2 Days in Marrakech for Food, Shopping, Culture & Design

2 Days in Marrakech for Food, Shopping, Culture & Design

If your time is short in Marrakech and you're overwhelmed with what to see and what to do, we have created our ideal 2 day Marrakech itinerary for you. This is a shorter version of our 3 day Marrakech itinerary and focuses on exploring within the ancient Medina.

Your 2 days in Marrakech will be filled with fun cultural and culinary experiences, from sipping Arabica coffee in a glamorous palace to shopping and eating your way through the maze-like souks.

Overview: 2 Days in Marrakech



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How to Spend 2 Days in Marrakech

Day 1

─ Daytime ─

Check into your riad, wander through the maze-like souks and eat lunch in a hidden garden in the Medina.

For an authentic Moroccan experience, stay in a riad in the heart of the ancient Medina. A riad is a traditional 2+ story house or palace with an enclosed garden. The intimate hideaway feels like a home away from home with its rooftop space for lounging and rooms lining the courtyard. When we checked in we were brought to the rooftop and served fresh mint tea and dried fruit.

Our top riad picks:

After settling in at your riad, take your first walk out into the bustling streets of the 11th century Medina for lunch. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is packed with souks, artisan shops, riads, hammams, rooftop cafes and restaurants.

After our first 20 minutes of walking down the maze-like streets, we felt completely overwhelmed by the plethora of shops we saw and by the variety and calibre of items. We were happy to retreat out of the action and into a cafe for lunch.

Fill up on a refreshing lunch at Le Jardin Restaurant before starting your shopping for the day. The a 1960s riad and hidden garden in the Medina offers local specialities, veggie dishes and fruit juices. Our favourite dish was the roasted carrot salad. Reservations are recommended since it's a popular spot.

After lunch, don't miss the Norya Ayron boutique located just up the stairs. The celebrity-loved Marrakech label sells colourful dresses that are a modern take on the abaya.

Take your time to wander through the souks and side-streets to find artisanal shops. There is so much to see! As you walk through, you will notice different specialities like woodworks, metalworks, carpets, lighting, leather products, pottery and spices. Don't be nervous to barter for something, even if it has a set price on it. Our best advice is to pay what something is worth to you, and if you buy more than one item, use that extra bargaining power!

Our favourite shops in the Medina:

  • Medina Experiences for well-curated home decor items at fair prices.
  • Les Nomades de Marrakech for rugs.
  • MA CREATION for unique vases. See location pin here.
  • Mustapha Blaoui for African furniture at fair prices.
  • Tamegroute Aloud Pottery for handmade green and yellow pottery. See location pin here.
  • Galeries Des Tanneurs for exceptionally made leather products.

If you're scorching from the heat, stop at one of the pomegranate carts for fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice. It's so refreshing, but make sure you share so you don't get a stomachache!

The streets in the Medina lead to the main square, Jemaa el-Fna. Take your first peek of it at daytime so you can see how it changes into the beautiful chaos it becomes by night.

─ Evening─

Take a break from the bustling souks at El Fenn's rooftop bar, discover Moroccan cuisine on a street food tour and experience Jemaa el-Fna at night.

Take a break from the souks with a signature cocktail at El Fenn's buzzy rooftop bar. Listen to funky tunes in the sophisticated space while watching the sky glow as golden hour begins. It's the perfect setting to rejuvenate before heading back into the lively streets. It was our favourite rooftop bar in the Medina we found by far.

After resting on the rooftop, hire a local guide to take you around the Medina on a street food night tour to discover Moroccan cuisine. Tasting local delicacies from street vendors is the culinary secret to eating some of the best Moroccan food. Your local guide will show you side streets and hidden food spots you wouldn't find yourself, and you can take the guesswork out of what vendors are safe to eat at.

Viator and GetYourGuide both offer street food night tours. We like how you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance.

Check out these highly-rated street food tours:

After your street food tour, take time to walk around Jemaa el-Fna to experience its energy at night. Nighttime is when the market comes alive with numerous food stalls and a mass of people forming circles around entertainers, music performers and storytellers. Jemaa el-Fna square has been around since the 11th century and is one of Africa's biggest markets. It's an entrancing cultural experience you don't want to miss.  

Before exploring the square, be aware of these scams and treatment of animals before posing for a photo.

Day 2

─ Daytime ─

Drink coffee in the fabulous Dar El Bacha Palace, see one-of-a-kind colours at Jardin Majorelle, finish up shopping in the Medina or relax at the hammam.

Enjoy brunch in the coffee room of Dar El Bacha, a glamorous palace built in 1910 that was once a meeting place for the 20th century's most famous creatives and politicians. It's where iconic figures like Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin discussed ideas over pots of Arabica coffee.

Closed for decades because of WWII, the palace underwent a massive restoration to preserve its history and intricate architectural features, like its walls of hand-cut mosaics. It reopened in 2017 as a museum with a gorgeous coffee room and boutique, and is one of the most in-demand places to visit, for those in the know. Sip coffee from a gold coffee pot in the sun-filled courtyard and don't forget to add Chantilly cream and the vanilla beans that come in a pepper mill.

The coffee room does not take reservations, however don't be worried if the museum attendant says it's a very long wait. Go directly to the cafe and put your name on the list to get a buzzer before touring the museum. The wait was 35 minutes for us and not the 1.5-2 hours we were told.

After your fabulous brunch, head over to Jardin Majorelle, a striking garden with accents painted in a patented blue colour created by French painter Jacques Majorelle in 1924. It was purchased by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge in 1980 to preserve its beauty.

Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with Marrakech the first time he visited in the 60s, so much so that he purchased a house there with his partner. The colours of Marrakech influenced his collections over time, as he famously said - "Marrakech taught me colour".

Buy your tickets online to bypass a huge line! Online tickets must be purchased more than 24 hours in advance. You can buy separate tickets for Jardin Majorelle or the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, or buy a combined ticket.

Top tip: cool down at the cafe in Jardin Majorelle with some sorbet.

Banana stand in the Medina

Choose from one of these options after visiting Jardin Majorelle:

Option 1: finish up shopping in the Medina

Pick up those last minute items you were thinking of getting! Every time we see the items we bought, we are brought right back to Marrakech.

Option 2: relax at the hammam

Experience the hammam, a Middle Eastern steambath that is an elemental part of Moroccan culture. In a hammam, you lie on a warm stone while your body is exfoliated with traditional black soap and cleansed with a rhassoul clay mask.

Check out spa packages at Heritage Spa or Les Bain D'Orient. They are both professional, well-prices spas that we can't choose between.

─ Evening ─

Dine at L'mida for sunset views overlooking the Medina and sip cocktails at one La Mamounia's exquisite cocktail lounges

Hear the call for prayer while watching the rose-coloured skyline gleam at L'mida. The rooftop restaurant was our favourite we visited in Marrakech for both its sunset view and food. Their Moroccan-fusion dishes were created by Nargisse Benkabbou, a Moroccan chef and best-selling food writer based in London.

For your last night in Marrakech, put on your best outfit and drink cocktails at La Mamounia, Marrakech's most famous hotel where iconic guests have stayed over the decades. La Mamounia was recently brought even further into the limelight from the TV series, Inventing Anna, where notorious Anna Delvey stays at the hotel.

Choose from one of these three exquisite cocktail lounges in the hotel:

  • Most intimate: Le Churchill. The swanky space offers bar seating for up to nine people
  • Best for live music: Le Bar Majorelle. Sit on the plush red couches and listen to live jazz.
  • Best for the party: Le Club. La Mamounia's newest rooftop bar with upbeat tunes.

Our Top Riad Picks in the Medina

Since you're only in Marrakech for 2 days, we recommend staying in a riad a short walking distance to the souks and main square of the Medina.

Browse more stays in Marrakech

Best way to get from the airport to the Medina

Marrakech

Outside of the airport it's easy to find a taxi for the 10-15 minute drive to the Medina, however negotiating your rate beforehand is a nuissance. The price is supposed to be 100 dh for the trip in a big taxi, however as much as we tried we could not get the price below 200 dh. Some taxi drivers even quoted us 300 dh.

The most convenient way:

To avoid the stress, we recommend organizing a driver through your riad if it's a fair price. Or, book a private transfer through Viator or GetYourGuide. It's easy and surprisngly cheap! Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals section with your name on a sign and you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance.

Best deal we found: Private Taxi Airport Transfer through Viator from $10.71 USD per group (up to 4 people). Has good reviews and operated through reputable company, Menara Trip - Day Trip.

The cheapest way:

The L19 bus leaves the airport every 20 minutes and takes about 15 minutes to get to the Medina. The price is 30 dh (~$2.85 USD) per person.

We hope you have an incredible two days in Marrakech!


Don't miss our other Marrakech guides:

Want to see more of Morocco? Combine Marrakech with a trip to the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, or both!


Start planning your trip to Morocco

  • 🌃 Book your accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
  • 🚕 Book your airport transfer: with Viator or GetYourGuide
  • 🤠 Guided tours: browse food tours and fun outings through Viator or GetYourGuide
  • 🛫 Book your flight: use Skyscanner to compare flights across different airlines (we recommend booking direct with the airline however).
  • 🏥 Travel insurance: World Nomads. Already traveling? You can purchase insurance with World Nomads while you're abroad. A 48-hour waiting period just applies for coverage.

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