Marrakech may not be the capital but it is one of the biggest and most popular places to visit in Morocco. As well as being a historic city with the likes of the El Badi Palace and the Saadin Tombs, Marrakech is also a vibrant, noisy, exciting city, with a maze of souks to explore in the old town of Medina. But the question is what to wear… the good trip marketplace team have some suggestions!
What time of year are you going?
Thanks to the weather, Marrakech is a sought-after destination all year round. Whatever time of year you go you will enjoy warm, sunny climates. However, like most destinations, the seasons do vary. The warmest months are usually July to September where during the day it averages about 37 degrees and around 20 degrees at night so hot hot hot! If that sounds a bit overbearing then maybe head to Marrakech in the spring or autumn where it is usually mid 20’s to low 30’s during the day and in the teens during the night. Or why not leave the cold, rainy, miserable UK winter weather behind you and enjoy around 18 to 20 degrees during the day and anywhere from 4 to 8 degrees at night. The choice is yours!
So, what’s going in the suitcase?
Before you start throwing in your strappy tops, short shorts, miniskirts, tank tops, crop tops or anything else that might show off your legs, shoulders and cleavage…. Stop! There is no official dress code or laws in Marrakech but as a Muslim country it is very disrespectful to be showing off too much skin. If you are looking at the weather and thinking suns out guns out then be prepared for a lot of unwanted attention, especially if you are female. Bearing this in mind we suggest packing the following:
This is a must. Whatever time of year you go it is going to be warm so a light t-shirt would be best. It will also cover your shoulders and chest so ticks the respect boxes.
Even if you are just staying in the city it is going to be sandy and dusty, you are on the edge of a desert after all! So, if you are packing sandals or flip flops prepare for your feet to get very dirty. You will be doing plenty of walking so a pair of trainers or a closed toe shoe will be comfortable for wandering around in and by the end of the day your feet won’t be grubby and gross! Put this type of shoe on as well if you are venturing into the sandy desert to do activities such as camel riding or quad biking. If you are planning on leaving Marrakech to explore the magnificent Atlas Mountains then you might get away with a decent pair of trainers but a pair of walking shoes would probably be better.
As mentioned, showing too much leg is disrespectful so try and pack at least knee length skirts or a midi skirt which comes down quite far. Don’t take anything that is going be to flowy and come below the ankle. It will just drag on the sandy, dusty ground and get very dirty very quickly.
Jeans / Trousers / Chinos.
So skirts help the girls but what about the boys? Not many Moroccan men wear shorts. If you want to fit into the Moroccan culture then pack a pair of jeans, light trousers or chinos. Chinos are lighter and a bit more breathable than jeans making them more comfortable in a hot climate. You can dress up or down with this style of trouser as well which is a bonus. However, it does get quite cool in the evenings, especially in the winter months so by all means pack a pair of jeans. Girls, if you are not a fan of skirts then take your jeans or loose trousers too as they will obviously still cover your pins. They will also be way more comfortable to wear than a skirt if you are planning the likes of camel riding.
Cardigan / Jumper.
Yes, still take the likes of a cardigan, jumper or hoodie. You might lap up the sun during the day but it can be cool at night and first thing in the morning, especially outside of summer months. Also, if you are thinking of heading out into the countryside to explore the Atlas Mountains or taking a camel ride in the desert then take a couple of layers. As you know, mountains are chilly and the desert goes from scorching hot during the day to very cold at night, even in the summer.
Sun Cream, sunglasses and a cap.
This is an obvious one really, lovely hot sunshine means protecting yourself. Keep putting plenty of sun cream on if outside for long periods of time, especially in the summer’s baking heat. As for the sunnies or cap, you will need them whatever time of year you go. You don’t want to be squinting all the time and missing all the sites Marrakech has to offer!
No, this is not a crazy idea, definitely take a scarf to sizzling Marrakech! Head to the souks in Medina to experience the meandering puzzle of stalls and you could be going from the cool shade of the narrow streets to the hot sun in the squares quite regularly. Rather than wearing a jumper a scarf can help you stay warm whilst you are in the shade. If you feel you are maybe showing off too much skin, or just want some extra protection from the sun, then a scarf is a great way to cover up as well. Finally, if you are planning on visiting a Mosque then you can use your scarf to cover your head. I believe that’s enough reasons to bring a scarf so get it in the bag!
Jacket and woolly hat in the winter.
Another crazy statement you might think! If you are not planning on going out exploring and just staying in the city then you might get away without, but venture to the desert at night or climbing the mountains then take a decent jacket and woolly hat. It is not just winter though, the mornings and evenings can be cold at any time of the year so take a light jacket or at least plenty of layers just in case.
It is always good to take a bag for drinks and treats when exploring but make sure it is secure. Unfortunately, pickpocketing is well known in Marrakech so make sure to keep your bag close to you and shut securely when wearing it. Whilst on the subject of security do not leave your sunglasses, wallet, purses or mobile phone just sitting on a table or anywhere it is exposed as this is just an easy win for opportunists. You have been warned!
Clothing for the hotel.
You will have picked up by now that covering up is probably the best idea when exploring Marrakech. However, the good news is that the majority of hotels (but check before you travel!) do not expect you to follow the same rules whilst on the premises. So, throw in that swimsuit to enjoy the pool, a pair of shorts or silk dress for strolling around the hotel and even bring your trusty flip flops. Marrakech is an affordable destination so why not pack a smart casual style outfit to wear when treating yourself to that delicious meal in a nice restaurant. However, when leaving the hotel and wandering the streets remember to cover up.
What to wear in Marrakech... concluded.
With sun all year round, the craziness of the many souks, the hustle and bustle of an exciting city plus adventures in the desert and Atlas Mountains makes Marrakech a fascinating place to visit. Nonetheless, it is best to be respectful so pack appropriately and in a way that you will keep at least your shoulders, chest and most of your legs covered. Pack light and loose garments… it is not the climate for dark and tight clothing! I hope this blog has helped and enjoy the magic of Marrakech!
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