Top 10 Things to do in Marrakech
Marrakech, also called the red city, is the number one destination to visit in Morocco. Each year, this fabulous city attracts numerous tourist form all over the world. Visitors are overwhelmed by all the wonderful impressions and by the wide range of things to do and to see in Marrakech. The North African city is home to some vivid medinas, colourful souks, mysterious snake charmers, mint tea and numerous top-rated tourist attractions. All in all, a perfect place to spend an unforgettable time in Morocco. In this blog we are going to tell you more about the best things to do in Marrakech, the best sights and the top excursions around.
So, let’s explore this awe-inspiring city! Here are our top 10 things to in Marrakech:
El Badi Palace
The El Badi Palace, a ruined palace is located inside the Medina of Marrakesh. It was built 15 years from 1578 – 1593 and the name of the palace means the “the incomparable place”. Today visitors have the possibility to visit the ancient ruins and imagin how amazingly beautiful this palace must have been. Colonnades out of marble, expensive materials like gold, a central pool and 360 very rich decorated rooms – in any case, the palace must had been impressive in former times. The El Badi Palace is a pretty impressive historical site and one of the best attractions of Marrakech.
Entrance Fee: Admission to the El Badi Palace currently costs 70 DH.
Djemaa el Fna
The Djemaa el-Fna is the most popular market square in Marrakech and is as old as the city itself. All the storytellers, water sellers, snake charmers and dancers make a visit to that place a unique Moroccan holiday experience. Our tip: Enjoy a cup of mint tea at the terrace of a rooftop café and watch the hustle and bustle from above. In the evening the Djamaa el-Fna gets filled with numerous foods stalls and both locals and tourists love eating out there. Visiting the Djemaa el-Fna promises a unique experience and is definitely one of the top things to do in Marrakech.
The Koutoubia Mosque’s minaret is an astounding 77 meters high and so it’s the largest mosque in Marrakech. Visiting the mosque inside is only allowed to believers. Anyway, the Koutoubia mosque which is built out of red stone is a real eye-catcher and the beautiful rose gardens around are inviting for a break. A must see in Marrakech!
Tip: The Koutoubia Mosque is located on the edge of the medina and is easiest to reach by foot from the main square, Djemaa el Fna.
The old town, the medina of Marrakech is surrounded by an old city wall made of rammed clay, and several large gates give access to the city center. The Bab Agnaou, which is also called the “Gate of the Blacks”, is definitely one of the most worth seeing of the 19 gates. This beautiful attraction was built during the Almohad dynasty, between 1185 and 1190, under Yacoub el-Mansour and is nowadays still the border between Medina and the former government district.
Tip: If you are around don`t miss a visit of the Saadian Tombs, the catacombs of the medina, another interesting attraction in Marrakech.
Jardin Majorelle & Majorelle Garden
The Majorellen Garden, also called Jardin Majorelle, is a hauntingly beautiful botanic garden created by the orientalist artist Jacques Majorelle in 1923. Back in the 1980 the famous designer Yves Saint-Laurent restored the gardens and today the Jardin Majorelle is known as one of the most impressive sights in Marrakech. The Garden and the Villa can be visited daily and because of its outstanding scenery the Majorelle Gardens are really popular among tourists.
Tip: The best time to visit the Jardin Majorelle is in the morning or shortly before closing. At these times, you can expect slightly fewer visitors.
Entrance Price: Admission to the Jardin Majorelle currently costs 70 DH.
Old Town & Souks of Marrakech
No trip to Marrakech is complete without getting lost in the huge medina, the old fortified city which is a labyrinth of narrow streets. Surely, you will explore something new behind each corner. Also, the popular Souks (markets) are located inside of the medina. They offer it all from spices, fruits and vegetables, to antiques, wools and silks, crafts and Moroccan lanterns. Here more about Shopping in Morocco!
Tip: In the medina you can discover many attractions, but also galleries and exhibitions, such as the Maison de la Photographie: a worth seeing photography museum in the heart of the old town. Photographic treasures from former days are exhibited.
Place des Ferblantiers
If you are looking for traditional Moroccan lamps, you will definitely find what you are looking for in Place des Ferblantiers, the place of lamp makers. This pretty square is surrounded by small workshops where the typical Moroccan lamps are made. But also some spice shops have settled here and cozy cafés all around invite you to linger.
The Bahai Palace is drop-dead gorgeous and shouldn`t be missed in any case! No wonder that the palace is also called the “brilliance”: The complex contains an 8000 m2 large Moroccan styled garden, a gorgeous colourful court with a central basin and surrounding palace rooms with decorated columns, wonderful mosaics and decorated ceilings. Definitely a must see in Marrakech!
Entrance Fee: The Admission to the Bahia Palace currently costs 70 DH.
Medersa Ben Youssef
The Medersa Ben Youssef was an Islamic college and one of the largest Medersas all over Morocco. Tall arches, a fine open-courtyard and carvings and mosaics makes the Medersa really awe-inspiring. The more than beautifully detailed architecture makes the Medersa Ben Youssef one of the top places to visit in Marrakech.
Entrance Fee: Admission to Medersa Ben Youssef currently costs 60 DH.
UPDATE: Medersa Ben Youssef is currently closed and will be under renovation until 2020.
The Jardin Menara is a huge garden with countless olive trees, a large fish basin and a pretty pavilion. This attraction is located around 5 kilometers outside the medina and can best be reached by taxi. During a walk through the large complex and around the huge pool you have a beautiful view to the Atlas Mountains. This attraction is not that popular and more common by locals!
Entrance Fee: The Manara Gardens are accessible free of charge. You only have to pay 70 DH admission to visit the pavilion.
Things to do and tours around Marrakech
Also in the area around Marrakech are plenty of things to do and therefore opportunities for excursions or multi-day tours. The clay city of Ait-Ben Haddou in the south of the country, the beautiful Ozoud waterfalls and Essaouira on the Atlantic coast are very popular places to visit. If you would like to go to the Sahara Desert, you can take a trip to Merzouga from Marrakech. These tours are mostly 2 or 3 day trips.
If you would like to take a tour, we can recommend GetyourGuide. Here you will find a huge selection of exciting excursions and tours from Marrakech.
Where to stay in Marrakech
The best place to stay in Marrakech is in a typical riad. Here are our recommendations for the best accommodations in the Red City:
- Riad Dar Fangui: Beautiful and reasonably priced riad in the medina. From the rooftop terrace you can enjoy a great view of the city.
- Riad Irene: Fantastic riad with first-class breakfast, tasteful rooms, extremely cozy terrace and great hosts.
- Riad Jemaa El Fna & Spa: This riad is an absolute highlight. Guests are thrilled with the great breakfast, the roof terrace and the beautiful furnishings.
More tips & infos about Marrakech
- Marrakech with kids? Check out here what to do if you are in Marrakech with Kids.
- Here is a list of the 9 most Instagrammable spots in Marrakech
- Here is a travel bloggers selection of the best Riads in Marrakech!
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