An Introvert's Guide to Marrakech

Serenity near Koutoubia Mosque | © Phil Wiffen / Flickr
Serenity near Koutoubia Mosque | © Phil Wiffen / Flickr
Photo of Sarah Williams
17 October 2017

Whether you’re visiting Marrakech alone or just want some quiet time to yourself, away from the tourist crowds or in a place where you can let your thoughts meander, the Red City won’t disappoint. There are attractions and activities aplenty where introverts won’t feel out of place or under any pressure to mingle.

For culture fans

Marrakech is home to several excellent museums that detail the city’s past and present. Learn more about the local heritage and the city’s important role through history and browse an array of exhibits. While some of the museums can get busy, aim to be there for opening time to beat the rush. Despite being one of the main museums in the city, the Museum of Marrakech rarely feels crowded. The Tiskiwin Museum is among the city’s secret spots and you can step back in time at Mouassine Museum.

Details inside Marrakech Museum | © Miguel Discart / Flickr

For art aficionados

The art galleries of Marrakech offer a peaceful haven for visitors who appreciate aesthetic pieces. Matisse Art Gallery in Gueliz and David Bloch Gallery display interesting contemporary works, while Voice Gallery, in Sidi Ghanem, is an ideal place to contemplate the many messages distributed through the art. La Qoubba Galerie D’Art mainly depicts local life.

For history lovers

Marrakech’s historical sites attract many visitors, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find quiet nooks where you can contemplate and find a little solitude. The once-grand Badi Palace stands in an elegant state of ruin. The large site makes for a pleasant stroll and there are quieter spots throughout the grounds. Wander the grounds of the Saadian Tombs and make friends with the street cats that call the area home, admire the splendid Koutoubia Mosque and find a calm place in the adjacent gardens, and marvel at the splendour of the Bahia Palace.

Traditional Moroccan tile work | © NWY69 / Flickr

For shopping enthusiasts

The chaotic and frenetic souks of Marrakech may be a bit overwhelming for introverts, with the constant calls to look and buy, the thronging melee, and the sensory overload. Not to mention the constant traffic of people, bicycles, scooters, and donkeys! If you do want to shop for souvenirs and experience a bit of the mayhem of the souks and the medina, hiring a guide may help you to feel a bit more at ease and avoid unwanted attention. Souk Cherifia may be a great alternative to the street markets, though. Fixed prices and well-ordered displays of wares in a shopping centre environment can prevent nerves from being jarred.

For outdoor enthusiasts

Marrakech is home to several splendid gardens and parks where finding balance and harmony is easy. The Majorelle Gardens are among the city’s most famous outdoor spaces, and there are enough benches throughout the lush grounds to facilitate some alone time. The extensive Menara Gardens facilitate quality alone time too; sit on the walls overlooking the reflecting pool or relax in the shade of an olive tree as you take a breath of fresh air. Admire the Islamic designs at Le Jardin Secret, take a day trip to Anima Gardens, enjoy lunch at La Mamounia and wander the grounds afterwards, and take a stroll at the Palmeraie.

Fountain at Majorelle Gardens | © Anthony Tong Lee / Flickr

For people seeking some private pampering

Marrakech has more than its fair share of spas, most of which offer a range of blissful treatments and therapies. Luxuriate with a massage, enjoy a facial, and feel invigorated with a body scrub. Many also offer a traditional Moroccan hammam experience where you can let your thoughts run freely as you bathe in the steam.

For foodies

There are plentiful dining options in Marrakech; whether you’re craving authentic Moroccan fare, high-class French cuisine, or varied international dishes, the Red City’s food scene includes many meals to excite. For a peaceful experience, head to one of the quieter rooftop cafes that overlooks the energetic Djemaa el Fna or the ancient medina and watch the action from a comfortable distance. Sip on a glass of mint tea and soak up the sights while waiting for your meal to arrive.

Overlooking Marrakech’s main square | © Alan & Flora Botting / Flickr | © Alan & Flora Botting/Flickr

Book a stay in a traditional riad that’s known for having a sense of peace and tranquility and retreat to a beautiful and comfortable accommodation if the hustle and bustle all gets a bit too much. Many riads have pretty communal salons and roof terraces with views where you can unwind and restore ready for the next day’s adventures.

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