Marrakech After Dark – A Photo Essay.

By Posted in - Africa & Photos & Travel Blog on December 20th, 2011



Non-stop Circus.

Maybe if I was Allen Ginsberg I could come up with words that accurately describe the Marrakech Medina. It was by far the craziest place that I have ever seen. A constant assault on the senses, surreal & overwhelming. Mind boggling and unlike anywhere else.

Marrakech was everything I imagined it would be and more.

Snake charmers, henna hand painters, trained monkeys, hawks, doves and guinea pigs working the square for unwitting tourists. Men dressed in crazy costumes whirling their heads around non stop, people singing, dancing, playing instruments. Drum circles, Balloon sellers, Snail pushers, trinkets of all kinds, horse & carriages, scooters, mopeds, trucks, bikes and donkeys. A million people rushing around with nowhere & everywhere to go at the same time.

There you are standing in the middle of all of it, mouth agape, mind blown, watching everything around you, trying to process it all. Out of all the things to do in Marrakech one of the best (and hardest) is just taking it all in. There’s so much to see that you can get tired just witnessing it all.

Night was one of my favorite times in the Medina because the scenery starts to take on a bit of a different air – life doesn’t slow down but the insanity looks just a little more romantic under the big, dark sky. Couples walk hand in hand, people seem to relax a bit more and smile often.

Each evening an entire block of food stalls set up camp in the heart of the square. The entire buzz of the marketplace changes.

Snake charmers are replaced by locals selling wares by a propane gas lit single bulb lamp. Smoke rises from the food stalls as fantastic smells waft through the Medina luring you into these ‘pop-up’ restaurants of Marrakech. Juices, snails, nuts & dried fruits line the alleys. Grabbing a seat not only gets you dinner but the chance to sit down and watch the buying/selling, socializing, laughing, kissing, yelling and insanity as it continues on around you.

I hope you enjoy this photo essay of Marrakech after dark. They’ll be plenty more photo essays from our time in Morocco coming up over the next several weeks. In a crazy place like Marrakech it’s almost impossible to stop shooting.

Marrakech Medina after Dark

Marrakech Medina After DarkMarrakech Medina After Dark

Marrakech Medina after Dark

Life at Djemma El-Fna Square 4 sfb

Marrakech Medina after Dark

Marrakech Medina after DarkThe Souks of Marrakech

Marrakech Medina after Dark

Life at Djemma El-Fna Square 5 sfb

Marrakech Medina after Dark

Marrakech Medina After Dark

Marrakech Medina after DarkMarrakech Medina after Dark

Marrakech Medina After Dark

Marrakech Medina After Dark

Marrakech Medina After Dark

The Souks of MarrakechMarrakech Medina after Dark

Marrakech Medina After Dark

Marrakech Medina After Dark


*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel WebsiteΒ andΒ Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(62) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Erin -

    December 20, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Seriously gorgeous shots. Crazy, hectic places often energise and inspire me on my travels – Marrakesh sounds like it might be one of those places.

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Erin! Yeah if you like crazy & hectic then you HAVE to go to Marrakech. πŸ™‚@Erin,

  • Si -

    December 20, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Hi Bethany, I’ve visited Marrakech three times and never failed to be overwelmed by the atmosphere and vibrancy of the Jamaa el Fna! Stunning photos.

    I have added the link to The Travel Bloggers Guide to Morocco I’m developing. I hope you don’t mind?

    Kind regards, Si

  • Jennifer -

    December 20, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I’m dazzled. Adding it to one of the places I long to visit!

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks Jennifer – it’s a one of kind place for sure! @Jennifer,

  • Andy Montgomery -

    December 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Wonderful montage of images! You’ve managed to capture some of that manic atmosphere of Jemaa Al Fna. A couple of months ago, when we first arrived at our riad deep in the heart of the Medina, the route to it was so dark by day that I feared going outside the door after nightfall. Incredibly, the place was lit up like day after dark – just another piece of Marrakech madness πŸ™‚

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      I know – it’s absolutely beautiful at night – even more so than during the day. @Andy Montgomery,

  • Diane -

    December 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Awesome photos- makes me feel like I was right there in the heart of it all! Definitely would be paradise for me as you know how I love to shop!

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      You would LOVE the shopping Diane!@Diane,

  • Lisa | LLWorldTour -

    December 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Really nice shots! Alluring, emotive, sexy. Good job at translating the ‘feel’. Now I just have to get there!

  • Vera Marie Badertscher -

    December 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    This may be the most awesome photo essay I’ve seen on the web. It is exciting, beautiful, properly exotic. I know that I would never do it. I’d just be standing there with my mouth hanging open, forgetting I even OWNED a camera!

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      hahaha.. Thank you so much for that Vera! I’m smiling ear to ear. πŸ™‚ Glad you liked them! @Vera Marie Badertscher,

  • Chaucee -

    December 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve never really seen or heard much about this place and it looks stunning!! adding it to the list : )

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      It’s definitely unlike anywhere else that I have ever seen! @Chaucee,

  • jenjenk -

    December 21, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I can’t get over how HOPPING it is at night!! darn it, if i ever make it to marrakech, I’m totally buying one of those lamps to bring home! πŸ™‚

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Yeah the place really is non-stop – it’s nuts! @jenjenk,

  • nod ‘n’ smile -

    December 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

    You convey mood and sentiment so well through your photography- it’s absolutely stunning.

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures -

    December 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Oh these photos are absolutely spectacular!!!!!!!!! WOW! I loved loved loved Marrakech.

  • jan -

    December 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Wonderful, inspiring, get yourself to Marrakesh, photos.

  • Joya -

    December 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Cities look so much more beautiful at night and Marrakech seems to be no exception. Gorgeous photos as always!

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      I think cities really show their true beauty at night. I loved it! @Joya,

  • Rebecca -

    December 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Wow, amazing photos! HOW do you do such great low-light pics? And I HAVE bought your e-book, this nighttime photography stuff is just damn hard! πŸ™‚

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks Rebecca! Low light w/out a tripod = high iso & large aperture to capture as much light as possible. Often times involves slow shutter speed too. πŸ™‚ I hope the book is helping you! @Rebecca,

  • Rebecca -

    December 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    PS. I’m sure it’s on the site somewhere, but what lenses/camera body do you guys use?

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      I use a Nikon d300s and a variety of lenses – I love my 35mm 1.8 but a lot of times it isn’t wide enough so i switch to a tokina 11-16mm 2.8,which actually really isn’t great for night photos I discovered or i switch to anything else i might have. Goes off how wide of an angle I think i need. @Rebecca,

  • Amanda -

    December 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    wonderful! I was only there for one short morning (till 10:30 a.m.) so didn’t get a chance to experience the place πŸ™‚

  • Amanda -

    December 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    wonderful images and mood! I was only there for one short morning (till 10:30 a.m.) so didn’t get a chance to experience the place…

    • Bethany -

      January 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Amanda – well if you head back again you’ll have to stay for an evening. πŸ™‚ @Amanda,

  • Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush -

    January 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these pictures! Being a photographer myself, I can definitely understand the rush of discovering a city so dynamic and photogenic! Kudos!

  • Sophie -

    January 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Look so mysterious and appealing these photos.

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

      The place really takes on a different vibe at night – thanks Sophie for seeing that in these photos. πŸ™‚ @Sophie,

  • Anji -

    January 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

    This is lovely! Your pictures really do depict so much culture and beauty!

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Thank you so much Anji! I really appreciate your comment πŸ˜‰ @Anji,

  • Kevin – The Mad Traveler -

    January 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Really great photos! I hope to get there one day. Top 10 on my travel list. I say that about a lot of places though. Maybe 50. But Morocco gets the mention a lot, so it must mean something. πŸ˜‰

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Kevin. Morocco was a dream destination of mine as well and it is definitely different than anywhere else I have ever been that’s for sure. πŸ™‚ @Kevin – The Mad Traveler,

  • cailin -

    January 3, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Gorgeous photos!!! It reminds me of a few I took in Tangier but of course mine weren’t nearly as great as yours!!

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Ahh thanks so much Cailin – did you like Tangier? @cailin,

  • Candice -

    January 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Beautiful! Love the smiles of the chefs preparing food.

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

      thanks so much Candice! I love the smiles too. πŸ™‚@Candice,

  • Andrea -

    January 4, 2012 at 5:22 am

    These are really gorgeous – looks like such a lively place!

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Andrea – the place is crazy! @Andrea,

  • Peter West Carey -

    January 6, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Really nice work. I was in Marrakech with my daughter and didn’t take many shots as I was enjoying the time with her, so having your ‘memories’ captured so well is really nice to see.

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Peter – I’m so glad you like them! I’m sure hanging out with your daughter was so much fun in such a crazy place! Did she see the cobras??@Peter West Carey,

  • Kymri -

    January 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Fantastic set of images, really nice work!

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Kymri πŸ™‚@Kymri,

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam -

    January 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Crazily fantastic shots as always.!

  • Fiona -

    January 26, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Hoping to visit in April, but am in two minds, have read so much about women being hassled on the streets – how did you find it ? your photos are really making me want to go btw!

    • Bethany -

      January 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Hi Fiona,

      Thanks for commenting. Marrakech is a pretty crazy place and everyone gets hassled. I did not experience any hassling that was aimed at me because I was a woman in particular but I was with Randy so perhaps that is why. I did see girls on their own or in small groups and I never saw anything take place that looked like they were being hassled because of their gender. I felt very safe in Marrakech, even walking around at night. It’s just that the entire place is non-stop craziness. Very unique – we really did like it and we’ve never been anywhere like it.

  • 7 Super Shots Photo game with @Hostelbookers -

    January 30, 2012 at 2:35 am

    […] The Mirage – Marrakech, Morocco […]

  • Laura -

    February 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Great photos made during the night, in such an interesting place. Wow.

    • Bethany -

      August 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Thanks Laura – I’m so glad you like these photos of Marrakech!

  • figurehead -

    February 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

    brilliant article! I’ll be there in two months and i’m looking forward.
    I’ll check your website out more often! πŸ™‚

    • Bethany -

      August 29, 2012 at 6:47 am

      Thanks for commenting – so glad you like my photos of Marrakech and I hope you have fun there!

  • Ellen Keith -

    October 20, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Marrakech is one of the most unique, most sensually-captivating places that I have ever been. I agree with your decision in the riad/resort debate that staying in the medina really lets you experience the city to its fullest. A visit to Djemaa el Fna at night is as essential part of any visit to the city! Gorgeous photos!