When’s the best time to go?
Sitting on the outskirts of the Sahara Desert and overlooked by the snowy grandeur of the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is a superb destination for a holiday and a city where the past and present are intertwined, creating a backdrop that is as exciting as it is relaxing. Barter your way through sand-dusted souks, get an invigorating massage in a local hammam or soak up the sun on one of the many nearby beaches.
As you might expect from a desert city, the climate is warm and dry for most of the year. However, to help you pick the right time for your African adventure, we put some Marrakech travel advice together.
The hottest months are between June and September. While the temperature averages at around 29°C, it’s not uncommon for it to leap into the 40s by day. At night, things can get chilly very quickly, so it’s worth packing something warm just in case. With an average of 14 hours’ sunshine a day, there’s plenty of time to get bronzing.
The wettest month is November, but even that’s not a big deal. If you’re not a fan of extreme heat, your best bet is to book your holiday to Marrakech in the spring or autumn, when things hover around the 25°C mark.
What do I need to pack?
For anyone taking Marrakech holidays, sunscreen is an absolute must. When it comes to clothing, think light and airy by day and something a little warmer for the evenings. As the ‘Red City’ is relatively conservative, there are a few observations you should make. For women, it’s important to keep your shoulders and legs covered, so leave the strappy tops and tiny shorts at home. Instead, think t-shirts or light shirts and dresses, skirts and shorts that go below the knees. While headscarves aren’t required in public, you’ll need to wear one as a sign of respect if you’re visiting any sites of religious interest.
Because of the heat, comfortable shoes can be important, and you might want to protect your feet from the dust, so ‘closed’ footwear is a good idea. Sun hats are essential for the little ones.
Passports and visas
Do I need a passport?
Marrakech passport regulations state that British citizens will need a valid UK passport to gain entry to the country. On arrival, ensure that your passport is stamped with an entry stamp. For further advice before you set off on your Marrakech holidays, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco/entry-requirements
Do I need a visa?
British citizens do not need a Marrakech visa if they are staying for less than three months. For the latest information on visa requirements, head to: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco/entry-requirements
Health and Safety
Should I get travel health insurance?
While you might see your holiday to Marrakech as a chance to relax or explore, it’s always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Travel health insurance can give you financial protection against injury or illness, covering the cost of things such as medical treatment, medicine, and medical repatriation back to the UK if necessary. Check your policy to see what is and isn’t covered before you fly.
Any other tips?
- If you’re visiting the markets, be prepared to haggle. As a rule of thumb, have what you’re prepared to pay in mind, but start bargaining at a lower price. Don’t enter into haggling unless you have genuine intent to buy; time-wasters are not looked upon kindly.
- When using taxis, be sure to agree on the fare with the driver before you get in.
- When taking photographs, don’t be tempted to try and take pictures of the locals without first asking permission. Public performers such as snake charmers may ask for a fee.
- Avoid drinking tap water; stick to the bottled stuff. Similarly, try not to eat salads that have been washed in tap water, ice cubes in drinks, or fruit that has been peeled and washed.
- ATMs can be hard to find, even in the newer parts of the city. Carry as much cash as you think you’ll need. You’ll find that upmarket restaurants and shops do tend to accept cards.