A Guide to the Nightlife in Marrakech

A snake charmer in Marrakesh, Morocco.
A snake charmer in Marrakesh, Morocco. Kent St. John photos

Djemaa el-Fna is the hub of Marrakech’s  night time activity. The square really only comes alive at dusk, when pungent smoke from street food stalls mixes with the hot, heady air to give everything a surreal, mysterious atmosphere.

Storytellers entertain huge crowds and locals perform tricks while male belly dancers, spice sellers and medicine men trade their wares to the rhythmic accompaniment of street music.

The terrace in Café du Gran Balcon, imperfect in style but impressive for its views over Djemaa el-Fna, is the perfect place to observe the chaos below whilst sipping on a relaxing, sunset mint tea. If sunset cocktails sound more up your street, head to Kechmara Café Restaurant where you can enjoy sunset happy hour on their canopied roof-top terrace. This lively, cooler than cool bar also treats customers to live music and ever changing art exhibitions.

Looking for food? Le Tobsil, hidden away in the back streets of the Medina, is an old riad, restored to romantic perfection. They only serve a five course set menu (with accompanying aperitifs and wines), so you need to be hungry. But it’s worth taking the belt out a few notches for the delicious, market fresh Moroccan food on offer and to enjoy the elegant atmosphere.

For equal opulence, try La Villa des Orangers. Hidden behind one of those rickety, wooden Moroccan doors that belie the spacious luxury within, this hotel restaurant is a cut above the ordinary. The cuisine is French, the flavours unbelievable, and the candlelit tables by the stylish pool, scented by the beautiful surrounding gardens.

If, after all that food, dancing the night away still seems like a passable idea, Marrakech has a vast array of nightspots to choose from. Packed with the Marrakech jet set, international diplomats and famous footballers,

Orange juice for sale in Fna.
Orange juice for sale in Fna.

Le Comptoir is still the number one must-see and must-be-seen-at nightlife location in the city. Unassuming from the outside, inside the restaurant bar buzzes with the party atmosphere for which it is famous. Think dark red walls, extravagant chandeliers and regular performances from Comptoir’sbellydancers who descend on the main restaurant, candlelit and sequined, upon the hour.

Thêatro is another must for clubbers in the know. Hip, exotic and satisfyingly theatrical, the huge old theatre has been adapted to include cozy seating areas, a long bar and a pounding sound system. And for even bigger nights, there is only one name in town (well, slightly out of town) – Pacha Marrakech. The African branch of the Ibizan chain, has regular nights by big name DJs and all the dance floors, pool bars and podium dancers you’d expect from one of the biggest names in clubbing.

If you’d like to know more about where to go and what to do in Morocco, speak to the team of experts at the Ultimate Travel Company.