New openings in Marrakech

Marrakesh – an evolving city with new cultural spaces

Jardin des Arts sculpture park Marrakesh

The amazing confluence of design talent in Marrakech is testament to the city’s vibrancy. Marrakech is a city of inspiration, innovation and creativity and proves itself to be a magnetic draw to artists and designers from all over the world. It is also a rich source of creativity for Moroccans themselves.

Green yellow mask Anima Garden Marrakech

Artists and designers draw inspiration from both the traditional and modern aspects of the city of Marrakech – the combinations of colours, patterns and design are tremendously appealing. You can pick this up just wandering around the souks – and you can see it reflected in countless blogs, design magazines, and websites that feature Moroccan-inspired design.

We’ve put together a new list of must-sees in and around Marrakech for those interested in art, culture and gardens:

Recently-opened museums in Marrakech

MACMA Musée d’Art et de Culture de Marrakech

MCMA Marrakech Art and Culture Museum

Opened in February 2016, this privately-owned art and culture museum is in a modern 400 m² space that is light and airy within the constraints of museum exhibitions and the requirements of conservation. Permanent exhibitions will be enriched with collectors’ pieces both private and from foundations. There are paintings, objets d’art and old black and white photographs. The museum also boasts an art library and literary café with poetry readings and musical evenings.

MACMA Art Museum in Marrakesh

MACMA Sculpture in MarrakeshThe museum is in the new town of Gueliz. 50 dh entry charge.
61, rue de Yougoslavie – Passage Ghandouri, Guéliz – Marrakech
212 (0)5 24 44 83 26
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Musée de la Civilisation Marocaine de l’Eau — the Museum of Moroccan Civilization and of Water was officially opened by Crown Prince Moulay Hasson on January 5th, 2017. It highlights Moroccan expertise in water management in what is an arid part of the world and how it is managed and distributed in villages and town.

Inauguration Museum of Civilization and Water Marrakesh

Water wheel at the Museum of Civilization and Water Marrakech

It is designed to raise awareness among Moroccans about the value of water and water conservation.

It also draws attention to the role played by the Islamic foundations and the spiritual dimension of water.

There is a permanent exhibition as well as temporary ones and plans are underway for an outdoor exhibition to supplement the museum.

Museum of Civilization and Water Marrakech

Recently opened gardens featuring both art and gardens

Musée de la Palmeraie
Anima Garden
Le Jardin des Arts

Musee de la Palmeraie Marrakech sign

Musée de la Palmeraie

Several kilometers away in the Palmeraie (Palm grove) that is along the road to Fez, you find the Musée de la Palmeraie, opened in 2011, that features a photographic exhibition, modern paintings and sculptures by Moroccan artists. It is housed in a beautiful building and grounds that has a mix of sculptures and gardens – a herb garden, a rose garden and an Andalusian garden – and a space for kiddies. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Musee de la Palmeraie Marrakech sculpture garden

Musee de la Palmeraie Marrakech art gallery

Douar Tounsi – Route de Fes – Marrakech Palmeraie
Tel : +212 661 085 352
Email :

Anima Garden

Donkey man Anima Garden Marrakesh

Along the road to Ourika, 27 km from Marrakech, is the Anima Garden opened in April 2016. The garden is a labour of love by Austrian artist, André Heller. What was previously a rose garden but no longer viable is now a 2-hectare space filled with hundreds of varieties of trees and plants. Anima is in addition a cultural space featuring works of art by German painter Hans Werner Geerdts, as well as numerous colourful sculptures.

Noah s ark Marrakech Anima Garden

There is a shuttle service several times a day – from the parking area behind the Koutoubia mosque right in the centre of Marrakesh.

For a virtual tour of the gardens

Le Jardin des Arts, Gueliz

ardin des Arts sculpture Marrakesh

In the new town of Guéliz, a sculpture park featuring thirteen works by various Moroccan artists, Le Jardin des Arts is another new addition to the gardens of Marrakech.


Open to the public since November 2016, it is situated close to the Bardai roundabout on Avenue Mohammed V.


Marrakech modern sculpture Jardin des Arts
Sculpture Jardin des Arts in Marrakesh







The Secret Garden in Marrakesh

The Secret Garden in MarrakechOpposite the popular Café Arabe, in Marrakesh,  you will find yourself in paradise – a welcome rest especially after a day traipsing the dusty, narrow streets of the souks and being hustled by overzealous stallholders.

Le Jardin Secret was just that: a mysterious place that existed behind a 30ft-high wall deep in the medina of Marrakech.

This historic riad garden has been recreated and is now open to the public.

We would add it to our list of top ten things to see in Marrakech.

10 great reasons to visit The Secret Garden in Marrakech

  1. It is an historic site that features lovely gardens and a Palace.
  2. There is only one tower at The Secret Garden: its height exceeds certain minarets of the city! It offers stunning views over the rooftops of the medina and the Atlas Mountains. A great place to view Marrakech and its surroundings.
  3. There are several gardens including the new historic site “The Secret Garden”: the first garden is called “exotic” and collects plants from around the world and the second “Islamic”, symbolizes a representation of the Muslim paradise on earth.
  4. The Secret Garden features plants from the 5 continents
  5. The “Islamic” garden is divided into four beds separated by beautiful fountains
  6. There is a lovely terrace café where you can eat and stay for hours and hours
  7. There is a fabulous shop to buy interesting souvenirs of your visit.
  8. You will want to visit and revisit this natural setting within the Marrakech medina.
  9. Lovely place to take photographs
  10. It is not expensive

A bit of background from over the centuries:

16th century: Sultan Moulay Abdallah began the urbanization of the Mouassine district and erected a splendid palace on the ground of the current Secret Garden

19th century: After the destruction of the palace during the decline of the Saadian dynasty, the Qaid al-Hajj ‘Abd-Allah-U Bihi begins the reconstruction of the Palace following the plans and designs of the Saadian era. Lush gardens are planted near the new palace. Qaid is poisoned for political reasons by the Sultan Muhammad IV who hated him: the property returns to the hands of the qadi (judge) Moulay Mustapha.

1912: The judge exchanges his palace for the house of al-Hajj Muhammad Loukrissi, a resident in Fes head of the corporation of watchmakers of Marrakech. He lived there until 1934, the year of his death.

From 1934 to 2000: The land was no longer maintained and was gradually falling apart.

2008: The idea of restoring the garden and palace gains ground with a passionate team of history buffs interested in Marrakech.

2016: The Secret Garden is opened for the pleasure of travelers to Marrakech.

2017: There is already talk of night visits being organized … stay tuned.

The shop and café are open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to the garden is 50 dirhams per person – 25 dirhams for Moroccan residents (ID required) – children enter for free.

Admission prices for a guided tour of the palace is 30 dirhams per person – children below 12 years of age 20 dirhams

The Secret Garden Marrakech

Mouassine street

Medina – Marrakech

Tel: +212 (0) 5 24 39 00 40


How to stay cool in Marrakech

If you’re currently in Marrakech or planning to go, check out this article from The Hotel Guru on keeping cool in Marrakech – where it’s currently hot, hot

Manzil La Tortue MarrakechCheck out their article on this link

For further ideas, see our own posts

Jnane Tamsna Swimming Marrakech Palmeraie


Marrakech Biennale Art Exhibition 2016


Marrakech Biennale 2016

Upcoming events in Marrakech – the Biennale. Join a crowd of art lovers going to see the Marrakech Biennale – from February 24th to May 8th, 2016. The theme of this year’s event is “Not New Now / Quoi de neuf là”

The Marrakech Biennale, 6th Edition, has made great efforts to build bridges and foster mutual understanding and collaboration between regions in the contemporary art field.

The art scene in Morocco has been growing in recent years and Marrakech, with a number of new modern art galleries, has become the most sought-after and stylish destination in North Africa.

New restaurant in Marrakech

Another new restaurant opening in #Marrakech

Buddha Bar in Marrakech door

Buddha-Bar in #Marrakech Bar Lounge Restaurant with Zen music mix

Buddha Bar in Marrakech Restaurant and Lounge

The latest addition to this hotel franchise created by Raymond Visan and Claude Challe – the first restaurant bar lounge being opened in Paris, France in 1996.

The Buddha-Bar attracts foreign yuppies and wealthy tourists – offering an upscale bar-restaurant with an orientalist ‘lounge’ ambience” serving Asian cuisine and DJ music offering an eclectic mix of avant-garde music . The franchise has even compiled albums of their music mix under the Buddha Bar brand released by George V Records.

Buddha Bar in Marrakech


The opening night in #Marrakech was on Friday, October 23rd, 2015. The Buddha-Bar is close to the new Menara Mall – check the opening night video


Amal Women’s Training Centre and Marrakech Restaurant

Restaurant in Marrakech Amal

We are so pleased that Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant have won this award. We have much admired their work – combining good food, great value and a charitable component that helps women in need in Marrakech.

Congratulations from Riad Sapphire and Spa – our riad in Marrakech run as a luxury boutique hotel


Latitude 31 new restaurant in Marrakech

Latitude 31 restaurant patio Marrakech

Already #3 on Tripadvisor, this restaurant on the road between Riad Laarous and Bab Doukkala has shot up on the popularity list.  It is easily accessible from our riad, Riad Sapphire and Spa.  From the square at Riad Laarous, take the road west that leads past the Mohamed V high school.  The restaurant is on your left-hand side. You enter via a wide corridor and turn right into a really large courtyard – with shady trees and palms.

menu-latutude31-nest-pas-restaurantStarter menu Latitude 31 restaurant in Marrakech

The menu can be described as nouvelle Moroccan cuisine – a blend of traditional and modern Moroccan cooking. Dishes are beautifully presented – like works of art.

It’s slightly expensive and does not have an alcohol licence.


latitude31 dessert Restaurant Marrakech







Open from noon to 11 p.m. Closed on Wednesdays

86, rue El Gza Arset lhiri Bab Doukkala – Marrakech, 186 Rue el Gza, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco


Phone:+212 5243-84934


Nomad restaurant in Marrakech

Nomad restaurant in Marrakech – newly opened near the main square, Place Jemaa el Fna’

Nomad restaurant in Marrakech

Already receiving great reviews, this restaurant just off the south east corner of Place des Épices, is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene in the medina with its mix of Moorish flavors and spices with contemporary cooking techniques.

You will be pleased to discover interesting new takes on classic dishes , for instance the Tunisian brik –  a vegetarian pastille filled with beetroot and other vegetables.  It all makes for a refreshing change to typical Moroccan dishes – something you come to appreciate after you’ve been a while in Marrakech.

The restaurant is pleasantly decorated – simple and chic. In the mid-price range, it’s good value.

Nomad restaurant decor and kitchen store Chabi Chic

To find it, take the small street tucked in the southeast corner of the Places des Épices and walk about 5 paces to a smart shop window that is a kitchen supply store, called Chabi Chic.  Here you’ll find some of the tableware as well as beautifully packaged quality spices and oils as used in the restaurant.

The restaurant is upstairs – with a salon and some dining areas, then higher up are two roof terraces with an interesting view over the Place des Epices, the entrance to the carpet market formerly the old slave market.

1 Derb Aarjan. Marrakech Médina

Tel. +212 5 24 38 16 09


Restaurant in souks of Marrakech

Un déjeuner à Marrakech

roof terrace at Marrakech restaurant un dejeuner a marrakech

Rather a long name for a restaurant, it has nevertheless earned a good reputation by providing excellent and beautifully presented meals and delicious desserts. Excellent value for money.. There are several floors with a roof terrace about three floors up—if you still have energy to mount the stairs.

It’s north along the road that leads from the Bahia Palace, keep walking until you reach a small square. If you look right, you’ll see the Jamade store offering Heritage Berbère perfumes and accessories. Looking straight ahead is the store Nina l’Étrangère selling felt hats and very reasonably-priced clothing and next to that another café. Opposite this café is Un déjeuner à Marrakech. It has just been refurbished with tasteful Moroccan tiles up the stairs and a cleaner more modern look.

2-4 Angle Rue Kennaria et Douar Graoua

Marrakech medina

Tel. 05 24 37 83 87

Cell: 06 11 27 89 19


Café in oldest restored riad in the medina of Marrakech

dar cherifa doorway medina of marrakech


Café littéraire is one of the oldest renovated riads in Marrakech.

Dar Cherifa is an ancient residence in the old city that has been restored by a well-known figure in Marrakech, Abellatif Aït Ben Abdallah, whose mission is to restore the ancient architecture of Marrakech so they can be enjoyed and appreciated by all travellers with a love of architecture.

Dar Cherifa oldest of riads in Marrakech

Passionate about the architecture of this ancient city, classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, he set about restoring riads in Marrakech  at a time when Marrakchis were more interested in moving out to the new areas.  Ancient walls could crumble with no-one paying attention to the loss of historical monuments. He began restoring one riad, the first in a long series, and so began a work of patience dominated by one single idea: to share his love for these ancient residences and to preserve the historical architecture of Marrakech.

Modern travellers can drop by for some Moroccan mint tea or order a meal.

Derb Chorfa Lkabir, Mouassine, Marrakech

Tel.: 05 24 42 64 63 or 05 24 39 16 09