Marrakesh is a stupendous metropolis in Morocco. The “Rose Metropolis” or “Pink Metropolis” provides guests a fascinating style of previous world appeal and opulence. Listed below are among the greatest issues to do in Marrakesh.
Many vacationers who go to Morocco spend at the very least a couple of days in Marrakesh, earlier than transferring on to different components of the nation. And there’s loads to see within the metropolis.
Marrakesh (generally spelled Marrakech) is certainly some of the thrilling locations in Northern Africa. Town has been an essential buying and selling hub for hundreds of years and contained in the walled Outdated Metropolis Medina, you’ll discover a maze of energetic markets and a myriad of busy alleyways – a real feast for the senses.
There are smells, colours, flavors, sounds and textures to be devoured, and despite the fact that the hectic coronary heart of the town can really feel each attractive and overwhelming on the identical time, there are locations the place you’ll be capable to get pleasure from moments of calm, such because the riad motels, and several other parks.
Town’s bustling souks, theatrical avenue distributors, and mesmerizing performers are sights in itself, however don’t ignore the palaces, the mosques, and the meals – listed below are my prime picks for the very best issues to do in Marrakesh.
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Marrakesh Morocco Journey Information
1. Exploring The Souks
The Medina, Marrakesh’s walled Outdated City, is the most well-liked vacationer attraction in Marrakesh: a labyrinth of small alleyways lined with outlets (referred to as souks) that promote something from fruit and veggies to Berber rugs and furnishings.
You possibly can spend hours wandering the streets right here, and I like to recommend taking your time: absorb the smells, marvel on the previous buildings, store for souvenirs, and end your go to with a tea in one of many rooftop cafes to soak up the hustle and bustle from a unique perspective.
The primary souks, markets, are all situated within the Medina, and are organized in keeping with the form of product they’re promoting. Souk Semmarine is the principle space of the market, which suggests it will get essentially the most vacationers.
Go additional away and also you’ll be capable to get away from the crowds. There are over 3,000 market stalls and the limitless maze of market streets can really feel intense, however don’t fear an excessive amount of about getting misplaced and simply benefit from the spectacle that Marrakesh’s markets are.
Nevertheless, if the considered getting misplaced within the alleyways and the huge souks stresses you out, I like to recommend reserving a tour. That method you gained’t get misplaced, and also you additionally know that you simply gained’t miss any of the must-see locations contained in the Medina.
2. Jemaa el-Fnaa
Jemaa el-Fnaa is the principle sq. in Marrakesh’s Medina. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night time you come right here, there’s avenue theater continuous. From avenue meals stalls to avenue performers and musicians, the sq. has all the time a present occurring – particularly at night time!
Apparently, the market on this sq. is the busiest market in all of Africa and UNESCO acknowledged Jemaa el-Fnaa as World Heritage in 2001. The truth is, it impressed UNESCO to create a complete new class: “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
It’s price visiting Jemaa el-Fnaa throughout the day after which come again at night time, as a result of your entire ambiance of the sq. modifications relying on the time of day: Throughout the day, it’s a lot much less crowded and fewer thrilling, however you’ll be able to take within the sq. itself. At night time, Jemaa el-Fnaa actually involves life, and you may benefit from the performances of entertainers and musicians.
USEFUL TIP: Concentrate on pickpockets within the Medina – all the time ensure that your belongings are protected. Don’t have any valuables on you, reminiscent of your passport. That is particularly essential should you go at night time when the sq. will get very crowded.
3. Koutoubia Mosque
Koutoubia Mosque is the biggest mosque in Marrakech, and even should you don’t need to go to the mosque, it’s not possible to not discover it when you’re on the town.
Koutoubia is Marrakech’s most well-known landmark, and the mosque’s 250-feet (76 meters) excessive minaret towers above all the opposite buildings within the metropolis. You additionally gained’t be capable to escape the decision to prayer: the muezzin calls the devoted 5 occasions a day.
Non-Muslims are usually not allowed to go to the within of the mosque, however the exterior of the constructing and the grounds are price visiting for the spectacular Almohad structure.
USEFUL TIP: Don’t miss the gardens behind the mosque! Koutoubia Gardens is a beautiful park and welcome retreat from the packed Medina. From the gardens, you even have an ideal view of the minaret.
4. Keep In A Conventional Riad
Staying in a riad, a standard Moroccan guesthouse, is an unforgettable expertise – it lets you soak up all of the extraordinary particulars of Moroccan structure.
A riad is a mansion that’s usually set round a small swimming pool in a courtyard full of vegetation – a tranquil oasis on this bustling metropolis. The atmosphere of the riads with their ornate decorations and the standard structure is totally distinctive!
These are six of the best-rated riad motels in Marrakech:
Riad Palais Sebban – Beautiful riad with a stupendous pool. That is the place we stayed.
Riad Sultan Suleiman – Double rooms beginning at US$77 per night time
Riad Janate & Spa – Double rooms beginning at US$94 per night time
Riad l’Oiseau du Paradis – Double rooms beginning at US$124 per night time
Dar Dama – Deluxe Suite from US$118 per night time
Riad Melhoun & Spa – from US$154 per night time
In case you’re touring on a price range, take a look at the Rodamon Riad hostel (Dorm beds begin at US$20)
5. Eat Conventional Moroccan Meals
Moroccan delicacies is influenced by Berber, Jewish, Arab, Mediterranean and French cultures with hints of European and sub-Saharan influences. Moroccan meals has savory, candy, and bitter flavors and is uniquely seasoned with a large number of spices.
Attempt to eat as many conventional Moroccan dishes as doable when you’re in Marrakesh – the compulsory ones are:
- Tangia (a standard dish in Marrakech: slow-cooked lamb is positioned in a clay pot with lemon, garlic and saffron after which cooked in charcoal – to not be confused with tagine)
- Tagine (a slow-cooked savory stew usually made with lamb, hen or fish along with greens, typically additionally nuts and dried fruit, cooked and served within the clay or ceramic pot it’s named after)
- Couscous (a processed grain derived from durum wheat semolina, served with greens and meat)
- Bastilla (Moroccan hen pie: saffron hen, a spicy omelet stuffing and crunchy fried seasoned almonds are layered inside a crispy pastry shell)
- Taktouka (a zesty puree of tomatoes and inexperienced pepper)
- Zaalouk (a dip made with eggplant, contemporary tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices like cumin, paprika, parsley and contemporary cilantro)
- Shakshouka (a well-liked Mediterranean breakfast dish for which eggs are cooked in a tomato sauce with peppers, garlic, onions, olive oil, and spices)
- Harira (a tomato-based soup with lentils and chickpeas)
- Fish Chermoula (a herb sauce used to marinate grilled fish)
Marrakech has lots of of eating places and looking for the very best ones can really feel like a frightening activity. Listed below are a couple of locations which are price consuming at:
For the very best slow-cooked lamb, head to Mechoui Alley, the place native households roast mechoui – complete lamb or mutton – in an underground oven for 4 to 6 hours. You gained’t get a extra genuine lamb expertise than this in Marrakech.
Café des Épices, proper on the sting of Rahba Kedima Sq. is a superb place for a Moroccan breakfast.
For Tajine, go to Atay Café (62 Rue Amsafah) the place you’ll be able to attempt hen, kefta (meatball) or lamb tajine. In addition they have a vegan tajine and vegan couscous. Café Clock (224 Derb Chtouka) can also be a unbelievable place to attempt conventional Moroccan dishes.
Nomad (1 Derb Aarjane) is a well-liked rooftop restaurant that has delicious Moroccan meals, together with tajine, lamb, fish and a vegetarian platter.
As for drinks: Moroccan mint tea is ubiquitous in Marrakech, and I assure that even non-tea drinkers will get pleasure from a scrumptious cup of it. The terrace of Café De France (Rue des Banques), which overlooks Jemaa el-Fnaa, is a superb place to get pleasure from a cup of mint tea.
USEFUL TIP: For a extra hands-on Moroccan meals expertise, be part of a cooking class!
You possibly can discover ways to make tajine with a neighborhood, which features a go to to the market to supply all of the substances: Tagine Cookery Class With a Native
Hosts Khmisa and Kawtar present you tips on how to make a broader vary of Moroccan dishes that features a market go to: Conventional Moroccan Cooking Class & Market Go to
In case you don’t need to get your palms soiled however nonetheless need to expertise genuine Moroccan meals, contemplate this avenue meals tour: Road Meals Tour by Evening
6. Go to A Tannery (at your personal threat)
Bab Debbagh is the a part of Marrakech the place you discover many tanneries. Leather-based tanning is one in every of Morocco’s oldest crafts and watching the leather-makers in motion will make you respect any leather-based items you might purchase there much more.
The leather-based is handled and dyed the old style method right here, and the colourful tannery swimming pools are an enchanting sight. I like to recommend visiting the tanneries early within the morning when many of the work is completed. One of the best photographs are from the rooftops of the outlets surrounding it.
After all, you too can purchase leather-based items right here, from baggage and jackets to leather-based poufs and conventional babouches (Moroccan slippers). Be ready to make use of your haggling abilities right here.
IMPORTANT: Don’t attempt to go to the tanneries by yourself. Many individuals are scammed and/or harassed by pretend native “guides” who attempt to extort method an excessive amount of cash from unsuspecting vacationers. The world is usually a bit harmful too, and simple to get misplaced in. If you wish to go to this space of the town, prepare for an official group or non-public tour together with your lodge upfront.
7. Dar El Bacha Palace (Musee Des Confluences)
Dar El Bacha Palace is among the greatest locations to see among the most lovely riad structure with unimaginable Zellige tiles, the geometric tile-work distinctive to Morocco.
Dar El Bacha was constructed within the early twentieth century for Thami El Glaoui, who was the Pasha Of Marrakesh from 1912 to 1956. The palace is price visiting it for the extraordinary inside design, the Moorish decorations, and the symmetrical courtyard. Along with the fascinating structure, the palace additionally provides repeatedly altering artwork exhibitions and a well-preserved Hammam (Moroccan bathhouse).
In case you’re a espresso lover, ensure that to cease on the swanky espresso home that’s a part of the palace: Bacha Espresso. It’s on the pricier aspect, however the attractive inside in addition to the specialty coffees and French baked items are properly definitely worth the splurge. (The opening occasions are the identical as for the museum).
Deal with: Rue Lalla Fatima Zahra
Opening occasions: 10am – 6pm; closed on Tuesdays
Admission: Adults pay Dh60 (round US$6); free for kids.
8. Bahia Palace
Bahia Palace is one other palace the place you’ll be able to see a few of Morocco’s best structure, with Moorish and Andalusian influences.
The palace, which was constructed within the 1860s, has 150 rooms and several other courtyards with marble flooring, lined with orange timber and fairly fountains. All through the palace, there’s spectacular tile artwork, there are mosaics, muqarnas, arabesques and stucco carved with Arabic inscriptions.
In case you’re obsessed with the structure in Morocco, then undoubtedly don’t miss Bahia Palace – particularly because it virtually free to go to! Be certain to reach early although; it will possibly get crowded later within the day.
The blue colours of the tile right here jogged my memory of one other of my favourite Moroccan cities, the blue metropolis of Chefchouen.
Location: Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid
Opening occasions: Open every day from 9am – 5pm.
Admission: Dh10 (round US$1)
9. Badii Palace
The third nice palace in Marrakech is Badii Palace (full identify El Badii-Ksibat Nhass Palace), which was constructed within the 1570s. The identify interprets to “The Incomparable Palace” and that’s precisely what this palace was — as soon as a blinding palace with greater than 350 luxurious rooms, immediately solely the sandstone shell of the palace stays.
There are a couple of noteworthy intact options that make visiting the ruins worthwhile nonetheless: The 4 sunken orange orchards with the (empty) reflection pool, ground mosaics in some rooms, and several other artifacts and authentic items of artwork.
USEFUL TIP: You possibly can climb on prime of among the ruined partitions for lovely panoramic views of Marrakech metropolis.
Location: Ksibat Nhass
Opening Hours: Open from 9am – 5pm. CLOSED on Saturdays.
Admission Value: Dh10 (round US$1)
10. Saadian Tombs
The Saadian Tombs are a royal necropolis that was created throughout the Saadian dynasty within the sixteenth century and includes of round 170 mausoleums and tombs.
Ahmed el-Mansour, who dominated from 1578 to 1603, constructed essentially the most lavish of the mausoleums: the Corridor of Twelve Columns, which is his very personal mausoleum. In whole, 66 princes and different notable figures are buried right here, plus multiple hundred chancellors and their wives.
You will note among the best traditional Moroccan structure and complicated particulars within the design, reminiscent of Italian Carrara marble, ornate wooden carvings, lovely tile mosaics, domed ceilings and gilding honeycomb plaster-work adorned with gold.
Location: The Saadian Tombs are situated alongside Rue de la Kasbah on the south aspect of the Kasbah Mosque (not removed from El Badi Palace).
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9am -5pm.
Admission Value: Dh70 (round US$7)
USEFUL TIP: There’s a mixed tour of the Bahia & Badii Palaces in addition to the Saadian Tombs with Skip-the-Line Tickets.
11. Jardin Majorelle
Jardin Majorelle are essentially the most colourful gardens in Marrakech, set round a shocking, shiny blue constructing and residential to a wide range of vegetation reminiscent of cacti, palm timber and bamboos. The gardens had been created by French painter Jaques Majorelle and had been later co-owned by dressmaker Yves Saint Laurent and his enterprise associate Pierre Bergé.
Along with all the gorgeous vegetation and flowers, you’ll get to admire Moorish-style archways, colourful tile artwork, fountains and swimming pools.
There may be additionally a small museum that outlines YSL’s reference to Marrakech (his ashes had been scattered within the rose backyard at Jardin Majorelle when he died in 2008), price testing if have an curiosity in high fashion trend.
Enjoyable truth: The shade of blue the home is painted in was invented by Jaques Majorelle and is named “Majorelle Blue”. Enable about an hour to go to the gardens, or at the very least 90 minutes should you additionally need to take a look at the YSL museum.
Location: The Jardin Majorelle is situated on Rue Yves St Laurent
Opening Hours: Open every day from 8am – 6.30pm.
Admission Value: Dh70 (round US$7). The museum is an extra Dh30 (US$3).
12. Ben Youssef Madrasa
Ben Youssef Madrasa was constructed within the 14th century and was the biggest Islamic faculty in all of Morocco with room for 900 college students. Right now it’s a historic web site that’s visited for the gorgeous structure and Islamic design – it is among the most lovely buildings in all of Morocco!
The artistry of the previous college is unimaginable: a shocking marble-tiled patio with a mirrored image pool, exceptional mosaic tilework, stuccoes, latticed balconies, and a grand bronze doorway. Most of those ornate particulars had been added throughout the Saadian dynasty, making it essentially the most extravagant Islamic faculty in Northern Africa.
Enable about one hour to your go to.
Location: Rue Assouel
Opening Hours: Open every day from 9am – 6pm.
Admission Value: Dh50 (round US$5).
13. Heritage Museum Marrakesh
The small Heritage Museum (Musée de Marrakech) within the coronary heart of the Medina, only a quick stroll from Jemaa el-Fnaa, is housed inside a seventeenth century riad and showcases Moroccan vintage artifacts collected by the Alouani Bibi household. The gathering contains many desirable objects, from jewellery to conventional Berber costumes.
Tip: There’s a café on the rooftop which has unbelievable views over the Medina – the Heritage Museum is price visiting for these views alone!
Location: 25 Zinkat Rahba
Opening Hours: Open every day from 9am – 6pm.
Admission Value: Dh50 (round US$5) for adults / Dh20 (round US$2) for kids
14. Le Jardin Secret
Le Jardin Secret, which interprets to Secret Backyard, is a backyard inside a small Riad proper within the Medina. The origins of the gardens date again to the Saadian dynasty, greater than 400 years in the past!
The backyard is a standard Islamic Backyard, so count on to see lovely Moroccan structure and tile artwork. The backyard is far bigger than you’d suppose and seems like a hidden oasis proper within the Medina: the right place to flee the noise and the crowds for some time, and to benefit from the tranquility of the gardens.
Along with the backyard, there’s a small museum, a store and two cafes. The tower of the complicated is the second highest tower in Marrakesh (after the minaret of Koutoubia Mosque) which suggests you’ll have wonderful views – you’ll be able to see the Atlas Mountains on a transparent day. In case you’re in search of an ideal spot to take photographs from Marrakech from above, it’s price to pay the extra 30 Dirham (US$3) to climb to the highest of the tower.
Location: 121 Rue Mouassine
Opening Hours: Open every day, between March and September from 9.30am – 7.30pm. Between February and October from 9.30am – 6.30pm.
Admission Value: Dh80 (round US$8) for adults / free for kids beneath 6
15. Go to A Hammam
Visiting a Hammam – a Moroccan bathhouse – is a quintessential Moroccan expertise and should you get pleasure from spas, you’ll not need to skip a Hammam go to. The Berbers have perfected their method of cleansing a physique for hundreds of years: you’ll get a pleasant scrub-down and your pores and skin and hair are handled with magnificence merchandise containing Moroccan argan oil and Moroccan black cleaning soap.
You can even get a therapeutic massage however remember that Moroccan massages contain much more scrubbing than your common therapeutic massage.
The vintage hammams themselves are price visiting for the simplistic structure alone: a excessive dome, star-shaped vents and stone-paved or marble steam rooms.
Hammam Dar el-Bacha is the biggest public hammam in Marrakech, however there are numerous hammams in Marrakech, lots of which cater to vacationers.
Location: 20 Rue Lalla Fatima Zahra
Opening Hours: Open every day, separate entrance occasions for women and men. Males enter from 7am to 1pm; girls enter between 1pm and 9pm.
Admission Value: Dh10 (round US$1)
Extra Hammams in Marrakech
- Royal Mansour (Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti) – owned by the King of Morocco
- Hammam Mouassine (Rue Sidi el Yamani) – the oldest hammam in Marrakesh
- Hammam de la Rose (Route Sidi Abdelaziz) – lovely, elaborately adorned spa
- La Mamounia Spa (Avenue Bab Jdid) – a complicated hammam in a 5-star lodge
- Les Bains de Marrakech (2 Derb Sedra)
- Hammam Rosa Bonheur’s (35 Derb El aarssa)
- Le Bain Bleu (32 Derb Chorfa Lakbir)
- Heritage Spa (40 Arset Aouzal Rd)
Value: Most hammams within the Outdated Metropolis value between USD $10 – USD $30.
READ MORE MOROCCO TRAVEL TIPS
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