MARRAKECH : Tips, advices and good plans
what is the weather like in Marrakech?
What season to go to Marrakech?
The city experiences scorching summers (peaks at 45-50 ° are not uncommon) and perfect half-seasons (April-May and September-October). It is therefore in spring and autumn that you will find the most favorable climate to discover the city while breathing. You can also go there in winter, the temperatures in December and January can rise up to 20 °. We really advise you to avoid the summer, especially if you go with children (who will have to stay confined to the hotel for a good part of the day because of the too-high temperatures: not great!)
- June-September: 18-34°
- July-August: 20-39°
- May-October: 15-30°
- March-April and November: 11-25°
- December to February February: 5-20°
When is it raining? In December-January and March-April (6 to 7 rainy days in the month).
When to book and go to Marrakech at the best price?
Book in advance... for a budget holiday in Marrakech! The earlier you book, the lower the prices of low-cost airline tickets! Do not hesitate to book your flight several months in advance, especially if you want to leave in May-June or September. Also, beware of the May bridges which are generally well-filled: it is better to plan your departure well in advance (Note that on May 1st, many monuments are closed).
In the half-seasons, excluding holidays! After the Easter holidays, in May and early June, at the end of September... This is where you find the best "quality-price" ratio. It's hot but not too hot, tourists are there but not in droves, and prices are reasonable... You can even afford to book a little at the last minute (2-3 weeks before) and find short stays for – 400 € / person.
It is usually around September-October that we find the best deals. The tourist season has passed, and the hot weather too... Everyone is at work and for you, it's time to fly to Marrakech! You can easily find stays at – 400 € and cheap flights as well as private sales at really low rates.
- July and August where scorching heat and large numbers of tourists rub shoulders in an atmosphere that is not conducive to discovering the city at best. In addition, it is also the time of Ramadan and the city falls asleep a little during the day (cafes and restaurants can be closed, the opening hours of shops are reduced ...
- New Year and Easter holidays... It is at these two periods that the tourist attendance is the strongest and many hotels are full, car rental companies no longer have a place, and flights are expensive ... This is not the best time to leave at a low price unless you do it very far in advance!
What types of accommodation at the best value for money
For more information check my article: "In which district (neighbourhood) to stay in Marrakech?"
The Riad, luxury at an affordable price
Ideal especially for a weekend or a short stay. The Riad is a traditional Moroccan house restored and rehabilitated as a guest house. Often located in the Medina, it has only a few rooms, a pool, often a restaurant, and sometimes a Spa. The advantage is that it offers a fairly luxurious level of comfort for a price that is not always economical but is often reasonable. Private sales sites regularly offer them – from 100/to 150 € / night to leave in spring or autumn, sometimes even in the middle of winter. The advice of our expert stays: you can book it alone and take a separate low-cost flight (to save on transport and have fun with accommodation).
To be found for example on Private Travel (the site generally offers optional flights and you can choose a low-cost).
A hotel in the Medina
All the standings, all the rates... There is plenty to do and for all budgets. The principle is to book your hotel and your flight separately to be free to organize your stay as you see fit. Private sales sites are very good at negotiating excellent rates on beautiful hotels (3 to 5*) in Medina (or in the Hivernage for more luxury and more distant options).
Holiday clubs in the Palmeraie
A less authentic solution but well suited to go with the family, especially during the hot season when you will appreciate both the freshness of the Palmeraie and having a swimming pool (there is not really one in Marrakech). The advantage is that it offers multiple leisure opportunities to children (who can quickly get tired of strolling through the Medina or the souks) and that it will offer them to learn about local activities in a fun way (eg oriental dance, camel ride ...). Another whole: the price. Going to Marrakech at a low price is easy: you can find all-inclusive stays for around 600 € in June and September, between 7 and 1000 € during the Easter holidays, and even around 700 € in the middle of July.
The tip of our expert: do not necessarily take an all-inclusive, half board or even breakfast is more than enough, eating for a few euros is easy in Marrakech and you will not have to return to the hotel for lunch.
And why not a circuit?
The tours in Morocco are among the cheapest offers on the organized tour market on the web. You can easily find them from Marrakech with prices between 600 and 900 € in spring or autumn and it is not uncommon to see great offers – from 500 € in June or September. You will also have a lot of low rates for the full summer (between 600 and 800 € per week): you can obviously try it but we do not recommend it! The heat in Morocco in the middle of summer can reach 40-45 °: this is, in our opinion, not a good plan!.
To be found on: Nouvelles Frontières, Go Voyages, Opodo, Nomade Aventure...
* The rates are provided for information only and correspond to those found on the web at the time of our research. The travel market is evolving in real-time: prices too!
Our tips and tricks for your holidays in Marrakech
Note: Dhs = Moroccan Dirhams (10 Dhs = $0.90 approx.)
- Pay in Dirhams. This is always more advantageous than paying in euros, as merchants tend to round off rates. You can change your euros into dirhams (or withdraw money with your credit card) at the city's many exchange points or at the airport. Find out, before leaving, about the fees applied by your bank. Dirhams do not leave the country, so you have to get them on the spot and re-exchange them before taking the return flight (the best is still to spend everything!).
- Opt for the Gargote. These cheap restaurants that abound in Medina are the best way to have a local lunch for only a few euros (5€ max.). A tip though: get out of the Jemaa el Fna square to find the less touristy (+ we move away, - it's expensive). A tip: watch for customers! If they are all Moroccans, it's because you've come to the right place!
- Walk! Marrakech is a city that can be visited very well on foot, including its famous Medina and its souks... Your transport budget will therefore be very limited (unless you are in a hotel outside the Medina)... One condition, however: accept losing yourself! You can stroll endlessly through the convoluted alleys of the souks and the old town, it is the only way to discover all its secrets. However, you will never really be lost: Moroccans are known for their great hospitality and sense of welcome, and there will always be someone to guide you. Be careful though: the many doors of the souks close between 10 pm and 10:30 pm, so your landmarks may be completely modified after this time. Do not forget to bring good shoes (not flip-flops!) and a decent outfit, in all circumstances.
- Negotiate! It is a national sport: not complying with it is almost perceived as a lack of respect. Go ahead, try: you can divide the rate by 3 or 4 and start from this base to launch a verbal joust that promises to be rich in a change of scenery and you will quickly get a taste for it. However, respect the rules of the game: only haggle if you are really interested! A tip: be careful, the prices of bars, restaurants, or food shops are not negotiable.
- Madame's carriage! Marrakech has a charming, ecological, and cheap means of transport: the carriage that allows you to go around the city enjoying, with a little luck, the wise comments of your coachman. If you can take horse-drawn carriages everywhere (Koutoubia Mosque, Majorelle Gardens ...), the best place is undoubtedly the Place Jeema el Fna which is full of them: you just have to negotiate the price before the race, indicating a precise route or letting yourself be guided (budget: 1 ten € for a small circuit, + 15 € for a large one). A tip: it is likely that the coachman will make stops in front of shops where you will surely be offered to buy a lot of things. This is part of the game but if you are not a fan, let him know from the beginning that you want a "non-stop" (or "non-stop") circuit.
- Avoid the "One Thousand and One Nights" atmosphere. Marrakech is also full of palace-like restaurants where waiters are waiting for you in shiny suits, the Aladdin trend... Rather, they are tourist factories where you will not be able to touch (or taste) the authenticity of Marrakchi gastronomy. Go your way and book Scheherazade for your TV evenings!.
- Ask the taxi driver to turn on his meter. Although a legal obligation for small taxis (they are easily recognizable: they are old and small light-colored cars, which are not allowed to go out in Marrakech and have a meter), turning on the meter is often optional. Be sure of yourself and firm without being impressed, while remaining calm and courteous (no need to ignite for a few €). Go down and wait for the next one: there are many, and changing it is not difficult. If you are in a hurry, you can also negotiate the price of the race before the start (so, without a counter but you have to negotiate tightly because the price will necessarily be higher than with)! Namely: the minimum price of the ride is 7 MAD, which represents the support (as soon as you turn on the meter) and a 50% increase is applied at night (20h-6h in winter, 21h-5h in summer). A tip: do not forget that the average price of a ride in the city center (about 15-20 dirhams or only a few euros) is derisory for a French tourist budget. Taxi drivers in Morocco, meanwhile, are far from living in wealth. If you are satisfied with the service, you are free to leave a tip...
- Rent a car... In advance! But only to get out of Marrakech and discover the surroundings in complete freedom (Essaouira, Ourika Valley, Atlas ...), no need to venture by car into the ludicrous traffic of Marrakech and in particular the Medina (hell!). The best is to go through a large rental company on the internet by booking well in advance if you leave at the time of the school holidays: this is the only guarantee to get a reliable and well-maintained vehicle with a contract and clear conditions. It is also a good way to save money: it is by booking and paying online that you find the most advantageous rates. Some precautions to respect, however: opt for the option "franchise redemption", double vigilance with 2 wheels, pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages ..., and avoid driving at night (very dangerous).
- Take the bus or shared taxi to visit the surroundings of Marrakech if you don't want to rent a car. The inter-city road network is well maintained and you can easily use public transport to get out of the city. Count about 3 € to do 100 km.
- Opt for a bus transfer from the airport. It will cost you 30 MAD and shuttles are provided every 30 minutes. Do not forget to take a return ticket, it costs 50 dirhams, it is 10 dirhams less than taking the round trip separately (even if it never makes about 1 euro difference).
Also, check this article: How to avoid tourist scams in Marrakech?
Latest news: many monuments are closed on May 1st as well as for Muslim religious holidays and sometimes even during Ramadan. Marrakech is almost entirely closed (bars, restaurants, shops ..) on Friday from 11 to 16h for the Great Prayer. Finally, the Menara Gardens are to be avoided on Sunday afternoons because of the massive crowds found there.