How to even begin to describe quite how much of an aesthetic dream Marrakech is for photographers and instagrammers and blogger?! It is alive with vibrant colours everywhere you turn during the day and a festival of lights in the main square at night. Let me take you on a journey to my favourite instagram spots in Marrakech.
The architecture and streetscapes are so beautiful it is frankly hard not to take photos of literally everything you come across. I have a lot of photos of doors from this trip. Possibly even more than my trip to Cuba, where in Havana especially they have some pretty awesome doors.
But before I get sidetracked on my love for a pretty door (we will come back to that later), let me give you a brief guide to my favourite instagram spots in Marrakech. I visited Marrakech on a 3 day trip here at the start March. Of course this was before coronavirus turned the world on it’s head…
Let us kick off with the obvious and probably most photographed place in Marrakech – the souks. The crazy, bustling labyrinth of the medina awaits and there are hundreds of tiny bazaars selling everything. From huge metal works to fabrics to artwork to rugs. There are leather shoes, wicker bags and silver lanterns as far as the eye can see. Just accept that you will get lost as you wander and let your eyes, guide you, it is all part of the fun!
It is a must visit for tourists who want to see the sights and culture and instagrammers alike, and it is east to see why. Although it is crowded and noisy. There is the in your face style sales pitches as well as motorbikes and bicycles interspersed with people to contend with. You cannot help but fall a bit in love with the souks of Marrakech.
One can stop anywhere and everywhere to find a great instagram spot in the puzzle of Marrakech souks.
I read many guides and blog posts before I went that warned people not to take pictures in shops or you would have to give the owner money. We didn’t find that at all. No one asked us for anything. Perhaps because we took most of our photos away from the streets adjacent to the main square where most tourists go, I am not sure.
There were a few places with signs saying no photos, so I think as long as you are respectful of that it is ok. We didn’t really go inside any of the shops though other than the one I bought my mint tea glasses in though.
As well as the shops, there are plenty of cafes to stop off at for refreshments. And for photographs with traditional moroccan mint tea of course.
We found one called Cafe les Espices in a square somewhere in the souk. It was super cheap and had the backdrop of fruit sellers and wicker weavers, where we enjoyed some tea.
Jemaa el-Fnaa (The Main Square)
Much like the souks, the main square in Marrakech, Jemaa el-Fnaa, is insane. In daylight hours there are people everywhere you look. Most of them are trying to sell you fresh juice, henna tattoos or souvenirs.
Sadly you will also find people with monkeys on chains, and snake ‘charmers’ trying to lure you over. Please do not entertain them or give money to their animal cruelty, do not pose with captive animals who are most likely drugged. I am sure you wouldn’t, but I feel the need to say it anyway because it was really sad to see people doing so when we were there. This is absolutely NOT one of my recommendations for instagram spots in Marrakech. Don’t walk to close and don’t make eye contact to avoid them.
At night time, it becomes a vibrant food market with street food available boasting the best authentic Moroccan cuisine. If you want to know more about visiting, check out my post on things to do in Marrakech here. That post tells the tale of the square from day to night and what you can eat in the night market.
I would also suggest going to one of the cafes with multiple levels around the square’s perimeter in the evening for a mint tea and a spectacular view of the square. You can do some people watching and be mesmerised by the sprawling lights of the medina, it really is quite magical.
Le Jardin Majorelle
Offering a beautiful, spacious and tranquil escape from the buzzing medina, Le Jardin Majorelle is a must visit. With a bold palette of lemon yellow, punchy terracotta, serene turquoise and deep sea blue, it is an instagrammer’s paradise. And thats just the buildings and decor, let alone the plants!
There are hundreds of beautiful, colourful shots just waiting to be had in this exotic jungle of thousands of plants. There are florals and cactus galore, as well as plenty of vibrant buildings to create your perfect backdrop.
The YSL museum is also on the complex and you can buy a combined ticket. If you want that shot outside the museum you can easily head here too. To find out more about how to get there, entry fee, the YSL museum and my top tips for visiting, check out my post about the gardens here! Even from these few photos I hope you can tell this has some of the best instagram spots in Marrakech!
This palace is just off of a square called Place des Ferblantiers, which is home to my favourite bar in Marrakech, Kosybar.
The Palais boasts towering walls of stone and looks very imposing. It isn’t too much to get in and you wander freely once inside the grounds. Consisting largely of an open courtyard, there are little nooks and crannies to explore. The walls and archways make great spots for photos, as does the viewing platform and the abundance of plants around the grounds.
There is also some beautiful tiling throughout the palace, all very colour coordinated too. This is undoubtably one of the best instagram spots around the city of Marrakech.
So Ait Benhaddou isn’t actually in Marrakech but it is a very popular spot for a day trip. It is one I would definitely recommend that you do if you have time.
Not only do you get to wind your way through and over the Atlas Mountains, but you get to experience the culture and lifestyles of those who live at the mouth of the Sahara, the world’s fiercest desert.
The village is beautiful and looks somewhat like a movie set. That is probably why Ait Benhaddou has been used in quite so many films and TV shows. Its on-screen appearances range from the obscure to big screen block busters like Gladiator and Game of Thrones.
It is an incredible location. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to come and take some pictures out in the desert amongst the buildings of one of North Africa’s old civilisations, the berber people. Maybe if history or long drives aren’t for you then you wouldn’t fancy it, but I would honestly say you were missing out.
Plus you can get some bonus shots if your tour goes to Ouarzazte, the town right on the cusp of the Sahara. There are also the photo stops which you get on the trip through the majestic mountain range.
Now when we were trying to decide which riad to book, I must confess I picked largely based on which one I thought looked the prettiest and most Moroccan styled for our budget. I was totally in love with it. Riad Oumaima had the little circular pool with lanterns and an Arabic design. It offered rich warm colours in the rooms, lots of gold and archways everywhere.
It was really beautiful and a great place to stay and of course I had to get some pictures. Sadly it wasn’t warm enough to dip in the pool when were were actually inside. We didn’t spend any time in the riad beyond breakfasts and sleeping, but it was a lovely place to come back to.
It had so many levels too with rooms dotted about all over them. Ours had a sort of balcony overlooking the internal courtyard of the riad which was a nice spot for a picture too!
There were plenty of really lovely looking places, with so much more character than a hotel. Definitely the place to stay if you want to visit Marrakech.
As promised, we return to one of my favourite photo backdrops, the humble door. I don’t know why but I just love a door photo, so for me Marrakech was a dream. It really was hard not to get Craig to stop and take pictures of me in every single one of those beautiful Arabian style doors!
If you walk through the medina early, you may find some of them are closed so you can take photos. Lots of the fancy ones belonging to restaurants and hotels etc have people stood outside all day so you cannot really get a good picture.
Same with at night, much easier to get a photo with no people if you are away from the main area. We walked everywhere in Marrakech so found plenty of opportunity for pictures.
So there you have it, my top Instagram spots in Marrakech!
If you want to read more about any of these spots, check out my further blog posts from my trip to Marrakech: