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Guide to living in Marrakech: What you need to know 

Here is the complete guide to everything you need to know to live in Marrakech.

Marrakech, Morocco's "Red City", is a fascinating destination for travelers and expats alike. From the bustling souks and vibrant medina to tranquil gardens and historic monuments, Marrakech is a city of contrasts. With its unique blend of Arab, African and Mediterranean cultures, living in Marrakech can be a truly rewarding experience.

For newcomers, however, the city can be a bit overwhelming. To help you get the most out of life in the city, here's an insider's guide that covers everything from the basics of everyday life to the best places to explore. Whether you're looking for a taste of traditional Moroccan culture or modern conveniences, this guide will help you settle into Marrakech with ease.

Overview of Marrakesh

Marrakech is a popular destination for travelers due to its rich architectural and cultural heritage, UNESCO-listed medina, and bustling souks. The city also attracts new residents due to its cultural diversity and population of nearly 2 million. Living in Marrakech allows you to experience a unique culture, with souks offering a variety of items and local specialty shops in the quiet streets of the medina. The climate of Marrakech is pleasant and dry, with hot and humid temperatures during the summer and no winter season. The coldest months (December to February) are the driest.

Where to live in Marrakech

The medina of Marrakech is the bustling center of the city and a popular living destination for expats. Although charming and bustling, the medina can be a challenge for those who are easily overwhelmed. Despite its beauty and rich history, the medina can also be dangerous. Many expats choose to live in the suburbs and commute to work. The suburbs, such as Tagra or Marrakech-Essaouira, offer modern conveniences at more affordable prices than the city center. Most expats who live in the medina commute to work from outside the city. The medina of Marrakech, classified by UNESCO, is full of charm and must-see sites.

Cost of living in Marrakech

The cost of living in Marrakech depends on the location. Living in the medina can be expensive with average rents often exceeding $1,000 (10,000 dhs) per month. However, outside the city center there are more affordable accommodations. The cost of living for expats can be high due to factors such as transport and utilities, although food and drink are relatively inexpensive.

Shopping and dining in Marrakech

Shopping in the souks of the medina of Marrakech is a fascinating experience thanks to the lively and colorful atmosphere. Outside the medina there are well-priced grocery stores and supermarkets for basic items. To sample local delicacies, visit one of the many restaurants in the medina for a fun dining experience. If you want to save some money, shisha cafes in the medina offer a low-cost social experience. You can also explore the nearby town of Essaouira for affordable shopping.

Explore Marrakesh

If you want to discover the medina and the souks of Marrakech, you will be charmed by the city, abundant in incredible architecture and unique culture. There are several ways to explore the medina, such as a walking tour with stops in the small streets, guided tours with the many tourist companies, or even by bike or on horseback with the excursions offered. For a different experience, take a historical or tourist train to discover the city and the country in a fun way.

Safety in Marrakech

To live peacefully in Marrakech, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers in the city. Marrakech being a multicultural city, there are risks for expats, but you can minimize these by taking precautions. Keep an eye on your wallet and your phone when you are in public places such as the medina or the souks. In addition, avoid walking alone and opt for public transport or the company of a friend to be safe in the event of an assault or kidnapping.

Healthcare in Marrakech

Living in Marrakech can be dangerous for your health. It is therefore important to be aware of these risks and to protect yourself by taking the necessary precautions. If you are not covered by health insurance, be sure to get one before traveling to Marrakech. The city has many hospitals, among which most expatriates prefer private establishments. If you have health insurance, you can opt for public hospitals. There are also several clinics where expats can seek treatment for common medical needs. Make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations before moving to Marrakech.

Learn the language

Most expats will want to learn the Berber language, or Tamazight as it is commonly called. Tamazight is spoken by the Berber people who have inhabited Morocco for thousands of years. Although Tamazight is traditionally spoken, there are Tamazight courses that use a written form of the language. Many expats will want to learn the written form of Tamazight to improve their communication skills. There are many Tamazight classes in Marrakech that expats can attend. If you want to learn the language faster and with more immersion possibilities, you can also learn Tamazight online.

Tips for moving to Marrakech

– The best way to settle in Marrakech is to rely on a supportive community. You can find many expat and academic communities helping people settle in Marrakech. These communities can help you navigate the bureaucracy of moving to a new country and find a community.

– You can also find many expat groups on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. These groups are a great place to meet other expats and find information on local events and activities.

– If you plan to move with a partner, you can visit their family and introduce yourself. It will help you meet new people and make friends quickly.


The medina of Marrakech is a fascinating place to explore. It is a charming and unique mix of cultures, and a great place to experience traditional Moroccan culture. The medina is also a dangerous place for expats, so it is important to protect yourself. Living in Marrakech can be expensive and difficult, but it's a great place to explore new cultures and meet new friends.

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