Morocco’s capital is Rabat and its largest city is Casablanca. Marrakech is located 330 km southwest of the capital – Rabat – is the fourth most populous city in the country.
The city of Marrakesh has 1.5 million inhabitants and is the tourism capital of Morocco.
It is a wonderful city for those who want to make their first contact with Arab culture, and despite having many tourists, it never loses its essence and never ceases to be extremely exotic.
A short distance from Portugal, there are flights with very affordable prices.
HOW MUCH DOES A TRIP TO MARRAKECH COSTS?
There are direct flights from both Lisbon and Porto to Marrakesh and the duration is 1 hour or so. We traveled by TAP, but there are also Ryanair flights from Porto.
From June to August, TAP offers very affordable flights, departing from Lisbon, at around 167€. At this time of summer, the country is very hot, with temperatures that can reach 37ºC.
Another thing not to forget is the insurance, the costs are not high and it pays off in case of any bad luck!
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Marrakesh when temperatures hover around 30°C.
We traveled to Morocco in December, when flights are significantly lower. In November and December, Ryanair has flights from Porto to Marrakesh at 74€. Even though it is winter, temperatures continue to be attractive and flight prices tempting. Who doesn’t like to catch a little bit of sun in December?
The sky was always clear and I never saw it rain in Morocco, unlike what happens in Portugal at this time. Temperatures hover around 20ºC, so you can enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool, although nights are cooler.
Arriving at the airport, the best way to get to the city center is by bus. From 6:15 am to 9:30 pm, with departures every 30 minutes, the bus from Marrakesh airport to the city center costs around €3.
WHERE TO STAY IN MARRAKESH?
Within the economic segment, Riad Espagne is a good option. For around 25 euros/night a double room with a private bathroom, internet access, and breakfast are available.
The owners are very friendly and are available for any questions that guests might want to ask. The location is perfect as the Riad is 400 meters from Djemaa el Fna square.
Riad les 2 Portes, located a 5-minute walk from the Medina of Marrakesh, offers accommodation with a little more quality and refinement. It features a traditional living room with a fireplace and a roof terrace with city views. With continental breakfast, Wi-Fi access, and air conditioning included in the price which is around 45 euros/night.
For travelers on a tighter budget, I introduce you to Hostel Kasbah Red Castel – a place to stay in a bed in a shared dormitory equipped with a microwave and a fridge. For 6 euros/night, with breakfast, the hostel is located 1.9 km from the Koutoubia Mosque and 6 km from the airport.
1-DAY MARRAKESH TOUR
When I visited Morocco we’ve decided to stay in Agadir as it is one of the most popular sun and beach destinations in that country. A city located in the south with an arid subtropical climate and mild temperatures all year round. We found it interesting to reconcile the low prices of hotels in December with the mild climate at this time of year.
Of course, we didn’t want to visit Morocco without getting to know Marrakesh, and the fact that we could take an excursion to the red city from Agadir for one day was perfect.
We made the reservation through Discover Agadir and it cost €35/person.
We left the hotel at 7:30 am for a bus trip to Marrakesh, where a local guide introduced us to the best sights in the city.
Djemaa el Fna Square
This is the main square in Marrakesh – in the heart of the medina – with many food stalls, handicrafts, snake charmers shows, and Moroccan music.
A typical 12th-century Islamic garden featuring a large swimming pool dominated by a green-roofed pavilion.
The royal tombs of the Saadian dynasty*, located in an enclosed garden, are magnificently adorned with vaulted ceilings and ornate plaster. In them are buried the bodies of the servants and warriors of the Saadian dynasty.
Built-in 1120 and 70 meters high, it is the tallest mosque in the city. It was built with the aim of being seen from anywhere in Marrakesh. Only Muslims are allowed in.
Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa
It is an old school of the Koran, built in the 14th century, and was one of the largest schools of theology in North Africa. It was here that students memorized the Koran and specialized in religious subjects. Take the opportunity to take pictures in the inner courtyard. The entry price is 2 euros.
Shopping at the Souks
A labyrinth to walk around and refine all the senses: sights, smells, and sounds. It’s a shopper’s paradise for any woman. Traditional ceramics, jewelry, clothing, fabrics, spices, there is a little bit of everything.
Old Jewish Quarter
It was created in 1558 by the Saadians and housed the Jewish population of Marrakesh, composed mainly of metallurgists, sugar merchants, bankers, jewelers, and tailors.
We returned to Agadir at 9 pm, very tired but happy!
For other destinations, take a peek here!
* At the beginning of the 16th century, the Saadians led tribes from the Drá valley, exasperated by Christian offensives, who revolted against the Berbers and drove them from power in 1554