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Best Things To Do in Marrakech

The major attraction here is the city itself. Marrakech's vibrant colors, aromatic dishes, indecipherable sounds and inimitable feel will linger in your memory long after you leave its corridors. Plan to spend most of your time in or around the medina, Marrakech's fortified old city. Marvel at ancient, elaborately decorated sights like the Saadian Tombs, the Badi Palace and Koutoubia Mosque before testing your haggling skills in Jemaa El Fna. And don't forget to save time for quintessential Moroccan experiences, such as camel rides in the desert and soaks in hammams (public baths).

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Marrakech

Free
The heart of Marrakech lies in its historic city center – a UNESCO World Heritage site. For centuries, the medina acted as a political and economic hub whose influence radiated throughout the Middle East. Royals resided here, international trade took place here and cultures developed here. As you stroll through this 11th-century labyrinth of alleyways, you'll see that Marrakech's history remains intact.
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Cafes Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Medina of Marrakesh
The heart of Marrakech lies in its historic city center – a UNESCO World Heritage site. For centuries, the medina acted as a political and economic hub whose influence radiated throughout the Middle East. Royals resided here, international trade took place here and cultures developed here. As you stroll through this 11th-century labyrinth of alleyways, you'll see that Marrakech's history remains intact.
... more

#2

#2 in Marrakech

Free
It's hard to miss Jemaa El Fna. Sitting at the center of the medina, this open-air square stands as the city's main gathering spot. By day, Jemaa El Fna hosts dozens of entertainers, from snake charmers to fortune tellers to herbalists. By night, the area fills with the aromas of piping hot couscous, grilled meats and simmering vegetables from the food stalls. From the square, narrow alleyways lead intrepid shoppers through a maze of souks (markets), composed of spice vendors and carpet sellers who will stop at nothing to get you to buy something. Here's a tip: Never settle for the original price. Half the fun of shopping around Jemaa El Fna is practicing your bargaining skills. Most hawkers will negotiate with you, but walk away if you encounter a stubborn seller.
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Cafes Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Jemaa El Fna
It's hard to miss Jemaa El Fna. Sitting at the center of the medina, this open-air square stands as the city's main gathering spot. By day, Jemaa El Fna hosts dozens of entertainers, from snake charmers to fortune tellers to herbalists. By night, the area fills with the aromas of piping hot couscous, grilled meats and simmering vegetables from the food stalls. From the square, narrow alleyways lead intrepid shoppers through a maze of souks (markets), composed of spice vendors and carpet sellers who will stop at nothing to get you to buy something. Here's a tip: Never settle for the original price. Half the fun of shopping around Jemaa El Fna is practicing your bargaining skills. Most hawkers will negotiate with you, but walk away if you encounter a stubborn seller.
... more

#3

#3 in Marrakech

Within walking distance of must-see sights like Jemaa El Fna, the Badi Palace and the Saadian Tombs sits the intricate Bahia Palace. This 19th-century palace exemplifies the lavish lifestyle of the Moroccan elite. Before it was accessible to the public, this property housed various Moroccan royals. Although the palace was ransacked in the early 1900s, members of the royal family continue to occasionally stay here. Meanwhile, visitors can check out the public areas of the property, which feature rounded entryways that lead to colorful mosaics and intricate latticework, as well as cool, shady walkways that guide you to vast, sunny courtyards and gardens.
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Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Bahia Palace (Palais Bahia)
Within walking distance of must-see sights like Jemaa El Fna, the Badi Palace and the Saadian Tombs sits the intricate Bahia Palace. This 19th-century palace exemplifies the lavish lifestyle of the Moroccan elite. Before it was accessible to the public, this property housed various Moroccan royals. Although the palace was ransacked in the early 1900s, members of the royal family continue to occasionally stay here. Meanwhile, visitors can check out the public areas of the property, which feature rounded entryways that lead to colorful mosaics and intricate latticework, as well as cool, shady walkways that guide you to vast, sunny courtyards and gardens.
... more
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#4

#4 in Marrakech

It's hard to imagine at first glance, but during the 16th century, the Badi Palace was once a playground for Saadian royalty. Today, all that remains of the Badi Palace are picturesque sandstone ruins, the skeleton of a once opulent home. But you can still envision the Badi's grandeur as you stroll past the four sunken gardens and empty reflecting pools, walk beneath the 50 chandeliers and eight Venetian sconces in the prayer hall, and admire the 300,000 alumnium tiles that adorn the roof. The former palace also houses several objects from Koutoubia Mosque's minbar (or pulpit) that are worth a look.
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Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Badi Palace (Palais Badi)
It's hard to imagine at first glance, but during the 16th century, the Badi Palace was once a playground for Saadian royalty. Today, all that remains of the Badi Palace are picturesque sandstone ruins, the skeleton of a once opulent home. But you can still envision the Badi's grandeur as you stroll past the four sunken gardens and empty reflecting pools, walk beneath the 50 chandeliers and eight Venetian sconces in the prayer hall, and admire the 300,000 alumnium tiles that adorn the roof. The former palace also houses several objects from Koutoubia Mosque's minbar (or pulpit) that are worth a look.
... more

#5

#5 in Marrakech

Free
In the southwest corner of the medina, within walking distance of the bustling Jemaa El Fna, lies Marrakech's most recognizable landmark, Koutoubia Mosque. Featuring intricate tile work, salmon-hued walls, expansive archways and an impressive 253-foot-tall minaret (or tower), this 12th-century Moorish mosque has served as the model for several other notable religious sites, including the Hassan Tower in Rabat, Morocco, and La Giralda in Seville, Spain.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Koutoubia Mosque (Mosquée Koutoubia)
In the southwest corner of the medina, within walking distance of the bustling Jemaa El Fna, lies Marrakech's most recognizable landmark, Koutoubia Mosque. Featuring intricate tile work, salmon-hued walls, expansive archways and an impressive 253-foot-tall minaret (or tower), this 12th-century Moorish mosque has served as the model for several other notable religious sites, including the Hassan Tower in Rabat, Morocco, and La Giralda in Seville, Spain.
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#6

#6 in Marrakech

When it comes to beautiful green spaces in Marrakech, Majorelle Garden, situated northwest of the medina, steals the show. The garden was crafted by French painter Jacques Majorelle (who lived in the Red City from 1923 to 1961). After his death in 1962, the property was bought by fellow Marrakech-lover and late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, and it was eventually opened to the public after Saint Laurent's death in 2008.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle)
When it comes to beautiful green spaces in Marrakech, Majorelle Garden, situated northwest of the medina, steals the show. The garden was crafted by French painter Jacques Majorelle (who lived in the Red City from 1923 to 1961). After his death in 1962, the property was bought by fellow Marrakech-lover and late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, and it was eventually opened to the public after Saint Laurent's death in 2008.
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#7

#7 in Marrakech

When you need a break from Marrakech's street hawkers and religious sites, consider checking out the Museum of Photography. Situated in the medina by the Medersa Ben Youssef, this photography museum features roughly 10,000 original prints from photographers like Jean Besancenot, Joseph Bouhsira and Pierre Boucher, many depicting various Moroccan scenes and landmarks. Collections with postcards, glass negatives and documentaries, plus a library with 19th- and 20th-century works are also available on-site.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museum of Photography (Maison de la Photographie)
When you need a break from Marrakech's street hawkers and religious sites, consider checking out the Museum of Photography. Situated in the medina by the Medersa Ben Youssef, this photography museum features roughly 10,000 original prints from photographers like Jean Besancenot, Joseph Bouhsira and Pierre Boucher, many depicting various Moroccan scenes and landmarks. Collections with postcards, glass negatives and documentaries, plus a library with 19th- and 20th-century works are also available on-site.
... more

#8

#8 in Marrakech

When the hustle and bustle of the Jemaa El Fna takes its toll, seek refuge at one of the city's hammams (public baths). A plethora of hammams are available in Marrakech, but some of its most well-known include Les Bains de Marrakech, Hammam Dar El Bacha and traveler favorites like HERITAGE SPA and Hammam Rosa Bonheur.
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Spas Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Hammams
When the hustle and bustle of the Jemaa El Fna takes its toll, seek refuge at one of the city's hammams (public baths). A plethora of hammams are available in Marrakech, but some of its most well-known include Les Bains de Marrakech, Hammam Dar El Bacha and traveler favorites like HERITAGE SPA and Hammam Rosa Bonheur.
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#9

#9 in Marrakech

Though you could easily spend the majority of your vacation wandering around Marrakech's medina or historic mosques, no visit to Morocco would be complete without exploring the country's desert. A variety of tour options are offered, including all-terrain drives, camel rides and hikes. The Ourika Valley, the Atlas Mountains, Ouzoud Falls and the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou (a UNESCO World Heritage-listed group of clay dwellings that once served as a trading post) are just some of the locales you may see during a desert tour.
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Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Desert Tours
Though you could easily spend the majority of your vacation wandering around Marrakech's medina or historic mosques, no visit to Morocco would be complete without exploring the country's desert. A variety of tour options are offered, including all-terrain drives, camel rides and hikes. The Ourika Valley, the Atlas Mountains, Ouzoud Falls and the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou (a UNESCO World Heritage-listed group of clay dwellings that once served as a trading post) are just some of the locales you may see during a desert tour.
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#10

#10 in Marrakech

This cemetery, which sits just south of the medina, features more than 160 tombs filled with the remains of prominent Saadians (members of an Arab dynasty who are reportedly descendents of the prophet Muhammad) and their advisors and royal wives. First used in the early 14th century, the Saadian Tombs' intricate decor (think: cedar ceilings, colorful mosaics and Carrara marble headstones) was not added until the 16th century by Ahmed El Mansour. Unlike other ornate structures in the region, this property was not plundered by Sultan Moulay Ismail in the early 18th century, making it one of Marrakech's only surviving Saadian sites.
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Saadian Tombs (Tombeaux Saadiens)
This cemetery, which sits just south of the medina, features more than 160 tombs filled with the remains of prominent Saadians (members of an Arab dynasty who are reportedly descendents of the prophet Muhammad) and their advisors and royal wives. First used in the early 14th century, the Saadian Tombs' intricate decor (think: cedar ceilings, colorful mosaics and Carrara marble headstones) was not added until the 16th century by Ahmed El Mansour. Unlike other ornate structures in the region, this property was not plundered by Sultan Moulay Ismail in the early 18th century, making it one of Marrakech's only surviving Saadian sites.
... more

#11

#11 in Marrakech

Moroccan dishes combine local proteins (think: pigeon, chicken and sardines) with an array of aromatic spices. Many eateries throughout the city serve traditional fare, but one of the best ways for foodies to try this one-of-a-kind cuisine is to sign up for a cooking class. Items generally prepared during cooking classes include tajines (a stew-like dish baked in its namesake pot), mint tea and various salads and desserts.
... more
Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Cooking Classes
Moroccan dishes combine local proteins (think: pigeon, chicken and sardines) with an array of aromatic spices. Many eateries throughout the city serve traditional fare, but one of the best ways for foodies to try this one-of-a-kind cuisine is to sign up for a cooking class. Items generally prepared during cooking classes include tajines (a stew-like dish baked in its namesake pot), mint tea and various salads and desserts.
... more

Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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