Best things to do in Marrakech

Step into the exotic charm and rich heritage of Marrakech, a city that has thrived for over a millennium amid the bustling medieval Medina. Founded in 1070 as the capital of the Almoravid Empire, Marrakech’s red mud buildings earned it the nickname “The Red City.” With a fusion of Arab and Berber cultures, Marrakech offers a mesmerizing array of experiences that will leave you enchanted.

1 – Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa (Medersa Ben Youssef)

Symmetrical view of the intricately decorated courtyard of Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa with reflection in the central pool, Marrakech.
Architectural Elegance of Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa – Marrakech’s Historic Gem

Delight in the splendour of Islamic design at Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa, as local mosques are inaccessible to non-Muslims. This 14th-century madrasa features a breathtaking central courtyard with a reflecting pool adorned with zellij (mosaic tile work) and calligraphic friezes, showcasing Moroccan and Andalusian architecture.

2 – Get Lost in the Central Souks

Bustling Marrakech souk at night with colorful merchandise on display and locals browsing the stalls.
Vibrant Nighttime Shopping at Marrakech’s Central Souk

Immerse yourself in the energy of Marrakech’s central souks, open-air markets within the maze-like laneways of the Medina. Marvel at artisans crafting traditional wares and experience the authentic ambiance of the city.

3 – Rahba Kedima Square

Overhead view of a bustling Rahba Kedima Square in Marrakech, with colorful market umbrellas and diverse local crafts on display.
Rahba Kedima Square Market – A Tapestry of Colors and Culture in Marrakech

Savor the tradition of mint tea at Café des Épices, located on Rahba Kedima Square. With its lively atmosphere and prime people-watching opportunities, this café offers a glimpse into the heart of Marrakech.

4 – The Mellah

Man walking through a quiet alley in the Mellah, the historic Jewish quarter of Marrakech's Medina
Tranquil Streets of the Mellah in Marrakech’s Medina

Explore the historic Jewish Quarter of Marrakech, the Mellah, established in 1558 to provide sanctuary to Jews escaping persecution. Wander through its tight laneways and discover the Grand Bijouterie and the picturesque Place des Ferblantiers.

5 – Bahia Palace

Stunning Bahia Palace courtyard with blue skies, detailed arches, and ornate zellige tilework reflecting Moroccan craftsmanship.
Architectural Elegance at the Bahia Palace Courtyard

Step into opulence at Bahia Palace, where Italian marble and intricate woodwork showcase the finest Moorish and Andalusian architecture. The symmetrical courtyards with lush gardens and fountains are a sight to behold.

6 – Visit a Moroccan Hammam

Elegant interior of a Moroccan hammam with warm lighting, marble benches, and traditional copper buckets.
Tranquil Ambiance Inside a Traditional Moroccan Hammam

Immerse yourself in Moroccan culture by visiting a hammam, a traditional public steam bath. Experience the invigorating ritual of cleansing the skin and purifying the mind, a cherished part of Moroccan life.

7 – Explore the Fondouks

Inner courtyard of a historical foundouk in Marrakech, featuring arched galleries and everyday items scattered around.
Time-Honored Foundouk Courtyard in the Heart of Marrakech

Discover the medieval urban hostels, known as fondouks, which once accommodated traveling traders and their camels. Some fondouks have been restored, while others now house charming restaurants or workshops for local artisans.

8 – Saadian Tombs

Interior of the Saadian Tombs with ornate mosaic tiles and marble columns in Marrakech.
Mausoleum Majesty: The Saadian Tombs of Marrakech

Marvel at the impressive architecture of the Saadian Tombs, particularly the Chamber of the Twelve Columns. Adorned with Italian marble, gold-lined arches, and rich oak carvings, these tombs house the resting places of influential Saadian dynasty Sultans.

9 – Local Neighbourhoods of Marrakech

Panoramic view of the Bab Doukala neighborhood in Marrakech, with traditional terracotta rooftops and distant Atlas Mountains.
Urban Tapestry: The Earthy Hues of Bab Doukala, Marrakech

Venture beyond the tourist areas in the Medina and explore authentic local neighbourhoods like Rue Errachidia and Bab Doukkala. Experience the true Moroccan way of life and soak in the atmosphere of daily markets and traditional living.

10 – Yves Saint Laurent’s House

Lush Majorelle Garden with iconic cobalt blue villa and vibrant flora in Marrakech.
Vibrant Sanctuary: Majorelle Garden’s Blue Villa and Botanical Beauty

Visit the former home of Yves Saint Laurent, now a popular attraction in Marrakech, featuring Villa Oasis, a museum dedicated to the designer’s work, and the beautiful Majorelle Garden with its mesmerizing Majorelle Blue.

11 – Musée de Marrakech

Spacious courtyard of the Marrakech Museum with a traditional fountain, framed by ornate archways and mosaic tile flooring.
Centuries of Elegance: The Marrakech Museum Courtyard

Admire the Marrakech Museum’s diverse collection of weapons, carpets, and pottery from different regions of Morocco. Don’t miss the striking central courtyard, adorned with colorful tiles, fountains, and a grand chandelier.

12 – Flea Markets

Assortment of antique doors and furniture for sale at Bab Lakhmis flea market in Marrakech.
Treasure Trove at Bab Lakhmis Flea Market, Marrakech

Explore the flea markets on the outskirts of the Medina for a more authentic Moroccan shopping experience. Here, you’ll find a variety of day-to-day items and fewer tourists, allowing you to browse at your leisure.

13 – Jemaa el-Fna

Dynamic Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech with crowds, market stalls, and the Koutoubia Mosque in the background.
Pulsating Heart of Marrakech: Jemaa el-Fnaa Square

Experience the vibrant energy of Jemaa el-Fna, the central square of Marrakech. The square comes alive at sunset, with food stalls, entertainers, and a captivating atmosphere that immerses you in the magic of Marrakech.

14 – Rooftop Restaurants

Cozy rooftop terrace of a Marrakech restaurant with views of Koutoubia Mosque amid palm trees at dusk.
Rooftop Dining Elegance Overlooking Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech

Indulge in the unique experience of dining in rooftop restaurants with panoramic views of Marrakech’s medieval Medina. From posh cocktail bars to hidden gems, these rooftop eateries offer a delightful setting for a memorable meal.

15 – Stay in a Traditional Riad

Luxurious breakfast spread by the tranquil pool inside a traditional Marrakech riad courtyard.
Morning Indulgence in a Marrakech Riad

Immerse yourself in Moroccan culture by staying in a traditional riad, where lush gardens, opulent tile work, and serene courtyards provide an authentic oasis amid the lively city.

16 – Musée des Confluences

Corridor of Dar El Bacha Museum with elaborate columns and ornamental tile work in Marrakech.
Elegance of Dar El Bacha Museum’s Ornate Corridor

Discover the Musée des Confluences, housed in the former governor’s palace, showcasing the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures through an impressive archaeological collection.

17 – The Musée Yves Saint Laurent

Luxuriously decorated living room of Yves Saint Laurent's house in Marrakech, showcasing opulent furnishings and a grand chandelier.
Inside Yves Saint Laurent’s Lavish Marrakech Residence

Dedicated to the legacy of the renowned fashion designer, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent offers a fascinating insight into Yves Saint Laurent’s couture work. The museum houses a vast collection of hundreds of garments spanning his illustrious 40-year career. Admire the creative genius behind the YSL collection in one of Marrakech’s most striking buildings. The museum also features a beautiful garden café, bookshop, temporary exhibition hall, and auditorium.

18 – Discover Marrakech’s Street Art

Giant mural of a local man's face on a building in Marrakech, with taxis and palms in the foreground.
Street Art Splendor: A Mural Tribute in Marrakech

Beyond the historic landmarks and vibrant souks, Marrakech has become a canvas for talented street artists. Wander through the Medina’s narrow alleys and outer neighborhoods to stumble upon captivating murals, colorful graffiti, and thought-provoking street art that adds a modern twist to the city’s ancient walls.

19 – Tanneries of Marrakech

Active tannery in Marrakech with workers processing hides in stone vessels, surrounded by buildings.
Traditional Craftsmanship at Marrakech Tanneries

For a unique and sensory experience, visit the tanneries of Marrakech. The ancient leather tanning process remains essentially unchanged, with leatherworkers using traditional methods to transform hides into richly colored leather products. Witness the dyeing pits and drying terraces while exploring the fascinating world of leather craftsmanship.

20 – Attend a Traditional Moroccan Music Performance

Group of musicians in golden attire performing a traditional dance at the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival.
Rhythmic Revelry: Musicians at the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival

Music is an integral part of Moroccan culture, and Marrakech offers various opportunities to experience authentic Moroccan music. Attend a live performance of traditional Gnawa music, Andalusian tunes, or Berber melodies at local venues or cultural centers to get a taste of Morocco’s rich musical heritage.

21 – Majorelle Garden at Night

Illuminated view of the Majorelle Blue villa at night in the Majorelle Garden, Marrakech.
Nighttime Elegance: Majorelle Garden’s Blue Villa

Experience the enchantment of Majorelle Garden in a different light by visiting at night. During select evenings, the garden comes alive with a magical ambiance as the vibrant colors of the plants and Majorelle Blue illuminate the pathways, creating a romantic and dreamlike atmosphere.

22 – Explore the Atlas Mountains

Terraced fields and traditional mud-brick homes of a Berber village nestled in the Atlas Mountains.
Rustic Charm of a Berber Village in the Atlas Mountains

Take a day trip to the Atlas Mountains to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the mountain range, picturesque valleys, and traditional Berber villages. Engage in activities like hiking, visiting local markets, or enjoying a traditional Berber meal in a mountain guesthouse.

23 – Experience a Moroccan Cooking Class

Chef preparing traditional Moroccan dishes during a cooking class in Marrakech with participants watching.
Mastering Moroccan Cuisine: A Cooking Class in Marrakech

Learn the secrets of Moroccan cuisine with a cooking class. Discover the aromatic spices, traditional techniques, and classic recipes that make Moroccan food so delectable. Local chefs will guide you through preparing Tagines, couscous, pastries, and other delicious dishes.

24 – Hot Air Balloon Ride over Marrakech

Colorful hot air balloon ascending among the palm groves outside Marrakech.
Aerial Adventures: Hot Air Ballooning Over Marrakech Palms

For a truly unforgettable experience, take a Marrakech balloon ride. Witness the city and its surroundings from a different perspective as you soar above the landscape, offering panoramic views of the Medina, Atlas Mountains, and beyond.

  • 25 – Attend a Traditional Moroccan Wedding
Bride in an ornate amaria and groom on horseback in traditional attire at a Moroccan wedding celebration."
Regal Matrimony: Celebrating a Traditional Moroccan Wedding

If you’re lucky enough to be invited, attending a traditional Moroccan wedding is an extraordinary cultural experience. With colourful rituals, vibrant celebrations, and lively music and dancing, it’s an opportunity to witness the rich traditions and customs of Moroccan weddings.

Marrakech’s allure lies in its ability to blend ancient traditions with modern influences, offering a unique and captivating experience for every visitor. From historical landmarks and vibrant markets to hidden gems and cultural delights to enjoy with Marrakech Desert Trips, this city has an array of treasures waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re exploring the Medina’s winding alleys, savouring traditional delicacies, or soaking in the atmosphere of a local neighbourhood, Marrakech promises a memorable adventure like no other.

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