Marrakesh International Film Festival, December
Marrakech Festival of Popular Arts, July
Marrakech Biennale, February–May, every second year
Oasis Festival, September
It can be chillier than you think in mid-winter so pack something warm. The New Year's Eve period is peak season in the city so book ahead and expect high accommodation prices.
Limber up and join the local runners for the city's annual marathon. The circular, and completely flat route begins near Djemaa El Fna in the medina, races out to the palmeraie (palm groves), and then heads back again into the old city's ramparts.
Every second year the Marrakech Biennale begins its four-month run, with art installations springing up across the city. Planning a side-trip into the High Atlas? Be aware that heavy snow can still block roads.
Held every even-numbered year, the Marrakech Biennale hosts a program of artistic, architectural, digital and literary works in venues throughout the city, highlighting both local and international artists. Events run from February through May.
Spring begins and the flowers in the city's gardens start to bloom. Tourism numbers are low, however, so make the most of accommodation bargains. Late March is Atlas day-tripping time with wildflower-filled fields aplenty.
Temperatures are at their most pleasant for long days of medina meanders. During Easter the city is packed to the gills with European families taking a mini-break and hotel prices soar. Book rooms in advance.
Ramadan begins. The city is quiet after the Easter influx so it's a good month for accommodation and souq shopping bargains. Temperatures begin to climb, but it's not too sweaty for sightseeing.
Jazz fiends and music lovers get their annual injection of the music genre at MadJazz with concerts that blend Moroccan traditional musical styles with both classic and modern jazz.
If travelling during Ramadan (the Muslim holy month), when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, you won't be expected to observe the fast but should refrain from eating and smoking in public during daylight. Most tourist sites and business keep shorter hours during the month.
Summer is here and tourist numbers dwindle; look for riad accommodation special deals. Souqs can get claustrophobic with the heat. Do as the Marrakshis do and head for a pool.
It's sizzling in the city and tourist numbers remain low except for the week the Festival of Popular Arts comes to town – one of Marrakesh's major annual events.
Festival of Popular Arts
Folk music gets its platform as the Festival of Popular Arts rolls into town with Berber musicians and dance troupes from across Morocco peforming for the masses.
It's a scorcher weather-wise but the European holiday season brings some tourists and plenty of expat Moroccans to town for the break.
Autumn begins late in Marrakesh so don't expect cooler temperatures until late in the month. If you like unusual fruit, you're in luck – it's prickly pear season. Buy them from medina stalls for Dh1.
In the days leading up to Eid Al Adhar (Feast of the Sacrifice) ad-hoc sheep markets spring up across the city. On the actual day, the souqs, shops and many restaurants are closed, though Djemaa El Fna springs back into action during the evening. In 2018 and 2019, the holiday falls at the end of August.
Marrakesh's newest festival is a mash-up of bohemian yoga vibes and serious electronica tunes. DJs from across Morocco and beyond head to the Oasis Festival to play sets at this three day feast of contemporary music.
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 temperatures that hover in the mid-20s.
Intellectuals and culture-vultures gear up for the TEDx Marrakesh event. A TED offshoot, it focuses on local issues related to North Africa, Morocco and Marrakesh.
It's desert travel season and Marrakesh can get busy with adventurers heading out into the Sahara sands. Pack your jumper and an umbrella; the nights are getting chilly and November is Marrakesh's rainiest month.
Riad prices jump during Christmas week as holidaymakers seek some winter sun over the festive season.
Major Islamic Holidays
The rhythms of Islamic practice are tied to the lunar calendar; each year the Muslim calendar thus begins around 11 days earlier than the preceding year. Dates are approximate as they rely on the sighting of the new moon.
Eid Al Fitr
Eid Al Adhar
Islamic New Year
Moulid An Nabi