How to Spend 3 Days in Marrakech In 2024

Fatima O.

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Embarking on a 3-day journey through Marrakech is like stepping into a vibrant tapestry of colors, flavors, and sounds that resonate with the soul of Morocco.

As a Moroccan who’s wandered these ancient streets and found countless moments of joy in its corners, I’m thrilled to share with you a personal 3 day guide that will lead you through the heart of this magical city.

Marrakech is a city like no other. The city’s vibrant colors, sounds, and smells will instantly transport you to another world. And with so much to see and do, it can be tough to know where to start.

The good news: I’ve tailored this Marrakech itinerary to ensure you immerse yourself fully in the beauty, heritage, and vibrancy of Marrakech, all while making room for those spontaneous moments of wonder that await you.

In this itinerary

How to spend 3 days in Marrakech for first timers

Here’s my suggested itinerary for how to spend 3 awesome days in Marrakech:

Day 1: The Vibrant Heart of Marrakech

Morning: Jamaa El Fnaa Square by day

Start your exploration at Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, the pulsating heart of Marrakech. Savor breakfast at a rooftop cafe to enjoy panoramic views as the city stirs to life.

So the truth is, I’m not really a fan of busy and crowded places but there is something about Jamaa El Fena that I just love.

Maybe it’s the atmosphere, the people, the smells, or the fact that this place is just a real representation of Morocco. But whatever it is, I always make sure to visit Jamaa El Fena when I’m in Marrakech.

Jamaa El Fena is the main square in Marrakech and is basically the heart of the city. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat, or just take in the atmosphere of Marrakech while sipping tea in one of the many cafes that surround the square.

Late Morning: Koutoubia Mosque

Stroll to the Koutoubia Mosque, the city’s landmark, known for its impressive minaret. While entry is restricted to non-Muslims, its beauty can be appreciated from the gardens surrounding it.

The minaret of the mosque is visible from almost anywhere in Marrakech and is a great way to orient yourself in the city.

Located near Jamaa El Fena, the Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech and one of the most famous landmarks in the city.

Afternoon: Marrakech Souks

The Markets (aka Souks) is where the true magic of Marrakech comes alive, with endless shops offering traditional Moroccan crafts, spices, and textiles.

If you are going to Marrakech go well prepared and bring an extra suitcase just for all the beautiful Moroccan souvenirs, because believe me, you’re going to want to buy everything!

The Souk is a huge covered market in the old Medina where you can find pretty much anything and everything. From spices and Moroccan teas and herbs to handcrafted lanterns and beautiful Moroccan rugs.

You can easily spend a couple of hours (or even an entire day) getting lost in the maze-like streets of the Souk and bargaining with merchants for the best prices.

If you are sure what souvenirs and goodies to buy in Marrakech, I wrote a guide about the best things to buy in Morocco which includes some of my favorite souvenirs from Marrakech.

I also have some local tips and secrets about haggling in Marrakech Markets.

Pro tip: If you are planning on doing some serious shopping in Marrakech, make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking! I also recommend a cross-body bag to keep all your belongings safe.

Late Afternoon: Ben Youssef Madrasa

Visit the Ben Youssef Madrasa, once the largest Islamic school in North Africa, renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate tile work.

After exploring the Bahia Palace, make your way to the Madrassa Ben Youssef which is the largest Koranic school in all of Morocco.

The Madrassa was built in the 14th century and used to be one of the largest theological colleges in North Africa. The Madrassa was closed in 1960 and has since been turned into a museum.

Since non-Muslims are not allowed to enter most religious buildings in Morocco, the Madrassa Ben Youssef is a great way to get a glimpse of what the inside of an Islamic school looks like.

Composed of a large central courtyard flanked by cell-like rooms, the Madrassa Ben Youssef served as a place of study and prayer for students coming from all over the Muslim world.

The beautifully carved cedarwood ceiling in the main prayer hall is one of my favorite highlights of the Madrassa Ben Youssef. Also, I heard the Madrassa is even beautiful at night when it is all lit up and the courtyard is illuminated by lanterns. I haven’t been there at night but I imagine it is quite a sight!

Pro tip: The Madrassa Ben Youssef is located in the Medina (old city) which can be a bit tricky to navigate. I recommend hiring a guide for the day or at least getting a map of the Medina before heading out.

Optional: Marrakech Tanneries

If you’re curious about traditional Moroccan leather production, a visit to the Tanneries can be an eye-opening experience.

Prepare for strong smells and an unforgettable sight of ancient practices.

Evening: Jamaa El Fenaa square at night

I always recommend finishing Day 1 in Marrakech back at Jemaa el-Fnaa Square.

During the day, Jamaa El Fena is a relatively calm place but it really comes to life at night.

That’s when all the Moroccan street food stalls and snake charmers come out and the square is filled with people from all walks of life.

Day 2: The Gardens of Marrakech

Morning: Jardin Majorelle

Begin at Jardin Majorelle, a stunning garden that took French painter Jacques Majorelle over 40 years to create. Its striking blue accents and exotic plant species offer a peaceful retreat.

To end your 3 days in Marrakech on a high note, I recommend exploring the stunning Majorelle Gardens. The gardens were created by French artist Jacques Majorelle over the course of 40 years and they are now open to the public.

The gardens feature beautiful cacti, palms, bamboo, and flowers. There is also a stunning blue villa in the gardens that was once the home of Yves Saint Laurent.

The Majorelle Gardens are the perfect place to spend an afternoon after your cooking class exploring and taking photos.

The only downside is that the waiting line is always very long, so I recommend getting there early in the day if you don’t wait for too long which means you may need to switch your cooking class timing to the afternoon.

There is also the option of booking the Majorelle garden ticket online which will give you a time slot to enter the gardens and avoid waiting in line.

Late Morning: Berber Museum

Explore the Berber Museum located within the garden, showcasing Berber artifacts that highlight the richness of Morocco’s indigenous culture.

Afternoon: Yves Saint-Laurent Museum

Visit the Musee Yves Saint-Laurent, dedicated to the legendary fashion designer who famously made Marrakech his home. The museum holds a vast collection of his work.

Late Afternoon: Le Jardin Secret

Discover Le Jardin Secret – The Secret Garden, a recently restored garden offering tranquility amidst the medina’s chaos.

Optional: Moroccan Hammam

Relax and rejuvenate with a traditional Hammam experience. It’s an integral part of Moroccan culture, combining bathing with socializing.

As they say best for last! The Moroccan Hammam Spa is a must-do while in Morocco. It is a cleansing and relaxing ritual that has been part of Moroccan culture for centuries.

Traditionally, the Moroccan Hammam was used as a place to have a bath, socialize, and relax after a long day of work. Nowadays, it is still an important part of Moroccan culture and you can find Hammams all over the country.

During your 3 days in Marrakech, I recommend trying a Hammam at least once, preferably on your last day before leaving. It is a very relaxing few hours and it’s a great way to detox after all the food you will be eating!

The Hammam experience usually starts with a steam room to help you relax and open up your pores. Then you will be scrubbed with a black soap that is made from olives and eucalyptus.

After the scrub, you will be given a traditional Moroccan massage with argan oil. The whole experience lasts around 3 hours, and you will leave feeling refreshed and relaxed.

There are many Hammams in Marrakech, but I recommend trying La Mamounia as it is one of the most luxurious and famous Riads that offer private Hammams in Morocco. It is a bit more expensive than others, but it is worth it for the experience.

If you are looking for something more budget-friendly check out this Hammam Spa plus dinner at a Riad with a private transfer which seems like a great deal!

Evening: Fancy dinner

Finishing Day 2 in Marrakech with a relaxed dinner at one of the city’s garden restaurants, reflecting on a day spent amidst nature and creativity.

Day 3: Historical Ruins and Sites of Marrakech

Morning: Bahia Palace

Right after your breakfast, head to the Bahia Palace which is one of the most beautiful palaces in Morocco.

The palace was built in the late 19th century and served as the official residence of the Grand Vizier of Marrakech.

Bahia palace is considered one of the most preserved examples of Moorish architecture in Morocco and is definitely worth a visit whether you are interested in architecture or not.

In the palace, you can easily spend a few hours admiring the beautiful architecture and intricate details and colors of the palace.

Another highlight of the Bahia Palace is the stunning garden courtyard which is a great place to take a break from all the walking and just relax for a bit.

Late Morning: Jewish Cemetery

Pay a visit to the Miâara Cemetery, a significant site that reflects the city’s multicultural history and shows how jews were treated by the muslims and how their graves are still looked after.

Afternoon: El Badi Palace

El Badi Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks in Marrakech. The palace was built in the 16th century by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty and was once one of the most luxurious palaces in all of North Africa.

The palace was built using materials brought in from all over the world including Italian marble, Indian onyx, and gold from Sudan. The grandeur of the palace is reflected in its size as it covers an area of 3 hectares with over 360 rooms.

Unfortunately, not much of the palace remains today as it was largely destroyed by earthquakes and time. However, El Badi Palace still holds a lot of history and beauty underneath its rubble, and the shell of the palace is still an impressive sight to visit.

One of my favorite things about the El Badi Palace is that you can still see some of the original detailed mosaics and carvings on the walls and ceilings. It is really incredible to see how well-preserved some of the features are after all these years.

The palace grounds are huge so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore. I also recommend hiring a guide as they can tell you all about the history of the palace and what it was like in its heyday.

Late Afternoon: Saadian Tombs

Conclude your historical tour at the Saadian Tombs, a royal necropolis that showcases the opulence of Saadian architecture.

The Saadian dynasty has their own tombs in Marrakech and the place called the Saadian tombs. It’s a popular historical and touristic landmark that you can add to your Marrakech itinerary.

I’m not really a fan of the graveyard that’s why I didn’t include it in my 3 days Marrakech trip.

Evening: Medina stroll

Finishing Day 3 in Marrakech with a leisurely stroll back through the medina, perhaps picking up some last-minute souvenirs or enjoying one final Moroccan meal.

It’s a moment to soak in the atmosphere and reflect on the memories you’ve made in this magical city.

Optional: Evening food tour

You can also wrap up your last day with a Souk food tour. What’s a better wrap-up than food?

Evening food tours usually kick off at sunset and includes a mix of tastings and a fantastic dinner at Jamaa El Fena.

Marrakech food stalls in Jamaa El fena square

The tour includes exploring shops for olives and nuts, learning about spices, watching traditional bread baking, tasting Moroccan pastries, and enjoying a a delicious dinner in Jamaa El Fna food stalls.

Check Interpid Urban Adventures food tour and dinner

Bonus: Customize your 3 days in Marrakech

If for some reason you are not able to do some of the activities that I mentioned above or you don’t like one of them, here are some other activities that you can use to customize your own 3 days in Marrakech itinerary.

Marrakech on a Hot Air Balloon

Not many travelers know about this but you can actually go on a hot air balloon ride in Marrakech!

I highly recommend doing this if you’re looking for something unique and special to do while you’re in Marrakech.

It’s the perfect way to see the city from a different perspective and get some amazing photos.

I did my hot air balloon ride with Ciel d’Afrique Hot Air Ballooning, and they were absolutely amazing.

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The whole experience was very well organized and professional from pick up to drop off. I felt completely safe throughout the entire process, and our pilot was very experienced.

We took off just before sunrise and it was absolutely breathtaking. The views of the palm groves of Marrakech as the sun came up were incredible and at the end of the ride, we were offered freshly made mint tea.

Check Ciel d’Afrique Hot Air Ballooning hot air balloon experience

Moroccan Cooking class

After the hot air balloon adventure in the morning, you’ll head back to chill at the Riad and grab a snack.

Then, it’s time to dive into Moroccan cuisine with this half day cooking class. You get to whip up some authentic Tagine and bake Moroccan bread from the ground up.

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It’s a great way to get hands-on with the local food scene and enjoy the meal with your family.

Plus, there’s an option to book a private cooking class, perfect for a date or a special moment with your partner.

Camel trek in Marrakech palm groves

I know there are a lot of mixed opinions about camel trekking, and whether it’s ethical or not.

I personally think that as long as the camels are well cared for and they are not being mistreated, then it is okay to go on a camel trek.

a camel in Marrakech morocco

When it’s animal related, I always make sure I’m not contributing to any animal cruelty and only visit places where the animals are well-treated.

With that being said, camel trekking is a great way to support the people caring for the camels as it’s the only source of income to feed these poor animals.

Also, it’s good to know that camels are some pretty strong creatures and can actually walk for days without food or water and they are adapted to live in extreme environments, both hot and cold. 

So, if you are interested in trying the camel ride in Marrakech, Marrakesh Travel Services offers camel rides through the palm groves in Palmeraie .

The service includes pickup, camel ride tea break, and drop-off for a very reasonable price.

quad bike in Marrakech morocco

Read more about our camel trekking in Morocco . Here, these is everything you need to know before you decide on a camel trekking experience or not.

If you are against camel trekking and don’t feel like doing it, go for the Quad bike experience. It’s also a great way to check our Palmeraie district and desert area of Marrakech.

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Pro tip: It’s important to know that this is not the camel trekking offered in the Sahara Desert. To go for a Sahara camel trek requires you to have at least 3 more days in your trip as it’s a 12-hour drive from Marrakech. The palm groves however are just a 30-minute drive from the city center of Marrakech.

When to Visit Marrakech

The best times to visit Marrakech are from March to May and September to November. Avoid visiting during the months June to August as the heat can be quite intense.

Cooler weather in Marrakech starts from December to January, particularly during the evenings, so it’s wise to pack warm clothing for this period.

Are 3 days enough in Marrakech?

From my experience, 3 days in Marrakech is enough to explore the city of Marrakech and all its key sights and attractions.

However, if you want to explore what’s outside the city, you will certainly need more than 3 days.

If you have a week or more to spare, I would highly recommend that you book a Sahara Desert tour, go on a day trip to the Atlas Mountains in Imlil Village, or explore the city of wind, Essaouira.

Where to stay in Marrakech during the 3 days

A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or small palace with an interior garden. Most Riads in Marrakech are now converted into beautiful hotels where you can stay.

There are of course plenty of standard hotels in Marrakech but I would highly recommend staying in a Riad.

Not only are they more authentic, but they are also usually located in the more atmospheric parts of the city.

Plus, it’s always nice to have a little oasis to retreat to after a long day exploring the city!

If you are looking for a Riad in Marrakech, I would recommend either Riad Beldi or Riad Azahar. Both are absolutely beautiful and located in great areas of the Medina.

I also wrote a guide about the most beautiful Riads in Morocco and many of them are actually located in Marrakech, check it out.

3 days in Marrakech budget

For me, budgeting is the hard part of travel planning, but it is also the most important.

I usually start by looking for the cheapest flights and then finding a place to stay that is within my budget. Once I have those two things booked, I start looking into activities.

For your stay in Marrakech, I assume you will be staying in a Riad. A double room in a standard Riad can easily cost between 50-100 USD per night.

While I highly recommend staying in a Riad, there are also other options such hotels and hostels which are a lot cheaper and you find plenty of them on

Transport and eating out in Marrakech are not expensive. You can get full meals from a local restaurant at 3 to 6 USD maximum (Budget for more if you are planning to eat at restaurants).

For transport, you will be paying peanuts to take a taxi ride in the city. Check our guide on how to use public transport in Morocco

Your budget mainly goes towards activities like camel trekking, Hammam Spa visits, hot air balloon rides, cooking classes, and shopping for souvenirs.

So, to cut down on costs, I suggest that you either try just one of two of these activities and fill your 3 days in Marrakech with more attractions tours and you can explore the city on your own instead of hiring a guide or booking a tour.

Booking ahead can also help you reduce your travel budget as many activities offer a discount if you book online in advance.

Also, by experience booking on the spot in Morocco is way more expensive than booking online.

To summarize, 3 days in the Marrakech average budget will look like this:

  • Accommodation (Riad): 60 USD/NIGHT (3 days total: 180USD )
  • Hotel transfers (both ways): 60 USD
  • Transport: 15 USD/DAY (3 days total: 45USD)
  • Eating out: 50 USD/DAY (3 DAYS TOTAL 150USD)
  • Entrance fees: 20 USD/DAY (3 DAYS TOTAL 60USD)
  • Hammam Spa day: 50 USD
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride: 60 USD
  • Camel Trek: 30 USD
  • Souvenir shopping: The sky is the limit

Your total estimated budget, without including souvenirs, comes to $635. This covers accommodation, transport, meals, entrance fees, and the specified activities over three days.

Of course, this is just a general estimate and it all depends on your travel style. If you are someone who travels on a tight budget, 3 days in Marrakech can be done for as low as 70 USD/day if you cut down on activities and other costly expenses.

On the other hand, if you are someone who doesn’t mind spending a little extra for some amazing experiences, Marrakech has a lot to offer and your 3 days trip in Marrakech can cost as much as you want it to.

I hope this guide was helpful in planning your 3 days in Marrakech!

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About Fatima O.

Fatima, born and raised along the foothills of the Atlas mountains, in the heartland of the indigenous Amazigh peoples. She loves Moroccan tea and travel. Now, she travels and writes about the beauty of her homeland.

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