Marrakech is a beautiful city to visit in Morocco! It is important to choose the nice area where to stay in Marrakech, because you can have a very different experience depending on what you decide. When you choose to stay in the Palmeraie of Marrakech, it is not at all the same trip as if you choose the Medina instead. Fin below the map of the best areas to stay in Marrakech Morocco, and also all the tips you need to know before booking an accommodation in Marrakech.
Riad, what is it? The Riad is the traditional type of building in Marrakech. It is a house built around a patio, or garden. The patio is designed to keep the freshness with trees and water points. There may be one or more floors. It is an original type of accommodation to stay in Marrakech (learn more on Wikipedia).
Best areas and quarters where to stay in Marrakech
To find your way around the city map and find which neighborhood to stay in, we created this map of the neighborhoods of Marrakech.
Map of main areas in Marrakech
The central square of Marrakech is the Jamaâ El Fna square. The main areas of Marrakech are:
- Palm grove
Jamaa El Fna Square. It is the main square of Marrakech, the heart of the city. It has always been a show place, right next to the souks. There are always artists, dancers, snake charmers who enliven the place. There are also plenty of restaurants. The square is a cultural space listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Medina quarter in Marrakech
It is the historic center of the city or old town. The city of Marrakech began here over 1000 years ago. This quarter is home to Jamaâ El Fna Square, the Jewish quarter Mellah and the Kasbah. It’s a real maze of small streets surrounded by ramparts, it’s not always easy to find your way around. It is a very touristy area with several hotels and riads. It is also here that we will find all the majority of the souks of the city with all the products: carpets, trays, clothes, pastries, jewelry, etc. Among all the districts of Marrakech, it is necessarily the most typical and authentic.
Very close to the Jamaa El Fna square, and its evening activities, the Riad Les Nuits de Marrakech is an ideal example of authentic accommodation where to stay in Marrakech.
The Gueliz district is the district of the French colonial era. There are large streets with several chic restaurants in this area. The Majorelle Garden is nearby. As it is more of a living quarter, food and hotels are generally a little cheaper there than in the Medina. It is also a quieter area.
Visitors who choose to stay in the Gueliz quarter of Marrakech come rather for a short cultural or family stay. A hotel with studios and apartments, therefore kitchens, like the Dar Guéliz can be a very good choice.
This is the “luxury” or “trendy” district of Marrakech. Nothing to do with the Medina, here it is rather large avenues, modern buildings and luxury hotels. This is the ideal district for going out at night in Marrakech.
La Palmeraie is not really an area. It is a large area with more trees, the purpose of which was to provide shade. Today, we find most of the club hotels here, golf courses and luxurious villas. It is the ideal district to rest and sunbathe in Marrakech. On the other hand, to make visits, it will be necessary to take a transport because it is located about 5km from the Medina.
If you come as a couple, as a couple, for a sun and relaxation holiday, the Ritika Garden, Adults Only and All Inclusive club is an excellent place to stay in Marrakech Morocco.
Mellah quarter in Marrakech
The Mellah quarter is the old Jewish quarter of Marrakech, it is part of the Medina. There is still a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. It is rather a neighborhood to avoid for staying in Marrakech.
The Kasbah is also a district that is part of the Medina. It’s a little out of the way, so also quieter and less touristy.
The Kasbah is a district fortified by its own walls, and doors allow you to enter and leave: Bab Agnaou for example. Historically, it is a citadel which houses the residence of the king. This is always the case, when the King of Morocco is in Marrakech, he stays in his palace in the Kasbah.
This area is located in the south, a little away from the city. It is a less traditional or authentic neighborhood. It’s not a neighborhood to avoid, but it’s not recommended either.
In which part of Marrakech to stay?
The best area of course depends on what you come to see in Marrakech!
The most authentic. A riad in the Medina is the most authentic place to stay in Marrakech.
To go clubbing. The best district of Marrakech to go out at night and party is Hivernage.
To rest and sunbathe. La Palmeraie is the perfect place! Staying in a large lush garden is ideal for forgetting everyday life and simply enjoying.
Good to know! The Moroccan currency is the dirham. Visa and Master Card work in Morocco, but cash is also needed to pay in Morocco.
Areas to avoid in Marrakech
Mellah is the neighborhood on our list to avoid in Marrakech for staying. Agdal can also be avoided as a district because it is not practical to move around Marrakech easily.
The other districts on our list are quite suitable for staying in Marrakech and having a good stay.
Where to stay in Marrakech with family
If you are going to visit Marrakech with family, it is preferable to stay either in the Medina or in the Palmeraie of Marrakech.
In the Medina, we will be directly in the maze of downtown streets, and it will be easy to walk around.
In the Palmeraie, we will be in a large, spacious hotel club, with a swimming pool and perhaps even a children’s club, therefore particularly practical for families to sleep peacefully.
TOP 5 most beautiful Riads or hotels to stay in Marrakech
Here are our 5 most beautiful riads or hotels to stay in Marrakech in accommodation with authentic decor:
La Sultana Marrakech: Magnificent riad, very authentic decoration. The ocher brick walls give a special charm to this place. Le Palais Blanc Riad: Everything is white: the walls, the furniture, the bed. It’s a very nice place, with a nice swimming pool.
Riad Nashira & Spa: A riad with Moroccan style decoration, to stay in the mood. The spa is particularly pleasant to enjoy a massage or the hammam.
La Maison Arabe: A luxurious Riad perfect for lovers, a bottle of wine is offered on arrival.
72 Riad Living: A very pretty riad with a solarium on the roof. The restaurant has very good reviews.
Riad Palacio de las Especias: Charming little riad. The roof terrace is particularly pleasant for observing the sky when the night is mild.
Going from the airport to the center of Marrakech
Marrakech airport (RAK) is located about 7km or 15 minutes from the city center, the Medina. If you are staying in the Palmeraie, it may take longer because it is located on the other side of the city, count 25 minutes.
By taxi. The taxi to go from the airport to the center of Marrakech, to the hotel is the best solution. No need to worry about timing anything, everything is organized in advance. And then it really does not cost very much in Marrakech! You can book a taxi here. Here is also another service, for about the same price.
By bus. The airport shuttle to the center of Marrakech runs every 20 minutes, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bus stops on the Jemaa El Fna square, then you have to find your way to the hotel. It’s really cheap, less than 3€. However, the bus does not go to the Palmeraie, so you have to take a taxi if your hotel is located there. The buses are modern, and there is even WiFi inside.
Cheap accommodation in Marrakech & hostels
Youth hostels allow you to stay in Marrakech for really cheap, for less than 20€ per night. And there are really very pretty youth hostels where you can sleep well in a top setting. For example, the Equity Point or the Rodamon Riad are really pleasant and warm places.
What to do in Marrakech and around?
Here are some activities to do in Marrakech, in the city center:
- Strolling through the Medina and wander around the Jemaa El Fna square
- Visiting the Bahia Palace
- Visiting the Saadian Tombs
- Seeing the Koutoubia Mosque
- Shopping in one of the souks
- Strolling in the Majorelle Garden
Find out more in our post: Best things to do in Marrakech.
If we move away a little, around Marrakech, here are other activities to do, see or visit:
- La Palmeraie: it is a little away from the city, it is a large wooded area. You can ride a horse-drawn carriage, camel or quad. The camelback activity is bound to be memorable! Click here to find out more about this activity.
- Les Casades d’Ouzoud: A pretty natural site with splendid waterfalls. On site, we take a walk under the vegetation, we can also take a boat to get closer. Excursions from Marrakech transport because it is still 2h30 drive (photos, availability and prices here).
- The Ourika Valley: located in the Atlas Mountains, the Ourika Valley is a splendid site, another look at Morocco. Excursions from Marrakech often include lunch as it is also quite far, around 1 hour drive. Click here to see a guided tour from Marrakech.
- The Agafay Desert: the real stone desert, a Reg therefore, very arid, nothing grows, and yet Bedouin tribes lived there before (prices for this excursion).