Heading to Morocco? We share the best things to do in Marrakech, so you can see everything the city has to offer.
Marrakech, also known as the “Red City”, is a vibrant and colorful destination located in Morocco. Steeped in history, culture, and tradition, this magical city is a perfect blend of old and new; not only are there endless things to see and do but the Moroccan Fez Festival is one of the most popular African celebrations in the continent. With a myriad of hidden gems waiting to be discovered, Marrakech has something to offer every traveler.
Best things to do in Marrakech
Jemaa el-Fnaa: The Pulse of Marrakech
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Marrakech, Jemaa el-Fnaa, is the city’s central square and the heart of Marrakech’s bustling medina. By day, the square is a lively marketplace filled with snake charmers, henna tattoo artists, and vendors selling fresh orange juice, dried fruits, and nuts. As the sun sets, the square transforms into an energetic hub of food stalls, musicians, storytellers, and acrobats, offering a unique sensory experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Koutoubia Mosque: Marrakech’s Iconic Landmark
Standing tall at 77 meters, the Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech and an iconic symbol of the city’s skyline. Built in the 12th century, the mosque is a stunning example of Almohad architecture, featuring a beautiful minaret adorned with intricate carvings and decorative arches. Though non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque, visitors can still admire its grandeur from the outside and enjoy the serene gardens that surround it.
Bahia Palace: A Royal Architectural Masterpiece
The Bahia Palace, constructed in the late 19th century, is a striking example of Moroccan architecture and a must-visit for history and art enthusiasts. The palace showcases stunning stuccowork, colourful zellij tiles, and intricately carved wooden ceilings. As you wander through its opulent rooms and courtyards, you’ll be transported back in time to the era of Moroccan royalty.
Majorelle Garden: A Lush Oasis of Tranquility
Escape the bustling city streets and immerse yourself in the serenity of Majorelle Garden, a magnificent botanical garden designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle. The garden features a diverse collection of exotic plants, fountains, and vibrant cobalt-blue buildings, including the stunning Villa Oasis, which was once owned by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The garden also houses the Berber Museum, where you can learn about the rich history and culture of Morocco’s indigenous people.
The Medina: A Labyrinth of Discovery
No trip to Marrakech would be complete without exploring the narrow, winding streets of its ancient medina. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the medina is a maze of bustling souks, historic riads, and hidden courtyards. Lose yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and take the opportunity to shop for traditional Moroccan goods, such as leather bags, vibrant textiles, and handcrafted ceramics.
Medersa Ben Youssef: A Historic Centre of Learning
The Medersa Ben Youssef, once the largest Islamic college in North Africa, is an architectural marvel that showcases the finest examples of Moorish design. The 16th-century building boasts intricate stuccowork, colourful zellij tiles, and beautifully carved cedar wood. Step into its peaceful courtyard and marvel at the elaborate craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.
Saadian Tombs: A Royal Burial Ground
Hidden away in the heart of Marrakech, the Saadian Tombs date back to the 16th century and are the final resting place of members of the Saadian dynasty. Rediscovered in 1917, the tombs have since been meticulously restored, showcasing stunning mosaic tilework, marble columns, and ornate plasterwork. The peaceful atmosphere and intricate architectural details make this a must-visit for history buffs and admirers of Moroccan art.
El Badi Palace: A Testament to Grandeur
Built in the 16th century, the El Badi Palace was once a grand and opulent royal residence. Although now mostly in ruins, the palace remains an impressive historical site, giving visitors a glimpse into the splendour of the past. Stroll through the vast courtyard, surrounded by towering walls, and admire the remnants of the palace’s once-exquisite decorations.
Dar Si Said Museum: A Celebration of Moroccan Art
The Dar Si Said Museum, housed in a 19th-century palace, is an essential stop for art and culture enthusiasts. The museum boasts an extensive collection of Moroccan art, including traditional ceramics, textiles, jewellery, and beautifully crafted woodwork. A visit to the Dar Si Said Museum offers a fascinating insight into the diverse artistic heritage of Morocco.
The Menara Gardens: A Scenic Retreat
Located on the outskirts of Marrakech, the Menara Gardens provide a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Established in the 12th century, the gardens are centred around a large reservoir and feature olive and fruit trees, creating a picturesque and serene setting. The pavilion overlooking the reservoir offers stunning views of the gardens and the distant Atlas Mountains, making it a favourite spot for both locals and tourists.
The Ramparts of Marrakech: A Historic Defence
Encircling the old city, the Ramparts of Marrakech is an impressive and imposing reminder of the city’s past. Stretching over 19 kilometres, these ancient walls, constructed in the 12th century, were once a formidable defence against invaders. Today, visitors can walk or cycle along the walls, taking in the historic gates, bastions, and watchtowers that have protected Marrakech for centuries.
Le Jardin Secret: An Urban Sanctuary
Tucked away in the heart of the medina, Le Jardin Secret is a beautifully restored garden that offers a peaceful respite from the bustling city. This hidden gem features two distinct gardens – one showcasing exotic plants from around the world, and the other designed in a traditional Islamic style. With its elegant fountains, colourful tilework, and fragrant flowers, Le Jardin Secret is a true oasis in the midst of Marrakech.
Things to know before you go to Marrakech
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.