the Moulay Hassan square.
Very lively and popular, the Kasbah of Essaouira is the oldest district of the city and therefore its historical heart. To appreciate its local life, don’t hesitate to sit at one of its many cafes or restaurants. Unless you prefer to visit its museums and galleries, or enjoy the view from the port bastion?
To the northwest of the Medina is Mellah, the former Jewish quarter of Essaouira. Indeed, from the creation of the city until the 1960s, a large Jewish community lived in Essaouira.
The Mellah district is recognizable by its narrow streets, dark arcades and its still-present synagogues. You will be only a stone’s throw away from the imposing Bab (gate) Doukkala, its food market and the main street of the Medina.
Price : €€€
Strong points: proximity to the main beach of Essaouira and its restaurants, quietness
Places of interest: beach, dunes, kitesurf spot, Medina at about 1 km
Good addresses: Beach and Friends, L’Océan Vagabond, Les Délices de Zahra…
You wonder where to stay in Essaouira? You do not particularly want to be in the Medina? The district of the Dunes takes place outside the ramparts of the Medina, towards the south. You will appreciate staying here if you are looking for a quiet area close to the main beach (Tagharte).
Les Dunes is also an area of choice for lovers of board sports, such as surfing (autumn, winter), or kitesurfing and windsurfing (spring, summer). The bay, which is very busy, is especially suitable for beginners of these water sports. Initiates will undoubtedly prefer the nearby spots, such as the beach of Sidi Kaouki, about 30 kilometres from Essaouira.
With its many cafes and restaurants where you can eat or drink mint tea, the area is very lively, especially at sunset time!
Strong points: authenticity, calm
Places of interest: the sandy remains of the palace of Dar Soltane, the wild coast, Diabat ranch, Mogador golf course.
Good addresses: Jimi Hendrix Café Restaurant
Diabat can be a great place to stay if you’re looking for a place to stay in Essaouira and want to get away from the city. This small village is only a few kilometres south of Essaouira, in a protected natural area. Diabat has also become famous for hosting a large number of hippies in the 1970s, including rock legend Jimi Hendrix. The musician is said to have stayed in the village and was even inspired by the place to write one of his songs.
You will be only about 10 minutes drive from the Medina of Essaouira, with your car or by taxi. Please note, however, that the choice of accommodation and restaurants there is quite limited and the prices are generally higher!