The first time we went to Morocco, we didn’t realise how difficult it would be to get a drink. As a religiously Islamic country, restaurants with a license to serve alcohol are few and far between. This time around, we were visiting to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday, so I decided to do a bit more research regarding alcohol in Marrakech.
Specifically, I wanted to know what the laws were around alcohol in Morocco, and whether we could find any decent restaurants serving alcohol in Marrakech.
This research, combined with our experiences on the trip itself, inspired me to create this blog post to help others searching for the (unholy) grail.
Alcohol in Marrakech: What Are the Rules?
Of course, no matter how much you might want a drink, it’s important to respect the local laws of any destination you are visiting.
Below you can find the official rules, although I think it’s worth abiding by the unwritten ones as well. Here, I’ve covered both so you can enjoy your cocktails without worry.
Is Alcohol Illegal in Morroco?
No, alcohol is not illegal in Morroco. In fact, the country even produces its own beer and wine. However, it is illegal to consume alcohol in public in Morroco, and you should only drink in licensed bars, restaurants and hotels.
I would also advise against being drunk in public. It could be deemed offensive to the local people, 99% of whom abide by strict Islamic non-drinking principles.
You may also be putting your safety at risk by being intoxicated in a foreign city, especially one where scam artists are abundant and it’s very easy to get lost.
Stick to a few drinks in a restaurant or bar, and choose a hotel that serves alcohol if you want to stay up drinking until late.
Taking Alcohol Into Morroco
It is perfectly acceptable to take alcohol into Morroco. As with any country, there will be a limit on how much you can bring, enforced by customs. Generally speaking, you are allowed to bring a maximum of 1 litre per person, and this includes spirits.
If your hotel or Riad doesn’t serve alcohol and you want to enjoy a drink in your room or on the balcony, I suggest buying some of your favourite wine or spirits in duty-free before you arrive.
Alcohol is heavily taxed in Morocco, so you might find this cheaper and easier than buying some when you get there.
As a couple, we brought one bottle of wine and a bottle of gin so that we could celebrate my friend’s birthday on the rooftop of our riad (pictured above!).
The kind people at the riad supplied us with ice, glasses and a bottle opener, which made it easy to enjoy what we had brought. There was even a lemon tree on the terrace, supplying our G&Ts with a fresh and zesty garnish.
Buying Alcohol in Marrakech
It is possible, and perfectly legal, to buy alcohol in Marrakech from special liquor stores and large supermarkets.
You won’t find any of these kinds of places in the medina or ‘old town,’ – so if that’s where you’re staying, I suggest you stock up in the airport on your way to Morroco. Otherwise, you may have to take a taxi to visit a shop selling alcohol on the outskirts of the medina.
Of course, you can also buy alcoholic drinks in any bar, restaurant or hotel with a license to serve alcohol.
Unlike many other tourist destinations, these can be a little harder to find. Even in the Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which is the main touristic hub in Marrakech, there was only one restaurant serving alcohol (more on that below).
So it pays to be prepared if you like to have a drink with your meal when you’re on vacation. And let’s be honest… who doesn’t?
Best Restaurants Serving Alcohol in Marrakech
As much as I love mint tea, I knew my friend would want to toast to his 30th with something a little stronger. So before our trip, I did a little digging and discovered some of the best Marrakech restaurants with alcohol.
The ones listed below are all ones we visited so I can personally vouch for the quality of the food, drinks and vibe.
The majority of these are centrally located in or close to the Medina. Because we were staying in a riad in the old town, we didn’t want to have to venture out in a taxi to the new town every time we wanted a drink.
A plus side to this is that many of them are located on a rooftop, making them the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
The map below shows all the spots I have mentioned in this list. The area on the top left named Gueliz is also known as the ‘new town’. If you’re staying here or willing to jump in a taxi, there are several more bars and licensed restaurants here.
Kabana was the restaurant we chose for my friend’s actual birthday night and boy did it not disappoint! We also came here for a cocktail before dinner on another evening, they do some great espresso martinis.
Be warned, the drinks here are super strong. I ordered a rum and coke and literally got served a glass three-quarters of the way full with rum. So you only need one or two!
This place is definitely more of a restaurant-cum-bar, with loud music and even DJ events during the high season. So not the spot for you if you’re looking for a quieter night.
Both times we came here it was really busy, so make sure you make a reservation if you want to stay for dinner or watch the sunset!
Le Salama Sky Bar
Of all the restaurants serving alcohol in Marrakech we visited, La Salama had the best aesthetic. A story or two higher than the surrounding buildings, you get an amazing view of the city from the top floor, with terracotta architecture stretching to the sunset.
Come at happy hour (between 4pm and 6pm), and you get a two-for-one deal on wine, beer and Aperol Spritz, making it a perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink.
We didn’t stay for dinner, so I can’t properly vouch for the food, although we did have some bread, olives and Moroccan spring rolls, which were all lovely.
I was initially disappointed with La Pergola when we first arrived. We had hoped to watch the sunset from the rooftop bar, but soon discovered, that there was really only one small seating area with a view of the sunset. The rest of the seating was covered so you couldn’t really see anything.
However, the service was great and fast, the cocktails were decent, and the vibe was really nice and chilled. They do live jazz sessions later in the evening so if I’m ever back in Marrakech, I’ll go back for those instead!
Cafe Árabe can be a little hard to find, but it’s right next to Le Jardin Secret in the centre of the medina. We went here for a chilled evening with some pizzas and a glass of wine and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
I suggest making a reservation if you want to eat on the rooftop. We sat in the bar area because there weren’t any tables available in the restaurant (it was just as lovely though!).
The pizzas were top-notch, and the Moroccan wine was surprisingly good! I recommend trying the red or opting for the ‘vin gris’, which is kind of like a super pale rose.
DarDar Rooftop and Cocktails
One of my absolute favourite restaurants serving alcohol in Marrakech has got to be DarDar Rooftop. We went in here for lunch on my friend’s birthday – sort of by accident because the place we meant to go to was closed for lunch.
I’d seen this place on Instagram so decided to give it a go and wow, we were blown away!
The decor is gorgeous, the service is speedy and the food and cocktails were all exceptional. Try the chicken pastilla and the ‘Kech’ Mojito – you won’t be disappointed!
They also have DJ sessions here in the evening so I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in Marrakech.
La Sultana is a five-star hotel in the southern part of the city, near Badi Palace, Saadian Tombs and the Kasbah. It’s not a particularly happening place, but the spa there does an amazing hammam, which you absolutely have to try.
Afterwards, you can grab a drink at the peaceful rooftop, or poolside bar, where the cocktails also come with some lovely little nibbles.
Le Trou au Mur
Restaurants serving alcohol in Marrakech are hard to come by, but even more so in the medina.
Le Trou au Mur is perhaps one of the only exceptions, located right in the heart of the medina, forming part of a beautiful boutique hotel. It’s more of a ‘quiet meal with wine’ than a ‘dinner, drinks, and dancing’ sort of place.
This hotel happened to be less than five minutes from our riad, so it made the perfect spot to spend our first evening in the city.
The food was absolutely delicious – I recommended ordering off the ‘Moroccan’ side of the menu, for a more authentic meal. The M’rouzia (slow-cooked beef marinated in ras al hanout and honey) was to die for!
Le Marrakchi was the only Marrakech restaurant with alcohol we found in the central Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
This one didn’t even come up when I was researching online before our trip. We only stumbled on it because we were wandering around the square at lunchtime, looking like tourists, and got approached by someone who worked there.
He promised us beer and wine, and I guess we must’ve been thirsty, because we went straight up. In our defence, it was our first afternoon in Marrakech so we were probably a little over-excited.
The food was pretty average here, and the drinks were okay, if incredibly strong. However, it does offer a fantastic view of the square, and it’s convenient if you find yourself in need of a tipple after spending time haggling in the souks.
Looking for dinner, drinks, and a show? Narawama is your best bet. Centrally located near to Jemaa el-Fnaa, they put on a show every evening with belly dancers, local singers, and musicians, starting at 9 pm.
Their menu caters to all, with everything from traditional Moroccan to Thai dishes to choose from. The atmosphere is very Arabian Nights, with low lighting, a central fire pit and gilded interiors.
After a few cocktails for some Dutch courage, the performers even got us up dancing with them – a hilarious experience I will never forget.
Marrakech Morrocco Nightlife
It might surprise you to learn that Marrakech does indeed have its very own nightlife scene. Along with a handful of restaurants serving alcohol in the old town, you’ll find bustling bars and sprawling clubs in the new town districts of Gueliz and Hivernage.
Mostly catering to tourists, these districts are full of fancy hotels and notoriously expensive clubs. Try Theatro for a hedonistic night out complete with international DJs and acrobatics or Palais Jad Mahal for Moulin-Rouge-style debauchery. Both are located in Hivernage.
In Gueliz you’ll find more cosy wine bars and cafes showing sports games, such as Cafe du Livre, a chilled hangout with a happy hour between 6 and 8pm.
Pointbar is another popular spot with regular DJ sets and Barometre is a cool, underground bar with a laboratory mixologist theme.
If you prefer to stay in the old town, many of the venues listed above stay open until late, such as DarDar and Kabana, which both stay open until 2am.
While you won’t be able to buy a drink, the square at Jemaa el-Fnaa offers a vibrant atmosphere in the evening, complete with live music, street performers, and even snake charming.
Where You Won’t Find Alcohol in Marrakech
There are a few places where you definitely won’t find alcohol in Marrakech. Aside from a select few, the majority of the restaurants in the Medina don’t serve alcohol.
Likewise, if you’re planning on taking a day trip, a Sahara desert tour, or an adventure into the Atlas Mountains, you probably won’t be able to drink until you return to the city.
Of course, day trips and desert tours are some of the best things you can do in Morocco, so don’t miss them just because you won’t be able to have a drink!
If you want to make the most of your evenings, I recommend booking a sunrise hot air balloon tour to see the desert at its most impressive.
Alcohol in Marrakech: FAQs
Can You Drink in Marrakech?
Yes, it’s possible to get a drink in Marrakech, although don’t expect to be able to drink alcohol in any old bar or restaurant. Alcohol consumption goes against Islamic law, which means the majority of the local population doesn’t drink.
Only venues with a special license can serve alcohol, so it’s best to research these in advance if you plan on drinking alcohol in Marrakech.
A list of the best Marrakech restaurants with alcohol can be found above.
Can You Get Alcohol in Marrakech Medina?
Yes, there are just a couple of restaurants serving alcohol in Marrakech Medina, although the vast majority are located outside the old city walls. There are no shops selling alcohol within the medina, so you’ll need to venture further afield if you want to purchase something to drink in your riad.
A map showing all the restaurants serving alcohol in Marrakech Medina can be found further up in this post.
What Are The Alcohol Prices in Marrakech?
The alcohol prices in Marrakech are higher than you might have found elsewhere in Africa or even Europe. Because any restaurant serving alcohol requires a special license to do so, the prices tend to be higher – for both the drinks and the food – than if you were to dine in a typical Moroccan restaurant.
That being said, coming from England, the drinks prices were no higher than what we would pay at home (if not less).
A cocktail was usually between MAD100 – 180 (£8 – £14), a beer was typically MAD50 (£4) and a glass of house wine was usually around MAD50 – 100 (£4 – £8).
What is the Local Beer in Morocco?
The most common local beer we saw in Morocco was called Casablanca and it was surprisingly tasty! It is a pale larger and is mostly served in bottles, although we did see one place serving beer on tap.
You might also see brands such as Flag ( a pilsner) and Stork (a lighter lager) on the menu, among popular international brands such as Heineken.
I hope you have found some of these travel tips useful for your trip to Morocco, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion during your visit, or simply want to sip a few drinks with dinner.
Planning a trip to Marrakech? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to answer any questions you have to help you create the perfect itinerary.