The Gardens of Marrakesh

Koutoubia Gardens

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If you’re planning on spending some time in Marrakesh and want to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s a good idea to take breaks in the many beautiful gardens and parks scattered throughout the city. These green spaces not only offer a chance to relax and get back to nature, but they’re also great destinations in their own right. Many of the gardens are free or only cost a small fee of 10 dirhams, making it easy to take a quick break and unwind. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the crowds and chaos of the medina, make sure to visit one of these peaceful gardens to rejuvenate your spirits.

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Jardin Majorelle

Le Jardin Des Majorelle
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Viault

Jardin Majorelle is a must-visit garden in Marrakesh and a popular spot for tourists to take selfies. The 12-acre botanical garden is centered around a stunning riad with Moroccan architectural elements, and features vibrant blue and yellow colors. Visitors can wander through the shady lanes surrounded by exotic plants and relax by tranquil streams with floating lilies and lotus flowers. The garden was named after French artist Jacques Majorelle, who designed the building in the 1920s and 1930s. It also houses a small archaeological museum with interesting displays on Islamic art and Berber culture. To enjoy the garden in peace and quiet, it’s recommended to visit early in the morning before the crowds arrive or later in the afternoon after they have left.

Location: 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 |
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Bahia Palace Gardens

Bahia Palace Large Court
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Val Traveler

The Bahia Palace is a must-see destination for anyone interested in traditional Marrakeshi palaces and gardens. Located inside the old medina of Marrakesh, the palace boasts beautiful Andalusian-style architecture and intricate zelij mosaic and woodwork. The exact dates of construction are unknown, but it is believed to have been in use as early as 1859 and completed by 1900. The palace was built in two stages by Si Moussa and his son, resulting in an irregular and disjointed layout that adds to the sense of adventure and discovery as you explore its different sections. The materials used in the palace’s construction, including zelij, ceramic, and wood, were sourced from all over North Africa. Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and geography of Morocco through the palace’s architecture. It’s best to visit the Bahia Palace early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Location: 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
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Sunken Gardens of El Badi Palace

Badia Palace Marrakesh
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Pedro

El Badi Palace is a ruined palace located in the Mellah district of Marrakesh, a short walk from the Bahia Palace. The palace, which was commissioned by Arab Saadian sultan Ahmad-al-Mansur and completed in 1593, is currently being renovated and restored. Despite its state of disrepair, many visitors prefer El Badi to Bahia Palace due to its unique charm. The palace complex took 25 years to build and was constructed using the most expensive materials available at the time, including gold and onyx. Visitors can explore the sunken gardens and pavilions and marvel at the superb examples of Saadian architecture on display. El Badi Palace can be easily combined with a visit to Bahia Palace for a full day of exploring Marrakesh’s rich history and culture.

Location: Badi Palace, Ksibat Nhass, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am-5pm | Price: adult/child Dh70/30 | Website
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The Palmeraie Gardens

La Palmeraie De Marrakech
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Viault

The Palmeraie is a vast palm grove on the northern outskirts of Marrakesh, covering an area of 54 square miles and stretching for 5 miles in length. At one time, it was one of the largest palm groves in North Africa. While there are hotels and restaurants located within the oasis, such as the Palmeraie Golf Palace, you can also get a feel for the area by simply driving through it. Camels and guides can often be found along the roadside, waiting to take tourists on camel rides through the oasis. There is a legend that the Palmeraie was created from the date seeds thrown on the ground by Arab warriors, but it was actually developed during the Almoravid period using a system of underground irrigation channels known as qanats. Today, the irrigation system has run dry, but you can still see traces of it if you walk through the grove.

Location: Musée de la palmeraie, Art contemporain et nature, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 9am-5.30pm | Price: adult/child Dh40/free |
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The Menara Gardens

Menara Gardens Marakesh

The Menara garden is located west of Marrakesh, near the gates to the Atlas mountains. It is often referred to as the “little sister” of the Agdal garden. Both gardens were established by the Almohad dynasty and feature large basins that were used to irrigate the surrounding groves and orchards using an advanced system of underground channels. The Menara garden gets its name from the small green pyramid-roofed pavilion (menzeh) located within it, which translates to “light house.” However, the name does not refer to any actual lighthouse function, but rather to the pavilion’s religious significance. The Menara garden has a similar feel to the Agdal and is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature.

Location: Menara Gardens, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: 08:30 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. | Price: Free
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Koutoubia Gardens and Cyber Park

Koutoubia Mosque In Marrakesch
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Max221B

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of the medina in Marrakesh, there are several parks and gardens located near the Koutoubia Mosque that are worth checking out. Simply cross the road from Djemma El Fna and take a stroll through the parks and fountains behind the mosque. The Cyber Park is also just a short 2-minute walk from the Koutoubia and offers a slightly more modern atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for locals to relax and is a great place to sit under a palm tree and read a book or watch the world go by. These parks are convenient and offer a welcome respite from the busy city.

Location: Parc Lalla Hasna, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: Daylight Hours | Price: Free
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Agdal Gardens

Agdal Garden, Marrakech
CC BY-SA 2.0 / mwanasimba

The Agdal Gardens are perhaps the most important garden in Marrakesh and were built by the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century. The gardens were originally created as an orchard and cover an area of over 400 hectares. The name “Agdal” derives from an Amazigh word meaning “walled meadow,” which reflects the lines of groves that make up the vast expanse of the garden. These groves include orange, lemon, fig, apricot, and pomegranate trees, as well as rows of olive groves. While some visitors may find the Agdal gardens a bit underwhelming, as there is no specific trail to follow or museum on site, the panoramic view over the water and groves is breathtaking. The true spectacle of the Agdal gardens lies in their sophisticated irrigation system, which includes a network of underground channels that bring water from the Atlas mountains to a vast water basin that feeds the groves and orchards all year round.

Location: Agdal Gardens, Routes des remparts, Marrakesh, Morocco | Hours: Friday and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. | Price: Free
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