Marrakesh is a gorgeous metropolis in Morocco. The “Rose Metropolis” or “Pink Metropolis” gives guests a fascinating style of outdated world allure and opulence. Listed below are a few of the greatest issues to do in Marrakesh.
Many vacationers who go to Morocco spend not less than a couple of days in Marrakesh, earlier than shifting on to different elements of the nation. And there’s rather a lot to see within the metropolis.
Marrakesh (typically spelled Marrakech) is undoubtedly some of the thrilling locations in Northern Africa. Town has been an necessary buying and selling hub for hundreds of years and contained in the walled Previous Metropolis Medina, you’ll discover a maze of vigorous 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 though the hectic coronary heart of the town can really feel each attractive and overwhelming on the similar time, there are locations the place you’ll be capable of get pleasure from moments of calm, such because the riad motels, and several other parks.
Town’s bustling souks, theatrical road distributors, and mesmerizing performers are sights in itself, however don’t ignore the palaces, the mosques, and the meals – listed below are my high picks for one of the best issues to do in Marrakesh.
Hello, I’m Matthew Karsten
I’ve been touring the world for 10+ years as knowledgeable photographer & author. I hope you get pleasure from my Marrakesh suggestions! For those who discover them helpful, utilizing my affiliate hyperlinks to e book one thing will give me a small fee, at no further value to you. Thanks!
Marrakesh Morocco Journey Information
1. Exploring The Souks
The Medina, Marrakesh’s walled Previous City, is the preferred 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 may 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hours wandering the streets right here, and I like to recommend taking your time: take in the smells, marvel on the outdated buildings, store for souvenirs, and end your go to with a tea in one of many rooftop cafes to absorb the hustle and bustle from a unique perspective.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 principle souks, markets, are all positioned within the Medina, and are organized in keeping with the type of product they’re promoting. Souk Semmarine is the principle space of the market, which suggests it will get essentially the most vacationers.
Go additional away and also you’ll be capable of 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.
Nonetheless, 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.
2. Jemaa el-Fnaa
Jemaa el-Fnaa is the principle sq. in Marrakesh’s Medina. It doesn’t matter what time of day or evening you come right here, there’s road theater continuous. From road meals stalls to road performers and musicians, the sq. has at all times a present occurring – 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. The truth is, it impressed UNESCO to create an entire new class: “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
It’s price visiting Jemaa el-Fnaa in the course of the day after which come again at evening, as a result of your complete environment of the sq. adjustments relying on the time of day: In the course of the day, it’s a lot much less crowded and fewer thrilling, however you’ll be able to 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: Concentrate on pickpockets within the Medina – at all times be sure that your belongings are secure. Don’t have any valuables on you, similar to your passport. That is particularly necessary should you go at evening when the sq. will get very crowded.
3. Koutoubia Mosque
Koutoubia Mosque is the biggest mosque in Marrakech, and even should you don’t need to go to the mosque, it’s unimaginable 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 of escape the decision to prayer: the muezzin calls the devoted 5 instances a day.
Non-Muslims will not be allowed to go to the within of the mosque, however the outdoors 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 a fantastic view of the minaret.
4. Keep In A Conventional Riad
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 sometimes set round a small swimming pool in a courtyard stuffed with vegetation – 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 – Beautiful riad with a gorgeous pool. That is the place we stayed.
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
For those who’re touring on a finances, try the Rodamon Riad hostel (Dorm beds begin at US$20)
5. Eat Conventional Moroccan Meals
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.
Attempt to eat as many conventional Moroccan dishes as potential 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 sometimes made with lamb, hen or fish along with greens, usually 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, recent tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices like cumin, paprika, parsley and recent 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 a whole lot of eating places and looking for one of the best ones can really feel like a frightening activity. Listed below are a couple of locations which might be 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 Sq. is a superb place for a Moroccan breakfast.
For Tajine, go to Atay Café (62 Rue Amsafah) the place you’ll be able to strive hen, kefta (meatball) or lamb tajine. Additionally they have a vegan tajine and vegan couscous. Café Clock (224 Derb Chtouka) can be a improbable place to strive 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 get pleasure from a scrumptious cup of it. The terrace of Café De France (Rue des Banques), which overlooks Jemaa el-Fnaa, is a superb place to get pleasure from a cup of mint tea.
USEFUL TIP: For a extra hands-on Moroccan meals expertise, be part of a cooking class!
You may discover ways 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 Native
Hosts Khmisa and Kawtar present you tips on how to make a broader vary of Moroccan dishes that features a market go to: Conventional Moroccan Cooking Class & Market Go to
For those who don’t need to get your palms soiled however nonetheless need to expertise genuine Moroccan meals, take into account this road meals tour: Road Meals Tour by Evening
6. Go to A Tannery (at your individual danger)
Bab Debbagh is the a part of Marrakech the place you discover many tanneries. Leather-based tanning is one among 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 school 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 a lot of the work is finished. The very best photographs are from the rooftops of the retailers surrounding it.
In fact, you may as well purchase leather-based items right here, from luggage and jackets to leather-based poufs and conventional babouches (Moroccan slippers). Be ready to make use of your haggling abilities right here.
IMPORTANT: Don’t attempt to go to the tanneries by yourself. Many individuals are scammed and/or harassed by faux native “guides” who attempt to extort method an excessive amount of cash from unsuspecting vacationers. The world could be a bit harmful too, and simple to get misplaced in. If you wish to go to this space of the town, prepare for an official group or personal tour together with your resort upfront.
7. Dar El Bacha Palace (Musee Des Confluences)
Dar El Bacha Palace is among the greatest locations to see a few of the most lovely riad structure with unimaginable 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. Along with the fascinating structure, the palace additionally gives often altering artwork exhibitions and a well-preserved Hammam (Moroccan bathhouse).
For those who’re a espresso lover, be sure that to cease on the swanky espresso home that’s a part of the palace: Bacha Espresso. It’s on the pricier facet, however the attractive inside in addition to the specialty coffees and French baked items are properly well worth the splurge. (The opening instances are the identical as for the museum).
Handle: 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’ll be able to 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. All through the palace, there may be spectacular tile artwork, there are mosaics, muqarnas, arabesques and stucco carved with Arabic inscriptions.
For those who’re enthusiastic about the structure in Morocco, then positively don’t miss Bahia Palace – particularly because it virtually free to go to! Ensure that to reach early although; it will 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 every day from 9am – 5pm.
Admission: Dh10 (round US$1)
9. Badii Palace
The third nice palace in Marrakech is Badii Palace (full title El Badii-Ksibat Nhass Palace), which was constructed within the 1570s. The title interprets to “The Incomparable Palace” and that’s precisely what this palace was — as soon as a blinding palace with greater than 350 luxurious rooms, right this moment solely the sandstone shell of the palace stays.
There are a couple of 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 may climb on high of a few of the ruined partitions for lovely panoramic views of Marrakech metropolis.
Location: Ksibat Nhass
Opening Hours: Open from 9am – 5pm. CLOSED on Saturdays.
Admission Value: Dh10 (round US$1)
10. Saadian Tombs
The Saadian Tombs are a royal necropolis that was created in the course of the Saadian dynasty within the sixteenth century and contains of round 170 mausoleums and tombs.
Ahmed el-Mansour, who dominated from 1578 to 1603, constructed essentially the most lavish of the mausoleums: the Corridor of Twelve Columns, which is his very personal mausoleum. In whole, 66 princes and different notable figures are buried right here, plus multiple hundred chancellors and their wives.
You will note a few of the best basic Moroccan structure and complicated particulars within the design, similar to Italian Carrara marble, ornate wooden carvings, lovely tile mosaics, domed ceilings and gilding honeycomb plaster-work embellished 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 Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9am -5pm.
Admission Value: Dh70 (round US$7)
USEFUL TIP: There’s a mixed tour of the Bahia & Badii Palaces in addition to the Saadian Tombs with Skip-the-Line Tickets.
11. Jardin Majorelle
Jardin Majorelle are essentially the most colourful gardens in Marrakech, set round a shocking, shiny blue constructing and residential to a wide range of vegetation similar 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.
Along with all the gorgeous vegetation and flowers, you’ll get to admire Moorish-style archways, colourful tile artwork, fountains and swimming pools.
There’s additionally 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.
Enjoyable reality: The shade of blue the home is painted in was invented by Jaques Majorelle and is called “Majorelle Blue”. Enable about an hour to go to the gardens, or not less than 90 minutes should you additionally need to try the YSL museum.
Location: The Jardin Majorelle is positioned on Rue Yves St Laurent
Opening Hours: Open every day from 8am – 6.30pm.
Admission Value: Dh70 (round US$7). The museum is an extra Dh30 (US$3).
12. Ben Youssef Madrasa
Ben Youssef Madrasa was constructed within the 14th century and was once the biggest Islamic school in all of Morocco with room for 900 college students. Right now it’s a historic website 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 college is unimaginable: a shocking 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 in the course of the Saadian dynasty, making it essentially the most extravagant Islamic school in Northern Africa.
Enable about one hour to your go to.
Location: Rue Assouel
Opening Hours: Open every day from 9am – 6pm.
Admission Value: Dh50 (round US$5).
13. Heritage Museum Marrakesh
The small Heritage Museum (Musée de Marrakech) within the coronary heart of the Medina, only a quick stroll from Jemaa el-Fnaa, is housed inside a seventeenth century riad and showcases Moroccan vintage artifacts collected by the Alouani Bibi household. The gathering consists of many desirable objects, from jewellery to conventional Berber costumes.
Tip: There’s 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 Hours: Open every day from 9am – 6pm.
Admission Value: Dh50 (round US$5) for adults / Dh20 (round US$2) for kids
14. Le Jardin Secret
Le Jardin Secret, which interprets to Secret Backyard, 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 Backyard, so anticipate to see lovely Moroccan structure and tile artwork. The backyard is way bigger than you’d suppose and appears like a hidden oasis proper within the Medina: the right place to flee the noise and the crowds for some time, and to benefit from the tranquility of the gardens.
Along with the backyard, there’s a small museum, a store and two cafes. The tower of the advanced is the second highest tower in Marrakesh (after the minaret of Koutoubia Mosque) which suggests you’ll have superb views – you’ll be able to see the Atlas Mountains on a transparent day. For those who’re on the lookout for a fantastic spot to take photographs 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 Hours: Open every day, between March and September from 9.30am – 7.30pm. Between February and October from 9.30am – 6.30pm.
Admission Value: Dh80 (round US$8) for adults / free for kids underneath 6
15. Go to A Hammam
Visiting a Hammam – a Moroccan bathhouse – is a quintessential Moroccan expertise and should you get pleasure from spas, you’ll not need to skip a Hammam go to. The Berbers have perfected their method of cleansing a physique for hundreds 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 biggest public hammam in Marrakech, however there are numerous hammams in Marrakech, lots of which cater to vacationers.
Location: 20 Rue Lalla Fatima Zahra
Opening Hours: Open every day, separate entrance instances for women and men. Males enter from 7am to 1pm; ladies enter between 1pm and 9pm.
Admission Value: Dh10 (round US$1)
Further 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 embellished 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)
Value: Most hammams within the Previous Metropolis value between USD $10 – USD $30.
READ MORE MOROCCO TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you loved my information on what to do in Marrakesh, Morocco! Hopefully you discovered it helpful. Listed below are a couple of extra wanderlust-inducing articles that I like to recommend you learn subsequent: