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48 hours in Marrakesh

Where to stay

The most authentic accommodation is a riad, a traditional house built around a courtyard that’s operated like a small boutique hotel. The Riad Jona is within an easy walk of the famous Jemaa El-Fnaa square, and has a rooftop pool, hot tub, and bar.

If you’d prefer a larger hotel, La Mamounia blends modern amenities with Moroccan style. Contemporary art and antique sculptures fill the opulent entrance area, while the 17 acres of gardens have 700-year-old olive trees, roses, orange blossoms, and cacti. A 10-minute drive from the airport and five minute-walk from the Jemaa El Fna Square, La Mamounia features two pools, clay tennis courts, a gym, and a full spa with hammams.

Day 1

Fuel up for the day with a traditional breakfast on the roof of the Jona, which includes crepes, jam, fruit, cheese, and Moroccan pastries. Marrakesh is a walkable city, with sights to soak in with every step.

Choose your afternoon adventure

For lunch, check out 16 Café across the street from the Musée Yves Saint Laurent. Try the quiche, avocado tartare, or scallops.

With its colonial-style décor, La Salama looks like it’s straight out of scene from Casablanca. For dinner, order the lamb tagine with couscous.

Day 2

Start the morning with breakfast on the terrace of Café des Epices overlooking the souks. Try a traditional "beldi breakfast," which comes with a crepe, omelet, flatbread, amlou (similar to peanut butter), olive oil, honey, and fruit salad. Pair it with a beetroot, apple, and ginger juice and a spiced coffee.

Choose your afternoon adventure

For a modern twist on Moroccan cuisine, dine at the Nomad for lunch. Order small dishes to get the full experience, such the briouat (a filled puff pastry), mezze plate, and shaved cauliflower and fennel salad.

For your final dinner, enjoy the tasting menu at the La Sultana hotel. Start with the pigeon pastille and eggplant quenelles, then on to tagine of Oualidia mussels and monkfish medallions, ending with traditional mint tea and petits fours. La Sultana also offers cooking classes if you want to take some of their culinary secrets home with you. Afterwards, take time to linger in the Jemaa el Fna and wander through the food stalls, snake charmers, story-tellers, and magicians, and then pick up any final trinkets or spices from the souks.

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