Marrakech: Life filled with color


It is nicknamed the red city for the reddish ochre tones of its thousand-year-old walls, blended with the azure blues of the sky, the purples and violets of the bougainvilleas and the greens of this oasis bordering the desert. At the crossroads of Berber, Arab-Andalusian and Saharan cultures, the Moroccan imperial city founded in the 12th century vividly illustrates the “insolence of mixtures” celebrated by Yves Saint Laurent. Festive and cosmopolitan, alternating between tradition and modernity, Marrakech is forever renewing and re-imagining itself. From the riads of the Medina to the palaces of Palmeraie and from fashionable restaurants to flashy shops, it is ranked among the top 3 friendliest cities in the world according to Condé Nast Traveller.

The real estate market: stability

Prices have been stable for the past five years and vary according to the type of property. Riads, which are always in high demand, in the Medina, are accessible (depending on the state of their finishings) at a starting price of €300,000. The coveted areas for villas are the golf courses (more than 11 in Marrakech), Palmeraie for the ultimate luxury, and villas outside of Marrakech for the change of scenery, the greenery and the tranquillity. Luxury villas range from €450,000 for a charming contemporary house to €1,500,000 for a luxurious villa on a golf course. As for prestige properties, you’re looking at between €3,000,000 to over €50,000,000 for exceptional palaces on several hectares and thousands of square metres of living space. Apartment prices depend on the neighbourhood, with the most sought after being Hivernage and Guéliz.

Our advice

Clearly define your objectives. For a residential riad, away from the bustle of the crowds and at good prices, look to buy in less touristy neighbourhoods, such as the quiet and secure Bab Aylen. For a luxury residential riad or rental investment, being close to Place Jemaa El Fna is essential.

Dar El Bacha, Riad Laarouss, Sidi Mimoun, la Kasbah, Dabachi, Kennaria are the most attractive neighbourhoods, and therefore come with the highest sale prices. To live in the Medina, you need to love working-class Moroccan lifestyle, recommends Mehdi Amar, BARNES Marrakech.

Top tips: “For an investment, look for accessibility by car for riads, and nearby museums and restaurants,” the BARNES Marrakech expert says. For villas, opt for new builds as the quality of construction, finishes and fittings has greatly progressed.

Art of living

The sublime city of Marrakech is teeming with cultural, gastronomic and shopping destinations, each more sophisticated than the next. Escape into Ali Baba’s cave.

The hottest reservations in town

 La Villa des Orangers

Villa les orangers relai

©Facebook Villa des Orangers Relais & Châteaux

This five-star hotel centred around a large garden and three patios with fountains offers guests a seat at its marvellous gastronomic restaurant, located beside the pool in the shade of the orange trees. A moment suspended in time to enjoy the diversity of this re-visited Moroccan cuisine.

6 Rue Sidi Mimoun, Place Ben Tachfine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

Dar Yacout

Dar yacout marrakech

©Facebook Dar Yacout Marrakech

An institution in Marrakech's Medina and one of the favourite restaurants of the designer Yves Saint Laurent. Traditional gourmet recipes served up against a décor in the style of One Thousand and One Nights. A must-see.

79 Sidi Ahmed Soussi, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

La Maison Arabe

La maison arabe

©Facebook Toubkal Travel and Tourisme LLC - Official

The perfect spot for discovering and tasting the secrets of refined Moroccan gastronomy amidst the restaurants of a luxurious riad hotel. Dine on a terrace lit up with hundreds of lights and offering a view of the pool and gardens or sit inside among the ornate, antique palace doors and under the outstanding hand-painted zaouaké ceiling. A guaranteed escape.

Derb Assehbi, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

La Terrasse d’El Fenn

El fenn

©El Fenn

A chic, bohemian-style spot embraced by Vanessa Branson - a great lover of Marrakech - with an enormous terrace and decorations giving guests the chance to enjoy a Moroccan menu and special cocktails on the rooftop and under the stars.

Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, 2, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

Baromètre Marrakech

Barométre de marrakech

©Facebook Baromètre Marrakech

The premier speakeasy of the red city, located in the Guéliz neighbourhood, this bar-restaurant specialising in creative Mediterranean cuisine and mixology is the perfect place for a classy and cosy end to the evening.

Rue Moulay Ali, Marrakech 40000, Morocco


 Jardin Anima

Jardin anima

©Facebook Marrakech

More than two hectares (five acres) of peaceful gardens in a luxurious botanic setting created by the artist André Heller with a striking view of the summits of the Atlas Mountains.

Douar Sbiti Ourika, Marrakech, Morocco

Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden

Museum african

©Facebook Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden

The MACAAL is an independent, non-profit contemporary art museum dedicated to promoting African Art through the acquisition and exhibition of works by established and emerging artists. A magnificent creative energy worth discovering.

Al Maaden, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco

 House of Photography

Maison de la photographie

©Facebook Maison de la Photographie

For an immersion in Moroccan culture, head to the charming museum that seeks to "show the extraordinary diversity of Morocco” through photos from the 19th century up to the current day.

Rue Ahl Fes, 46 Rue Bin Lafnadek, Marrakech 40030, Morocco

 Majorelle Garden

Jardin majorelle

©Facebook Le Jardin Majorelle

For many years, I've found in the Majorelle garden an inexhaustible source of inspiration and have often dreamed of its unique colours,” Yves Saint Laurent said. This mythical, 9,000 sq.m (2.2-acre) garden with labyrinthine alleys, Moorish buildings and an opulent abundance of exotic plants and trees designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle in 1922 was a small corner of paradise for the fashion designer and his partner Pierre Bergé. A waking dream worth visiting.

Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent, 40 090 Marrakech, Morocco


Norya Ayron

Find the abaya in all its styles at the shop of French-Algerian stylist Norya Ayron. A striking dress popular with Sharon Stone, Kate Moss and Isabelle Adjani.

32, souk El Jeld Sidi Abdelaziz

 Terrasse des épices

Terrasse des épices

©Facebook Terrasse Des Epices Restaurant Bar

To bring home the taste of Marrakech, seek out the eastern pastries of the Terrasse des épices restaurant. Gazell horns, chebakia, fekkas and makroudh... Pure delight!

15, souk cherifia, sidi abdelaziz, Marrakech Medina, 40000, Morocco

 Mustapha Blaoui

Mustafa Blaoui

©FACEBOOK Mustapha Blaoui

A genuine Ali Baba's cave hidden behind a discreet door in the Medina, this shop is dedicated to second-hand and antique decorative objects selected by an antiques dealer well known throughout Marrakech.

144 Arset Aouzal Rd, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

33 rue Majorelle

Rue majorelle

©Facebook 33 Rue Majorelle

A concept store located across from the famous Majorelle Garden, sure to delight lovers of Moroccan décor with its traditional woven baskets, slippers with Berber designs and eastern lamps.

33 Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech 40000

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