Trying to figure out where to stay in Marrakech in 2024? You’re in the right spot!
Marrakech is one of the most stunning cities I have ever visited. From the red walls, to the intricately designed doors, from the tiles and mosaics, to the swaying palm and olive trees, I was absolutely charmed by what Marrakech had to offer.
If you’re visiting for the first time, a top concern will be where to stay in Marrakech. Luckily, there are a lot of good areas to stay in around the city and where you choose just depends on your own personal preferences!
In this article, I’m breaking down 5 areas to stay in Marrakech I would recommend for a first (or even second!) time visitor, and then 1 area in Marrakech I would definitely recommend you avoid!
Where to Stay in Marrakech: My 5 Recommended Areas
Before we get into the list, here is a map of the 5 best areas to stay in Marrakech, so you can reference where they all are to each other:
For reference, Red = Kasbah, Blue=North Medina, Purple = South Medina, Orange = Mellah, Yellow = Gueliz
The Kasbah area of Marrakech is just outside and south of the Medina. It still feels like the old city in many ways, but is a little less hectic, and you’ll run into somewhat fewer people trying to scam you here.
The Kasbah does have more of a residential feel than the Medina. For example, you can see the type of shops that locals frequent, instead of shops that are geared towards tourists.
In the Kasbah area, you are within walking distance of all the sights in Marrakech. Some places, like the Jardin Majorelle, are a longer, 45-minute walk away. However, it’s easy to get a taxi here for 15-20 dirhams (about 2-3 dollars).
The Kasbah area is home to the Saadian Tombs and the El Badii Palace. It is also by one of the King’s Royal Palaces. You are only a 10-minute walk from the entrance to the Medina here.
- Pros: It’s close to the medina but not RIGHT in the medina, and does have some residential aspects to it
- Cons: Not right in the most historic section of the city
- Best For: People who want to stay close to the action, but on the outskirts
Best Riads in the Kasbah Neighborhood
($$$) La Sultana: This riad oozes luxury, sophistication, and character. The arches surrounding a garden pool is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the carved stucco throughout the entire property is gorgeous. Many luxury amenities and services are offered at La Sultana.
⭐Rating: 9.6 of 10 stars
👉Check rates and book here
Read More: 16 Unique Things to Do in Marrakech, Morocco
Okay, so I want to break this area down a little bit further. The Medina of Marrakech is the oldest and most historic part of the city – it’s actually a UNESCO world heritage site.
This is where the streets are the most winding and narrow, you’ll find carpets hanging out along the walls, colorful souks, people hawking their wares as you walk by, donkeys carrying sticks on their backs, their tails swishing, and by far, the vast majority of the tourist attractions.
Interestingly, the “medina” neighborhood actually encompasses the actual old medina, plus a lot of the areas outside/around the walled city section of Marrakech.
In the Medina is where you’ll find most of the sites in Marrakech.
Note that in this map above, you can see the whole area outlined in red as the medina, yet the most historic section of Marrakech, and where almost all the sites are, is the part in tan right in the center. Since this area is pretty large, I want to break the medina down into two sections: North Medina, and South Medina.
2. North Medina
These sections specifically refer to the tan areas marked as the old town section. The north part of the medina in this area has absolutely stunning attractions like the the Jardin Secret, the Musée Dar el Bacha, the Ibn Youssef School.
This area actually feels a little less touristy and a little bit more residential. There are still sites, tourists, and street hawkers, sure, but just… a little bit less than on the south end.
- Pros: In the heart of the medina, but not in the most touristy section of it. Gorgeous walls, doors, and mosques adorn the streets.
- Cons: You’ll still have to deal with street hawkers
- Best For: People wanting to be close to things. You want easy access to sites and shopping but away from the busiest area.
Where to Stay in the North Medina:
Read More: An Epic 10 Day Morocco Itinerary
3. South Medina
In the South part of the Medina, you’ll find attractions like the Koutubia mosque and minaret, the Jemma el-Fna square, and souk semmarine, as well as various other souks. On the southeast side of the medina is the Bahia Palace.
This area is much busier, generally more crowded, but it is also the most centrally located area to all the tourist attractions. This is definitely where to stay in Marrakech if you want to be close to it all.
The area right around Jemma el-Fna is definitely the most touristy area of the whole city, the farther you get away from Jemma el-Fna, the less crazy it gets.
The whole old medina section isn’t all that large, and you’re never all that far from anywhere else in the old medina neighborhood. Walking from the Bahia Palace (the southeast end) to the Musée Dar El Bacha (the northwest end) only takes about 30 minutes by foot.
- Pros: The most centrally located spot in Marrakech
- Cons: Some areas can be quite busy
- Best For: Bring on the rhythm of the city! You want to step out the door to the heart of activity and bustle with access to restaurants, shopping, and unique sights at every turn.
Best Riads to Stay in the South Medina
The Mellah area of Marrakech is known as being the Jewish quarter. While Jews could live anywhere in the city, a lot of them did live in the Mellah quarter – at the highest point, 70,000 Jews lived in this district.
Today, most Jews in Marrakech live outside the Mellah quarter, in the newer parts of the city, and many Muslims live in the Mellah district. In this quarter, you can visit the Place des Ferblantiers, the Lezama Synagogue, the El Fasiines Synagogue, the Miara Jewish cemetery, and the Mellah market.
This area definitely has a more residential vibe, as it’s outside of the Medina and has fewer attractions and is a little cleaner. It had a nice feel to it and hosts small dead-end streets with very cute homes.
- Pros: Outside most of the hustle and bustle of the medina, has a more residential feel to it, close to some nice shopping
- Cons: Maybe not the most exciting place to stay
- Best For: People wanting to stay in a more traditional, but residential area
Best Riads to Stay in the Mellah Neighborhood:
Gueliz is known as the “New Town” and is a more modern and upscale area in Marrakech. The boulevards are wide, the shopping includes many well-known brands, prices are fixed (instead of haggling like in the medina), and trendy cafes and galleries dot the area.
Here you can visit the Matisse Art Gallery, which showcases Moroccan artists, the stately Teatre Royal, or the Vyes Saint Laurent haute couture museum. If you like art galleries and museums, you can find many here in Gueliz.
Le Grand Cafe de la Poste is a well-known and Instagrammable café in Gueliz, but the most famous attraction here is the blue and yellow Jardin Majorelle.
This area is particularly noteworthy for its café scene, gourmet restaurants, and bars. As Marrakech (and Morocco in general) is a very dry country, you will find almost no bars in the Medina, and almost no restaurants that serve alcohol. If you want to stay in a spot where you can go out for some nightlife near where you’re staying, Gueliz is a good spot for you.
In Gueliz, you’ll find more modern, western style hotels, and very few traditional Moroccan riads.
- Pros: Great nightlife, away from the hustle and bustle of old town. Modern accommodations are plentiful
- Cons: Farther from the main attractions – it’s a 30 minute walk, or you can grab a taxi for a couple dollars or take the bus. You will be hard-pressed to find traditional accommodations here.
- Best For: People wanting to enjoy the nightlife and bar scene, or wanting to stay in a more modern area.
Best Hotels in Gueliz:
One Area in Marrakech to Avoid: Quartiers Des Tanneurs
The Quartiers des Tanneurs is one section of the Medina that I would absolutely stay away from. While it’s not necessarily dangerous, per se, the tannery is known for its exceptional abundance of scammy tactics and behavior.
Also, while you will encounter young men all over Marrakech trying to be your guide or lead you to places, the tactics of the guys around the Tannery are really intense – they just won’t leave you alone.
We encountered one man trying to get us to visit the tanneries and although we repeatedly said no thank you, he kept walking with us until we finally very firmly said “leave us alone!”
You can also read the experiences of many other people in this area here. I would just avoid the area completely.
Practical Information to Know
➡️WALKING DISTANCE: Personally, I feel that when visiting Marrakech, it’s best to stay close, or at least relatively close, to the action. I think being able to walk to many of the sites is an important consideration, so the majority of the neighborhoods I recommend here are within walking distance, or at least a short taxi ride, to wherever you need to go.
➡️TAXIS: Speaking of taxis, it is important to note that if you are staying in the Medina, Kasbah, or Mellah neighborhoods, you will most likely not be dropped off in front of your riad. The streets are narrow and winding, and many (not all, but many) riads are tucked into quiet little side streets, where its impossible for taxis to navigate.
Plan on walking the rest of the way there. Download some maps ahead of time, or call your riad and have them meet you at the main street.
The exception to this is in the Gueliz neighborhood, where the streets are broad and wide.
➡️NOISE: While Marrakech does have quite a bit of hustle and bustle, I wouldn’t worry too much about the noise from the streets creeping through into the riads. Most riads have pretty good soundproofing and really work to create an oasis from the city.
➡️RIADS: Finally, I really would recommend staying in a riad, not a hotel. It’s just such a more personal experience, and such a traditional and cultural experience at that! All of my hotel recommendations below are actually for riads!
general Price Range for Riads and Hotels in Marrakech
You can find a single bed in a dorm room for between $10-20/night. This guide isn’t aimed at hostels though, so the lowest you’ll find for a private room in a riad with a bed for two people is around $40-50.
There are a lot of really nice riads in this price range! In fact, in all of the areas to stay in Marrakech we highlight below, our “value” picks (indicated with the “$” symbol) are generally in this price range.
Our mid-range riad picks generally fall in the $90-150 price range, and the luxury picks are generally speaking, $150 and higher.
Of course, these numbers depend on the time of year and the neighborhood, but it’s a good estimate.
So, What Area Should You Stay in Marrakech?
- Where to Stay in Marrakech for First Time Visitors: Medina, Kasbah
- Best Areas to Stay in Marrakech on a Budget: Medina, Kasbah, Mellah,
- Best Area to Stay in Marrakech for History: Medina
- Where to Stay in Marrakech for Being Close to It All: Medina, Kasbah
- Best Area to Stay in Marrakech for Nightlife: Gueliz
- Where to Stay in Marrakech for Residential: Mellah, Gueliz
- Best Areas to Stay in Marrakech for Families: Kasbah, Mellah, or Gueliz
Where to Stay in Marrakech: Final Thoughts
We absolutely loved our time in Marrakech. The city was filled with such contrasts, amazing sights, and kind people. I hope this guide has helped you decide which area will be best for your visit to Marrakech, and I’m excited for you to fall in love with this city, too!
Check Out My Other Morocco Articles!
- Morocco Travel Budget: What Does a Trip to Morocco Cost?
- 12 Great Things to Do in Fes
- Driving in Morocco: A Guide to Navigating a Morocco Road Trip
- 13 Souvenirs From Morocco to Bring Home With You
- 24 Delicious Traditional Morocco Foods to Try
- How to Do the Monkey Fingers Hike in the Dades Valley of Morocco