Marrakech Nightlife

Entertainment and nightlife in the Medina revolves around Jemaa el Fna. For a drink in the Medina, choices are limited; apart from the Tazi, you can get a beer – or more likely a cocktail – in the Café Arabe, Kosybar or Le Tanjia, all of which double as upmarket bars. There are great bars of hotels such as the Mamounia or Royal Mansour, as well as the Comptoir Darna, which is an upmarket bar as well as a restaurant.
Nightclubs can be fun, though some at the top end of the market are a bit snooty, and may frown, for example, on jeans or trainers; most play a mix of Western and Arabic music, but it’s the latter that really fills the dancefloor. None of them really get going until around midnight (in fact, some don’t open until then), and they usually stay open until 3 or 4am.


Café Arabe

184 rue el Mouassine, Marrakech (00 212 524 429 728; Cafe Arabe is a firm favourite among the foreign contingent, and the rooftop terrace practically overlooks the nearby mosque (the call to prayer sounds particularly fine at sundown). It's the perfect spot for an alfresco drink, and also serves dinner.


Le Comptoir

Avenue Echouhada, Hivernage, Marrakech (00 212 524 437 702; For post-dinner drinks on a Saturday night, le tout Marrakech decamps to Le Comptoir for funky music in a gorgeous setting, resplendent with black and red tadlekt walls and a slinky grand staircase littered with pink rose petals. Well-heeled Marrakech comes out to play, with expensive drinks and a ritzy clientele. Interesting as an experience of modern Morocco at its most Westernised and fashion-conscious, it also serves dinner.


Le Palace Jad Mahal

Avenue Haroun Errachid, Hivernage, Marrakech (00 212 524 436 984). This is a complex of bar, restaurant and dance space beside the roundabout just over the way from the Mamounia. Take in the outrageous folie de grandeur of this contemporary orientalist fantasy.





Boulevard Mohamed VI, Marrakech (00 212 524 388 400; Sister to the iconic Ibiza club, Pacha Marrakech has a club, two restaurants (including Crystal, which features in Where to Eat), a pool and a bar in the sprawling complex.





Festivals and events

The two-week Festival National des Arts Populaires (, held in June or July each year, is the country’s biggest and best folklore and music festival, with musicians and dancers coming in from across Morocco and beyond, spanning the range of Moroccan music; shows start around 9pm and are preceded by a fantasia at Bab Jedid, with Berber horsemen at full gallop firing guns into the air.