24 Hours in Marrakesh

One of the most vibrant cities in Morocco, and a real treat for the senses. Take 24 hours to explore this colourful and evocative city…

9am The arrival of spring in Marrakech means 10 balmy hours of sunshine a day. Soak up as much of it as you can while enjoying an al fresco breakfast of pastries and sweet tea in the central square of Jemaa el-Fnaa.

10am Get your dirham ready and take the short walk to the famous Marrakech markets, made up of a seemingly endless maze of souks! Immerse yourself in the cavernous shops fi lled to the brim with everything imaginable. Keep your eyes peeled for palm readers, snake charmers and ventriloquists.

Noon After losing yourself in the atmosphere of the markets, take your pick of authentic local cuisine from one of the many stalls. Try the harira soup, kefta tagine and zaalouk.

1pm A visit to the Majorelle Gardens is a must. They used to be owned by French fashion designer Yves St Laurent, who purchased the land in the 80s and restored it to its former glory. It now contains nearly three acres of cacti, 41 species of birds, exotic plants and vibrant architecture. The perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the city.

3pm Built for the Sultan, Ahmad al-Mansur, in the 16th century, the lavish El Badi Palace was originally constructed out of marble but now only a ruin remains. Although it isn’t as grand as it once was, the interior of the Sultan’s palace still hints at its incredibly extravagant past.

5pm Ranked the sixth best luxury hotel in the world, La Mamounia may not be in the budget, but why not stop for a drink at this astounding art deco hotel, whose fans have included Winston Churchill. Sit in the opulent velvet-decked bar or outside in the gorgeous jasmine-fi lled exotic gardens.

7pm A short walk from Jemaa el- Fnaa you’ll find to the charming Le Restaurant at La Maison Arabe hotel. Expect distinctive tagines packed with fl avours, beautiful cocktails and delicious slow-cooked meats in a cosy setting.

10pm Head back to rest after a long and full day. Marrakech’s riads are historic, atmospheric and can provide some of the best-value places to stay.