Take an authentic Arabic cookery class at La Maison Arabe – a hotel on Bab Doukkala. The half-day workshops are conducted by a ‘dada’ (a traditional Moroccan cook) with the help of a translator. At the end of the class, you’ll get to sit and enjoy your meal with the rest of the small group, so it’s a good way to make new friends.
- Workshops cost 600dh per person. For more information call 00 212 524 387 010 or click here
Get a feel for the area in the security of a group, with a full or half-day Discovery Tour. Encompassing the famous souks (markets), Bahia Palace, Saadian tombs and other local landmarks, you’ll get a whirlwind view of the highlights.
- Prices start from 380dh. For more information call the UK office on 0203 478 5933 or visit www.viator.com and search for Marrakech
With a partner
Spend a morning exploring Maison Tiskiwin, off Riad Zitoun El-Jedid, a private home owned by anthropologist Bert Flint and packed to the rafters with crafts and art from the Sahara and southern Morocco. Look out for a tent made entirely of camel hair!
- Tickets 20dh. Call 00 212 524 389 192 or click here
For an evening of fun, take a Fantasia Tour out to a secluded palm grove where you can have dinner and watch a show. After some local food (Moroccan salad, couscous and roast lamb) you’ll be treated to Arabian music, belly dancing, horseback tricks and even a flying carpet! The company can arrange to collect you from various hotels in the centre at 8.30pm and return you four-and-a-half hours later, so it’s a late night, but well worth it.
- Tickets cost from 439dh. For information call the UK office on 0203 478 5933 or visit www.viator.com and search for Marrakech
Fancy a ladies’ night with a twist? Book a table at Al Fassia, on boulevard Zerktouni – a restaurant staffed entirely by women. It’s been open for 30 years and in that time has developed a reputation for incredible, authentic cuisine. Reservations are essential as it’s so popular.
- Call 00 212 524 434 060 or click here
Shopping in Marrakech is an experience not to be missed, and it’s generally advisable to go in a group or with a partner. Trawl the souks around the Medina where you’ll find all sorts, from carpets and clothing, to spices and baskets. Don’t forget to barter over prices – it’s all part of the culture – and be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right. If haggling isn’t your thing, visit the Souk Cherifia on Sidid Abdelaziz, which is a barter-free zone selling items from local designers and artists.
Relax at a hammam – a warm, public bath – where spa treatments are often available. La Maison Arabe, Bab Doukkala, offers water enriched with local herbs and minerals and there’s a clay treatment you can apply for smoother skin, too.
- Use the hammam for 300dh. For more information call 00 212 524 387 010 or click here
With the grandchildren
Creative children will love the Henna Café on Arset Aouzal, where they can have an intricate (non-permanent) henna tattoo drawn on their hands or feet, while eating a sandwich on the rooftop terrace. For a bonus feel-good factor, all profits from the café go to local residents in need.
- Henna tattoos start from 50dh for a small design, while food ranges from 30-80dh. For more information visit www.hennacafemarrakech.com
Escape the hot sunshine with a visit to a stunning garden. The Jardin Majorelle, on Aves Yacoub el-Mansour, was gifted to the city by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and is now filled with 300 plant species from across five continents, providing one of the shadiest spots in Marrakech. Children will love the resident cats, and the turtles which live in the ponds. It’s not cheap, but on a hot day it will provide a cool, calm alternative to the souks.
- Garden entrance 50dh. Call 00 212 524 313 047 or click here
Adventurous types will go crazy over the region’s camels – which can be ridden through the beautiful palm groves in Palmeraie. Take a half-day trip with Marrakech Tours, which will include transfer out of the city and back, an hour-and-a-half camel ride, plus pancakes and mint tea.
- Prices start from 512dh. For more information call their English office on 01428 605833 or click here
We’ve included the dialling code from the UK to Marrakech if you want to book ahead of your trip. Remember international call charges apply and calls from mobiles may be considerably higher.