🇲🇦 Get ready to be wowed by Marrakech and our itinerary to 3 days in the red city of Morocco.
Our essential travel guide to Marrakech explains EVERYTHING you’ll need to know… a first-timers guide for 3 days in Marrakech! With a few bonus extras and day trips if you can stay longer. This step by step guide will remove any trepidations you might have, and set you up for a struggle free visit to Marrakech. Follow our day by day guide, complete with costs, time you’ll need and nearby places to eat too!
We’ve done the homework for you on the best places to stay in Marrakech, with something for every budget. And we tell you how to get to Marrakech, how to keep safe, the scams to be aware of and also the very best things to do.
Marrakech is busy, loud and kind of exotic, especially if you haven’t had the chance to explore cities like this before. But among all of the chaos is real beauty, this city has long fascinated travellers and I can confirm Marrakech got its hooks in me too. We travelled Morocco with our kids for three months and returned to Marrakech several times because it just has such an energy about it.
From the gorgeous gardens, to the Ben Youssef madrasa, shopping the souqs to the historical Saadien Tombs and ruins of El Badi Palace. Keep our guide to 3 days in Marrakech close, and you’ll be exploring Marrakech like a pro… no need for the pricey guide book or Lonely Planet for this trip!
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A First Timer’s Guide to 3 Days in Marrakech
Morocco Population – 37.34 million as of 2021
Currency – Moroccan Dirhams or MAD, 10 dirhams equates to approximately 1 Euro or 1 USD
ATM Machine – In Place Djemaa el-Fna look for the Barid Bank ATM near Poste du Maroc. They seem to have the best rates and are widely found throughout Morocco
Capital – Rabat
Language Spoken – Moroccan Arabic (or Darija), Moroccan Berber (or Amazigh) and French
Religion – Sunni Muslim
Airports – Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) – only 5km from the Marrakech City Centre
What to Wear – It’s important to be respectful and cover up, I always make sure my shoulders and knees are covered as a female. While it’s not uncommon to see tourists baring skin, it can gain unwanted attention and can be seen as being disrespectful to local custom and tradition.
When to Visit – The ideal months to visit are March to May and September to November. The hottest or most humid months of the year are June through August. In fact the heat can be extremely overwhelming if you’re not used to it. And December to January is much cooler, especially the evenings, so bring something warm.
Best SIM Card – We bough an Orange Sim Card in Marrakesh, but Inwi is known for having better connectivity throughout Morocco. Also Tele Maroc is another option. Sim cards and data are relatively well priced in Morocco. For example we paid 50 MAD for 5GB of data and just 20 MAD for the Sim Card.
In order to top up your data, look for the signs, Orange, Inwi etc – they are advertised everywhere. Tell the vendor how much you want and they either top your account up automatically, or give you the recharge card. If you need call time, you need to specify this.
Getting to Marrakech
IF you’re travelling to Marrakech by plane, train or bus… then read below. We took all these modes of transport at one time or another during our visits to Marrakech and so we know the process well!
Marrakech Menara Airport to the Medina
Marrakech city is one of the most common entry points into Morocco. It’s a busy international hub with daily flights from all over the world. As such, Marrakech is a popular destination to start and finish a Morocco tour and travel itinerary.
When travelling to Morocco you have to expect that the first price you’re quoted won’t be the correct one. Taxi drivers in Marrakech are notorious for inflating prices for tourists.
The same goes when taking taxis. It’s expected that you’ll bargain, and bargain you must or you’ll find yourself burning through your travel funds. I know whenever I arrive to a new country, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and that makes you a sitting duck so to speak. So, until you get a minute to figure it all out, and get your bargaining game down, we recommend that you book a driver from the airport to your accommodation. These are the two most booked and trusted operators on Get Your Guide.
So save yourself the hassle on arrival and book one of the below.
ONCF Train to Marrakech
IF you’re coming from a North Moroccan destination such as Casablanca, Rabat or Fes you’ll most likely come by train. The train is a great way to travel in Morocco, as it’s fast, efficient and very easy.
Timetables can be checked and tickets can be booked online with ONCF. The site is in French, but not difficult to navigate (coming from someone who doesn’t speak a word of French).
The Marrakech Train Station or Gare de Marrakech is on Av. Hassan II or N8, which is about a 40 minute walk to the Medina. Or you can take a Grand Taxi (more than three people) or Petit Taxi (three people or less) to get to the Medina. But the taxi drivers are ruthless and will quote ludicrous prices of 80+ MAD to get to the Medina. We recommend walking 5 minutes around the corner and waving a taxi down, you’ll get it at half the price!
Bus to Marrakech with CTM and SupraTours
If you are coming to Marrakech from destinations such as Essaouira, Agadir or Ouarzazate then you’ll most likely travel by bus. The two main bus operators in Morocco are CTM and SupraTours. They both have bus stops located near the Marrakech Train Station and we used them both.
Honestly, there isn’t a great deal in difference in terms of comfort and price between the two providers. There are no toilets on the bus, but they make regular stops. Most importantly they are reliable in terms of time, getting you from A to B without any fuss! Luggage is stowed under the bus and you need to remember to get your luggage tags before you get on the bus. So it’s always best to arrive 30 minutes before departure at any bus stop throughout Morocco.
If you’re travelling to Marrakech from Essaouira, read our full post on taking the bus with Supra Tours.
Where to Stay for 3 Days in Marrakech
Below we look at the best district to stay in Marrakech, what type of accommodation to book and some options within three categories of budget. From luxury, to mid-range, to budget there is most definitely something for every traveller in Marrakech. We also include a quick review of the accommodation we chose.
Best District to Stay for 3 Days in Marrakech
IF you have just 3 days in Marrakech then stay in the centre… the Medina! And we definitely recommend that you stay in a riad, especially if you’re a first timer.
A riad or dar is a traditional Moroccan style accommodation with a central open courtyard. Terraced floors, overlooking the courtyard, link to rooms over two or three floors. They are the perfect boutique style accommodation.
A riad suggests a garden courtyard and a dar suggests a home… however from our experience the definitions are not hard and fast. Whatever the case, a riad or dar stay is the quintessential Moroccan experience.
There are hundreds on hundreds of places to stay so we have scoured through pages of riads, to find you the best. The kind of hotels we look for! The ones that come highly recommended by others, are in a super location, who make an effort towards sustainable tourism and are great value for money. Below we recommend several riads for a bucket list Marrakech Medina stay to remember!
Luxury – 3 Days in Marrakech
Quintessially Marrakech – For Morocco Insta worthy photos look no further that Riad Be Marrakech. Word of warning, you’ll need to book in advance as they book out very quickly. The photo above says it all really… this is Marrakech at it’s finest. I mean they had me at the pool!
Travelling as a Group – Riad Miloud is 5 bedroom riad apartment and it’s gorgeous. Now I know said above that you have to stay in the Medina when you visit Marrakech. But this is a perfect option for groups. You are close to Djemaa El Fna and the souks, but not in the thick of it. Do your self a favour and check out their photos – it’s perfect Moroccan home decor inspo.
Travelling as a Couple – Riad Dar Yasaman has a beautiful terrace complete with hot tub… that got your attention didn’t it! And honestly, there is something very special about the beautiful green tiles of this riad and central pool. It has that wow factor. What’s more there’s an in-house restaurant, that will cater to guest’s food preferences.
Bonus Addition – Riad Dar-K this is a last minute choice – it’s just perfect and can’t be left off this list. Warning: You might find yourself hanging out here for your entire stay in Marrakech and missing out on all the Medina has to offer!
Read this review on our luxury riad stay in Ryad Watier in the coastal Medina town of Essaouira – just 3 hours from Marrakech.
Mid-range – 3 Days in Marrakech
My Free Range Family Choice – Riad Tizwa Marrakech is our top choice, we recommended them in our guide to Fes and we also recommend them in Marrakech. The staff are super friendly and the design is well considered, it’s cosy and doesn’t come with the exorbitant price tag. They accommodate a family of four, which is not easy to find for a riad stay in Marrakech
Travelling as a Family – Riad NaaNaa Bed and Breakfast is a super choice, with consistently high reviews. You won’t have to miss out on the central riad pool in the mid-range category with Riad NaaNaa. And when you’re not in the pool, you’ll be enjoying the beautiful roof top terrace.
Budget – 3 Days in Marrakech
My Free Range Family Choice – Given that we travel full time we are always on the lookout for budget accommodation as a family. We found the riad – Hostel Boho 27 Marrakech. That’s right, there are even riad options if you’re travelling on a budget.
Boho 27 has a great rooftop terrace, private rooms and shared dorms. We stayed twice once in the mixed dorm room and once in a private room with ensuite. And on both occasions we had a brilliant stay in Marrakech. The team who work at the hostel were extremely welcoming and friendly and in addition we met some of the most interesting people who we have continued to remain in touch with.
Looking for Central Medina – Riad Naya is a colourful riad in a great location in the old town – it’s very clean, with great breakfasts and an exceptionally helpful team.
3 Days in Marrakech Itinerary & Getting Around
If you are staying in the Medina, or not far from the Medina then everything is walking distance. This makes exploring Marrakech easy in terms of getting around. I do however, recommend you have data on your phone to help with navigating the city. Also if you can get your hands on a map when you arrive then circle a few key places and home points. But try not to use your map frequently in public as you will draw attention to yourself – read below on safety in Marrakech.
Our below itinerary of 3 days in Marrakech is strategically organised. I have taken into consideration the time you’ll need to visit each of these locations and walking distances between. The idea is that you take time in each of these locations. And without the feeling of being rushed… allowing you to enjoy different corners of the Medina during your 3 days in Marrakech.
I’ve included additional places to visit in Marrakech for you to tailor your Marrakech experience to your own preferences. And even a few extra day trip ideas should you be looking for something beyond the city. ENJOY… and let me know if you have any questions.
Day 1 – The Central Medina, Souk & Place Djemaa el-Fna
First up, I’m going to throw you in the deep end at the main square or Place Djemaa el-Fna. I send you here first as it’s less intimidating by day, and this way you can get your bearings.
But this is also where you will finish your day. To get the most from Place Djemaa el-Fna, you need to see it at both times of the day. So start AND finish here for the full cultural experience!
Place Djemaa el-Fna or Jemaa el-Fna Square
Place Djemaa el-Fna by Day – Start by selecting an orange juice stand, from the MANY, and order yourself a pomegranate and orange juice. They are cheap, deliciously refreshing and a right of passage of sorts when visiting Marrakech. During the day it’s a relatively calm stroll, but at night the Square comes to LIFE.
Place Djemaa el-Fna by Night – Nothing I say here will give justice to the energy and experience that is Place Djemaa el-Fna! Music envelops the square… pockets of musicians on drums, snack charmers with flutes, traditional dancers and storytellers create a buzz. It’s wild, fun and exciting. Welcome to Morocco.
As the sun sets get a seat upstairs at the corner cafe Le Grand Balcony du Cafe Glacier. It’s a total tourist shakedown, but the views over the square at this time of night are worth it. At the top of the stairs is a fridge, you help yourself to an expensive soft drink, pay the guy and then grab yourself a prime seat. Note: It gets busy, so get there at least 30 minutes before sunset.
Moving on, have dinner in one of the many restaurant stalls in the square. Wander among them as the vendors get in your personal space trying to coax you in. Have a chat and a laugh with them and don’t take anything they say too seriously. It’s all part of the game.
Responsible Tourism – Avoid the Barbary Macaque monkeys dressed up as dolls. Despite being endangered they are dragged around on chains and made to pose for photos. Also the cobras are a no-no in our book.
Be sure to read my section below on keeping safe in Marrakech – to stay ahead of the scams running in the square.
After spending some time in Djemaa el-Fna take a walk to the west. Just outside the Medina is the picturesque Koutoubia Mosque. You can’t miss the minaret of the mosque as it stands as one of the highest points in Marrakech.
A couple of interesting facts about the Koutoubia mosque.
- It’s design inspired La Giralda Cathedral in Seville, Spain, which was initially constructed as a mosque.
- The square shape of the minaret is an Amazigh design, which differs from mosques in the Middle East.
- The word Koutoubia stems from the Arabic word kutubiyyin meaning bookseller. Once upon a time many booksellers congregated here.
- Look for the wooden pointer at the top of the minaret, beside the gold balls, this points towards Mecca.
Non-muslim cannot enter the mosque but can wander around the external space and gardens and admire from the outside. If you want to know more, this post by Lonely Planet sheds some light on the history of the Koutoubia Mosque.
Optional: If you want to visit the very large and tranquil gardens of Cyber Park then walk 5 minutes north-west along Av. Mohammed V. The gardens are far prettier than their name, and are a quiet place to enjoy the greener side of Marrakech. In the 18th century these gardens were used primarily as a food producing space.
The Souk and Medina
It’s time to experience the souk! Allow a 2-3 hours for this because it’s a myriad of alley ways and interconnecting streets that make absolutely no sense to the untrained eye.
Here’s my advice, walk back to Djemaa el-Fna and head in a sort of a northerly direction. Aim to get as lost as you possibly can. Keep your phone in your pocket for a while and use your instinct to explore the Medina and souks. Everyone warned us of the Fes Medina, but I found the Marrakech Medina more difficult to navigate. But don’t panic as it isn’t scary or overwhelming, just meander and admire.
Take time to chat to people, admire Moroccans hard at work in the souks and fondouks. They are masters of their trade. The leather masters, the shoe makers, the metal workers and the men dying wool. Every corner you turn… presents a new scene.
Tip: If you see something you like, then buy it, because you probably won’t find it again. Of course you’ll need to put your bargaining hat on to do so! When they give you a price… offer a quarter, then gradually work up from there.
Place des Espices & Restaurants
Place des Espices or Spice Square is a fun little square to explore. I suggest you mark it on Google Maps and visit at some stage as you wander the Medina. There are also two popular restuarants here to check out, both owned by the same people and both with great roof top terraces over the square –
Cafe des Espices – A casual cafe with quick service and good food. It’s not the cheapest of locations but it’s great for simple food, made well.
Nomad Restaurant – Make a reservation for Nomad. This restaurant is a good place for dinner, and serves a higher calibre of cuisine, sort of a Moroccan fusion, with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure. Reserve your table with Nomad online here.
Guided Tour of the Medina and Souks
If the thought of navigating the Medina seems all too much. Don’t worry there are plenty of guided tours to help with that. Here are some of the best rated Guided Marrakech Medina tours to browse… each with a slightly different focus.
Ben Youssef Madrasa or Ibn Youssef School
Further north of the Spice Square is the Mosque and Madrasa of Ben Youssef. If it’s your first time to Morocco, then you’ll be wandering what a madrasa is. In short, it’s a type of college, and the Ben Youssef Madrasa once functioned as an Islamic College for Quranic studies.
These days it’s a historical site and open for tourists and visitors. The madrasa was a highlight on our visit and a great location for photography if you’re that way inclined.
The madrasa which used to house some 800+ students in its time, was one of the biggest madrasas in Morocco. In 1960 it closed and since then has undergone a couple of renovations. The detail in this large two story complex is impressive. Exquisite tiles, carved wooden and stucco panels frame every inch of the madrasa. The open riad style central courtyard, large doors, and water feature is a must see!
Time to visit: 1 hour
Timings: 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week
Address: off Rue Souk el Khemis
Entrance fee: 50 dirhams
The tanneries to the east of the Ben Youssef Madrasa are a big maybe in our book. If your Morocco itinerary is taking your through or via Fes, then ideally wait till you get there. The tanneries in Marrakech are less impressive than those in Fes, and the hustlers working in the streets around the tannery can be pushy, even aggressive.
However if seeing the Marrakech tanneries is on your list of things to see, then we do recommend going with a guide. Check with your hotel and they will be able to arrange this. Alternatively, if you’re keen to go it alone, then read this story of a brave traveller who went into the Marrakech tanneries solo. It IS doable!
If you are visiting Fes then don’t miss my post on a self guided tour of the Medina and tanneries in Fes – these tanneries are not only prettier, but the touts are also friendlier.
Finishing Day 1 in Marrakech
As we suggested above finish Day 1 in Marrakech back at Place Djemaa el-Fna. If you made it through our list above and you still have more time to fill in, then from the madrasa you can visit the House of Photography Marrakech or jump over to Le Jardin Secret.
Day 2 – The Gardens of Marrakech
Marrakech is known for its gardens! Amidst the craziness of the Medina you have little pockets of calm and peace. And there are two gardens that you must visit if you are planning to stay 3 days in Marrakech.
Get an early start today and make your way to Jardin Majorelle! The first three places below are in the same location. You can purchase a ticket for one, or two or all three of them. So before you get to the ticketing desk have a read through to see which of these sights you want to see.
Now I recommend the early start, because Jardin Majorelle is quite possibly one of the busiest attractions in Marrakech. There are often long lines to get in and when you’re inside you’re dodging the high number of foot traffic. So! Get there early!
Jardin Majorelle is to the north west of the Medina. It takes around 35 minutes to walk there from Djemaa el-Fna, so it’s up to you if you want to stretch your legs or if you’d prefer to take a taxi.
The Majorelle Gardens began their existence in 1923 by Jacques Majorelle, a French painter. He devoted his life to developing the gardens, and opened them to the public in 1947 to assist with the expenses involved in their up-keep. However in the 1950’s the property was sold, at which time the gardens became neglected. Then in the 80’s, French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and friend Pierre Bergé purchased the property restoring the gardens to their former glory.
Interesting fact: Yves Saint-Laurent’s ashes were scattered at the Jardin Majorelle.
Jardin Majorelle is well-known for the cobalt blue coloured paint, used on just about every surface within the garden. In fact before his death, Jacques Majorelle patented the colour blue Majorelle. The garden is full of exotic plants, cacti and water features, and the brightness of the blue against the greens is certainly pleasing to the eye.
Time to visit: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Timings: 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week
Address: Yves Saint Laurent Street
Entrance fee: 120 dirhams – purchase tickets online 24 hours ahead
The Berber Museum is within Jardin Majorelle, once the space Jacques Majorelle used as his painting studio. It’s small but a lovely tribute to the first nations or Berber of Morocco. Read this pamphlet from the Majorelle Foundation for more information.
Enjoy browsing the jewels, clothes and artefacts of the Berber people of Morocco from the mountains to the desert.
Time to visit: 30 minutes
Timings: 8am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week
Address: Yves Saint Laurent Street
Entrance fee: combined ticket with above garden 150 dirhams
Musee Yves Saint-Laurent
If you are a fashion loving history buff then don’t miss the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum. Learn about Saint-Laurent’s life in Marrakech and how the culture of Morocco inspired his fashion design. Displayed within the museum are a collection of his sketches, photos and selected fashion pieces. Even the building itself is something quite special.
In all honesty, we went and enjoyed learning about something new. But given that we do not come from the fashion world I could have skipped the museum. That said, if fashion is a passion of yours then I recommend you visit.
Time to visit: 1 hour
Timings: 10am to 6pm, 6 days a week – closed Wednesday
Address: Yves Saint Laurent Street
Entrance fee: 100 dirhams or combined ticket with both attractions above 220 dirhams
Le Jardin Secret – The Secret Garden
Finishing off where we left yesterday, very near the Ben Youssef Madrasa is the Secret Garden or Le Jardin Secret. From Jardin Majorelle to Le Jardin Secret, allow a 25 minute walk down Bd. Allal Al Fassi street.
Stop at the small street market as you reenter the Medina at Bab Moussoufa (or gate Moussoufa) and practice your haggling skills again. There are lovely fresh fruits to choose from, including some slightly more exotic varieties to try. Following your refreshing fruity stop continue on towards the Secret Gardens.
Inside Le Jardin Secret you’ll find two seperate gardens. Take some time to sit and rest, enjoy the colours the gardens have to offer. There are a few gallery and exhibition rooms for you to visit with interesting historical stories of Marrakech. Then take a walk upstairs to the cafe to admire the view of these 400+ year old gardens from above.
For an extra fee you can also visit the lookout tower with excellent views over the Marrakech Medina.
Time to visit: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Timings: 9.30am to 6pm (Nov – Jan) / 6.30pm (Feb – Oct) / 7.30pm (Mar – Sept) – 7 days a week
Address: Rue Mouassine
Entrance fee: 80 dirhams entrance + 40 dirhams for the tower
This is a good district for a hammam! And let’s face it, a visit to Morocco wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a hammam.
There are several different types of hammam in Morocco. Traditionally a hammam is a bath house where locals would venture for a wash. Historically speaking, families wouldn’t have running water in their homes and so would visit these bath houses to wash. A traditional hammam in Morocco is a very unique experience, particularly if you’re not used to public displays of… well… total nakedness!
I visited a traditional hammam with a friend in Morocco and it was the best… a total bonding experience and at the same time an insight into Moroccan culture and life. Completely stripped down (except for underwear) we were taken to the bathing room – washed and then scrubbed from head to toe. Then massaged, all the while lying on the floor surrounded by locals. Obviously, hammams are same sex, so you’ll find all women or all men hammams.
On Rue Sidi el Yamani, look for the traditional Hammam Mouassine. This historical building dates back to 1562! Talk to the ladies working inside and clarify price and the experience you’re looking for. Be sure to bring a spare pair of underwear and then just go with the flow!
Alternatively, you also have many non-traditional hammams. Geared more towards a relaxing private massage, more typical of a Western style spa perhaps. In which case see Le Bain Bleu or right next to Le Jardin Secret is Hammam Paradis.
Finishing Day 2 in Marrakech
To finish off the afternoon, why not wander the Medina some more. And if you’re up for it, head back to the main square for a terrace sunset drink or dinner.
If you’re keen to try some street food we have just the place for you to visit. Not far from Djemaa el-Fna Square is a road running to the east called Derb Dabachi… this street is full of cheap eats. We recommend Sandwich Dada, where the guys working over a hot grill will prepare a hot meat filled sandwich. Also keep an eye out for the men pushing carts who will make an egg sandwich or serve you a bowl of Harira soup.
Read our post on street food options from our month stay in Essaouira… in this post we identify some of the best street food to be found in Morocco, including harira soup.
Day 3 – Historical Ruins and Sites of Marrakech
Today we take you to the south of the Marrakech Medina to some of the impressive historical sites. Walk to Palais Bahia just 15 minutes from Djemaa el-Fna for an early morning start, to once again avoid the midday crowds.
The entrance of Palais Bahia is at Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid and the large grounds are spread over a 2 acre space.
Fun Fact: Bahia means brilliance in Arabic.
The Bahia Palace began construction in 1859 by Si Musa, who at the time was Grand Vizier to the Sultan. Si Musa, who descended from slavery, handed over Bahia Palace to his son Ba Ahmed who continued its construction until 1900.
The palace is a riad style palace with a multitude of rooms, with a combination of larger and smaller courtyards. We loved the garden and spent much time chatting with the gardener about the plants and fruit trees growing here. He was obviously very passionate and knowledgable in his field of work.
Time to visit: 1 to 2 hours
Timings: 8am to 5pm – 7 days a week
Address: Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid
Entrance fee: 70 dirhams entrance
Jewish Cemetery or Miâara Cemetery
The Jewish Cemetery is a seven minute walk from the Bahia Palace to the east.
This cemetery dates back to the 15th century, and according to Wikipedia possibly even the 12th century. There are some 20,000 Jewish people buried in the cemetery, including in this figure some 6,000 children whom lost their lives in the 1800’s due to a Typhus epidemic.
Perhaps one of the more sombre places to visit on this list, but fascinating nonetheless.
Time to visit: 30 minutes
Timings: 8am (8.30am on Friday) to 6pm – 6 days a week, closed on Saturday
Address: Av. Taoulat El Miara
Entrance fee: 10 to 20 dirhams donation
El Badi Palace
Next up, take a 10 minute walk from the cemetery to El Badi Palace.
Another oldie but a goodie is the El Badi Palace. And without going into too much detail and boring the pants off of you, here are the main details.
- This palace was constructed by the then Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur during the Saadian Dynasty from 1578-1593.
- It was built as a tribute to the victorious win over the Portuguese in the Battle of the Three Kings.
- When the capital was moved from Marrakech to Meknes, El Badi Palace was stripped of everything that held any value. As a result it fell into a state of ruin.
- Today you’ll find the Koutoubia Minbar or pulpit at the El Badi Palace on public display. Constructed of cedar and decorated with intricate writing, the minbar was created by artisans from Cordoba, Spain in the 12th Century.
This was one of my favourite places to visit in Marrakech. It wasn’t swamped with tourists and the large grounds and ruins had me in awe. Perhaps, because I’m from New Zealand and our history isn’t quite so visible. El Badi Palace is such a distinct sign of ancient civilisation… it’s old world, and it’s incredible to me.
So if you like ruins and history don’t miss this one. Also be sure to visit the lookout for a higher view over the grounds and courtyard.
Time to visit: 1 to 2 hours
Timings: 9am to 5pm – 7 days a week
Address: Rue de Berrima
Entrance fee: 70 dirhams entrance
Well we are just about finished with this mammoth guide to 3 days in Marrakech. But don’t loose your stamina just yet, because just a seven minute walk around the corner are the Saadian Tombs.
These extravagant garden tombs and Mausoleum are another tribute to the richness of history and culture of Morocco. In the Chamber of the 12 Pillars are the burial tombs of the rulers of Marrakech from the Saadian Dynasty, including Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur.
Perhaps the most incredible story of all, is that following the fall of the Saadian Dynasty, this mausoleum was sealed off by Sultan Moulay Ismail. And it remained this way, forgotten until 1917, when aerial photos alerted people to what was within.
This is another quieter place to visit in Marrakech, less frequented by tourist traffic.
Time to visit: 30 minutes
Timings: 9am to 3pm – 7 days a week
Address: 23 Rue de La Kasbah
Entrance fee: 70 dirhams entrance
Finishing Day 3 in Marrakech
Further down Rue de La Kasbah is Cafe Clock Marrakech, one of our favourite restaurants in Morocco. We visited Cafe Clock in Fes and Chefchaouen and every time the staff were friendly and the food was great. The menu suits both lunch and dinner and with unique events throughout the week they offer far more than just a meal –
- storytelling evenings at 7pm on Monday and Thursday night – free
- jam sessions at 7pm on Wednesday night – free
- live music at 6pm on Saturday nights – 50 dirhams per person
And there we have it, loop back through to any of the sites you might have missed during your 3 days in Marrakech. Or of course re-visit any that you loved! Don’t forget to thing about day trips or overnight stays that you might want to book in also.
Guided Tours of Marrakech
Travellers who need a bit more help… this is for you! We realise that if you’ve never wandered a souk or followed your nose through a Medina, chances are this is going to be outside your comfort zone.
Never fear! There are many awesome guided tours to choose from… here are just a few of the best rated reviews through Get Your Guide.
Book them in advance and plan them for your first day in Marrakech. That way you’ll become familiar with the alleys and streets of Marrakech on arrival and giving you more confidence to explore in the following days.
Bonus Day or Overnight Trips for 3 Days in Marrakech
Let me start here by saying, Marrakech is the gateway to the rest of Morocco. From here you have access to so many cool day or overnight trips at your finger tips. Here are a few that you might want to consider!
Atlas Mountains with Trek Atlas
This is one tour that we did and ABSOLUTELY loved. If you like nature, waterfalls and a little hiking then you must visit the Atlas Mountains. It’s only 90 minutes from Marrakech and takes you to some of the most stunning countryside.
We booked an overnight trekking trip to Armound, a small Berber village in the Atlas Mountains. And it’s an experience that we will remember forever. Made even more special by our guide Ahmed and the private tour he tailored to accommodate our kids. He is able to organise trekking tours, desert tours and more… so this would be first point of contact if you are considering any multiple day tour into the Atlas Mountains or Sahara.
You must read our review with Ahmed and Trek Atlas. If you book with him, you are booking a quality experience and at the same time you support small local business!
I must point out, this is NOT an affiliate link. In other words we don’t benefit if you click and book. We share it as a shout out to the great tours Ahmed delivers!
Ourika valley is a beautiful little valley only 45 minutes from Marrakech. There are many small tea houses and restaurants along the river. Everyone in Morocco we met who visited Ourika loved it. So if you want a little Moroccan culture and a day outside the city then this is a great option.
Sahara Desert Tours
Merzouga is one of the best destinations to experience the Sahara desert. Rolling sand dunes, Berber camps and tents, camel treks… you know the pictures. You’ve seen them before. If you want the desert experience then you’ll need to be planning a trip to Merzouga.
Here are a couple of the most popular and highly reviewed 3 day Sahara desert trips. I’ve also added a half day camel riding experience if you’re struggling for time but still want some of the action.
Visit Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Hadou
For kasbahs (fortresses) then you’ll want to see the UNESCO World Heritage site Ait Ben Hadou. This is the creme de la creme of kasbahs. This mountainside kasbah has featured in many movies in its time, and you’ll understand why when you see it in person.
These one or two day tours also include a visit to the Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate, AKA the Hollywood of Morocco! This is a beautiful destination to visit in Morocco and we give it a big tick… especially the kasbahs.
Surfing in Essaouira
I’m saving the very best to the very last. We LOVED Essaouira so much that we stayed there for a month. We recommend Essaouira, if you are visiting Morocco in July and August and you need a break from the heat. It’s 3 hours from Marrakech, so great for a 2 or 3 days visit. It’s also a fantastic place to learn to surf or just to hang out! The seaside Medina is very chill and there is just so much to see and do there.
If you want to know more about Essaouira – here are a couple of our blogs to get you going.
- Getting from Marrakech to Essaouira
- A surf lesson review in Essaouira
- Horse riding on the beach in Essaouira with Yassine Cavalier (the Instagram super star)
- 8 best riads to book in Essaouira Medina – we visited and photographed them all
Safety for 3 Days in Marrakech
On our first day in Marrakech we entered the Medina with some trepidation. This was based on things we’d heard, stories we’d read. We were pleasantly surprised.
Sure you get some hassle. And be ready for calls and comments like “hey Shakira,” or “over here Ali Baba” (if you have a beard). But in general it was all mostly harmless banter.
Asking for Directions – Just try not to! And if you do ask a shop vendor, elderly person or woman. Don’t accept someone ‘showing you the way’ as they’ll probably ask for money.
Money Tip – Only keep small amounts of cash on you and one bank card. Keep all else in a second wallet. Don’t put your wallet in your pocket, rather keep it tucked away safely in your bag.
Safety with Kids – Around the Medina, scooters tear around corners. You’ll need to keep kids in front of you as you navigate the main scooter routes. Walk on the right side, with the flow of traffic and you’ll be fine. We walked one adult in front, then child one, child two and second adult at the back. And I was still constantly reminded the kids to keep right!
Djemaa el-Fna Square – This is where most of the Marrakech scams occur. You’ll need to keep your wits about you here. Be careful taking photos or video, because if you accidentally video the wrong person, you may be approached with payment demands. Don’t let anyone put henna on your hands without your permission, or let anyone wrap a snake around your neck. As all circumstances will result with you paying. All of these scenarios have happened to friends and family who have travelled to Marrakech. AND if you do decide to participate, always agree to a price BEFOREHAND.
Map for 3 Days in Marrakech
Final Thoughts on 3 Days in Marrakech & More on Morocco
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to 3 days in Marrakech as much as we have creating it. As we have mentioned above, we slow travelled through Morocco for three months. We spent a great deal of time exploring the different Medina’s and cities, but also the mountains and beaches of Morocco. We fell in LOVE with it… the people, culture, history and diverse landscapes.
We’ve spent hours creating Moroccan travel guides for you! So read up on our posts below for other really cool destinations to add to your itinerary.
- The Top Things to do in Chefchaouen – Don’t miss this guide if you plan to visit the beautiful blue mountain village in the North of Morocco.
- Two Days in Fes with Self Guided Walking Tour – If you liked our 3 days in Marrakech itinerary then you’ll love this walking tour around the oldest and biggest Medina in the world.
- A Complete Travel Guide to Essaouira – From A to Z! – The coastal medina is calling you!
- The Top Things to do in Tangier – A 3 day itinerary and basically everything you’re going to need to know about your visit!
Don’t forget to save or pin this 3 days in Marrakech guide for later.
We now travel full-time and have plenty more itineraries and guides to share on all the destinations we visit. Sign up to follow our journey! (And don’t worry we won’t spam you with unnecessary emails.)
Very useful! Our first time with our children (6 and 11) and didn’t know if we should stay in city or outside of city…going in February 2023. Did you ride any camels? If so, any recommendations?
Thanks so much.
Sharon Ward says
Hi Lisa… oh I definitely think the city is the best place. Then you won’t need to walk far from your accommodation for the sights and sounds. We didn’t ride camels in Morocco, however we have lived in the Middle East for years so camel riding wasn’t a priority for us. But this excursion with a 30 minute camel ride to Imlil and beyond is super popular and would be a good experience with a 6 and 11 year old (CLICK HERE). February will be a great time to see Morocco… Enjoy xx
Thanks so much for your recommendation for a camel ride and for all the details in your itinerary! Headed there this week for half-term break and so excited!
Sharon Ward says
Amazing… ENJOY!!! 🐪🇲🇦🏝