Where to stay in Marrakech for first time: 7 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Marrakech as a first-time visitor can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find the safe places to stay in Marrakech for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Marrakech for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Marrakech and recommend some of the best hotels in Marrakech for various budgets.

Marrakech is a popular tourist destination in Morocco, located in western part of the country. Founded in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, the city has served as a political and cultural center throughout its history.

The historic center of Marrakech, known as the Medina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a maze-like network of narrow streets and souks (markets) that are known for their vibrant atmosphere and diverse array of goods, including spices, textiles, jewelry, and traditional crafts.

Some of the must-see attractions in Marrakech include the central square Jemaa el-Fnaa, Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and the Majorelle Garden.

Riads are a popular accommodation option in Marrakech. Riads are traditional Moroccan houses with interior courtyards. Many Riads have been converted into boutique hotels, providing visitors with an authentic and intimate experience.

When visiting the city, you can enjoy traditional dishes such as tagines, couscous, and pastilla. The food in Marrakech often combines sweet and savory flavors and is known for its rich use of spices.

Is Marrakech safe to visit?

Yes, Marrakech is generally a safe destination to visit. But, like any other tourist destination, it has petty crime such as pickpocketing and scams, especially in crowded areas and markets. It is recommended to always be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on their belongings, and avoid walking alone at night.

Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, and visitors should be respectful of the local traditions and dress modestly, especially in more conservative areas.

Also beware of Terror attacks, public demonstrations, protests, and earthquakes. You should monitor the media for current situations and follow the instructions/advice of local authorities. 

Where to stay in Marrakech for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Marrakech for first-timers and tourists are Medina, Gueliz, Hivernage, Kasbah, Palmeraie, Agdal, and Mellah. These are great bases to book your hotels, but always be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions, regardless of the area you choose.

Medina is the most popular area in Marrakech for a first visit. It is the historic heart of Marrakech, home to the famous Jemaa el-Fna square, traditional souks, and historical sites. There are tons of accommodations in this area, so I’m sure you will find one that suits your budget.

Gueliz is a modern and cosmopolitan area with trendy shops, restaurants, and cafes. This area offers a more European atmosphere compared to the Medina.

Hivernage is an upscale and luxurious district with many high-end hotels, restaurants, and clubs. This area is close to the Menara Gardens and the Palais des Congrès.

Kasbah is a quiet and residential area with historical sites like the Saadian Tombs and the Royal Palace. It offers a blend of authenticity and tranquility, while still having easy access to the city center.

Palmeraie is a palm oasis with luxurious resorts and hotels. It provides a serene and relaxing environment away from the city center. You’ll need to use a taxi, or hotel’s shuttle services to get to the downtown area.

During my trip to Marrakech, I stayed for 5 nights at the Riad Babouchta & Spa. It was a beautiful mid-range accommodation in a fantastic location, an easy walk into the center of the medina and major tourist attractions. My room was nice and cozy with a comfortable bed. Breakfast was lovely too.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Marrakech for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Marrakech first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Marrakech first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Marrakech, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Marrakech have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

7 Safe areas to stay in Marrakech for first-timers and tourists

1. Medina

Medina, without a doubt, is the overall best area to stay in Marrakech for the first time. This area is the heart and soul of Marrakech, offering an authentic Moroccan experience with its bustling souks, narrow winding streets, and vibrant atmosphere.

Staying in Medina puts you within walking distance of many of Marrakech’s key attractions, including the Jemaa el-Fnaa square, Saadian Tombs, Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Madrasa, and Musée de Marrakech.

The famous Jemaa el-Fna square is a vibrant hub of activity, with street performers, food stalls, and traditional markets. It’s a unique and lively experience day and night.

The Medina is renowned for its traditional souks where you can buy a variety of goods, including spices, textiles, and handmade crafts.

You can explore the diverse culinary scene with numerous street food stalls, local restaurants, and cafes serving traditional Moroccan dishes.

Medina can be busy and chaotic, especially in the central areas. It’s essential to be mindful of your surroundings and practice good navigation skills. 

Some visitors may find the narrow, labyrinthine streets a bit challenging to navigate at first, but part of the charm lies in getting lost and discovering hidden gems.

Best places to stay in Marrakech in Medina for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Les Jardins De La Koutoubia, 5-star cozy hotel centrally located in the heart of the city, only a short walk from Koutoubia Mosque, Jemaa el Fna- the main city square and the souks. It has 2 swimming pools, very good breakfast, a paid airport shuttle, and free parking.

Mid-range ($$): Riad El Youssoufi, beautiful 4-star riad, in a quiet area close to the city center, 15 mins walk from Jamaâ El Fna Square. It has an indoor pool and wonderful breakfasts. The hotel’s pool and garden are great places to relax after walking around all day in the heat. 

Budget ($): Riad Jnane Mogador, great 3-star traditional Moroccan inn, located in central Medina, close to everything, a short walk from the central square. The hotel has excellent breakfast, 24-hour front desk, family rooms, and stunning views from its rooftop.

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN MEDINA

2. Gueliz

Gueliz is a great location for first-time tourists who prefer a modern area with shopping, dining, and nightlife options, and close proximity to the historic center. It offers a contrast to the traditional charm of the Medina, allowing visitors to experience different facets of Marrakech.

Gueliz is known for its modern infrastructure, wide boulevards, and contemporary buildings. You’ll find a range of modern amenities, including shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes.

The area is home to numerous boutiques, international brand stores, and art galleries. If you’re interested in fashion and modern shopping, Gueliz is a great choice.

Gueliz has a vibrant café scene, making it an excellent place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in a modern setting. It also has a lively nightlife with various bars, clubs, catering to different tastes.

Best places to stay in Marrakech in Gueliz for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Radisson Blu Marrakech, Carré Eden, popular 5-star accommodation in Gueliz, modern and safe neighborhood of Marrakesh, close to the Carre Eden shopping center and Marrakech Plaza. It is around 30 mins walk/reasonable taxi ride from Medina. It has a tour desk, luggage storage, and family rooms. Rooms come with air conditioning and a balcony.

Mid-range ($$): 2Ciels Boutique Hôtel, 4-star accommodation located right in the center of the city, within walking distance of many of the highlights of Marrakech. There are also many interesting restaurants and cafes nearby. It has an outdoor pool, sun terrace, and an excellent breakfast.

Budget ($): Hôtel Ibn Batouta, great 3-star hotel in Gueliz in a safe area, 20 mins walk from Marrakesh Train Station. It is in a relatively quiet area compared to the medina. Easy access to lots of  restaurants, bars, and shops. They have a nice rooftop for sunbathing and swimming.

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN GUELIZ

3. Hivernage

Hivernage is an excellent choice for travelers seeking a luxurious and upscale experience. It’s a district known for its fine dining, nightlife, and modern amenities. 

It also has a central location close to the old town and the modern Gueliz. Easy access to Menara Gardens and Cyber Park.

Best places to stay in Marrakech in Hivernage:

Luxury ($$$): Savoy Le Grand Hotel Marrakech, popular 5-star hotel in Hivernage, between the new town (Gueliz) and old town (Medina), convenient base to explore everything. Close to Menara Mall and Menara Gardens. It has 2 swimming pools, airport shuttle services, and very good breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Pestana CR7 Marrakech, great 4-star accommodation in an upmarket area, easy to get to places, next to high-end shopping boutiques, and 15 mins walk from Marrakesh Train Station. They had a nice buffet breakfast and good-sized rooms.

Budget ($): AppartHotel Atrani, nice accommodation with big rooms, 20 mín walk to Medina. Lots of good places to eat nearby the hotel. 5 minutes walk from train station, 15 mins taxi ride from airport and Jal Efna Square.

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN HIVERNAGE

4. Kasbah

Kasbah is a great choice for travelers who appreciate historical charm, proximity to important landmarks, and a quieter atmosphere. It’s a suitable option for those looking to explore Marrakech’s history while enjoying a more relaxed stay.

The Kasbah is rich in history and features narrow streets, traditional architecture, and historic sites such as the Saadian Tombs, the Royal Palace, and the Agdal Gardens.

Compared to the bustling Medina, the Kasbah generally offers a quieter and more relaxed environment, making it a good choice for those seeking a more peaceful stay.

While not as bustling as the Medina, the Kasbah has its own local markets where you can experience a more authentic and less touristy shopping experience.

Best places to stay in Kasbah for first-time tourists:

Luxury ($$$): Riad Merzouga, 5-star  beautiful traditional Moroccan accommodation, located in a great area, 10 mins walk from the souks and square. CLose to everything including tourist attractions, currency exchange, restaurants, pharmacies. It has a garden, shared lounge, and shared kitchen. 

Mid-range ($$): Riad Palais Calipau, wonderful accommodation in Kasbah, 15 min walk to main square, conveniently located  between Hassan II Palace and King Mohamed VI Palace. It has 2 traditional restaurants, a rooftop terrace, hammam and pool. It also offers spacious rooms and comfortable beds.

Budget ($): Riad des Lys, 3-star good value for money accommodation located in a nice neighborhood, easily accessible to many tourist attractions. Close to Medina, Moulay El Yazid Mosque and Saadian Tombs.

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN KASBAH

5. Palmeraie

Palmeraie is an excellent base for travelers seeking a tranquil and luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a district that caters to travelers looking for a more exclusive and peaceful retreat. 

Palmeraie offers a peaceful and tranquil setting with palm groves and spacious landscapes. It provides a retreat from the bustling city center.

The district is home to several high-end resorts and hotels, often featuring luxurious amenities such as spa facilities, golf courses, and private villas.

Some resorts in Palmeraie offer outdoor activities, including golf and horseback riding, allowing guests to enjoy the natural surroundings.

Palmeraie is located farther from the historical Medina and major attractions. You should be prepared to use transportation (taxi, shuttle, or rental car) to access the city center and major attractions. 

Best places to stay in Marrakech in Palmeraie for visitors:

Luxury ($$$): Tigmiza Boutique Hotel & Spa, great 5-star hotel located in a quiet relaxing area, 20 mins taxi ride from the Medina of Marrakech. Close to Palmeraie Museum and Amelkis Golf Club. The hotel has views of the Atlas Mountains. It has Wonderful Breakfast, paid airport transfer, and free parking.

Mid-range ($$): Iberostar Club Palmeraie Marrakech All Inclusive, great 4-star hotel in Palmeraie, offering free daily bus services from/to the Medina area. It has 3 swimming pools, gardens and a lake.

Budget ($): Palmeraie village, 3-star sustainable apartment, short drive from Yves Saint Laurent Museum and The Orientalist Museum of Marrakech. It has family rooms, free parking, and a garden.

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN PALMERAIE

6. Agdal

Agdal is a good choice for travelers seeking a more local and residential experience. It offers a balance between modern amenities and a glimpse into daily life, making it suitable for those who prefer a quieter atmosphere away from the bustling tourist areas.

You’ll find local markets and shops where residents shop for daily necessities. This can offer a more authentic and less tourist-oriented shopping experience.

Agdal has its own cafes and restaurants, often frequented by locals. It’s an opportunity to experience Moroccan daily life away from the more tourist-centric areas.

While maintaining a local feel, Agdal also offers modern amenities such as supermarkets, banks, and pharmacies, providing convenience for travelers.

Best places to stay in Marrakech in Agdal for tourists:

  • Luxury ($$$): Kenzi Club Agdal Medina – All Inclusive, 5-star accommodation in Agdal, offering  free shuttle bus to downtown. They have 3 swimming pools and a good buffet breakfast.
  • Luxury ($$$: Cesar Resort & Spa, great 5-star boutique hotel, 5 mins walk from a shopping district. The hotel can help organize taxi and luggage storage for you.
  • Budget ($): Jnane Leila, 4-star guest house in a calm area not far from the city center. 
MORE HOTEL DEALS IN AGDAL

7. Mellah

Mellah is the historic Jewish quarter. Staying in Mellah allows you to experience a different aspect of Marrakech’s cultural diversity. You’ll find historical sites such as synagogues and traditional buildings.

Mellah is generally quieter compared to the bustling Medina, making it a suitable choice for those seeking a more serene environment.

Best places to stay in Marrakech in Mellah:

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN MELLAH

In conclusion, Medina, Gueliz, Hivernage, Kasbah, Palmeraie, Agdal, and Mellah are the best places to stay in Marrakech for first-timers and tourists. While these are generally safe areas to stay, it is always recommended to practice common sense and take care of your belongings no matter where you stay.

You can continue reading other popular destinations in Morocco in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Marrakech. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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