Although Morocco is an Islamic country, there is a laid-back attitude
towards alcohol, which is widely available, with bars in most
of the tourist districts staying open late. Local products, such as wines,
beers and mineral water are
and good value while imported
drinks tend to be more expensive.
By Moroccan standards, Marrakech has
something of a reputation for its nightlife, which covers modern discos
to traditional belly-dancing. The medina provides
conventional activities during the evening in the form of cafés,
food stalls and street entertainment, with everything revolving
around Jemaa-el-Fna. Some of the hotels have rooftop
cafés overlooking the square, while many of riads (historic
merchants’ houses) have been converted into upmarket restaurants
offering the full Moroccan experience, including a vast feast, music
and dancing. However, please note that it is not a common custom to drink alcohol
outside. In the bars that sell alcoholic beverages, drinkers consume
beer inside and glasses of coffee on the terrace.
For modern evening entertainment go to Guéliz. Situated along
avenue Mohammed V, particularly
around Abdel Moumen ben Ali, are most of the city’s
bars, as well as a good selection of restaurants, bistros and pavement
cafés, also in this part of the city the nightclubs and discos
are located. Some hotels have discos that attract both tourists
and Moroccans. Bars at the can be very insular since they are often
preferable to those outside, which tend to be a male preserve and
occasionally intimidating. Bars and clubs stay open until late and
the dress code is quite casual. For nightclubs, expect to pay a
hefty (by Moroccan standards) entrance fee.
Bars in the medina, the selection is limited as most of the action is happening
outside in the square. Head to the Hôtel Tazi
located on the corner of rue Bab Agnaou and avenue Houman el Fetouaki.
The hotel bar is more of a television lounge, and fairly unatmospheric,
but does have a good choice of local and imported beers. The
Hotel Jardins de la Koutoubia, 26 rue de la Koutoubia in the medina has a piano bar that comes complete with piano player
and offers a great place to sip cocktails by the pool.
Guéliz has a much greater selection of bars, with
some quite seedy so it is better to stick to the ones listed below:
• Le Mirador, the rooftop café-bar
above La Renaissance
• Place Abdel Moumen ben
• Le Petit Poucet, avenue
• The Café-Bar de l’Escale,
rue Mauretania, off avenue Mohammed V is a relaxed place to drink
and beers can be taken out onto the pavement tables, the only other
place that allows this is the Café Atlas,
place Abdel Moumen, also off the avenue Mohammed V.
The Palais des Congrès, avenue de France,
is a huge ritzy complex that boasts 4 café-bars.
• Café Oued el Had, avenue Casablanca,
just outside the town, is a smaller complex of 3 bars, open until
The most glamorous hotel bar in the city is undoubtedly Le
Churchill, the bar of the Hôtel La Mamounia,
avenue Bab Jedid, which has a sumptuous Moorish and Art Deco interior,
and a very strict dress code, turning away shorts, back-packs and
trainers, depending who is on the door.
Marrakech-Paris, avenue Echouada, Hivernage, both gourmet restaurant and cocktail
bar is still 1 of the hippest places in
Marrakech, but has been joined by Palais Jad Mahal,
another restaurant/ bar but with subterranean nightclub that gets
going after midnight. Guests are welcome to drink alongside the
mostly French residents in the interior and rooftop bar at Le
Marrakech hotel, place de la Liberté, Guéliz.
Mamounia Casino located in the Hôtel La Mamounia,
avenue Bab Jedid (telephone number: (044) 388 600), has a Grand
Casino, with roulette, craps and blackjack. A less grand alternative
is Es Saadi Hôtel, avenue Kadissa, Hivernage
(telephone number: (044) 448 811). Entrance to both is free but
a jacket and tie are required. These casinos require fairly high
minimum stakes to play, which makes them not so attractive for the novice
Marrakech has a reputation in Morocco for nightlife activities, but do
not expect to find the Western style clubs much. Morocco
is, after all, an Islamic country and nightclubs that they have tend
to be geared towards visitors and found mainly in hotels and the
music tends to be a mixture of Western pop music and Moroccan hits,
some local girls who hang out there are prostitutes so tread
Avenue, at the Hotel Le Meridien N’Fisthe ground floor, avenue de la Menara, is 1 of the
newest and most sparkling discotheques in Marrakech. Although the
dance floor is quite small, it has been
decorated and on
the right night, it is a very popular place. For glamour head to the
Cotton Club, Hôtel Tropicana, Lotissement
Semlalia, while the slightly camp Diamant Noir,
Hôtel le Marrakech, place de la Liberté, avenue Mohammed
V, although not very trendy, they have an easy-going party atmosphere.
Palais Jad Mahal, Fontaine de la Mamounia, Bab
Jdid is a restaurant/bar just outside the medina and has a
young and trendy subterranean nightclub playing an
mix of music.
The greatly popular New Feeling, Palmeraie Golf
Palace, Circuit de Palmeraie, is still the pick of the bunch, although
it requires a petit taxi to get there and is the most expensive
For all types of live music, Jemaa-el-Fna is the place to go and you may sometimes find a group playing in the grounds behind
the Koutoubia Mosque on Avenue Mohammed V. The
National Festival of Popular Arts (see Special
Events page) held over a fortnight each summer in el Badi
Palace and offers the chance to listen
to a wide selection of Berber tribal music.