25 things to see and do in Marrakech
Although Marrakech is not the capital of the country, it is perhaps the most famous city in all of Morocco and an ideal place to experience the culture of our African neighbors. They call it the pink city because of the color of the chaotic streets of its Medina, but the green and blue of the Majorelle Gardens or the indescribable multicolor palette of the lively Jemaa el-Fna Square are also present. Marrakech was the starting point of our trip through Morocco, and in this post we tell you the best 25 things to see and do in Marrakech.
* Don’t leave until you get to the end of the article. There we put some of the useful information to help you plan your trip.
* Don’t leave until you get to the end of this article. There we put some of the useful information to help you plan your trip.
1. Start a great wander around the Plaza Jemaa El Fna, the heart of the Medina of Marrakech. This can be seen as the pure essence of the city, a place full of life, a hotbed of characters, vendors, homemade restaurants, fruit stands and shows (more or less) striking. Tip: To fully appreciate this place, it’s best to climb to the roof at sunset (Café Glacier is very good) and enjoy the show while you drink mint tea.
Unfortunately, there are still animals like monkeys and snakes. No, don’t take pictures with them 🙁
2. Do a free tour Hand in Hand with a local guide, this is one of the best ways to experience this mysterious city. At the end, don’t be rash and leave a good review to make the guides work hard! Ours (Karim) told us a thousand things about the city … The tour lasted about 4 hours and we found it super complete! You can book it here.
2. the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque This is the most famous icon in Marrakech. With its 77 meters in height, it conquers the sky of the city and becomes a target for tourist cameras at all hours of the day. Although access is reserved for Muslims (apparently the only great mosque to visit in Morocco is Casablanca), it is worth it to see it from the outside, impressive. Curiosity: The Giralda of Seville is inspired by this minaret.
3. 4. You don’t have to go far to see the best views of this symbolic tower. In the back extends Lalla Hasnas Park with a fountain in the middle of the walk, which lines up with the mosque. For us, the panorama is one not to be forgotten.
5. 5.Visit the tombs in Marrakech, where descendants of the Saadi dynasty (and their servants) slumber in peace.. In particular, do not miss the room of twelve columns with the tombs of Ahmad al-Mansour (Sultan from 1578 to 1603) and his family. The twelve columns, carved in marble in an exquisite manner, are topped by a beautiful wooden dome. Admission costs 70 dirhams, we went about 13 and had to wait in line, we think it’s better to go during the day.
Qutubiya from Lalla Hasna Park
6. The Madrasse Ben Youssef This is one of the main visits to Marrakech. Madrasahs are Muslim schools where they study the Koran, but also other subjects of general culture. It is the most important in the country, and its architecture and decoration must be impressive. We say “necessary” because we could only see it from the terrace in front of it because it was in the middle of a reform project that lasted until mid-2020 (we already have an excuse to return to Marrakech).
7. Cross the Gate of Baba Agnaw, one of the old entrances that were distributed by the Marrakech Wall, For us this is the most beautiful but not the only one: other interesting doors are Bab Jedid, Bab Duqqala and Bab el Hemis, Curiosity: the ancient city is surrounded by a wall that still stands today and measures almost 20 km!
8. Meet Bahia Palace It was built at the end of the 19th century with the idea of creating no more and no less than the most beautiful palace in the world. We do not know if it has been achieved … What we can say is that it is one of the best things to do in Marrakech. It is a complex of more than 100 rooms filled with details, paintings, tiles, stained glass and marble. And it is no coincidence that many consider it one of the great masterpieces of Moroccan architecture. A ticket costs 70 dirhams (about 7 euros).
9. Another interesting palace in the old part of Marrakech El Badi Palace, At first
the view may seem to be “only ruins,” but as they say, they are “very charming ruins. Of course, in good times it should have been much more amazing, as they say it had over 300 rooms, all of which were finished in the luxurious materials and styles of the time. The only bad thing is that the entrance, which, like almost everything else in the city, costs 70 dirhams.
10. Take away all fears and get lost in the souls (markets) of the Medina of Marrakech. The streets used to be grouped by genre of products, as in medieval Europe with guilds, so there was a market for blacksmith, spices, carpets … Nowadays it is more of a tangle of shops. With souvenirs for tourists, although if you go a little north, you can see more authentic stores and workshops. Arm yourself with patience, shake off your bargaining technique, and if someone tells you to follow them to a Berber market (or somewhere …), don’t go! We use the app from Maps.me We knew where we were at all times.
11. Take advantage of your stay in stay in traditional style: in the Riad, These are small hotels with a few rooms arranged around a central courtyard. They are usually very nice, cozy, with typical Moroccan architecture and decor that . I don’t know about you, but it’s awful! By the way, if you have no budget problems (lucky!), you can stay in one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in the world: La Mamounia, We agreed to be in Riad Basma And it was a success: well located, with abundant breakfasts and a mistress who is very loving (and speaks excellent Spanish!).
12. The Marrakech Palm GroveWith its more than 100,000 palm trees, it may be a curious place to visit on your trip. Although, if you are going to visit other parts of Morocco, we don’t think you should go there, you get bored with palm trees!
13. Did you know that Marrakech has a Jewish Quarter? We’re talking about the Mallah place where many Jews who had to flee Spain found refuge after the exile ordered by the Catholic monarchs. Here you can visit the Al Azam Synagogue or the Jewish cemetery. No doubt an original and alternative visit to Marrakech.
14. If after so many places, mosques, alleys, bazaars and bustle, what the body is asking for is a dose of healthy relaxation, a very good point to visit is the Majorelle Gardens, full of native and exotic plants. And when we say full, it is: apparently they have over 300 different species … A whole green oasis! Curiosity: It was made in 1919 by French artist Jacques Majorelle, who adored Marrakech, and was bought by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1980.. We went on a Saturday morning and were left without admission: the line was in-men-sa (thanks Instagram), so we decided to move on. The price of the garden is 70 dirhams and the additional museum is 100 dirhams. If you want to do both visits, it’s best to go to the museum box office where there will be fewer people (be careful, because here you can only buy tickets for the museum or the combined museum + garden, but not one garden).
15. The name speaks for itself: The Secret Garden It is a secret corner (less and less, really :-p) in the center of the Medina of Marrakech. Walking here is like taking a breath of fresh air, though . after going through the box (50 dirhams), expensive. We didn’t go up the tower (35 extra dirhams), but we went to the terrace where there is a cafeteria and we could enjoy good views.
16. If you close your eyes and think of Marrakech, it is likely that the picturesque corners of the Medina come to mind … But Marrakech has a more modern area: we’re talking about the Ronda de Gueliz, It’s a good alternative if you are looking for new and quality accommodation, there are also avenues, stores, shopping centers and cafes with a more Western style. By the way, there are beautiful buildings of the train station and the Royal Theater.
17. Drink orange juice, tea, or whatever you want Give Cherifa, the oldest riad in the medina of Marrakech. It’s a real past time (and not as expensive as you might think: drinks for 2-3 euros, food for 8/16 euros).
18. One of the corners we liked best in Marrakech was Raba Kedima Square, in the old spice souk. Although the market is not as local as it might have been some time ago, it is eye-catching.Some of Marrakech’s top terraces are also located close to the square, including Nomads and Café des Épices.
19. If you are passionate about photography or caught in bad weather, the House of Photography This is a good place to hang out. Here you can stroll among the photo exhibits that depict 19th- and 20th-century Morocco. Plus: there’s a pretty cool cafe on the terrace. Price: €3 ok. The area is somewhat removed from the very commercial center of the Medina, so you can enjoy a pleasant and less touristy stroll.
20. Approach to Quoubba AlmoravideThe last building preserved from the time of the Almoravids, the founders of the city in 1062, is characterized by religious puritanism and rather austere art. We contemplate it from the terrace of Jad Jamal (we have a very rich tea), best to go up before sunset to enjoy this moment, and you will hear the call to prayer from the Ben Yusuf mosque, right next door.
21. Book lunch or dinner at Amalrestaurant, which not only offers gourmet food, but also does a commendable social work by providing jobs for women in disadvantaged situations (widows, divorcees, orphans …). Here we recommend more restaurants to eat well and cheaply in Marrakech.
22. To end the day in the best way possible, there is nothing better than taking a relaxing bath and massage in a traditional hammam, There are many scattered throughoutthe city, but you may do it here if you wish to reserve the experience in advance.
23. Do you have more time? visit Essaouria! This fishing village is one of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of the Moroccan coast, and while it is ideal for spending a few days there, there are day trips from Marrakech that will suit your itinerary.
24. Another day trip from Marrakech is the one that introduces you to the Ouzoud Falls, where you can take a refreshing bath. To get there, you have the option of renting a car (two hours after arrival) or signing up for a tour (the best option if you are not going to make extra trips).
25. And of course, since you are in Morocco, why not take advantage of it to experience one of the most extraordinary places in the world: the Sahara Desert? There are many multi-day tours that will take you to the desert of Merzouga or Zagora, with other stops along the way, such as the famous Kasbah de Ait Ben Haddou.
Of course, we forget about other things to see and do in Marrakech, but it’s a good start to learn the basics of the city. If you’ve been and think something is missing or know original places to visit, leave us a comment!
:: Where to stay in Marrakech?
The best place to stay is inside the walls, in the heart of the Medina. But it is very wide! Then we tell you to find a riad as close as possible to Jemaa el-Fna Square. We stay at the Riad Basma Marrakech where Hannah served us exceptionally well (also speaks excellent Spanish).
::How do I travel from the airport to Marrakech?
When you arrive at 23:00, we prefer to hire a pickup directly at the hotel. The price of this service should be 15 euros (before 20:00) and 20 euros at night. Keep in mind that you can’t drive in Medina, so it’s okay to be picked up at the airport and taken to Jemaa el-Fna Square (or any other nearby and accessible location) where you will be waiting. To work in the residential areas and accompany you for a walk there.
You can also take a cab without reservation (price from 70 MAD, but haggle). Although in this case there will be much more trouble finding accommodation, walking around the Medina, etc. Д.
To return by cab, the price from the square to the airport is about 100 MAD (about €10).
As for public transportation, there is a bus stop located somewhat away from the airport (about 800 meters), where the bus passes to the center. The price is 30 MAD. We do not think this is the most recommended option.
:: How to get around Marrakech?
Yellow cabs are the best option. The cost of the trip from Djemaa el-Fna Square (where a lot) to any side of Gelis, Jardines Majorelle should not exceed 20 MAD (you will be asked for the first 50 or more, so bargain and sign).
You can also choose to take city buses. This service is provided by ALSA, and a ticket within the city costs 4MAD (to be paid by the driver alone). You can calculate the routes directly from Google Maps or the official website.