Marrakesh is a delight to visit at any time, and each season shows a different side of the Red City. With events sprinkled on the calendar throughout the year, visitors have a wide variety of opportunities to tap into Marrakesh's cultural scene. Marrakesh tends to slumber in the winter months, when outdoor adventurers head to the nearby mountains to ski and romantics can cozy up in riads (traditional guesthouse), and the city is also quieter – but by no means closed – during the holy month of Ramadan.
Here's a month-by-month guide for the best time to visit Marrakesh.
Editor's note: During COVID-19, please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government health advice. Events may be subject to change.
High season: March to May and September to October
Best time for balmy temperatures
The pleasant temperatures are ideal for exploring and sightseeing without getting too sweaty, but accommodations fill up during holidays and school breaks. Find your groove at one of the music festivals on Marrakesh's ever-growing list of events.
Shoulder season: November to February
Best time for quiet sightseeing
Marrakesh still has blue skies in winter, but the temperature can nosedive after the sun goes down. Outside of the festive period, prices for accommodations are reasonable, and the lines at major attractions, such as Jardin Majorelle, will be shorter.
Low season: June to August
Best time for budget travelers
The city is scorching, and many Marrakeshis clear out of the city and head for the coast. Plan on lazy days and evening adventures to beat the brutal heat of the afternoon.
Here's a monthly guide to what you can expect through the year in Marrakesh. All events are subject to change.
January is the coldest month of the year in Marrakesh, with an average temperature of 65°F (19°C). It's also one of the rainiest months, but blue skies are sure to make an appearance. Pack layers and dress warmly; after the sun goes down, it can be chillier than you think. Accommodation prices are higher around New Year's, but low-season rates return toward the end of the month.
Key events: Marrakesh Marathon, Yennayer (Amazigh New Year)
February tends to be a quiet month in Marrakesh, and it's a great time for a day trip into the desert or to ski in the nearby Atlas Mountains. Prices at hotels and riads remain low. You can get a taste of Marrakesh's blossoming cultural scene during the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which showcases emerging and established artists from across the continent at La Mamounia, one of the city's most luxurious riads.
Key events: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Spring begins, and the flowers in the city's many gardens start to bloom. Tourist numbers begin to creep up, and by the end of the month, peak season is in full swing. Late March calls for a road trip into the Atlas Mountains, which are dotted with wildflower-filled fields.
Key events: TEDx Marrakesh, Beat Hotel
Temperatures are at their most pleasant for long days of meandering through the medina. During Easter, the city is packed to the gills with European families taking a mini-break, and accommodation prices soar. In 2021 and 2022, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan starts in April, which for visitors to Marrakesh could mean shorter business hours and closed shops.
Key events: Start of Ramadan in 2021 and 2022
Marrakesh is quieter after the Easter influx, so May is a good month for reasonable accommodation prices and shopping bargains in the souqs (marketplaces). Temperatures begin to climb, but it's not too sweaty for sightseeing. If you're planning on a day trip into the desert around Marrakesh, make it happen before summer starts in earnest and the temperatures are too high.
Summer is here, and tourist numbers dwindle as the temperatures climb. Look for special deals on riads and hotels. Souqs can get claustrophobic with the heat, so it pays to book into accommodations with a pool.
Key events: Marrakech du Rire Comedy Festival
Marrakesh is sizzling, with the highest average temperature of the year at 100°F (38°C). Visitor numbers remain low, except for the week that the National Festival of Popular Arts comes to town – it's one of Marrakesh's major annual events.
Key events: National Festival of Popular Arts, Feast of the Throne, Eid Al Adha in 2021 and 2022
The weather is still scorching hot, but the European holiday season brings some tourists and plenty of expat Moroccans to town for the break. Plan to explore the city in the evening and relax in the cool of your riad to miss the hottest parts of the day.
Key events: Atlas Electronic, Setti Fatma Moussem
Autumn begins late in Marrakesh, so don't expect cooler temperatures until the end of the month. If you like unusual fruit, you're in luck – it's prickly pear season, and they are available for sale in stalls around the medina.
Key events: Oasis Festival, Driftaway Music Festival, Origins Festival
Autumn properly arrives, alleviating the dust and heat and bringing fresh dates to souq stalls. A great time to be in the city with blue sky days and warm temperatures.
The temperatures have cooled enough to travel into the desert, and Marrakesh can get busy with adventurers heading out into the Sahara sands. Pack a sweater because the nights will get chilly.
Key events: Moroccan Independence Day
Overall, the city has started to quiet down in preparation for a winter hibernation. Accommodation prices jump during Christmas week as travelers seek winter sun over the festive season.
Key events: Marrakesh International Film Festival
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