If you’re looking for some long weekend / Bank Holiday city break inspiration, can we please recommend Marrakech. And here’s why:
- It’s not too far – you can fly there from London in under four hours
- There’s lots to do, indoor and outdoor
- The food and culture is beautiful
- It has riads!
- It’s great for the gram : )
- Nothing has a fixed price, prepare to barter (this could be a pro depending on your negotiating skills!)
- You WILL be approached by hustlers
- The cars / scooters are pretty rogue on the roads
Where to stay
The first time I went to Marrakech, I was quite young and I thought staying in a riad would be like being in someone’s front room. So we stayed in a hotel and it was lovely but it was like any other city break hotel. This time, we stayed in Riad Dar Sara and it was beautiful. It’s a hidden gem and you have to walk down a few side roads to get to it. After an early flight, it was lovely to be greeted with fresh mint tea and Moroccan biscuits.
The decor is super cute, with real orange trees inside and lots of separate lounging areas with comfy chairs, chess and checkers boards and a lovely intimate dining area. The rooms are very clean with authentic stained glass lamps and colourful rugs. The bathroom was also very clean – ESSENTIAL.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. They tell you how much you should be paying to take a taxi anywhere, which is useful because every single taxi driver will try to fleece you!
What to eat
Breakfast was included in our riad stay and it was definitely a highlight for me (shock!) Every morning I ate these flaky Moroccan crepes with jam and I drank mint tea because you have to! Even the basic coffee tasted better than in England. They made us omelettes on request which were really flavoured and delicious but tiny so my husband ordered three for himself because he has no shame haha. The bread in Marrakech is also amazing, it has a grainy crispy crust and a super soft middle, so I also ate a lot of that. They served fresh orange juice using the oranges from the trees in the riad…dream.
For lunch, we went to Le Jardin which is a cafe in a garden setting so we were surrounded by plants, trees, flowers, birds and a tortoise. I ordered the vegetable tagine, which was nice but I picked out most of the raisins. My husband had lamb skewers. For dessert I had a lemon tart which was really good. They have a rooftop bar but it was closed the day we went : (
We also ate in the restaurant at the YSL museum (I’ll come onto that in the where to go section below). The restaurant is called Le Studio. There are seats outside by a fountain and umbrellas for when it’s raining. This was my favourite lunch, I had the most delicious ravioli because I was sick of tagine by then. If you go, please order the chocolate souffle, it is so worth the calories.
We had dinner at a restaurant that we went to on our first trip to Marrakech and we absolutely loved it. Le Tobsil is hard to find, it’s fancy and it’s not cheap. There is a set menu which works out to around £65 per head including one alcoholic drink of your choice / half a bottle of wine. It took us a while to work this out because of the language barrier. At first, we thought all the drinks were free eek. The food is really tasty, the decor is extravagant and there are men playing music, which is a nice touch.
Where to go
Le Jardin Marjorelle is a must. It’s really beautiful and has a lot of history. YSL bought it in 1980 to stop it from being destroyed and YSL’s ashes are kept there. It does get busy but it’s good for walking around, pictures and general zen vibes!
The YSL museum is next door to the gardens and I loved it. There are so many cool vintage photos to see but my favourite part was the main exhibition itself. It’s a dark room with lots of mannequins dressed in the most amazing YSL outfits with accessories. There are also images of actresses wearing vintage YSL projected on the walls. I spent ages in the room but if you like fashion, you will love it. You’re not allowed to take photos in that part of the museum so you’ll have to take my word for it : )