If you’re planning 3 days in Marrakech, you’re in for an incredible time – full of sensory overload in Morocco’s Red City!
Marrakech effortlessly blends sophistication and tradition. From bustling souks, intricate architecture, delicious aromas, and a vibrant art scene, it offers a mesmerizing juxtaposition of modern chic and ancient charm.
Follow our Marrakech itinerary for a cultural, immersive, and unforgettable experience traveling in Morocco. This city is sure to captivate you with its lively energy and unique things to do.
Let’s dive into what to do in Marrakech in 3 days to unlock the secrets of this captivating North African gem!
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- TOP EXPERIENCES & TOURS IN MARRAKECH
- Merzouga 3-Day Desert Safari with Food – A bucket list trip with an overnight in a Sahara Desert camp
- Ouzoud Waterfalls Guided Hike and Boat Trip – Visit one of the prettiest waterfalls near Marrakech
- Atlas Mountains and Agafay Desert Day Trip – Learn about Berber culture on a scenic trip to the Atlas Mountains
- BEST RIADS IN MARRAKECH
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
About This 3 Days in Marrakech Itinerary
Marrakech is a vibrant and energetic city. While you could spend weeks exploring the ins and outs of this city, you can see the best places to visit in Marrakech in 3 days.
We visited Marrakech on the first three days of our Morocco itinerary. After a quick non-stop flight from Madrid to Marrakech, we felt like we entered a completely different world.
This 3-day Marrakech itinerary works well as a weekend getaway from Europe or part of a longer Moroccan trip. Since there are so many wonderful day trips from Marrakech, we’ve recommended our favorites for Day 3.
To truly experience the charms of Morocco, stay at one of the best Riads in Marrakech. If you have more than three days in Morocco, we highly recommend Morocco desert camping for one night in a luxurious tent.
Marrakech is such a dynamic city filled with things to do and it’s much friendlier than Fez.
3 Day Marrakech Itinerary – Day 1
Arrive and Check-in to your Marrakech Riad
Checking in to your Marrakech riad is like being welcomed into a friend’s home. You will be greeted with a glass of freshly brewed Moroccan mint tea. This drink is a staple across the country and it’s a cultural way to kick off your Marrakech trip.
Then enjoy a walk around the property (and if you know anything about riads, they’re a sight to see in Marrakech in themselves).
Why stay in a riad during your Marrakech trip, anyway? Riads feel more intimate and personal than a typical hotel. And as most are in the medina, they make it convenient to see Marrakech in 3 days.
These traditional Moroccan houses have an inward focus, typically centered around a courtyard or garden. They offer an authentic experience, thanks to their abstract tiles, traditional architecture, and cultural elements.
Many things in Marrakech are budget-friendly and you will find accommodations at every price point. Some of the best Marrakech Riads are incredibly stylish and worth the splurge.
RELATED POST: 12 BEST RIADS IN MARRAKECH
Visit the Marrakech Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
If you’re staying in a traditional riad, you’ll probably be within the city’s medina. This is the heart of the city, and simply cannot be missed within three days in Marrakech.
Wander through the picturesque souks, which are full of artisan lamps, herbs and spices, leather items, and other handmade goods.
Take your time here and feel free to have another mint tea with a vendor, as they will likely offer you a drink, especially when buying a rug.
From there, you’ll eventually spill out into the iconic Jemaa el-Fnaa, a lively oversized square, and a marketplace full of more vendors, snake charmers, fresh orange juice, and surrounded by numerous cafes and Moroccan eateries.
There are some great terrace cafes here to enjoy a coffee or mint tea and people watch the crowds of people.
The most famous mosque in Marrakech is easily Koutoubia. It’s the largest in the city and serves as a skyline landmark, too. It’s a piece of Marrakech’s heartbeat, visible from almost everywhere.
The mosque becomes this magical backdrop during sunset, casting a warm glow over the city.
While you can’t go instead unless you’re Muslim, the outside is still spectacular. Admire its old-world architecture and eye-catching tower before taking a stroll through the Koutoubia Gardens.
Then, stretching out behind the mosque, the palm-tree-dotted green stretch is a favorite spot for strolling, relaxing on public park benches, or sitting down for evening card games and mint tea after the weather has cooled down.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
Less than a 10 minutes’ walk from the city’s main square Jemaa el-Fnaa, you’ll find Ben Youssef Madrasa. This is a medieval period Islamic madrasa (college) to add to your Marrakesh itinerary.
Built in the 14th century, today the building functions as a historical site and is one of the best places to visit in Marrakech. It houses a prayer hall, plus courtyards decorated with tiles and intricately carved wood.
Historically, the madrasa was originally built as a place for Islamic education and learning, and it was one of the largest theological colleges in North Africa.
One of the main reaslons to visit is for its beautiful architecture. The building features intricate carvings as well as stucco and tile work, which are all typical of traditional Moroccan design.
While there, you can admire the beautiful courtyard that is surrounded by student rooms and a prayer hall. The courtyard is adorned with a central pool, much like many riads, which is used for ablutions before prayer.
Another draw is the calligraphy on the walls of the madrasa. The calligraphy is written in Arabic, showcasing the Islamic art and culture that made medieval Morocco special.
Sunset Drinks Overlooking Jemaa el-Fnaa or Marrakech Rooftops
Whether at your riad hotel’s rooftop or at one of the numerous rooftop bars and restaurants in Marrakech, we recommend watching the sunset over the city at least once!
See the souks, the city’s energy, and the Koutoubia Mosque, all with the pigmented colors of a Moroccan sunset in the background.
While drinking isn’t common for locals in Morocco, it’s not illegal and there are still bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Dinner at the Night Market Stalls
At night, Jemaa el-Fnaa livens up in a whole new way. The square will be lined with food stalls serving delicious and authentic Moroccan food from tagine dishes, couscous, veggies, orange juices, and so much more at very affordable prices.
Walk around and choose the stall that looks best to you by surveying the food that they serve. Expect to be approached by a lot of chatty and persistent employees as you choose.
The people who work in the stalls are happy to answer questions and show you their dishes. They will find you a spot to sit and take your order.
Jemaa el-Fnaa at night can feel hectic with dozens of stalls plus employees trying to convince you to eat at theirs.
Take a Marrakech Night Market Street Food Tour with a Local Guide
Or take this highly popular Marrakech Night Market Street Food Tour with a guide to introduce you to Moroccan dishes and the best food stalls at the market It’s also a great way to meet like minded travelers.
Eating at the Moroccan night market is a blast. Even though there are so many good restaurants in Marrakech, try to eat at the food stalls for at least one of your 3 nights in Marrakech.
There’s often street dancing and various gatherings in the square, that you can check out before and after your meal, so you’re in for a lively time! Plus, it’s one of the best ways to meet people in Marrakech.
3 Day Marrakech Itinerary – Day 2
There’s still plenty to uncover with this Marrakech 3 day itinerary, so let’s get out of the medina for the day and explore some of the surrounding areas. Don’t worry, you’ll still have more time in the medina later in the day.
Visit Jardin Majorelle
Take a quick taxi ride or a longer walk from the medina to visit one of the most beautiful places in Marrakech. The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech is a must-visit for its serene ambiance and stunning design.
Designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle, the garden is full of vibrant blue and yellows, plus hundreds of exotic plants and meandering pathways.
Jardin Majorelle is open every day of the week, from 8:30 AM to 6 PM. You can reserve your ticket online, which costs 155 DH or around $15 USD.
And if you have extra time, it also houses the Berber Museum and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, offering a glimpse into Moroccan art and fashion.
Take a Moroccan Cooking Class in Marrakech
Moroccan cuisine is full of flavor! If you want to master some of the flavors yourself, embark on a culinary adventure in Marrakech by taking a Traditional Moroccan Cooking Class With a Market Visit.
Start by venturing into a local souk, away from the tourist areas, to shop for groceries at market stalls teeming with aromatic spices and local traditions.
Then delve into the art of Moroccan cooking, guided by expert chefs, as you learn to prepare a delightful feast.
You’ll try tagine, which has options for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. Sample other dishes like couscous, B’ssara breakfast soup, and Maamoul date cookies.
The first thing we did when we got back from Morocco was to buy a Moroccan tagine and a Tagine cookbook. It’s the ultimate in one-pot cooking. You’ll be hooked once you sample all the delectable Moroccan dishes.
After a nice stroll after lunch, enjoy one of the most quintessential and indulgent experiences in Morocco.
If you are on a budget, this Marrakech Spa Massage and Hammam allows you to indulge in one of the most ancient rituals in Moroccan culture at a more affordable price.
You will be picked up from your riad or hotel and taken to a luxurious spa where expert therapists will pamper you at the Hammam with a black soap and eucalyptus scrub.
Then enjoy a mint tea and a relaxing massage! This is a fantastic way to unwind during a long weekend trip to Morocco — especially if you’re doing a lot of walking.
3 Day Marrakech Itinerary – Day 3
This day is all about seeing some of the most historic places in Marrakech. If you are headed off to other parts of Morocco or doing a day trip instead, people love this inexpensive 3-hour walking tour that hits the hot spots quickly.
On your last morning, these are the final things to do in Marrakech for 3 days. Don’t skip out on visiting at least one palace.
In one of the best Marrakech neighborhoods, the Saadian Tombs is a historic royal necropolis on the south side of the Kasbah Mosque.
This lavish tomb complex is full of Italian Carrara marble and gilding honeycomb muqarnas (decorative plasterwork) adorned with pure gold.
It’s home to the important figures of the Saadi Dynasty that ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659. All the minute, intricate details made it one of the most unique places we saw on our trip.
It’s also one of the least expensive things to do in Marrakech, with adult entry at 60 DH or around $6. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM, it’s best to arrive early to avoid long wait times.
El Badi Palace
Just a few minutes from the Tombs, El Badi Palace was commissioned by the Saadian Dynasty and built in the 16th-century.
The palace was once renowned for its grandeur and opulence, featuring lavish gardens, pavilions, and a large pool.
The name “El Badi” translates to “The Incomparable,” highlighting the exceptional nature of the palace during its prime.
Today, though much of the structure is in ruins, El Badi Palace remains a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into its historical significance and the remnants of its former splendor.
Get a feel for the history of Morocco by seeing a piece of the past still standing tall today. Plus, it’s an opportunity to see the original pulpit of the famous Koutoubia Mosque, housed within the palace.
Open daily from 9 AM to 5PM. Tickets are usually 70 DH or around $7.
Probably the most famous palace in Marrakech, the Bahia Palace is a 19th-century masterpiece showcasing abstract tiles, a beautiful fountain-centered courtyard, and numerous rooms with stained glass windows.
There are many different rooms to explore and the palace has a tranquil energy.
You’ll definitely want to bring your camera as the whole place is very picturesque and vibrant. With only 3 days in Marrakech, this palace is a must-see!
To make the most of your time on your final day, you can book a combined Marrakech walking tour to the Saadian Tombs, El Badi Palace, and Bahia Palace.
Open 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Tickets are 70 DH or around $7.
What to Do With More Than 3 Days in Marrakech?
There are so many great day trips from Marrakech that you will probably want to do a one-week Morrocco itinerary to explore.
We recommend a day trip or an overnight trip into the desert, mountains, or surrounding valleys near the city. Follow this Marrakech travel guide for some of our favorite nearby trips!
The Agafay Desert is the closest to Marrakech, reachable by car in under 45 minutes.
There you’ll find some of the most incredible desert camps full of activities, live music, and views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.
Keep in mind this desert isn’t like the Sahara. There are no massive sand dunes and you don’t have to ride a camel to reach certain parts.
And if you can stay overnight, the accommodations here are truly incredible and the short drive makes it very convenient compared to other deserts in Morocco.
Quad Bike Tour
If you want a unique day trip from Marrakech, book a Quad Bike Tour . This adventure takes you to traditional Berber villages, Morocco’s rockiest desert, and palm groves.
You will only travel 30 minutes outside of Marrakech, so it doesn’t require any long drives like some other day trips. And the price is very affordable.
It’s amazing if want an adrenaline rush (though you can still take it slow if you prefer), and with nearly 6,000 raving reviews, it’s easily one of the best day trips if you have more than 3 days in Marrakech.
Ouzoud Waterfalls Guided Hike and Boat Trip
When you think of Morocco, waterfalls might not come to mind. But the valleys are often spotted with them.
Among the best is the Ouzoud Falls. It’s a series of waterfalls that eventually spill out into the El-Abid River’s gorge.
On the Ouzoud Waterfalls Tour, you’ll take a boat ride to get up close to water, feeling the mist on you face. There’s also some beautiful hiking to do in the area.
You’ll also have the chance to enjoy a traditional Berber lunch overlooking the falls. Lunch isn’t include in the tour, but the rates are around $10.
It is a longer drive to reach this nature site, but the payoff is worth it, and there’s a coffee break on the way there.
Essaouira Full-Day Trip
The popular day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira is a chance to visit a traditional port on the Atlantic Ocean. Witness the bustling activity of fishermen and their vibrant blue boats.
Then you’ll venture into the old Medina and immersed in a world of craftsmanship. From skilled weavers to talented jewelers, the narrow alleyways are alive with the artistry of locals.
Take the time to explore the Argan manufacturing process, learning about its significance in both cooking and cosmetics. Essaouira is renowned for its high-quality Argan oil.
After a day of exploring, unwind on the beach, where golden sands meet the rhythmic waves. Visiting the authentic port town of Essaouira is an unforgettable experience.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Look out over the stunning Moroccan scenery and cultural Berber villages via a Hot Air Balloon Ride. This is one of the most unique day trips that offers an incredible experience just outside of the city.
Picture this: you, floating above the stunning Moroccan landscape, the Atlas Mountains in the distance, and the desert below. Plus, if you can book a sunrise or sunset ride, it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Morocco!
Atlas Mountains & Sahara Desert
If you’re planning a Morocco itinerary for 1 week, we recommend the Merzouga 3-Day Desert Safari. It’s the most popular way to travel into the deserts of Morocco.
You’ll get to do a road trip to the often snow-capped Atlas Mountains with a day trip to the unique village of Aït Benhaddou (a historic village made of earth and straw), plus a trip to the Sahara Desert with its incredible sand dunes.
It takes quite a while to drive to the Sahara, usually around 9 hours, but it’s well worth it when you see the stunning sand dunes, impeccable glamping spots, and starry sky at night.
There you will also have to ride a camel into the desert. It’s the full Moroccan desert experience!
Where to Stay For 3 Days in Marrakech
If you’re coming for a long weekend in Marrakech, we can’t recommend staying in an authentic riad enough! While some can be expensive, you can find a great stay at any price point.
A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with a central courtyard, typically including a garden or fountain. These are the typical picturesque places you see people staying in on their trips to Morocco.
RELATED POST: 12 Best Riads in Marrakech, Morocco
Our favorite Marrakech Riads are:
- Riad Be Marrakech: Pictured above, this riad in Marrakech is leafy with lovely earth tones with a Moroccan breakfast served in the courtyard and rooftop terrace that overlooks the city.
- Riad Goloboy: Luxurious feel with rooms decked out in bright colors. It’s one of the coolest designed riads in Marrakech.
- Elegancia Riad Boutique & SPA: With an earthy, Arabian feel this riad offers hammam and massage treatments with a great restaurant and romantic rooms.
- Riad L’Hôtel Marrakech: One of the prettiest riads with beautiful art and decor. Walking distance to most sights.
- Maison Brummell Majorelle: Stunning architectural gem in a quiet location just a short cab ride from the center.
If you prefer a resort-type property and extra amenities, here are our recommendations:
- Royal Mansour Marrakech: One of the most unique, absolutely beautiful hotels in Marrakech with restaurants, gardens, a pool, and a spa if you really want to splurge.
- Nobu Hotel Marrakech: Beautiful decor with a private balcony. Two restaurants and a rooftop deck with a pool and 360-degree views.
- Four Seasons Resort Marrakech: Tastefully designed rooms, an incredible property with a pool, tennis courts, a wellness center, and the top-notch service that the Four Seasons always delivers.
Best Time for a Long Weekend in Marrakech
Being in North Africa, Morocco gets very hot in summer. Expect temperatures to reach an average high of 99°F (37°C) during July and August. However, with its dry climate, it does drop off at night to around 70°F (20°C).
Visiting Marrakech during the shoulder seasons when the weather is more temperate is much more pleasant. It will be a lot easier to enjoy the city this way.
The best time to visit Marrakech is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons. These months offer pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s F (mid-20s to low-30s C).
How many days do you need in Marrakech?
A minimum of 3 days gives you enough time to see the best sites of Marrakech and have some pleasant downtime in between. If you stay longer, you can take overnight trips to the desert or explore coastal cities like Essaouira.
We spent one week in Morocco, with the first 3 days in Marrakech. It was the perfect way to start our trip.
Are 3 days in Marrakech enough?
Three days in Marrakech is perfect if you want to see the highlights or if you are planning a longer Morocco trip.
If you prefer slow travel (we are complete converts since becoming digital nomads), Marrakech can take weeks to truly get to know with lots of hidden gems to discover.
With a 3-day Marrakech itinerary, you can see the highlights, book a hammam session, eat local Moroccan cuisine, wander through the souks, and possibly fit in a day trip.
Important Things to Know When Visiting Marrakech
Transportation in Marrakech
Walking is a great way to get around the medina. Otherwise, taxis are widely available, and it’s advisable to use only official taxis with meters or negotiate the fare before starting the ride.
Alternatively, you can explore the city on foot, as many attractions are within walking distance. Bicycles, motorbikes, and horse-drawn carriages (caleches) are also popular modes of transport.
Walking is the best way to get to know the city, especially with only 3 days in Marrakech.
Marrakech is generally a safe city, but you need to take precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded places and markets to guard against pickpocketing.
Jemaa el-Fnaa is one of the worst places for pickpockets in Marrakech.
Make sure to bring an anti-theft travel bag with locking zippers or an anti-theft backpack. Be cautious of scams and avoid displaying excessive wealth or valuables. Keep your luxury watch and jewelry at home for this trip.
The people in Marrakech can sometimes feel like they are being overly persistent. I usually handle this by ignoring it. My sister-in-law just jokes with a smile (basically saying no). Being lighthearted about it worked very well.
Either way you choose to handle it, most people in Marrakech are friendly.
As you likely know, Morocco is a Muslim-majority country. It’s best to dress modestly to respect the local culture and to help deter unwanted attention, especially if you are a woman traveling alone in Marrakech,
It’s customary to greet people with a polite “Salam” (hello) or “Salam alaykum” (peace be upon you). This will go a long way in showing your respect while traveling in Morocco.
It’s also polite to ask for permission before taking photos of locals.
The Call to Prayer
The Call to Prayer bellows out over the city five times a day. It has a hauntingly beautiful sound that invites locals and visitors to pause. Don’t worry; you don’t have to stop what you’re doing.
Some Moroccans will leave for prayer, but they won’t drop what they’re doing and take off. People typically pray when they can, while still achieving five times a day.
We love the way the Call to Prayer sounds and how it adds to the cultural experience of visiting Morocco. The first prayer often starts around 6 AM, so you may hear it from your riad.
Final Thoughts About a Long Weekend in Marrakech
A 3-day itinerary in Marrakech offers a chance to experience Morocco’s vibrant culture and sensory delights. From exploring the historic medina and its bustling souks to marveling at architectural wonders, Marrakech offers many exciting activities.
Indulge in the local cuisine at lively food markets, shop the souks of the medina, and take a day trip to the desert. With its unique blend of tradition and modernity, this will be one of your favorite destinations.