Morocco is exotic, tantalizing and incredibly beautiful. A feast for the senses and especially for the eyes. You could call it a photographer’s wet dream. The endless hills of the desert, real life palaces, the impressive Kasbah of Ait Bennadou, and kittens galore in Essaouira – the options are endless.Mind you, for me, there is nothing like Marrakech. The colors, the textures, the beautiful chaos. If you have been there you can surely appreciate why I love this city so much. Taking pictures there never gets boring.
Where to start? I’m glad you ask. Let me take you on a visual journey to my favorite photogenic, Instagram-worthy spots in and around Marrakech. And in case you want to go there yourself, just follow this map for the exact spots.
#sunset // Jemaa el Fna
The Jemaa el Fna is the loudly beating heart of Marrakech. Day or night you will find wonderful madness here. A highlight is definitely sunset when all the surrounding mosques start their call to prayer at more or less the same time.
Cafe de France, a firm institution is the place to be for the most spectacular view over the square. Mind you, it gets busy here and places fill up quickly. If you want to get a first-row seat on the roof terrace for you and your tripod come early and be prepared to defend your spot fiercely.
Alternatively, you can go to either cafe on the other side of it. The view is just as good!
#doorporn // Derb Dabachi
Some countries just know how to do doors and Morocco is one of them. Solid and gold, shabby and chic – the options are endless and have inspired a fair share of photographers.
Part of its appeal is of course what lies behind. The rule of thumb seems to be – the more humble the door, the more splendid the riad behind.
One of my favorites is this little mint colored one which leads into Chambres d’Amis second house.
#queenofthedesert // Agafay Desert
People are often disappointed when they arrive in Marrakech and realize there is no desert in the immediate vicinity. In order to find sand dunes and play Lawrence of Arabia, you will need to travel for a day. However, you could just go to Agafay, the stone desert just an hour’s drive from Marrakech.
Here you will find endless rolling hills of gravel, sparse population, luxury tented camps, and of course make new friends.
#arabiannights // La Mamounia
I don’t have numbers to back it up but I doubt there is a more photographed hotel than the La Mamaounia. Especially famous are the pool and the open-air walkway that leads to their business center.
While the hotel is always worth an overnight visit you can also just book a spa treatment to get access to the pool.
#50shadesofgreen // Le Jardin Secret
While I love Jardin Majorelle and think its iconic blue makes for a beautiful backdrop, crowds often keep me from going.
In its place, I’ve discovered the recently opened Le Jardin Secret in the middle of the medina. Cacti, water fountains, and beautiful tiles offer a hideaway from the busyness of the souks and make for great pictures. The best part is that it comes without big crowds because at least for now it still honors its name.
#shopaholic // Place des Epices
While I love getting lost in the souks, I find taking pictures there quite tricky. Too many people, too many vendors who will ask for money and low light makes it little fun.
However, there is a little airy beauty shop on the Places des Epices that I like. Not only does the owner show off its wares in a picture perfect array but he also doesn’t mind photographs if you buy a little something (no hard task at this shop!).
#magicalmorocco // El Feen rooftop
Nothing beats sunset with the Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas Mountains in the background.
I took this shot from the rooftop of El Fenn but there are many others that will work. Just check your riad as most have a terrace on top.
#blessed // Above the Clouds
Want to get even higher and see Marrakech and its surroundings from above? Or how about taking some cloud pictures up close while admiring the Atlas Mountains?
Either way, get high with Maroc Montgolfière in one of their hot air balloons.
#backtoschool // Ben Youssef Madrasa
Probably one of the most famous historic building in Marrakech is the Ben Youssef Madrasa, the old Koran school. Not only interesting for architecture lovers, it is also Insta-famous.
Mind you, it can be tricky to get a shot without people (or with the people you actually want to photograph) but is so worth it.
#riadlife // Riad Les Yeux Bleu
Few riads are as popular for pictures as Riad Yasmine. I, however, love the little, hidden gem, Riad Les Yeux Bleu. The interior is Moroccan yet modern and comes in rich jewel tones and the small pool in the courtyard perfect for a splash or photo session.
Have you been to Marrakech? What are you favorite places to take photos there?