Marrakech 2 Days Itinerary (With Map)
If you have little time available and you want to find out what to do in Marrakech in 2 days, this article is exactly what you need.
You must know that the time you have decided to dedicate to it is the minimum that I suggest to visit the “red city of Morocco”, as it is called.
This is because the hours will fly by as you wander aimlessly within the alleyways of the Medina and, in all likelihood, you will get lost in the good sense of the word.
Despite this, with a minimum of organization you will be able to see hundreds of stalls inside the souks, visit some of the most important palaces, hear the Muezzin chant to Islamic prayer, regenerate the senses inside the gardens or in your Riad and contemplate the extravagant Jemaa el-Fna square, oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
Itinerary Day 1 in Marrakech: The Medina
I recommend that you dedicate your first day in the city to getting lost. Literally.
Once you have crossed the red walls of Marrakech, let yourself be carried away.
Losing you will be the direct consequence, but don’t worry: this is the beauty of it.
After doing it for as long as you like, open Google Maps on your smartphone and make your way to the El Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque.
Below you will find an indicative map that you can consult, but at the end of the article I have left you the link to open it and modify it as you wish.
I hope it is useful for you!
Tips: as fascinating as it is to let yourself be carried away by the alleys and sensations, it is essential to be able to get back on the road when the time has come to do so.
So: Download offline maps to Google Maps for safety, but remember that you’ll need an internet connection to get walking directions.
Get a local SIM when you arrive at the airport, or buy a virtual eSIM.
1: The Medina of Marrakech and its market
The Medina forms the historic center of Marrakech and it is here that you can begin to savor its essence.
This is located within the red defensive walls of the city, and is a real labyrinth of alleys overflowing with souks, i.e. stalls with objects of all types and kinds.
You will come across various types of “thematic” souks.
You will see the souks of golden lamps, textiles, leather bags and shoes, food and much more.
Although I am convinced that the Medina of Marrakech is a unique place to live with a relaxed soul, there are some things you need to know.
The best moment of the day to start discovering it is early in the morning (but not very early).
At that perfect moment in which not all the vendors have opened their shutters yet and most of the tourists are still in their riads.
Discovering it this way will help you to be more tolerant when during the day you find yourself breathing in the smog of the ever-passing scooters (which often gets trapped under the canopies of the souks), paying attention not to get run over by donkey carts and slaloming among the many people who fill its alleys every day.
All seasoned with the constant proposals to buy something from the sellers.
That’s both the good and the bad about the Medina, but that’s part of the game.
As well as negotiations when you take courage and decide to buy something.
2: El Bahia Palace
The second stop of the day is the so-called “Palazzo Splendente”.
It is one of the most beautiful and best preserved buildingsof the city that you can easily reach on foot.
The El Bahia Palace is a building full of Islamic and Moroccan decorations, finely carved wooden doors, stuccos, ceramic tiles and stained glass windows.
It has 150 rooms (not all of which can be visited) and gardens with fruit trees and cypresses.
In addition to its beauty, the real peculiarity is hidden behind its client: unlike what one might believe, this was not commissioned by the Sultan, but by his grand Vizier Si Mousse, adviser and prime minister with a sad past as a slave .
The El Bahia Palace is dedicated to one of the vizier’s wives and had the function of hosting his 4 wives and 24 concubines.
You can visit the palace independently by purchasing an entrance ticket on site at a cost of 70 dirhams (about €7), or by participating in a guided tour that will help you discover more (from €20).
3: Koutoubia Mosque
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most important buildings in the city, but even if it is included in the list of things to see in Marrakech in 2 days, you must know that unfortunately it cannot be visited inside (only Muslims can enter).
To try to make its view from the outside still suggestive, I suggest you go to the square where the mosque is located before the Islamic call to prayer.
Remember that Muslims pray 5 times a day and each time the muezzin sings a song to call the faithful.
Times vary throughout the year, but on this page you can consult them the day you are in town, to find out how much time is left before the next prayer.
Regardless, the exterior view of the mosque with its minaret won’t disappoint.
A curiosity : the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque was the inspiration for the construction of the Giralda in Seville, in Andalusia.
4: Jemaa el-Fna square at sunset (and in the evening)
As I already told you, Jemaa el-Fna square is an oral and intangible heritage of humanity protected by UNESCO.
This means that in this place you will find the maximum expression of local culture and intangible traditions.
In all probability you will have already spontaneously crossed the square during the day, but it is a constantly changing place where you will discover new things with each passage.
Here you will find various fruit stalls, incense, Argan oil, snake charmers, monkey handlers and women doing henna.
But it is the evening in which this place gives its best, populated by shows, street food stalls and so on and so forth.
To best enjoy this extravagant square, I suggest you go up to the panoramic terrace of Le Grand Balcon Du Café Glacier before sunset (directions here ) and stay and watch it transform before your eyes.
From here you can also hear the call to prayer at sunset mixing with the bustle of the square.
Drinking on the terrace is compulsory, but it is more than understandable and the prices are reasonable (a mint tea for two costs 50 dirhams, about €5). But the view is truly priceless.
Then spend the rest of the evening in the square.
Personal considerations on the square:
Seeing the monkey “handlers” keep those poor critters tied to a rope and the snake charmers will break your heart.
But that might mix with pissing off when you see happy, smiling people taking pictures with monkeys on their shoulders.
Please be a conscious traveler and avoid fomenting these terrible practices that make animals suffer.
If you are a woman, be careful when you cross the square: in less than no time you could find yourself with your hand in the hands of one of the henna women, ready to start something that you absolutely haven’t asked for.
They’re sly, but you’ll have to be more sly and remove your hand immediately (better to walk with your hands in your pockets or arms folded).
The technique is to offer you a “free” henna tattoo. In my opinion, even if you want to get henna done, this approach is not to be tolerated.
Tips: considering that you have little time to discover the city, I suggest you stay in a central riad inside the Medina.
You can read this selection of the best riads in Marrakech that will help you choose, or, if you have little time, start your search directly on this offers page.
Itinerary Day 2 in Marrakech: Palaces, Gardens and Hammams
On this second day in Marrakech you will see other attractions of the city and gardens literally hidden inside the Medina.
To conclude the trip, you cannot fail to try a traditional hammam ritual in one of the oldest public hammams in the city.
Here is the map of what to see in Marrakech on this second day (remember: you will find the link to open it on Google Maps at the end of the article).
1: Majorelle Garden or Secret Garden
As the first stop of the day, you can choose between the Jardin Secret or the Jardin Majorelle.
Even if the first is a peaceful corner in the middle of the centre, I suggest you reach the second to give yourself a very small overview of life outside the Medina (if you have little time, you can reach the Jardin Secret and enter by purchasing tickets on site – cost 80 dirhams about € 8).
The Jardin Majorelle is a garden in which there are more than 300 botanical species divided into various areas, at the center of which is the symbolic house of the attraction with an electric “majorelle blue” colour.
This garden was created in 1922 by the painter Jacques Majorelle, then purchased and redeveloped by the stylists Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980. Today it is open to the public and also houses the Pierre Bergé Berber art museum, which can be visited with an additional ticket.
To enter the Jardin Majorelle you will have to buy the ticket on the official website and select the time that is most convenient for you (cost 150 dirhams, around €15).
Tips: remember that even if it appears to be “around the corner”, Marrakech is located outside the European Union, so if you need medical care, you will not be able to use your health card.
In case of need it is better to contact private clinics, which can however have a considerable cost.
I realize that the thought of many is: “It’s only a couple of days: nothing will happen to me!” (and I wish you so, really!!), but precisely because it’s a short trip, taking out health insurance will be such a low cost that not paying for it would make little sense.
2: Tombs of the Saadites and El Badi Royal Palace
Then return to the Medina, cross the souks and reach the neighborhood where the Tombs of the Saadites are located.
Inside you will be able to see some tombs located in a finely decorated room, where rest members of the Saadian dynasty who ruled Morocco between 1549 and 1659. I suggest you visit this page to check the opening hours.
You can buy tickets on site for 70 dirhams (about €7).
Continuing you can reach and visit the El Badi Palace of the Sultan, but keep in mind that what has come down to the present day are only the walls and the orchard.
During the visit it will not be difficult to see the nesting storks.
The ticket costs 70 dirhams (about €7).
3: Traditional Hammam
Even if it is not a must see, this will be one of the most authentic experiences of your short stay in Marrakech.
You must know, in fact, that the hammam is a religious purification ritual, in which black soap and the kessa exfoliating glove are used.
If you stay in a riad, you will most likely be able to book the ritual and do it in the structure, being satisfied with the tourist practice.
If, on the other hand, you want to have a real Moroccan experience, I suggest you go to one of the public hammams scattered around the city.
One of the oldest, frequented by both tourists and locals, is the Hammam Mouassine(the cost is 150 dirhams, about €15).
Women and men have separate entrances.
Bring with you: bathing suit, slippers, towel and spare linen.
Accommodation in Marrakech
1: Medina: The best area to stay in Marrakech
The Medina is located in the old city of Marrakech , inside the walls and is the most suitable place to stay if you want to see the city on foot. We could define it as a real labyrinth of narrow streets, narrow alleys full of souks overflowing with handicrafts, where donkey carts, scooters and pedestrians pass constantly.
The most common accommodations are Riads, i.e. traditional Moroccan houses with an internal courtyard, today mostly converted into tourist accommodations.
Riads often have anonymous or unexpected entrances, precisely because the accommodation is developed inside. This is why it is good practice to be accompanied to the entrance upon arrival.
Riads generally have few rooms, so it’s a good idea to book your accommodation as soon as possible, because the most beautiful soon run out of stock. Consider that to reach the main attractions of the Medina comfortably on foot, you shouldn’t choose an accommodation more than 10 minutes away from the Jemaa el Fna square.
But remember that choosing an accommodation too close to this extravagant square may not be the ideal solution if you want to sleep in Marrakech without being disturbed by outside noise.
Riad to stay in the Medina of Marrakech:
- Riad Tahyra (from €57) : a real traditional Riad, with a typical internal garden. The square is a 7-minute walk away and the property offers traditionally furnished double rooms and suites.
- L’Oiseau du Paradis Riad (from €76) : this Riad is also suitable for those traveling with the family, thanks to the presence of triple and double rooms. The main square can be reached in 10 minutes on foot. On site you will also find a heated swimming pool, a restaurant and a hammam.
- Riad Dar Saad (from €82) : this Riad is in an excellent position for visiting the Medina, only a 6-minute walk from the main square, but nevertheless in a rather quiet area. It features a swimming pool, around which breakfast is served, a restaurant and a terrace. It offers classic double rooms or more spacious suites.
2: Mellah: The Jewish quarter to stay in a quiet area
The Mellah is the old Jewish quarter of Marrakech, conveniently located for visiting Marrakech and adjacent to the Kasbah district and its component attractions (such as the Saadian Tombs and the El Badi Palace).
Here are the Jewish cemetery, the synagogues and the square des Ferblantiers, while in the immediate vicinity is the El Bahia Palace.
Here you can sleep in a Riad in a quiet location, but still about a 15-minute walk from the Jemaa el Fna square.
Riad to stay in Marrakech in the Jewish quarter:
- Riad Alia (from €62) : a Riad offering modern double rooms and suites with traditional furnishings. On site you will find a restaurant, a terrace and a small swimming pool.
- Noos Noos Riad (from €77) : a traditionally furnished Riad offering double rooms and family suites. In the morning, breakfast is served on the panoramic terrace and it is possible to take advantage of the restaurant.
- Riad Azoulay (from € 118) : the structure offers double rooms and large suites also equipped with two bedrooms. On site you will find a swimming pool, a restaurant and a wellness area with sauna, Turkish bath and massage service. If you have the car with you, you will be pleased to know that there is parking in the area.
3: Kasbah: An authentic neighborhood within the walls of Marrakech
Like the Medina, the Kasbah district is a great place to sleep in Marrakech. It too is located within the city walls and offers Riads to stay in, even of a high standard (and therefore prices can be higher than in the Medina).
Unlike the Medina, however, here it is possible to stay in a more authentic neighborhood, close to some famous attractions such as the El Badi Palace and the Saadian Tombs.
The souks are within easy walking distance, but bear in mind that you’ll need to walk approximately 15 minutes to reach Jemaa el Fna square.
Places to stay in the Kasbah district:
- Riad des Lys (from €68) : offers double and triple rooms, just 100 meters from the Saadian Tombs. On site you will find a rooftop swimming pool, a solarium and a restaurant.
- Riad le Saadien (from €100) : a modern and elegant Riad offering different types of double rooms. From the rooftop terrace you can admire the city walls and it is here that breakfast is served. There is also a car park near the property if you had the car with you.
- Palais Calipau Riad (from €104) : A modern style Riad with a swimming pool, featuring two restaurants, a hammam and a rooftop terrace. The property offers double rooms, triple rooms and family suites.
Check out this article if you want to choose where to stay among the best Riads in Marrakech .
4: Gueliz: Where to stay in a modern area
This is an out-of-the-way area for visiting downtown , which is about 3km away. This means that to reach the main square you will need to board a taxi for about 15 minutes, or walk for at least half an hour.
The real advantage of this district is therefore not its location (in any case not too far from the centre), but the possibility of staying in a hotel and being in an area full of both Moroccan and European shops and restaurants. This area is ideal for families and travelers who need services, both inside and outside the accommodation.
There are no Riads here, but you can stay in comfortable hotels and apartments. Nearby is the Jardin Majorelle and the villa where the designers Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé lived.
Hotel to stay in Marrakech:
- Hôtel Racine (from €55) : a rather inexpensive hotel with many services such as a swimming pool, a sun terrace, a gym and a restaurant.
- M Appart (from €164) : This residence offers two-bedroom apartments that can accommodate up to 4 adults. The apartments are spacious, equipped with fully equipped kitchen and terrace.
- 2Ciels Boutique Hôtel (from €166) : A 4-star hotel with a rooftop swimming pool and restaurant. Jemaa El Fna Square is just over 2 km away.
5: Hivernage: Stay in Marrakech in a luxury hotel
To the west of the city center and adjacent to the Gueliz district is the Hivernage district, which is part of the new city of Marrakech and is the ideal place to sleep if you are looking for a luxury hotel where you can pamper yourself.
In this area there are casinos, prestigious shops and places to spend the evening. Nearby you can visit the Menara Gardens. From here Jemaa el Fna square is about 2.5 km away.
Luxury hotel to stay in Marrakech:
- Hivernage Secret Suites & Garden (from €171) : This 4-star property offers suites that can accommodate up to three adults. On site there is a swimming pool and a restaurant. Free parking is also available to guests.
- Dar Rhizlane, Palais Table d’hôtes & SPA (from €212) : this 5-star hotel offers traditionally furnished accommodation and common areas that recall the style of the city. It features a restaurant, swimming pool, spa and parking.
- Four Seasons Resort Marrakech (from € 560) : a fantastic 5-star resort furnished respecting the Moroccan style. On site, you’ll find an outdoor pool surrounded by palm trees, three restaurants, two tennis courts, and a spa.
I hope this article has been of concrete help to find out what to do in Marrakech in 2 days.
If you have any doubts or questions, leave a comment at the end of this article and I will be happy to help you.
Are you going to Morocco? Read also
- Morocco Itinerary: 15 Days in Morocco
- Top 10 Riads in Marrakech (with Tips)
- Visit Morocco, a Land of Contrast
- Visit the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech
- Marrakech: Top 10 Things to Do Absolutely!