A Couple's Guide to Marrakech

Posters of love in Marrakech | © ikeofspain / Flickr
Posters of love in Marrakech | © ikeofspain / Flickr
Photo of Sarah Williams
13 July 2017

Morocco’s Red City of Marrakech is brimming with activities and sights to suit varied tastes. Morocco in general is a popular destination for couples, and Marrakech is no exception when it comes to finding romance in the kingdom. Here are some of the best things for couples to do in the old imperial city.

Stay in a Traditional Riad

The twisting and turning streets of Marrakech’s old medina are filled with glorious traditional buildings, some of which have been renovated into beautiful accommodations. Check into a former palace or previous home of a wealthy Marrakshi and stay in opulent luxury. Feel as though you’ve stepped back in time, with traditional tilework adorning the walls, tinkling fountains in leafy courtyards, colourful lamps, and exotic patterns. There are numerous riads to suit all budgets in Marrakech, so there’s no excuse for not staying somewhere romantic with your significant other.

Inside one of Marrakech’s riads | © Simo Manfalouti / Flickr

Treat Each Other to a Gift from the Souks

Many visitors cannot help but be captivated by Marrakech’s effervescent souks. Explore the souks with your love and buy each other small mementoes to remember your time together in the Red City. No matter what your partner likes, you’ll find the perfect gift in the markets. From spices, shisha pipes, and tea sets to lamps, clothes, ornaments, artwork, and knick-knacks, the souks contain a treasure trove of delights.

Colourful bags in a souk | © Martin and Kathy Dady / Flickr

Explore the Ruins of Badi Palace

There are several historic sites in Marrakech, perfect for exploring with your loved one. The evocative ruins of Badi Palace in particular can be especially romantic in the right company. See the storks nesting high on the ruined walls and imagine how grand the palace once was in its prime.

Pool and walls of Badi Palace, Marrakech | © Didier Baertschiger / Flickr

Enjoy a Spa Treatment for Two

While men and women bathe separately in public hammans, there are some private spas that offer heterosexual couples the chance to enjoy some pampering TLC together. Gay couples can visit any of Marrakech’s hammans and spas, though, as with couples of all sexual orientations, discretion is in order. The stunning Heritage Spa welcomes couples of all sexual preferences, offering massages and a traditional hammam steam bath for duos. Isis Spa, Les Bains de Marrakech, Kosyspa, Mythic Oriental Spa, and Terre Resort & Spa are a few other suggestions for couples seeking a blissful time together in Marrakech.

Stroll Through the Menara Gardens

Marrakech is home to several pretty gardens, each providing a pleasant setting for couples who enjoy feeling at one with nature. Admire the reflections in the large shimmering pool at Menara Gardens before wandering through the olive trees and stopping to rest for a while in the shade the trees.

Reflections at Menara Gardens | © Velentin Munitsa / Flickr

Wander Through the Majorelle Gardens

The Majorelle Gardens are a haven for romance-seekers, with plentiful plants from various parts of the world. Large bamboo, diverse cacti and water lilies create a beautiful oasis just outside the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Secluded benches are dotted around the pathways. Birds twitter and the soft clacking of insects adds to the harmonious vibe.

The verdant Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech | © SnippyHolloW / Flickr | © SnippyHolloW / Flickr

Take a Calleche Tour

Climb into a horse-drawn carriage and snuggle up for a private jaunt around Marrakech. The horses hooves clip-clop through the streets, and you can sit back hand in hand and see the sights from a different perspective as your calleche trots through narrow streets and along wide, palm-lined avenues.

Horse-drawn carriage in Marrakech | © Michael Button / Flickr

Savour a Romantic Meal

There is no shortage of great restaurants in Marrakech, catering to diverse budgets and tastes. Whether you’re yearning for traditional Moroccan fare in a sophisticated environment, would love to sink your teeth into gourmet French cuisine by candlelight, or something else entirely, gaze into your loved ones eyes over a romantic meal while in Marrakech.

Watch the Sun Go Down from a Roof Terrace

Sipping a glass of fruit juice or mint tea on a roof terrace at sunset is one of the top things for couples to do in Marrakech. Admire the outline of the striking Koutoubia Mosque against the changing colours of the sky, observe the frenetic activity of Djemma el-Fna, or gaze out over the rooftops of the old medina. You may even be able to hear the lilting call to prayer drifting through the evening sky. Do note that many roof terraces, especially those in the old medina, do not serve alcohol.

Views from above: Djemma el-Fna in the evening | © Alan & Flora Botting / Flickr

Dance the Night Away

Party-loving couples will find a terrific assortment of bars and clubs in Marrakech where they can get into the groove on the dance floor. Put your glad rags on and head to Gueliz or Hivernage for some of the city’s most happening nighttime hotspots.

Many day trips from Marrakech are ideal for couples too; hike the multi-level waterfall in the lush Ourika Valley, be awed by the magical kasbah of Ait Benhaddou near the movie-makers’ favourite of Ouarzazate, and walk along the sands at Essaouira. Camel rides, hot air balloon trips, hiking adventures, and exploring Berber villages can all be great for couples too.

Do note that public displays of affection are frowned upon in Morocco, and may offend the largely-Muslim population. Save the kisses and hugs for in the comfort and privacy of your room when you can lovingly reminisce over your fun-filled day.

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