I personally LOVED Morocco. It’s what interior design and culture shock dreams are made of. We did the desert and Marrakech.
HOWEVER, I feel the need to add a disclaimer
As a female SOLO traveler I would say beware. The men are VERY pushy and touchy. They’ll make comments, be aggressive with trying to sell you things. I had one guy spit at me because I didn’t purchase his juice and decided to purchase it from a different stand lol. I had another guy throw a pebble at me because my shoulders weren’t covered. I was wearing a tank top; no stomach showing only shoulder exposed. Bitch, it is hot as hell outside and I was wearing pants, I was not about to wear a long sleeve too. These types of things do not bother me. I brush them off. However, if cat calls and pushy salesmen bother you then I may not recommend Marrakech.
Where to Stay and What to Do:
We split up our time in Morocco. 2 days in the desert 3-4 days in Marrakech. IF YOU GO TO MOROCCO YOU NEED TO GO TO THE DESERT!!! Now most of the tours online take you WAY out into the desert. I’m talking like 6-7 hours driving-in-the-car far. I was “eh” on this. I didn’t want to waste all those hours of daylight in the car.
HERE IS A TIP! Stay at Agafay Camp. This place was UNREAL and it’s only 35-40 minutes outside of the city and from the Marrakech airport in comparison to the 6-7 hours for the others. You can book private transfer through the hotel and they’ll pick you up from the airport with a cute little sign with your name on it. I recommend doing this because other 3rd party drivers will get lost, and our dude took us to get food prior because we were starving; he was an angel.
These rooms are LUXURY glamping; interior design heaven with a view of the desert. And at night? MAGIC. All the stars you could ever imagine, I was in awe. It was gorgeous. Even better, they have a pool and little lounge chairs so you can pool lounge during the day. They also have activities you can plan for yourself when you arrive including riding ATVS, riding camels, basically anything the other tours offer they have too. Granted these “extra curriculars” do cost money, but we picked one activity and rode camels for the time we were there and loved it.
Breakfast is included in the rate which was great; however, rest of the meals are not.
THE FOOD at Agafay is not the greatest. The dinner was bland and over priced (30 euro). Not a fan. The lunch was good and more decently priced I guess (25 euro). Regardless, I recommend bringing your own food. We bought ramen prior to arriving so that we could eat that while we were there.
After a few days in the desert (2-3 days MAX), make your way to Marrakech. I recommend staying in the old city and not the new city if you are looking for a more cultural (and cheaper) experience.
There is not much in the New City except 5 star resorts and malls, and that’s pretty much it. Honestly, it just didn’t spark my interest and wasn’t worth it to me unless you are trying to go shopping at a Westernized mall with high-end shops.
The old city has all the character you would except to see in Morocco; souks, street food, street vendors, street performers, etc. I liked it A LOT more. Jemaa el-Fnaa is the main souk in the main old city center.
HIGHLY recommend staying at Bliss Riad. So beautiful with an outdoor pool on the rooftop and breakfast included in the rate. Unreal decor, spacious rooms. It’ll run you around $145/night. If you are splitting this with a friend it’s a steal for what you get.
In Marrakech, I recommend splurging a little on your accommodation because they DO NOT disappoint. Plus you don’t want to end up with no AC, no proper shower, bugs, etc. in a hostel in this city. It’s not the cleanest city in the world, so spend a few extra bucks on a nice stay. Everything else is so cheap it’ll balance out.
Please don’t leave Marrakech without doing this.
BE Marrakech is also a Riad so you can book a stay here as well although I preferred Bliss for accommodation.
During the day, walk around the Old City medina and shop. Everything is negotiable so make sure you stand firm and barter with the vendors so you don’t get ripped off! Around dusk is when the city/Medina in the old city comes alive. In the main plaza of the souk/medina, go enjoy the shopping, monkeys, snake charmers, music shows, performers, etc.
HOLD ONTO YOUR BAGS WHEN WALKING AROUND THE OLD CITY; Duh…
What to Eat:
Eat the street food! It’s good and safe from what I experienced; a full meal and a drink will cost you around 2-3 USD… you heard me.
If you want more of a fancy meal then you can go to the Four Seasons Resort in the New City and get a full meal for only like 30 USD. Everything, and I mean everything, is so cheap.
- WHERE TO STAY:
- Agafay Luxury Camp – for the desert
- Bliss Riad – Marrakech
- BE Marrakech – Marrakech
- TIME SPENT: about a week is good to see the desert and the city. I would recommend 2 nights, 3 days in the desert and then 3-4 full days in the city of Marrakech.
- WHAT WOULD I CHANGE: If I could change one thing I would have added a turn around trip to the blue city (Chefchaouen) for 2 days.
- BARS ***BEWARE: ALCOHOL IS VERY EXPENSIVE HERE***:
- Nikki Beach: this is a cool place to go and grab a day bed (around $30 for the day) and pool lounge. Food and drinks are obviously more expensive than in the city. Around $15 for a meal and $17 for a cocktail. Definitely pricey.
- Baromètre – underground speakeasy vibe. Good cocktails with some spices-infused alcohols from the Medina.
- To be honest, we didn’t drink much while we were here. Alcohol is super expensive in Morocco due to taxes and we preferred to save our money for activities.
- Eat the street food! That’s what we did and it was great. We also ate at a few restaurants around the edges of the Jemma el-Fnaa main souk and they were cheap and great. Average $2-3 for a meal and drink.
- Nomad – rooftop with a view. V trendy and nice restaurant. Definitely recommend booking a reservation. Obviously more pricey than the street food, but even then the most expensive thing on the menu is around $16.
- If you want more high-end restaurants then that’s in the New City, but we preferred saving our money and eating the street food.
- MUST SEE:
- Jemaa el-Fnaa: main market/old city center.
- To be honest we walked through the tight alleys and around the markets and just got lost and shopped the entire time here. It was great.
- Jardin Majorelle: It’s around $7 to get in. Really pretty gardens to walk around in the Old City.
- Yves Saint Laurent Museum: I decided not to go. I’m not a big museum gal, but I’ve heard good things if you’re into that. Around $10 entry.
- Jemaa el-Fnaa: main market/old city center.
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