By Maryam Montague
January 12, 2015
Credit: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

I’m a Marrakesh expat and proud of it. I settled in Marrakesh because I love the city, its culture and its people (not to mention its weather). And while I speak French and some Darija (the local dialect) and have Moroccan friends, sometimes I just want to hang out with other expats and speak English. Lucky for me, the expats in this city are some of the coolest people I’ve met; it takes a certain kind of person to move to North Africa and pitch a tent, and so you’ll find plenty of adventurers with interesting (and sometimes downright bizarre) personal stories in the Marrakesh expat community (i.e. my kind of people).

If you’re coming to Marrakesh, you’ll discover expat hangouts to be ideal places to meet people who can give you accessible insights into the Red City. Here are some of the most popular places where expats hang out in Marrakesh.

Café du Livre

Situated in the heart of the former French quarter, this cozy expat hangout is equal parts café, restaurant, bar, and bookstore. Its friendly atmosphere, weekly quiz nights, and welcoming décor, make it a hub for passing travelers to gather, socialize, and enjoy each other’s company.


Located in the Gueliz, this cafe has a great terrace and convivial atmosphere, along with good service and good food. It’s also the unofficial place in Marrakesh where French expats hang out. The molded fiberglass furniture give it a sort of mid-century modern look. Come for a coffee or a glass of wine.

Café Clock

Offering lots of cultural events from cooking lessons, to Arabic calligraphy, to live story-telling, Café Clock is a great place to learn about modern (and ancient) Moroccan culture. Lots of cool young Moroccan hipsters spend time here, along with legions of expats. Order the camel burger if you dare.

Le Grand Café de la Poste

With its atmosphere of colonial chic, this restaurant/café is the place to find well-to-do French expats. You can often find me here on sultry days with friends enjoying a cold beer under the Out-of-Africa-like ceiling fans.

Bo & Zin

It’s all very stylish at this restaurant/lounge—this is Marrakesh at its most urbane. Have dinner in the garden, and then, if you’re up for it, dance by the bar along with the other Moroccans and expats (a good mix). I like to go here with my best girlfriends.