The best hostels in Marrakech, including shady rooftop terraces and courtyard pools

Paula Hardy
The roof terrace provides a chilled-out zone for sunbathing and evening dining at Equity Point

The Red City has been on the backpackers trail since the 1950s when it was a favourite haunt of notorious Beat generation hippies like Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kerouac. They gravitated to the chaos and creativity of this city at the edge of the desert, wafting around the hostels of the day in embroidered djellabas (robe) and pointy-toed babouche (slippers). Their legacy remains in the city’s cheap-as-chips hostels, housed in shabby-chic riads where dorms are filled with eager young travellers many of them adventuring in the world for the first time. Here's our pick of the best hostels in Marrakech.

Riad Dia, Marrakech, Morocco

Riad Dia

Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

A colourful and quiet hostel located minutes from the Jemaa el-Fnaa arranged around a traditional Moroccan riad. A lemon-yellow courtyard pool is shaded by citrus and banana trees. It's a great place to chill out, make friends and plot desert adventures. The pièce de résistance is the large, multi-level roof terrace with its cypress-dotted views over the medina. The most desirable rooms are the four-bed en-suite dorms, which are perfect for small groups. Otherwise, there are six and 10-bed rooms packed with bunks. Read expert review From £6 per night

The best riad hotels in Marrakech

equity point marrakech, morocco

Equity Point Marrakech

Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

A winning hostel with a wide choice of private and dorm rooms, a large pool, restaurant, hammam and a huge roof terrace, all set in a series of traditional houses in the heart of the medina. All are nicely decorated and well maintained. Activity centres around the generously sized pool (unheated), although there are plenty of nooks and crannies to escape. The groups and the roof terrace provides a chilled-out zone for sunbathing and evening dining. Breakfast includes a daily hot dish (scrambled eggs or sausages and toast). Read expert review From £7 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best budget hotels in Marrakech

Riad Marrakech Rouge, Morocco

Hostel Riad Marrakech Rouge

Marrakech, Morocco

7Telegraph expert rating

This award-winning, bright, 85-bed hostel sprawls across two interconnected riads. Thanks to its excellent location, super helpful staff and sociable vibe it's a big hit with young backpackers. While the main courtyard is filled with music and chatter, the second is a quiet space where digital nomads send home tales of Moroccan adventures. There's also a large communal kitchen and a higgledy-piggledy terrace with sunbeds and a shady Berber tent. There are a variety of basic four-, six- and eight-bed dorms. Only the hottest top-floor rooms have fans. Read expert review From £9 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

Where to stay in Marrakech: hotels by district

Riad Jennah Rouge, Marrakech, Morocco

Riad Jennah Rouge

Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

If you love the open road, but are no longer inclined to share bathrooms along the way, then this riad is the place for you. This hostel-at-heart offers all the expected backpacker benefits with a good dose of home comfort in its en-suite double and dorm rooms. The roof terrace even offers views over the royal gardens and guests get a welcome glass of mint tea and homemade cookies. With just five private rooms and two dorms this riad is relatively quiet compared to other hostels and better suits couples and those looking for rest and relaxation. Read expert review From £31 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Riad Layla Rouge, Marrakech, Morocco

Riad Layla Rouge

Marrakech, Morocco

7Telegraph expert rating

A flashpacker favourite with three private en-suite rooms and one eight-bedroom dormitory in a traditional Moroccan riad decked out in vibrant colours and acres of itsy-bitsy zellij mosaic tiling. Bathrooms are nicely finished with vibrant tadelakt. Bonus features include views of the Koutoubia from the small roof terrace, great onward travel services and even cookery classes. Breakfast, which includes Moroccan pancakes, is served on the sociable patio. While facilities are basic, service is friendly and helpful. Read expert review From £6 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Marrakech medina

Hostel Rainbow Marrakech, Morocco

Hostel Rainbow Marrakech

Marrakech, Morocco

7Telegraph expert rating

An unbelievably cheap, shabby-chic hostel with friendly service, free Wi-Fi, ad-hoc dinners and a sociable vibe housed in a traditional Moroccan riad a few minutes' walk from the Djemaa el-Fna It's a real backpacker base where you can hook up with other travellers and plan Atlas mountain hikes and desert adventures. The roof terrace, with its shaded sitting areas, provides some escape when the hostel fills up. A Moroccan breakfast of bread, pancakes and jam is provided each morning. There are seven dorm rooms packed with foam-mattress bunk beds. Note: they have no windows. Read expert review

The best boutique hotels in Marrakech

Hostel Waka Waka, Marrakech, Morocco

Hostel Waka Waka

Marrakech, Morocco

7Telegraph expert rating

Get off the beaten track and connect with real medina living in this traditional Moroccan riad offering dorm-only accommodation and friendly management. What Waka Waka lacks in frills and finish, it makes up for with personality, fun evening entertainment and reliable travel services for excursions further afield. At night it is lit up with cut brass lanterns which lend it a psychedelic feel especially when the guitar comes out and Moroccan dancing ensues. Dorm rooms are large and basic with six to 12 beds; there's a small shaded roof terrace. Read expert review From £4 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com