6 ideas for romantic things to do in Marrakesh that you won’t want to miss
Marrakesh is so close — and yet so far away — that even the most dyed-in-the-wool romantic can enjoy the luxury of bringing their partner here blindfolded throughout the journey. Once you have landed (and restored the blood supply to their temples), your lucky partner will find a new world waiting to be discovered, entirely different from anything they’ve met before. The truth is that, in its isolated state in the desert, the Red City (as it is popularly known) can be as romantic a destination as Paris or Rome. Among the city’s great attractions are its amazing cuisine, the wonderful contrast between tradition and modernity, and the tremendous number of options for enjoyment offered by the surrounding rural landscape. A game of hide-and-seek in the old Medina, a candlelit dinner on the terrace of some riad, plunging into the soothing waters of a hammam, or a hot air balloon flight over the Palm Grove are just a few of the activities we suggest in this guide.
A romantic stroll around the Kasbah
Marrakesh’s old Medina, sheltered by the city’s medieval walls for almost a thousand years, is divided between two main hubs. On one side is the endless Souk (internal link) which spreads in an anarchic yet charming fashion to the north of the famous Jemaa el Fna Square. To the south of the square lies the Kasbah, a slightly less frenetic neighbourhood with a huge number of fortresses, sumptuous palaces, and stately mausoleums. This second area attracts fewer tourists, but nevertheless deserves a place high on the list of any itinerary for couples on a visit to Marrakesh.
- Privileged location in the palm grove of Marrakech
- Business center with 10 spacious rooms
- Wellness and Fitness Center
- Two outdoor pools and Kids Club
The Kasbah is a pleasant jumble of fruit and vegetable stalls, but it also has a rich historical heritage. The hubbub gives way to a hushed silence as we slip into the area’s palaces — the El Badi Palace and the Bahia Palace — and the famous Saadian Tomb complex, set within landscaped gardens. A morning would be more than long enough for you, your partner and Marrakesh to quietly get to know one another.
A relaxing bathe in the Les Bains de l’Alhambra Hammam
Unless you are both top athletes, the itinerary above will have proved somewhat exhausting. So we recommend you sample the delights of an authentic Arab bath where you can enjoy all the treatments together as a couple. Halfway between the Royal Palace and the El Badi Palace, the Les Bains de l’Alhambra Hammam will introduce you to the pleasurable world of massage with essential oils, ablutions at different temperatures, exfoliation with black soap, and rose petal baths. All this takes place within a completely authentic Moroccan ambience, with wafting incense and calming music, all conducive to a deep meditative state. A session lasts almost 2 hours, at a cost varying between 50 and 75 euros — and we can assure you that after this experience, you will be floating on air as you embark on your next sightseeing visit.
Coffee with a colonial flavour at Le Grand Café de la Poste
After browsing the fashion boutiques in the modern neighbourhood of Guéliz, how about sitting down to a cup of Arab coffee at a legendary restaurant? In truth, the Grand Café de la Poste, built in the 1920s, during the period of the French Protectorate, is so much more than just a restaurant: it is an inextricable part of Marrakesh’s material and cultural heritage. A former post office in the Red City, today this elegant building with its chessboard floor, ceiling fans and wooden staircases invites us to revisit the inter-war colonial period. In other words, a coffee here will transport us back to another Marrakesh, not better but certainly different from the Marrakesh of the Medina.
Watch the sunset in the Majorelle Garden
If you are keen to get the most from your foray into Marrakesh’s Ville Nouvelle, we recommend a visit to the lovely Majorelle Garden, another of the great treasures that lie outside the old city walls. Like a small oasis in the middle of the desert, this lush garden will transport you into the imagination of the French painter Jacques Majorelle, who designed and created it back in 1924. You may also find it fun to see who can spot the garden’s famous pavilion, with its walls permanently painted in characteristic ‘Majorelle blue’. Acquired in the 1980s by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, this garden of Eden also contains, hidden among the cactus, bamboo and water lilies, two more of Marrakesh’s most famous museums: the Berber Museum, devoted to the area’s indigenous inhabitants, and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, a cultural exhibition centre with a library and a snack bar.
A romantic dinner on the terrace at Nomad
It is not uncommon for couples, after wandering the labyrinth of streets that make up the souk, to emerge unexpectedly in the Place des Épices, an attractive spot that traditionally has been home to a multitude of apothecaries and stalls selling spices. If, by any chance, the same happens to you, then you’re definitely in luck. For here you will find Nomad, a fashionable restaurant whose terrace affords fantastic views of the Medina. Its menu retains many of Moroccan cuisine’s traditional dishes (chicken tagine with cous cous, and Agadir squid, for example), as well as an assortment of desserts with a modern twist (apple pie and panna cotta with hibiscus flowers). A romantic evening guaranteed.
Hot air balloon flight over the outskirts of Marrakesh
Lastly, we’d like to suggest an option that will lift you, literally, above the clouds. In Marrakesh, hot air balloon rides are widely available. Excursions normally begin at dawn, and include transport to the take-off area and a traditional Berber breakfast in one of the outlying villages. Flights normally last around an hour, sufficient time to enjoy exclusive views of the Marrakesh Palm Grove with the High Atlas mountains in the background.