20 Awesome Things to do in Marrakech (Morocco) – Top Attractions in 2019
This imperial city is full of excitements. Discover the city with my run-down of the best things to do in Marrakech.
There’s something to fascinate everyone in Marrakech, with its fabulous palaces and luxuriant palm groves that continue to hold a powerful surprise for visitors.
This Berber city is located at the point of interchange between the Sahara, the Atlas and the Anti-Atlas, Marrakech is the capital of the great south, and it was the hub of a great empire. Today, its various quarters, beautiful minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, and the amazing place Jemaa el Fna are among Morocco’s most exciting elements to discover.
Just bellow, you’ll discover awesome things to do in Marrakech, so enjoy !
1. Live a Unique Atmosphere of Place de Jemaa el-Fna
Considered as the pulsing heart of Marrakech, this exceptional and outstanding square will amaze you by its unique and authentic atmosphere.
It heaves visitors, locals and travelers impressed at a variety of gastronomic pleasures, large market in the mornings, and a multifaceted open-air show from sunset.
The Place Jemaa el-Fna is filled with sellers offering medicinal plants, freshly orange juice and local foods. In the evening you will enjoy show men, musicians, dancers and snack charmers.
It’s worth a visit and this attraction has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
2. Visit the Museum of Marrakech
This museum is housed in the Dar Menebhi, a palace built in 1800s by the grand vizier of Sultan Moulay Mehdi Hassan. One of the most impressing element here, is the style of a traditional Moorish house that enjoys this building.
The museum has a main courtyard with three marble basins and rooms distributed on the ground and upper floors.
About the displayed collection, you can discover it on two sides. One exhibits Orientalist paintings, contemporary art and pieces of Moroccan engraving subjects. The second side displays objects from the Idrissid period to the present day, illuminated copies of the Koran including the Chinese model, Moroccan jewellery , Tibetan dress, book of Sufi prayers and more much.
3. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque
Considered one of Marrakech’s significant things of curiosity, the Koutoubia Mosque appears in the eastern side of the medina, its splendid minaret stands like a sentinel above the city. This is actually one of the largest mosques in the Western Muslim world and was initially built by the Almohad sultan Abd el Moumen in 1147.
Many of other mosques including the Giralda in Seville and the Hassan Tower took their inspiration from the Koutoubia Mosque model.
The mosque features a huge area having a wide internal courtyard, and Prayer Hall with white columns, which can accommodate some 20.000 faithful.
The entrance doors are usually kept open, and so you could have a look on the inside.
4. Discover the Palace Bahia Secrets
This palace was built by Si Moussa and Ba Ahmed, the two powerful viziers, at the end of the 1800s. There are two parts in the interior of the palace, and each built at different times.
You could also see the vizier’s apartments, check out the concubines’ courtyard and discover the council chamber of the vizier Ba Ahmed.
You should definitely look at the open courtyard of the vizier Ba Moussa that contains two star-shaped pools and trees of orange and jasmine.
This lavish palace is one of the best palaces in Marrakech, Marshal Lyautey took it as his residence during the protectorate.
5. Walk Aroud Gueliz
Is regarded as the commercial district of the new town in Marrakech, it features a large structure in accordance with the principals of modern city planning. Variety of trendy and chic shops, bars, restaurants and cafes are situated in wide avenues of this area.
If you are looking for a pleasant place to enjoy your time, this can be the spot you should visit in Marrakech.
6. Explore Dar Si Said Museum
This wonderful museum was a palace built in 1800s by Si Said Ben Moussa, a vizier of Moulay Abdel Aziz.
The exhibits are actually large, of course, if you just have the time to take a look at here are a few bits that you really can’t leave behind without discovering.
There on display, a marble basin for ritual ablutions, is a splendid archaeological piece that was carved from a single block in Andalusia in the early 11th century. Also you can find beautiful collections of Berber-Jewish jewellery, pottery from Fez and Safi, carpets from Chichaoua, and interesting collection of woodwork.
Obviously, we are on the tip from the iceberg and heritage fans will likely be excited to plunge in for many hours to discover the things they will get.
7. Visit the Kasbah Mosque
The Kasbah Mosque built in 1184, the mosque, constructed during the rule of the Almohad dynasty by Yacoub el-Mansour.
The mosque enjoys a prayer hall, five interior courtyards and a beautiful minaret designed with Almohad Style.
This attraction is the only other Almohad building besides Bab Agnaou to survive in Marrakech, and it was once in the heart of the city, having an ideal location, sitting on Kasbah Street and near Bab Agnaou.
It is today among the best preserved historical buildings in all of Marrakech.
8. Admire the Architecture of Bab Agnaou
The royal entrance to the old Almohad palace, Bab Agnaou is just as impressive. With a typical Almohad architecture, it dates to the 12th century and was constructed for a decorative function under the rule of Yacoub el-Mansour.
This majestic gate is protected by the outer defensive gate, Bab el-Robb and its name means “hornless black ram” in Berber. The gate has a sculpted façade with stones and bricks as well as floral motifs in the corner pieces. It is located just opposite the Kasbah Mosque, so you can go there and admire this impressive sight.
9. Pay a Visit to Palais El Badi
Built in the end of 1500s for King Ahmed El-Mansour, the Palais el-Badi is near the king’s private apartments, and it was to be used for receptions with foreign embassies.
It absolutely was regarded as among the marvels of the Muslim world, and was financed by the Portuguese whom he had beaten in the Battle of the Three Kings on 4 August 1578.
The palace walls and ceilings rooms were decorated by Irish granite, Indian onyx, Italian marble and coverings of gold leaf.
In 1683, this lavish palace was demolished by the Sultan Moulay Ismail and he used its materials to embellish his imperial city of Meknes.
10. Head in Chrob Ou Chouf Fountain
This beautiful late-16th-century fountain is one of the most attractive in the medina. Chrob ou Chouf Fountain is the most valuable thing to Marrakech’s Saadian period when water was a very precious commodity.
The name-meaning “Drink and Admire”, where travelers from the head of pre-Saharan valleys would meet and take rest.
On the spot you can wonder at the shadow of the carved cedar and look up on the amazing detail in the kufic and cursive inscriptions engraved into the wood. You can reach this attraction on Rue Amesfah, near the Ben Youssef Mosque.
11. Relax in the Aguedal Gardens
Reached via the outer mechouar near Bab Lghli, the Aguedal Gardens offer you a stunning retreat out of the bustle of the concrete city center.
These historic gardens were commissioned by the Almoravids in the 12th century, and restored by the Alaouite sultans Moulay Abderrahman and Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah.
This vast space 3 Km long and 1.5 Km wide, offers a large orchard of orange, lemon, apricot and olive trees, as well as a great pool situated south of the garden.
The Aguedal Gardens certainly are an attraction to be seen, and its terrace of the Saadien pavillon gives a spectacular views in to the city and the High Atlas.
12. Check out the Koubba Ba’Adiyn
Marrakech’s only vestige of the Almoravid mosque, is the Koubba Ba’Adiyn (brick-built dome), built by Ali Ben Youssef in 1106. The dome is a typical design of Almoravid architecture with its ablutions pool fed by three reservoirs, arches, chevrons that decorate the exterior, and its interior graced by arches and floral ornamentation.
Through these elements, you will just admire the creativity of Islamic architecture.
13. Haggle at the Souks
If you are looking for a place of shopping, the medina’s Souks area is where to go. In the north and east of Place Jemaa el-Fna, you can find the Souks and the majority of them are known by the name of whatever is sold here.
These spots have all the vibrant atmosphere that fascinate visitors, with woodworkers, metalworkers, slippers and belts Souk and much more…
So, they are a perfect place to go there for an afternoon looking to find some tourist souvenir to take home.
14. Smell the Roses at Majorelle Garden
The appealing Majorelle Garden Villa was built in 1923 by the painter Jacques Majorelle, and restored by the famous couturier Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé.
Today place of luxuriant garden and Art Deco studio, site visitors can stroll freely in the parterres walkways in the beautiful garden and visit the studio converted to a rich museum with amazing collections.
In the garden, you will be amazed by the 400 varieties of palm tree that has, as well as 1800 species of cactus. The exhibits in the museum are antique carpets, Moroccan crafts, Berber doors, and Fassi ceramics.
15. Admire Zaouia Sidi Bel Abbès
This mausoleum site, dedicated to a venerated man Sidi bel Abbès who lived in Marrakech in 1200s, is significant for its monumental entrance that is a highlight for photography enthusiasts, beautiful hammam, and home for the blind.
The Zaouia also include a small market, mosque, cemetery and a dome added by the Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 18th century.
This sacred site is destined for those interested in typical Arabic decoration and funs of Sufism culture.
16. Be Amazed in Menara
This is a pleasant paradise of shade and coolness, created in the 12th century by the Almohads and it was a romantic meetings for the Sultans. In 1800s, a pavilion with a green-tiled pyramidal roof was built to refurbish the garden.
The Menara is an imperial garden and has walls, enormous pool, fruit and olive trees, as well as a balcony enjoying a breathtaking views to the Atlas.
On the ground floor there are three arches opening onto the pool.
And so it is a stylish spot for a relaxing moments or to amaze yourself by the interior decoration.
17. Visit the Legendary Hotel Mamounia
It stands on a site where it was a residence of the son of the Alaouite sultan Sidi Mohammed. This legendary hotel opened in 1923, now it enjoys the remains of the prince residence that contain a beautiful pavilion and a magnificent garden of 130.000-sq-m (32-acre) planted with orange and olive trees.
The hotel opened in 1923, and was designed by Henri Prost and Antoine Marchisio. You will admire its Art Deco and Moorish architecture. It’s wonderful!
You know? Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon and many famous people have stayed here. The hotel still open, so, go there and experience that by yourself.
18. Go for a Trip to The Palmeraie
About 22 km (14 miles) north of Marrakech on the road to Casablanca is the Palmeraie, a wonderful sight is waiting for you. A huge area of Palm Grove, legend has it that planted by the Almoravid soldiers in the 11th century.
You will find 150.000 trees, which are fields, gardens and orchards.
The grove covers an area of some 120 sq km (46 sq miles), and the best way to go through it is by starting a tour and it can be made by car or horse drawn carriage.
19. Stroll Aroud the Ramparts
Within this part of history springs forward the prominent and sturdy walls of Marrakech, which were reported to be among the most complex and extraordinary barriers of their period.
These walls skirt the Gueliz, encircle the medina, are 19 km and pierced by monumental gates like Bab el-Khemis, Bab Agnaou, Bab Aghmat and much more…
Just before sunset or in the early morning, you can walk around this majestic sight, you can admire the colors of the walls changing through the time of day.
20. Discover the Marvels of Ben Youssef Medersa
Based in the medina, the Ben Youssef Medersa is one of the finest and largest Koranic school in the Maghreb. From its beautiful bronze door, you can value the impact of the cultures that have marked the city of Marrakech. It is really an excellent illustration of the harmony of dynasties that governed this city.
It could be worth to order a guided visit of the Ben Youssef Medersa to discover the marvels that enjoy this amazing sight, which includes usually the dome, which is decorated with exquisite stalactites and it can be seen from the street.
Visiting this attraction, is obviously one of the best things to do in Marrakech.