Marrakesh: The Complete Guide
Marrakech, also spelled Marrakesh, is a city in western Morocco known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. Located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech has long been a major trading hub and cultural crossroads. It’s also a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from around the world to experience its bustling medina, aromatic spice markets, and luxurious riads (traditional Moroccan houses with internal courtyards).
One of the most iconic landmarks in Marrakech is the Koutoubia Mosque, a towering minaret that can be seen from across the city. Built in the 12th century, the mosque is a beautiful example of Moroccan architectural style, with its intricate geometric patterns and ornate carvings. Nearby, the Saadian Tombs are a must-see for history buffs, as they contain the graves of the Saadi dynasty rulers who ruled Morocco in the 16th and 17th centuries.
For a taste of local culture, head to the Djemaa el-Fna, a large square in the heart of the medina. Here, you’ll find a vibrant scene filled with street performers, food stalls, and colorful stalls selling traditional Moroccan handicrafts. As the sun sets, the square comes alive with music and entertainment, making it the perfect place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere.
If you’re in the mood for shopping, Marrakech is the place to be. The medina is home to a number of bustling souks (markets) where you can find everything from handmade ceramics and textiles to spices and jewelry. Just be prepared to haggle for a good deal!
Beyond the city center, Marrakech is home to a number of beautiful gardens and parks. The Jardin Majorelle is a particularly popular spot, with its colorful buildings and exotic plants. It’s also home to the Berber Museum, which offers a fascinating look at the history and culture of Morocco’s indigenous people.
Overall, Marrakech is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. So, if you’re planning a trip to Morocco, be sure to put Marrakech on your list of must-visit destinations.
Visiting Marrakesh for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Marrakesh on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!
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This complete guide to Marrakesh not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.
This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Marrakesh and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!
The Museum of Marrakech or Musee de Marrakech is a historic palace and museum located in the old center of Marrakesh, Morocco. In addition to its notable architecture, the museum's collection showcases various historic art objects and contemporary art from Morocco.
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Address: Musée de Marrakech, Place Ben Youssef, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am-7pm, to 6pm Oct-Mar | Price: adult/child Dh50/30 | Website | | Distance: 0.54km
Ben Youssef Madrasa
The Ben Youssef Madrasa is an Islamic madrasa (college) in Marrakesh, Morocco. Functioning today as a historical site, the Ben Youssef Madrasa was the largest Islamic college in Morocco at its height. The madrasa is named after the adjacent Ben Youssef Mosque founded by the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106-1142). The madrasa building which stands today was commissioned by the Sa'di (or Saadian) Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib, following a style established during the earlier Marinid period.
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Address: Ibn Youssef School, Rue Assouel, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am to 6pm | Price: General: 10 dh (£ 0.80) | Distance: 0.57km
The Almoravid Qubba, is a small monument in Marrakech, Morocco. It was erected by the Almoravid dynasty in the early 12th century. It is notable for its extraordinary decoration and for being one of the only remnants of Almoravid architecture in Marrakech.
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Address: Almoravid Koubba, Derb Souk Cheria, Marrakesh, Morocco | Distance: 0.62km
Souks of Marrakech
The souks, or markets, of Marrakech are a must-see for anyone visiting the city. These bustling, vibrant markets are a true reflection of Moroccan culture and offer a unique and authentic shopping experience.
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Address: Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco | Hours: Around 9am to 9pm, the best time to visit is in the cool of the morning, or in the evening | Distance: 0.73km
Dar Si Said
Dar Si Said is a museum located in Marrakech, Morocco. It is housed in a 19th century palace and is dedicated to showcasing traditional Moroccan art and craftsmanship.
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Address: Dar Si Said, Rue de la Bahia, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: Daily 9 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm | Price: General: 70 dh (US$ 6.70) | Distance: 0.74km
Le Jardin Secret
Le Jardin Secret (The Secret Garden) is a beautiful garden and museum located in the heart of the medina (old city) of Marrakech, Morocco. The garden is a hidden oasis, hidden behind high walls and accessed through a narrow entrance.
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Address: Le Jardin Secret, Rue Mouassine, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9.30am-7.30pm Apr-Sep, to 6.30pm Feb-Mar & Oct, to 6pm Nov-Jan | Price: adult/7-24 yr Dh50/40, tower Dh35/20 | Distance: 0.81km
The Tiskiwin Museum , also known as the Bert Flint Museum and Casa Bert Flint ( French : Maison Bert Flint ), is a museum dedicated to Moroccan crafts located in the medina of Marrakech, next to the Bahia Palace . It is housed in a Moorish - style riad built at the beginning of the 20th century and which has been the residence of Bert Flint, a Dutch art historian and anthropologist in love with Morocco , for several decades . It was opened in 1996.
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Address: Musée Tiskiwin Marrakech, Rue de la Bahia, Marrakesh, Morocco | Distance: 0.83km
Jemaa el-Fnaa is a square and market place in Marrakesh's medina quarter (old city). It remains the main square of Marrakesh, used by locals and tourists.
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Address: Jemaa el-Fnaa, Rue des Banques, Marrakesh, Morocco | Distance: 0.85km
The Bahia Palace is a mid to late 19th-century palace in Marrakesh, Morocco. The palace was first begun by Si Musa, grand vizier of Alaouite sultan Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman, in 1859 and then continued and expanded by his son Si Ba Ahmed ibn Musa, grand vizier of Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz between 1894 and 1900. Today it is a well-known historic monument and tourist attraction in the city.
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Address: Bahia Palace, Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: Friday: 8am to 5pm Rest of the week: 9am to 4:30pm. | Price: adult/child Dh70/30 | Distance: 0.99km
Dar el Bacha
Dar el Bacha or 'House of the Pasha' is a palace located in the old medina of Marrakesh, Morocco. The museum also houses the Bacha Coffee House, an opulent period cafe specialising in arabica coffee.
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Address: Dar El Bacha, Rue Fatima Zahra, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 10am-6pm Tue-Sun | Price: adult/child Dh60/free | Distance: 1.08km
El Badi Palace or the 'Palace of Wonder/Brilliance', or Badi' Palace is a ruined palace located in Marrakesh, Morocco. It was commissioned by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty a few months after his accession in 1578, with construction and embellishment continuing throughout most of his reign. The palace, decorated with materials imported from numerous countries ranging from Italy to Mali, was used for receptions and designed to showcase the Sultan's wealth and power. It was one part of a larger Saadian palace complex occupying the Kasbah district of Marrakesh.
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Address: Badi Palace, Ksibat Nhass, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am-5pm | Price: adult/child Dh70/30 | Website | Distance: 1.33km
The Koutoubia Mosque is a large mosque located in the medina (old city) of Marrakech, Morocco. It is named after the many booksellers who once lined the streets around the mosque. The mosque was built in the 12th century and is an important religious and cultural site in Marrakech.
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Address: Koutoubia Mosque, جامع الكتبية،، Avenue Mohammed V،، Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: Non-Muslims can’t go inside the Koutoubia Mosque or minaret but are most likely to get a glimpse inside on a Friday when the doors are open for prayers. | Distance: 1.39km
The Kasbah Mosque is a historic mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco. It was originally built by the Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansour in 1185-1190 CE. It is located in the Kasbah district, the city's former citadel, near the site of its historic royal palaces. Along with the Kutubiyya Mosque, it is one of the most important historic mosques in Marrakesh.
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Address: Koutoubia, جامع الكتبية،، Avenue Mohammed V،، Marrakesh, Morocco | Distance: 1.39km
Koutoubia Gardens (Lalla Hassna Park)
The Koutoubia Gardens also known as the Lalla Hassna Park, are a public park located in Marrakech, Morocco, near the Koutoubia Mosque at the heart of the Medina. The park itself spreads across two hectares and provides a pleasant green paradise of immaculately trimmed rose bushes, perfectly symmetrical walkways and plenty of shade-covered benches; it is easy to see why it is a favourite resting spot for many local Marrakchi people. At the centre of the park is a Koubba (a white dome) which is the tomb of Lalla Zohra, a daughter of a liberated slave. Legend tells that she was a women during the day, but transformed into a dove at night to escape from the unwanted affections of her old master. From this, she knew all the secrets of Marrakech. Yassine, a local resting in the Koutoubia Gardens, told us that many Moroccan’s still believe this story to be true and some even name their children after her in dedication.
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Address: Parc Lalla Hasna, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: Daylight Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 1.49km
The Saadian Tombs are a historic royal necropolis in Marrakesh, Morocco, located on the south side of the Kasbah Mosque, inside the royal kasbah (citadel) district of the city. They date to the time of the Saadian dynasty and in particular to the reign of Ahmad al-Mansur (1578–1603), though members of Morocco's monarchy continued to be buried here for a time afterwards. The complex is regarded by many art historians as the high point of Moroccan architecture in the Saadian period due to its luxurious decoration and careful interior design. Today the site is a major tourist attraction in Marrakesh.
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Address: Saadien's Tombs, Rue de La Kasbah, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am-5pm | Price: adult/child Dh70/30 | Distance: 1.57km
Walls of Marrakesh
The Walls of Marrakesh are a set of defensive ramparts which enclose the historic medina districts of Marrakesh, Morocco. They were first laid out in the early 12th century by the Almoravid dynasty which founded the city in 1070 CE as their new capital. The walls have since been expanded several times by the addition of the Kasbah to the south at the end of the 12th century and by the later extension of the walls to encompass the neighbourhood around the Zawiya of Sidi Bel Abbes.
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Address: Bab Agnaou, Marrakesh, Morocco | Distance: 1.61km
The Majorelle Garden or Jardin Majorelle is a one-hectare (two-acre) botanical garden and artist's landscape garden in Marrakech, Morocco. It was created by the French Orientalist artist Jacques Majorelle over almost forty years, starting in 1923, and features a Cubist villa designed by the French architect, Paul Sinoir in the 1930s. The property was the residence of the artist and his wife from 1923 until their divorce in the 1950s. In the 1980s, the property was purchased by the fashion designers, Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé who worked to restore it. Today, the garden and villa complex is open to the public. The villa houses the Berber Museum and in 2017 the Yves Saint Laurent Museum opened nearby.
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Address: Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 8am-6pm May-Sep, to 5.30pm Oct-Apr, Musée Berbère closed Wed | Price: adult/child Dh70/free, incl Musée Berbère Dh100, incl Musée YSL Dh200 | | Distance: 2.46km
Musée Yves Saint Laurent
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech is a museum dedicated to the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent located in Marrakesh, Morocco.
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Address: musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech, Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 10am-6pm Thu-Tue | Price: Dh100 | Website | Distance: 2.55km
Palmeraie (palm grove) is a palm oasis of several hundred thousand trees outside of Marrakesh, Morocco. Situated at the edge of the city's northern section, it measures 5 miles (8.0 km) in length, and covers an area of 54 square miles (140 km2). It is known for its eponymous palm trees and resorts, as well as the Palmeraie Rotana Resort, and Nikki Beach It is approached on the Circuit de la Palmeraie, which branches off from the N8 highway to Fez.
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Address: Musée de la palmeraie, Art contemporain et nature, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am-5.30pm | Price: adult/child Dh40/free | | Distance: 3.98km
The Menara Gardens are a historic public garden and orchard in Marrakech, Morocco. They were established in the 12th century (circa 1157) by the Almohad Caliphate ruler Abd al-Mu'min. Along with the Agdal Gardens and the historic walled city of Marrakesh, the gardens have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. The gardens are laid out around a central water basin and reservoir, next to which is a pleasure pavilion dating in its current form from the 19th century. The reservoir and its pavilion, often framed in pictures against the background of the High Atlas Mountains to the south, are considered one of the iconic views and symbols of Marrakesh.
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Address: Menara Gardens, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 08:30 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. | Price: Free | Distance: 4.24km
The Agafay desert is a desert which is located about thirty kilometers from the red city of Marrakech , on the first heights of the High Atlas massif in Morocco . It is a reg or a stony desert that extends over several hundred hectares. It is covered with stones and rocks in a hilly environment made up of dunes with white and ocher tones.
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| Distance: 31.80km
The Ouzoud Falls also known as the Cascades d'Ouzoud, are located in the Atlas Mountains about 100 miles northeast of Marrakech. They are a popular tourist destination known for their beautiful scenery and Berber cultural heritage. This vast site is an important Moroccan tourist spot, 30 km from Azilal, 120 km from Beni Mellal, and 150 km northeast of Marrakech.
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Address: Ouzoud Falls, Waterfalls les cascades d'ouzoud waterfalls, Ouzoud, Morocco | Hours: Open 24 Hours | Distance: 126.86km