Are you going to Marrakech for a city trip soon? What a great city that is! The colors, the atmosphere, the people, the food and drinks: know for sure that you will enjoy it. And if you are looking for the best things to do in Marrakech, free things to do in Marrakech or best places to visit in Marrakech! Then you’ve come to the right place.
Marrakech is one of the top travel destinations in Northwest Africa.
This former imperial city is home to beautiful Palaces, Riads, Mosques, Gardens, Chaotic souks, and Delicious food.
Here are the top 10 things to do in Marrakech:
#1 Visit The Souk Of Medina
Medina, the old part of Marrakech, offers, amongst other things, a special authentic experience – the souks.
A souk is a street marketplace where you can buy all sorts of products, from leather bags, spices, silver and gold products, to more modern items and food.
Each street was traditionally named after the commodity that was sold there and even today you can see that certain streets mostly sell spices, others sell leather products, and so on.
Getting lost in the chaotic souks of Medina is an interesting experience and offers a glimpse of life in Morocco centuries ago.
#2 Visit El Badi Palace
El Badi Palace is a ruined palace in Marrakech, constructed in late 16th century by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, belonging to the Saadian dynasty.
The original palace consisted of over 350 rooms, a large swimming pool, and several gardens. However, most of its former shine is now gone.
El Badi Palace is now a museum with several detached compartments displaying different art and even a fully restored 12th-century minbar. The rooftop terrace offers amazing views of Marrakech and the bird’s eye view of the palace.
#3 Visit Bahia Palace
Former Palais de la Bahia has more than 150 different rooms and looks like a maze. Part of the rooms is public and you can walk through it. You look out at the Bahia Palace: huge ceilings with handmade carvings and everywhere that colorful mosaic that you see everywhere in Morocco.
For 70 Dirham (7 euro) you walk through the palace and through the palace gardens and that is really worth it.
Bahia Palace is a popular attraction in Marrakech and so you have to prepare for crowds. If you go early in the morning, it is still relatively quiet.
#4 Visit The Saadian Tombs
In Moroccan culture it is customary not to indicate on the grave of a deceased who is buried, that does not matter in this culture. So you can’t tell who is lying at a grave and yet the Tombs of the Saädieden, where the former sultan and his family are buried, are worth it.
The Saadian Tombs are so different from the cemeteries we know. There you can see the famous Moroccan mosaic again and that is worth taking a look!
#5 Visit Ben Youssef Madrassa
Ali Ben Youssef Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Marrakech, an impressive structure with green glittering stones. Just behind it is Ben Youssef Madrassa, an old Islamic school. It was once the largest Islamic school in the region and students came from all over the world to study Quran sciences there.
In 1962 the school closed forever but you can visit it daily. Especially the architecture and the colorful mosaics are a feast for the eyes. If you go upstairs, you can easily get lost in the narrow corridors and small rooms.
#6 Visit Gardens
Marrakech is famous for its world-renowned gardens. In fact, gardens are such an important part of it, that Marrakech is also known as the garden city.
Gardens symbolize paradise and are a great escape from the desert-ish atmosphere and busy city streets. You will even find gardens in riads, traditional Moroccan houses, and palaces with interior courtyards.
While you can find countless amazing gardens in Marrakech, the following ones are considered one of the most beautiful and open to the public:
JARDIN MAJORELLE: created in 1923 by a French orientalist Jacques Majorelle, but it took over 40 additional years to complete. The garden includes a colorful villa, which now became a favorite Instagram spot.
Don’t miss the nearby Yves Saint Laurent museum, dedicated to the work of the legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
MENARA GARDEN: botanical gardens located on the west side of Marrakech. While Jardin Majorelle is mostly popular with tourists, the Menara gardens are a popular relaxation spot for the locals.
Le Jardin Secret: is a place in Medina with a traditional Islamic garden, offering a great escape from the crowded streets of Marrakech.
#7 Visit Koutoubia Mosque
Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech, located in Medina. Because of its 253 feet (77 m) tall minaret it is very easy to spot and can even help you with orientation around Marrakech.
Koutoubia Mosque was built in the 12th century and was an inspiration for other prominent buildings. Outside the mosque, you will find a beautiful large garden plaza.
#8 Visit Jemaa El-Fna Square
Located next to Koutoubia Mosque, you will find the central square of Medina, Jemaa El-Fna. There, you will find an interesting mix of locals and tourists with street vendors selling everything from fresh orange juice to souvenirs.
You will also find numerous entertainers such as snake charmers, fortune tellers, etc.
However, if you plan to stop and watch or take a photo with them, they will demand money, sometimes quite aggressively.
For the ultimate experience, you can go to one of the rooftop cafes and order the traditional Moroccan mint tea and soak in the atmosphere.
#9 Visit Miara Jewish Cemetery
Following a mass exile of Jews from Spain in the 15th century, Marrakech became a new home for many of them.
Over 35,000 resided in Melach, the Jewish quarter, with approximately 40 Synagogues. In 1537, the Jewish Cemetery was built just outside the Melach quarter.
The cemetery exists to this day. Visit the Jewish quarter and the Jewish Cemetery to experience the historic dimension of this culturally rich city.
#10 Taste The Moroccan Cuisine On The Street
In Morocco, people eat and drink more than just mint tea and couscous and the best way to taste Moroccan cuisine is on the street. On and around Djemaa el Fna, for example, you can buy typical Moroccan specialties: Harira (soup), snails, marinated olives, skewers with lamb and much more.
Traveling certainly also enriches your taste and Moroccan cuisine uses a lot of tasty herbs to make tasty dishes, such as saffron, with which they make the tastiest tajines. You can taste the real Morocco on the street and you don’t want to miss that!
- How many days do you need in Marrakech?: The ideal travel time is four days, so you have enough time to explore the city at your leisure.
- Arabic and French are spoken.
- Transport in the city is simple: you can do most things on foot and for everything further away you take a taxi.
- The best travel time for Marrakech is spring and autumn.
- What you should definitely taste is Moroccan mint tea: very sweet but so tasty!
- The best thing is to book a hotel or accommodation in the medina, in the old city. There you experience the real Moroccan life. Choose a Marrakech riad, a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard.
- Put light cotton clothes in your suitcase. Go for covering clothing, out of respect for local customs.
Do you want to know more about what to do in Marrakech? Check this out.