Day One

  • Central Souqs

Spend the morning diving into the central souqs before they get swamped with crowds. Sniff out spice at Pl Rahba Kedima and stop for a mid-morning mint-tea break at Café des Épices. Afterwards experience a double whammy of architectural glory at the Ali ben Youssef Medersa and the Musée de Marrakech.

Continue the historic finery theme in the medina's southern section, viewing the glorious ceilings of Bahia Palace and the dazzling Saadian Tombs. Have a coffee break on the rooftop of the Kasbah Cafe before you wander back into the medina’s central hub, stopping off to view the graceful interiors and exhibits of the Dar Si Said along the way.

  • Dinner in the courtyard at PepeNero
  • Djemaa El Fna & Around

Grab a spot on one of the cafe terraces of Djemaa El Fna to capture photos of the floodlit Koutoubia minaret and the full caboodle of the lit-up square as it fires into party-mode. Then launch yourself into the madness to experience the best of the late-night carnival action.

Day Two

  • Central Souqs

Weave your way through the narrow alleys to see the blacksmiths hammering away in Souq Haddadine before viewing a slice of old Marrakesh in Maison de la Photographie. Stop off at Musée Boucharouite for a peek at lesser-known Moroccan crafts before diving back into the souqs for a spot of shopping.

An afternoon in Mouassine beckons. Check out Marrakesh’s caravan history in Funduq El Amir then admire the restored finery on show at the Musée de Mouassine. Trawl for original gift ideas amid the funky boutiques of Souk Cherifa and spot textile dyers at work in Souq des Teinturiers. Take a mint tea break amid historic ambience of Dar Cherifa, then scrub off the souq dust and rejuvenate aching joints with a hammam at Le Bain Bleu.

  • Dinner at Al Fassia; don't forget to book
  • Ville Nouvelle

After top-notch tajine action at Al Fassia, stay in Guéliz for a drink or two. If you're after a casual, laid-back vibe head to Café du Livre; for a fashion-forward, youthful crowd check out Kechmara; or squeeze into tiny 68 Bar a Vin.

Day Three

  • Ville Nouvelle

Grab a coffee and some macarons at Pâtisserie Amandine then head to MACMA to view its Orientalist art. Continue on arty ground with a stroll through the old painter abode of Jardin Majorelle. Wrap yourself up in this tranquil haven of bamboo groves, birdsong and lashings of cobalt blue and brush up on Berber culture within the garden’s fabulous Musée Berbère.

Head to the kasbah for an afternoon getting lost amid the skinny alleyways of the mellah (Jewish quarter), and explore the city's Jewish history at the Lazama Synagogue and Miaâra Jewish Cemetery. Then visit Maison Tiskiwin to view the ethnographic exhibits. Sit upon the ramparts surveying the ruins and their noisy storks in Badi Palace then hop across to Kosybar for a well-earned drink and more stork watching on the rooftop.

  • Dinner on the rooftop at Dar Anika
  • Riads Zitoun & Kasbah

Head to Cafe Clock to check out the evening's live music or cultural event.

Day Four

  • Mouassine & Bab Doukkala

Discover some quieter medina action amid the derbs (alleys) that spiral off Rue Bab Doukkala before dropping into Henna Cafe for a mint-tea break and maybe a bit of henna art on your hands. Take another spin through the souqs to pick up souvenirs, then relax amid the shady medina garden of Le Jardin Secret.

Shopping and souqing over for the day, do as the Marrakshis do to beat the heat and head out of the centre for some serious poolside lounging. An afternoon of swimming and sunbathing amid the palm-shaded haven of the Beldi Country Club is the perfect antidote for souq-weary feet.

After all that relaxation it’s time to dive back into medina life by sampling some more of the magic of Djemaa El Fna. Munch on snails (if you dare), watch music troupes and acrobats woo the punters, grab a late night snack at a Djemaa food stall and soak up the full-on craziness of the open air theatre for one last time.