When is the best season for holidays in Marrakech. In short: It definitely is spring and autumn: it is agreeably warm, neither too hot nor too chilly. However, Marrakech can also be worth a trip in summer and winter.
The former Imperial capital is located close to the mountain range of the High Atlas which divides the country into two climatic zones: the mediterranean climate in the north and the arid south. Although there is a light to moderate breeze from the Atlantic Ocean all year round, it can be very hot in Marrakech in summer. Read more
Located directly on Place Rahba Kedima in the northern part of the medina of Marrakech you will find the Café des Épices with its rooftop terrace offering magnificent views over the spice market. Feel invited to stretch your legs here and take a tea break with a special flavour.
Admittedly, Café des Épices with its face painted in red is far from being an insider tip — you will find the café mentioned in almost every travel guide by now. Yet, with its brilliant location at the northern edge of Place Rahba Kedima, its terrace and the special hot drinks that are served here, it is definitely still worth a visit.
Tasteful chill out area in the northern part of the Medina
The easiest way to reach the spice market and the Café des Épices is from Jemaa el Fna. From the square’s northern edge, walk for about 400m to the north-east through the souks and, halfway to signposted Ben Youssef Madrasa, you will reach Place Rahba Kedima where spices, basketry, knitwear, fragrances, traditional beauty products and ointments are sold. Read more
Traveling to an Islamic country and experiencing the magic of the Thousand and One Nights together – as a homosexual couple? This sounds more dangerous than it really is. Even though Marrakech’s clubs and hotels do not openly use labels such as “gay” or “gay-friendly” for advertising, it is the new “Pink City”, having overtaken the formerly international zone of Tanger.
(Photo: Travelguide Marrakech)
To begin with: According to Moroccan law, homosexual acts are illegal and will be punished severely. Near Rabat, for example, two young Moroccans were sentenced to four months imprisonment each in 2013 because of homosexual contacts. Strongly influenced by religion and patriarchal structures, Moroccan society is characterized by traditional values, and is, thus, rather homophobic. Nevertheless, homosexuality is tolerated to the greatest possible extent, as far as it’s lived out discreetly. In apparent contrast to this are the many men who are holding hands while walking through parks or the medina. They are not gay, but communicating with their friends in the traditional manner.
In Morocco, there is little room for exchanging caresses in public. Hetero — as well as homo — or bisexual couples should be discreet and save living out their passions for the privacy of the riad. In spite of these repressive conditions, a gay scene has grown in Marrakech. Its most famous representative was fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent who chose to settle down in Marrakech. Together with his partner, he renovated the Jardin Majorelle, where he was buried later.
Clubs and night life for a gay audience
In the 1990s, the number of Europeans in Marrakech increased as the international jet set discovered the city. Soon, the word of a gay night life in the South-Moroccan imperial city spread. Read more
Unfortunately, as a travel destination, Morocco is far from being handicap friendly: High kerbs, a lot of road holes and a lack of escalators or ramps render travelling for people with disabilities rather strenuous. If you want to discover Marrakech in a wheelchair, what you need is love of adventure, humour and thorough planning.
Fortunately, Morrocans are very helpful towards people with disabilities and often offer assistance without being asked – and without expecting the otherwise obligatory tip. Yet, what you will hardly ever find in Morocco are ramps and elevators, traffic lights with acoustic signals, information in Braille or accessible buses. What you will find instead are obstructive kerb heights, a lot of road holes and lifted manhole covers. These little obstacles may make travelling difficult but not impossible – especially if you are accompanied by someone who supports you.
Woman in a wheelchair on Jemaa el-Fnaa (photo: Travelguide Marrakech, 2014)
After having sat in a plane for hours and having passed passport desk and visa control you will find yourself in the entrance hall of spacious Menara Airport. If you have booked an organised trip or planned otherwise in advance, you will enjoy being welcomed and picked up directly at the airport – if you haven’t, you have to see to find your way to your destination in the city centre of Marrakech.
If you do not yet carry Moroccan Dirham with you, you should get at least a small amount of money directly at the airport — either at one of the official exchange offices or at one of the four ATMs inside the terminal building. As these do not always work reliably, it is definitely advisable to have some cash ready to change money.
How to get from the Airport into Town: Grand Taxi, Petit Taxi or private airport transfer?