15 Best Things To Do In Marrakesh, Morocco

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Marrakesh Morocco Things to Do
Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh is a lovely metropolis in Morocco. The “Rose City” or “Red City” provides guests a fascinating style of outdated world attraction and opulence. Here are among the greatest issues to do in Marrakesh.

Many vacationers who go to Morocco spend a minimum of just a few days in Marrakesh, earlier than transferring on to different elements of the nation. And there’s loads to see within the metropolis.

Marrakesh (typically spelled Marrakech) is indubitably one of the crucial thrilling locations in Northern Africa. The metropolis has been an necessary buying and selling hub for hundreds of years and contained in the walled Old City Medina, you’ll discover a maze of energetic markets and a myriad of busy alleyways – a real feast for the senses.

There are smells, colours, flavors, sounds and textures to be devoured, and although the hectic coronary heart of the town can really feel each attractive and overwhelming on the identical time, there are locations the place you’ll be capable to take pleasure in moments of calm, such because the riad motels, and several other parks.

The metropolis’s bustling souks, theatrical avenue distributors, and mesmerizing performers are sights in itself, however don’t ignore the palaces, the mosques, and the meals – listed below are my prime picks for one of the best issues to do in Marrakesh.

Matthew Karsten

Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten

I’ve been touring the world for 10+ years as an expert photographer & author. I hope you take pleasure in my Marrakesh suggestions! If you discover them helpful, utilizing my affiliate hyperlinks to ebook one thing will give me a small fee, at no additional price to you. Thanks!

Marrakesh Morocco Travel Guide

1. Exploring The Souks

The Medina, Marrakesh’s walled Old Town, is the most well-liked vacationer attraction in Marrakesh: a labyrinth of small alleyways lined with retailers (referred to as souks) that promote something from vegetables and fruit to Berber rugs and furnishings.

You can spend hours wandering the streets right here, and I like to recommend taking your time: take in the smells, marvel on the outdated buildings, store for souvenirs, and end your go to with a tea in one of many rooftop cafes to absorb the hustle and bustle from a unique perspective.

The most important souks, markets, are all positioned within the Medina, and are organized in keeping with the sort of product they’re promoting. Souk Semmarine is the primary space of the market, which implies it will get probably the most vacationers.

Matt Karsten Exploring Marrakech

Go additional away and also you’ll be capable to get away from the crowds. There are over 3,000 market stalls and the countless maze of market streets can really feel intense, however don’t fear an excessive amount of about getting misplaced and simply benefit from the spectacle that Marrakesh’s markets are.

However, if the considered getting misplaced within the alleyways and the huge souks stresses you out, I like to recommend reserving a tour. That method you received’t get misplaced, and also you additionally know that you just received’t miss any of the must-see locations contained in the Medina.

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2. Jemaa el-Fnaa

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the primary sq. in Marrakesh’s Medina. No matter what time of day or evening you come right here, there’s avenue theater continuous. From avenue meals stalls to avenue performers and musicians, the sq. has at all times a present happening – particularly at evening!

Apparently, the market on this sq. is the busiest market in all of Africa and UNESCO acknowledged Jemaa el-Fnaa as World Heritage in 2001. In truth, it impressed UNESCO to create a complete new class: “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”

Jemaa El-Fnaa at night

It is price visiting Jemaa el-Fnaa through the day after which come again at evening, as a result of the complete environment of the sq. modifications relying on the time of day: During the day, it’s a lot much less crowded and fewer thrilling, however you may take within the sq. itself. At evening, Jemaa el-Fnaa actually involves life, and you’ll benefit from the performances of entertainers and musicians.

USEFUL TIP: Be conscious of pickpockets within the Medina – at all times be sure your belongings are secure. Don’t have any valuables on you, equivalent to your passport. This is very necessary for those who go at evening when the sq. will get very crowded.

3. Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque is the most important mosque in Marrakech, and even for those who don’t wish to go to the mosque, it’s inconceivable to not discover it when you’re on the town.

Koutoubia is Marrakech’s most well-known landmark, and the mosque’s 250-feet (76 meters) excessive minaret towers above all the opposite buildings within the metropolis. You additionally received’t be capable to escape the decision to prayer: the muezzin calls the devoted 5 instances a day.

Non-Muslims usually are not allowed to go to the within of the mosque, however the exterior of the constructing and the grounds are price visiting for the spectacular Almohad structure.

USEFUL TIP: Don’t miss the gardens behind the mosque! Koutoubia Gardens is a beautiful park and welcome retreat from the packed Medina. From the gardens, you even have an excellent view of the minaret.

4. Stay In A Traditional Riad

Riad Palais Sebban in Marrakech

Staying in a riad, a conventional Moroccan guesthouse, is an unforgettable expertise – it lets you soak up all of the extraordinary particulars of Moroccan structure.

A riad is a mansion that’s usually set round a small swimming pool in a courtyard full of crops – a tranquil oasis on this bustling metropolis. The atmosphere of the riads with their ornate decorations and the standard structure is totally distinctive!

These are six of the best-rated riad motels in Marrakech:

Riad Palais Sebban – Stunning riad with a lovely pool. This is the place we stayed.

Riad Dar Anika

Riad Sultan Suleiman – Double rooms beginning at US$77 per evening

Riad Janate & Spa – Double rooms beginning at US$94 per evening

Riad l’Oiseau du Paradis – Double rooms beginning at US$124 per evening

Dar Dama – Deluxe Suite from US$118 per evening

Riad Melhoun & Spa – from US$154 per evening

If you’re touring on a funds, take a look at the Rodamon Riad hostel (Dorm beds begin at US$20)

5. Eat Traditional Moroccan Food

Moroccan Tagine Food

Moroccan delicacies is influenced by Berber, Jewish, Arab, Mediterranean and French cultures with hints of European and sub-Saharan influences. Moroccan meals has savory, candy, and bitter flavors and is uniquely seasoned with a large number of spices.

Try to eat as many conventional Moroccan dishes as attainable when you’re in Marrakesh – the compulsory ones are:

  • Tangia (a conventional dish in Marrakech: slow-cooked lamb is positioned in a clay pot with lemon, garlic and saffron after which cooked in charcoal – to not be confused with tagine)
  • Tagine (a slow-cooked savory stew usually made with lamb, hen or fish along with greens, typically additionally nuts and dried fruit, cooked and served within the clay or ceramic pot it’s named after)
  • Couscous (a processed grain derived from durum wheat semolina, served with greens and meat)
  • Bastilla (Moroccan hen pie: saffron hen, a spicy omelet stuffing and crunchy fried seasoned almonds are layered inside a crispy pastry shell)
  • Taktouka (a zesty puree of tomatoes and inexperienced pepper)
  • Zaalouk (a dip made with eggplant, contemporary tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices like cumin, paprika, parsley and contemporary cilantro)
  • Shakshouka (a well-liked Mediterranean breakfast dish for which eggs are cooked in a tomato sauce with peppers, garlic, onions, olive oil, and spices)
  • Harira (a tomato-based soup with lentils and chickpeas)
  • Fish Chermoula (a herb sauce used to marinate grilled fish)

Marrakech has tons of of eating places and looking for one of the best ones can really feel like a frightening activity. Here are just a few locations which are price consuming at:

For one of the best slow-cooked lamb, head to Mechoui Alley, the place native households roast mechoui – entire lamb or mutton – in an underground oven for 4 to 6 hours. You received’t get a extra genuine lamb expertise than this in Marrakech.

Café des Épices, proper on the sting of Rahba Kedima Square is a good place for a Moroccan breakfast.

For Tajine, go to Atay Café (62 Rue Amsafah) the place you may attempt hen, kefta (meatball) or lamb tajine. They even have a vegan tajine and vegan couscous. Café Clock (224 Derb Chtouka) can be a improbable place to attempt conventional Moroccan dishes.

Nomad (1 Derb Aarjane) is a well-liked rooftop restaurant that has delicious Moroccan meals, together with tajine, lamb, fish and a vegetarian platter.

As for drinks: Moroccan mint tea is ubiquitous in Marrakech, and I assure that even non-tea drinkers will take pleasure in a scrumptious cup of it. The terrace of Café De France (Rue des Banques), which overlooks Jemaa el-Fnaa, is a good place to take pleasure in a cup of mint tea.

USEFUL TIP: For a extra hands-on Moroccan meals expertise, be a part of a cooking class!

You can learn to make tajine with an area, which features a go to to the market to supply all of the elements: Tagine Cookery Class With a Local

Hosts Khmisa and Kawtar present you tips on how to make a broader vary of Moroccan dishes that features a market go to: Traditional Moroccan Cooking Class & Market Visit

If you don’t wish to get your fingers soiled however nonetheless wish to expertise genuine Moroccan meals, think about this avenue meals tour: Street Food Tour by Night

6. Visit A Tannery (at your personal danger)

Leather Tannery in Morocco

Bab Debbagh is the a part of Marrakech the place you discover many tanneries. Leather tanning is certainly one of Morocco’s oldest crafts and watching the leather-makers in motion will make you recognize any leather-based items it’s possible you’ll purchase there much more.

The leather-based is handled and dyed the old style method right here, and the colourful tannery swimming pools are an enchanting sight. I like to recommend visiting the tanneries early within the morning when many of the work is finished. The greatest pictures are from the rooftops of the retailers surrounding it.

Of course, you may as well purchase leather-based items right here, from baggage and jackets to leather-based poufs and conventional babouches (Moroccan slippers). Be ready to make use of your haggling expertise right here.

IMPORTANT: Do not attempt to go to the tanneries by yourself. Many persons are scammed and/or harassed by faux native “guides” who attempt to extort method an excessive amount of cash from unsuspecting vacationers. The space is usually a bit harmful too, and straightforward to get misplaced in. If you wish to go to this space of the town, prepare for an official group or non-public tour along with your resort prematurely.

7. Dar El Bacha Palace (Musee Des Confluences)

Dar El Bacha Museam

Dar El Bacha Palace is among the greatest locations to see among the most lovely riad structure with unbelievable Zellige tiles, the geometric tile-work distinctive to Morocco.

Dar El Bacha was constructed within the early twentieth century for Thami El Glaoui, who was the Pasha Of Marrakesh from 1912 to 1956. The palace is price visiting it for the extraordinary inside design, the Moorish decorations, and the symmetrical courtyard. In addition to the attention-grabbing structure, the palace additionally provides usually altering artwork exhibitions and a well-preserved Hammam (Moroccan bathhouse).

If you’re a espresso lover, be sure to cease on the swanky espresso home that’s a part of the palace: Bacha Coffee. It is on the pricier facet, however the beautiful inside in addition to the specialty coffees and French baked items are effectively well worth the splurge. (The opening instances are the identical as for the museum).

Address: Rue Lalla Fatima Zahra
Opening instances: 10am – 6pm; closed on Tuesdays
Admission: Adults pay Dh60 (round US$6); free for kids.

8. Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace is one other palace the place you may see a few of Morocco’s best structure, with Moorish and Andalusian influences.

The palace, which was constructed within the 1860s, has 150 rooms and several other courtyards with marble flooring, lined with orange bushes and fairly fountains. Throughout the palace, there may be spectacular tile artwork, there are mosaics, muqarnas, arabesques and stucco carved with Arabic inscriptions.

If you’re captivated with the structure in Morocco, then positively don’t miss Bahia Palace – particularly because it virtually free to go to! Make positive to reach early although; it may possibly get crowded later within the day.

The blue colours of the tile right here jogged my memory of one other of my favourite Moroccan cities, the blue metropolis of Chefchouen.

Location: Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid
Opening instances: Open day by day from 9am – 5pm.
Admission: Dh10 (round US$1)

9. Badii Palace

Badii Palace in Marrakesh

The third nice palace in Marrakech is Badii Palace (full identify El Badii-Ksibat Nhass Palace), which was constructed within the 1570s. The identify interprets to “The Incomparable Palace” and that’s precisely what this palace was — as soon as a stunning palace with greater than 350 luxurious rooms, right this moment solely the sandstone shell of the palace stays.

There are just a few noteworthy intact options that make visiting the ruins worthwhile nonetheless: The 4 sunken orange orchards with the (empty) reflection pool, ground mosaics in some rooms, and several other artifacts and authentic items of artwork.

USEFUL TIP: You can climb on prime of among the ruined partitions for lovely panoramic views of Marrakech metropolis.

Location: Ksibat Nhass
Opening instances: Open from 9am – 5pm. CLOSED on Saturdays.
Admission: Dh10 (round US$1)

10. Saadian Tombs

Saadian Tombs

The Saadian Tombs are a royal necropolis that was created through the Saadian dynasty within the sixteenth century and includes of round 170 mausoleums and tombs.

Ahmed el-Mansour, who dominated from 1578 to 1603, constructed probably the most lavish of the mausoleums: the Hall of Twelve Columns, which is his very personal mausoleum. In complete, 66 princes and different notable figures are buried right here, plus multiple hundred chancellors and their wives.

You will see among the best basic Moroccan structure and complicated particulars within the design, equivalent to Italian Carrara marble, ornate wooden carvings, lovely tile mosaics, domed ceilings and gilding honeycomb plaster-work adorned with gold.

Location: The Saadian Tombs are positioned alongside Rue de la Kasbah on the south facet of the Kasbah Mosque (not removed from El Badi Palace).
Opening instances: Monday to Sunday from 9am -5pm.
Admission: Dh70 (round US$7)

USEFUL TIP: There is a mixed tour of the Bahia & Badii Palaces in addition to the Saadian Tombs with Skip-the-Line Tickets.

11. Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle Morocco

Jardin Majorelle are probably the most colourful gardens in Marrakech, set round a surprising, vibrant blue constructing and residential to a wide range of crops equivalent to cacti, palm bushes and bamboos. The gardens have been created by French painter Jaques Majorelle and have been later co-owned by clothier Yves Saint Laurent and his enterprise companion Pierre Bergé.

In addition to all the attractive crops and flowers, you’ll get to admire Moorish-style archways, colourful tile artwork, fountains and swimming pools.

There can be a small museum that outlines YSL’s reference to Marrakech (his ashes have been scattered within the rose backyard at Jardin Majorelle when he died in 2008), price testing if have an curiosity in high fashion style.

Fun truth: The shade of blue the home is painted in was invented by Jaques Majorelle and is named “Majorelle Blue”. Allow about an hour to go to the gardens, or a minimum of 90 minutes for those who additionally wish to take a look at the YSL museum.

Location: The Jardin Majorelle is positioned on Rue Yves St Laurent
Opening instances: Open day by day from 8am – 6.30pm.
Admission: Dh70 (round US$7). The museum is a further Dh30 (US$3).

12. Ben Youssef Madrasa

Ben Youssef Madrasa

Ben Youssef Madrasa was constructed within the 14th century and was the most important Islamic school in all of Morocco with room for 900 college students. Today it’s a historic web site that’s visited for the beautiful structure and Islamic design – it is among the most lovely buildings in all of Morocco!

The artistry of the previous faculty is unbelievable: a surprising marble-tiled patio with a mirrored image pool, outstanding mosaic tilework, stuccoes, latticed balconies, and a grand bronze doorway. Most of those ornate particulars have been added through the Saadian dynasty, making it probably the most extravagant Islamic school in Northern Africa.

Allow about one hour on your go to.

Location: Rue Assouel
Opening instances: Open day by day from 9am – 6pm.
Admission: Dh50 (round US$5).

13. Heritage Museum Marrakesh

The small Heritage Museum (Musée de Marrakech) within the coronary heart of the Medina, only a brief stroll from Jemaa el-Fnaa, is housed inside a seventeenth century riad and showcases Moroccan vintage artifacts collected by the Alouani Bibi household. The assortment consists of many desirable gadgets, from jewellery to conventional Berber costumes.

Tip: There is a café on the rooftop which has improbable views over the Medina – the Heritage Museum is price visiting for these views alone!

Location: 25 Zinkat Rahba
Opening instances: Open day by day from 9am – 6pm.
Admission: Dh50 (round US$5) for adults / Dh20 (round US$2) for kids

14. Le Jardin Secret

Le Jardin Secret, which interprets to Secret Garden, is a backyard inside a small Riad proper within the Medina. The origins of the gardens date again to the Saadian dynasty, greater than 400 years in the past!

The backyard is a conventional Islamic Garden, so anticipate to see lovely Moroccan structure and tile artwork. The backyard is way bigger than you’d assume and appears like a hidden oasis proper within the Medina: the proper place to flee the noise and the crowds for some time, and to benefit from the tranquility of the gardens.

In addition to the backyard, there’s a small museum, a store and two cafes. The tower of the complicated is the second highest tower in Marrakesh (after the minaret of Koutoubia Mosque) which implies you’ll have superb views – you may see the Atlas Mountains on a transparent day. If you’re in search of an excellent spot to take pictures from Marrakech from above, it’s price to pay the extra 30 Dirham (US$3) to climb to the highest of the tower.

Location: 121 Rue Mouassine
Opening instances: Open day by day, between March and September from 9.30am – 7.30pm. Between February and October from 9.30am – 6.30pm.
Admission: Dh80 (round US$8) for adults / free for kids below 6

15. Visit A Hammam

Hammam Dar el-Bacha

Visiting a Hammam – a Moroccan bathhouse – is a quintessential Moroccan expertise and for those who take pleasure in spas, you’ll not wish to skip a Hammam go to. The Berbers have perfected their method of cleansing a physique for 1000’s of years: you’ll get a pleasant scrub-down and your pores and skin and hair are handled with magnificence merchandise containing Moroccan argan oil and Moroccan black cleaning soap.

You can even get a therapeutic massage however bear in mind that Moroccan massages contain much more scrubbing than your common therapeutic massage.

The vintage hammams themselves are price visiting for the simplistic structure alone: a excessive dome, star-shaped vents and stone-paved or marble steam rooms.

Hammam Dar el-Bacha is the most important public hammam in Marrakech, however there are numerous hammams in Marrakech, a lot of which cater to vacationers.

Location: 20 Rue Lalla Fatima Zahra
Opening instances: Open day by day, separate entrance instances for women and men. Men enter from 7am to 1pm; ladies enter between 1pm and 9pm.
Admission: Dh10 (round US$1)

Additional Hammams in Marrakech

  • Royal Mansour (Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti) – owned by the King of Morocco
  • Hammam Mouassine (Rue Sidi el Yamani) – the oldest hammam in Marrakesh
  • Hammam de la Rose (Route Sidi Abdelaziz) – lovely, elaborately adorned spa
  • La Mamounia Spa (Avenue Bab Jdid) – a complicated hammam in a 5-star resort
  • Les Bains de Marrakech (2 Derb Sedra)
  • Hammam Rosa Bonheur’s (35 Derb El aarssa)
  • Le Bain Bleu (32 Derb Chorfa Lakbir)
  • Heritage Spa (40 Arset Aouzal Rd)

Price: Most hammams within the Old City price between USD $10 – USD $30.


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