Africa has risen to prominence as a digital nomad destination due to its off-path appeal, low cost of living, and gorgeous nature.
From the Mediterranean coast of North Africa to the continent’s Southernmost tip, it is being swarmed by remote workers looking to escape the Western World; and immerse themselves in a completely new culture, but one city in particular is stealing the limelight.
Nicknamed the ‘Red City’, Marrakech is quickly converting from a bustling, under-developed medina into one of the most popular digital nomad hubs in the world, as long-term travelers can’t seem to get enough of it…
And this is why:
One Of The Most Promising Digital Nomad Hubs
As included in a report issued by Resume.io, a well-reputed online resume-building platform, Marrakech is the second-most-popular digital nomad destination in Africa, behind only Cape Town.
The study analyzed Instagram publications archived under the hashtag #digitalnomad, commonly used by the community to share their experiences and connect with like-minded individuals, while excluding bots and other spam accounts.
Cities were then ranked based on the number of ‘geotags’ and mentions, with Marrakech racing ahead of big names like Hurghada, Cairo, Johannesburg, and Nairobi to claim the runner-up slot.
Though it places second, Morocco’s fifth-largest city could be on track to out-peak South Africa’s legislative capital, as the competing Sub-Saharan country faces a deep national crisis, with soaring crime rates and even blackouts.
Morocco, on the other hand, has enjoyed relative stability in recent years, and Marrakech in particular has made great strides in its commitment to improve the tourist infrastructure.
A Diverse Offer
The African Kingdom has massively improved air connectivity following two years of self-imposed seclusion resulting from the COVID pandemic, other than upgrading existing hotels, which have been historically known for being too ‘old school’, and diversifying the tourist offer, through the opening of new leisure centers and investment in attractions.
By the end of 2026, Moroccan authorities expect to attract 17.5 million tourists. As the country’s crown jewel, Marrakech is leading the recovery trend, and other than short-term visitors, it’s been warmly embraced by digital nomads.
For instance, it boasts a high concentration of co-working spots.
Walking the red-colored Marrakech medina, a centuries-old labyrinth lined with bazaar shops, you should expect to find a quirky, work-friendly cafe or two.
These spots tend to be incredibly ‘Westernized’ in the sense that credit cards are accepted – the Moroccan economy is primarily reliant on cash – the WiFi connection is fast and stable, there are workstations with adjacent power plugs, and friendly, well-trained English-speaking staff.
Many of the cafes also have rooftops commanding privileged views of the beautifully-chaotic medina below, allowing you to get some work done while you bask in the sun and breathe in the inviting scents coming from the street markets.
For the best views of Marrakech from the heart of the medina, head to Cafe des Epices.
They have both an open rooftop, offering panoramas of the minaret-dotted skyline, and an acclimatized first floor with ground-to-ceiling glass windows opening onto the lively market below.
Other tried-and-true medina cafes nomads love are the conceptual Henna Art Cafe, where both Western classics and Moroccan food are served, and Attay Cafe, the ideal pick if you’re suffering from tech neck and could do with large, fluffy cushions to recline against as you work and sip on some fresh lemonade.
Marrakech Is Shockingly Affordable
‘Westernized’ cafes and restaurants tend to be more expensive than eateries more commonly frequented by locals, but as you will soon learn arriving in Marrakech, food is still shockingly cheaper than average.
That’s another reason why remote workers, particularly those on a budget, love Morocco: the cost of living here can be less burdensome than in Western countries, at least for those earning in euros or dollars.
1 Moroccan Dirham equals roughly 10 cents, and although you should be prepared to pay inflated rates going into cabs or be taxed a ‘tourist fee’ accessing some services, you will notice your money will stretch a lot further basing yourself in Marrakech – or any Moroccan city for that matter.
As seen on Numbeo, which provides an estimate of monthly expenses across different destinations, prices in Marrakech are on average 22.2% lower than Sao Paulo, Brazil, one of the most expensive cities and digital nomad hubs in South America.
Additionally, it can be 24.1% cheaper than Tulum, Mexico, a ridiculously-expensive nomad magnet in North America, and 69.6% less costly to reside in than London, England, Europe’s leading nomad hotspot and the most popular destination overall on Resume.io‘s ranking.
Cheaper Accommodation Prices
Without rent, a single person’s estimated monthly costs are about US$500.
Accommodation prices can vary drastically in Morocco depending on the level of comfort you’re going for, with monthly rates for full-equipped condos starting at just US$689, and private rooms as cheap as US$273 on AirBnB.
Unsurprisingly, Morocco has a growing expat community, who are drawn not only to its decent infrastructure and great year-round warmer weather but also to its fascinating History and culture.
A Cultural Hotspot
Marrakech was once at the core of one of the Mediterranean’s largest cross-continental empires, encompassing the Moorish era.
Luckily, it’s retained much of its imperial grandeur, evidenced in luxurious palaces such as Bahia, monumental religious monuments, with the Koutoubia Mosque standing among the city’s most famous landmarks, and richly-decorated madrasas, centers for the knowledge and sciences in the Middle Ages.
Beyond the city’s municipal boundaries, Marrakech is known for being the gateway to the Atlas Mountains, some of the highest in the African continent, and the wider Saharan desert, with numerous guided tours departing daily from the tourist zone of the medina.
Despite being further inland than other cities like Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier, Marrakech is well-connected to all of Morocco’s Atlantic ports through comfortable, fast-speed TGV trains, as well as other destinations abroad.
Low-cost European airlines like Ryanair, Transavia, and TUI Airways all offer flights to Marrakech from major European hubs, sometimes as cheap as US$40, giving American nomads basing themselves temporarily in Morocco facilitated access to the European Union and Great Britain.
Cons Of Living In Marrakech
Some of the cons of living in Marrakech include the scamming culture, a lower perception of safety among solo female travelers, the unbearable summer heat, as it is within short driving distance of the desert, and the anti-LGBTQ attitudes.
Nevertheless, Marrakech still offers an ‘attractive lifestyle’ at affordable prices.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com