A Handy Guide to Making the Most of Your Visit in Morocco
December 22, 2019
photos Audrey Pastelero

The plethora of things to see, shop, and savor can be downright dizzying in this Morocco—here’s a guide to making the most of your visit.

A destination that often makes it to exotic travel bucket lists is the Kingdom of Morocco—the gateway to Africa known to intrepid travelers and wanderlusters for its artisan culture, ancient Medinas, and spectacular landscapes. Searching #morocco on Instagram pulls up scenes that are a far cry from monotonous urban life: epic sunrises across miles of sandy dunes, labyrinthine alleyways, stalls upon stalls of ceramics, hand-loomed rugs and brass lanterns, intricate zellige tilework, arched doorways, and secret courtyards.

We recommend 10-14 days to fully immerse in the magic that Morocco has to offer. The landscapes are as dizzyingly diverse as its people, boasting scenic coastal drives to lush mountain ranges to dramatic desertscapes as you journey inward toward the Sahara. Depending on the route, travel time between cities could range from an hour on wings via domestic flights to 6-10 hours on wheels via car or train.

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Yves Saint Laurent’s framed sketches at the Musée YSL.

Spend a Day in Gueliz

Gueliz was the first town built outside the Marrakech Medina (the old walled city) in 1912, known as the trendy and upscale New Town. Explore this historic quarter by gallery-hopping through the art triangle, shopping at hip local designer boutiques and taking a guided tour of Art Deco architecture from an era gone by.

Meander through the Medina

According to Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech taught him all about color. “At every street corner, one stumbles upon striking groups of men and women, appearing as if in relief: pink, blue, green, and violet caftans blending with one another,” he said. A few hours exploring what lies behind Medina walls will certainly tell you why.

Eat: Nomad

Another crowd favorite, Nomad gives you the best of both worlds: a stylish dining spot with unbeatable rooftop views just a stone’s throw away from all the souk action below. Serving modern Moroccan fare reflective of their identity, come for a leisurely lunch to recharge before another jaunt through the Medina. As with most restaurants in the vicinity, do note that alcohol is not served here.

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Moroccan tiles and tchotchkes make a wonderful statement in the home.
El Fenn’s beloved rooftop with views of the Koutoubia Mosque minaret.

Shop: Local Boutiques at the Art Triangle

Lalla

Shop must-have bags in a range of styles from beautiful silk pouches, leather handbags and evening clutches. Lalla’s signature beach totes are a crowd favorite.

Galerie 127

Peruse through the gallery’s well-curated selection — the ten-year-old gallery was the first in Africa to focus heavily on contemporary photography in North Africa and regularly features works by local photographers.

33 Rue Majorelle

Stock up on chic souvenirs ranging from home accessories, wall art, Moroccan-inspired fragrances and demi-fine jewelry at this popular concept store.

Read the full travel story of Pipay Reyes-Aouami featuring tourist destinations in Morocco in Lifestyle Asia’s December 2019-January 2020 Edition titled, “Agents of Change.”

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