Medina of Marrakesh picture1 of 4
Medina of Marrakesh2 of 4
Richmatts/Getty Images

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.9scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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.

Past visitors said that the medina is a must-see, especially at night. Most of its popular food and merchandise stalls are situated in Jemaa El Fna, but for a less crowded atmosphere, explore the streets outside the medina's main square. It's easy to lose your bearings here, so some former travelers also suggest visiting with a guide. Companies that offer guided walks around the medina include Marrakech Guided Tours and Marrakech Tour Guide – both recommended by recent travelers.

The Medina of Marrakech is free to visit 24 hours a day, but additional fees apply for items purchased on-site and guide services. Attractions found within the city center include the Bahia Palace and Koutoubia Mosque. Be mindful of your belongings while in the area, since pickpockets frequently target unsuspecting tourists (especially in Jemaa El Fna). Also, consider using ALSA's History Tour Tourist Bus or one of the company's numerous traditional routes to get to farther locales in the medina, such as the Museum of Photography and the Medersa Ben Youssef. To find out more about this lively area, check out the UNESCO World Heritage Centre's Medina of Marrakech page.

See all Hotels in Marrakech »

More Best Things To Do in Marrakech

Jemaa El Fna1 of 13
Bahia Palace (Palais Bahia)2 of 13
Type
Time to Spend
#2 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.

Recent visitors praised Jemaa El Fna's bustling marketplace but suggested visiting at night when there's more to see. Several also stressed the importance of saying "no" when you do not want an item or service and suggested keeping a close eye on your belongings since pickpockets are regularly spotted here.

Read more
Pavliha/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Marrakech »

Explore More of Marrakech

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019