10 Must-visit Places in Marrakech

Salma Yassine Takhirt
By Salma Yassine Takhirt 9.1k Views 13 Min Read

Marrakech, the magical city of Morocco, has been for so long one of the top tourist destinations in the world, with millions of visitors each year and an estimated 10.9 million tourists only in 2022.

Habibi come to Marrakech!

In fact, the ochre city is well known for its multiculturalism; its mix of tradition and modernity makes it more attractive. From its extravagant palaces and luxurious museums to its lively souks, the city manages to combine the ancient and the new. In this article, we will present you the 10 Must-visit places in Marrakech.

Bahia Palace

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Courtyard of honor and the chambers of the concubines.

Al Bahia Palace or  “ The Beautiful Palace “, is one of the city’s most preserved sites; its construction dates back to the Alawids Dynasty. It was built in the 19th century for the Grand Vizier Ahmed Ben-Musa, “ Ba Hmad “ with his four wives and several concubines. Its 160 uniquely decorated rooms and its Zelij tiled walls tell the beautiful story of a zealous love and carnal passion between him and his favorite wife “Bahia”, or as some historians would say, his paramour, after whom the palace was named.

This exquisite historical monument is Marrakech’s biggest castle, and the most eye-popping one with its lavishly painted wood “ Zouak “ and marble-paved floors. The Andalusian-Hispano-Moorish gardens embellish the spacious complex alongside the large courtyard with its Moroccan-styled outbuildings making it the most visited site in the city with 600 000 visitors a year.

The Majorelle Garden

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The blue Berber Museum

The Majorelle Garden is one of the most famous gardens in the world and also, the influencers’ favorite Insta-spot in Marrakech. It was originally created by the French painter and gardener Jacques Majorelle and was later purchased and lovingly restored by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, who have added their special touch to the abundant and unique flora and fauna of the garden.

The picturesque background of the botanical garden offers its visitors a picture-worthy experience. Alongside the sprawling expanse of exotic plants, the giants cacti, and the bamboo and palm trees, within the grounds of the site there is the Instagrammable Cuban Villa, a coffeeshop to contemplate the garden’s beauty, a Berber Museum and La boutique; whose items are handmade by the best Moroccan artisans.

Jamaa El-Fna Square

One of the most important must-visit places in Marrakech
Jemaa El Fna square at night

It is one of the important must-visit places in Marrakech, especially for first-timers. The square has been listed by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2008 and as World Heritage since 1985. As it is an essential part of the culture of Morocco, the site has also been qualified as a place of spectacle in the 17th century and has been animated ever since.

The bustling square offers a unique hectic experience. With its vibrant atmosphere, the place becomes like an artistic well-organized riot, especially at night, filled with monkeys and snake charmers, henna tattoo artists, fruit stands, and traditional food stalls that you should not miss!

You will always remember your evening at Jemaa El Fna, no matter what street food you eat.

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque

The Kutubiyya Mosque means the Mosque of Kutubiyyin “The librarians“ since it used to be surrounded by booksellers during its foundation. It was built in the 12th century under the reign of the Almohads dynasty, and it is also considered the meeting point in the heart of Marrakech, with a 77m height overlooking the red city. The mosque can, in fact, accommodate up to 25 000 people.

The historical monument often serves as a landmark for the lost tourists thanks to its majestic grandeur; it can also be viewed as an escape or a refuge for the tired visitors. Its interior is only reserved for worshippers, but its surrounding fountains and gardens with palm and orange trees can be pretty calming and refreshing after a long chaotic day at the famous Jemaa El Fna Square.

Dar El Bacha

For another escape from the busy pace of the city, Dar El Bacha “Pacha House“is located in the heart of the old medina. The palace was home to Thami El Glaoui, appointed Pacha of Marrakech in 1912, by Sultan Moulay Youssef. This architectural gem whose principal mission is to bear witness to the richness of Moroccan culture, has been closed for decades before getting restored by the National Foundation of Museums and opened in 2017.

Of all the other palaces, this one is the most Instagrammable. A majestic riad whose grand courtyard is surrounded by six rooms, each of which tells a different story, highlighting different aspects of Moroccan culture. In addition to its colorful garden and superb tiling, there is an exquisite Cafe, offering its customers a great range of scrumptious delicacies and an endless list of coffee choices from all around the world.

Medina Of Marrakech

Colorful shops of the Medina

Considered as a great place to tickle inquisitive minds, the old medina of Marrakech can be often seen as a melting pot of cultures. Its narrow streets full of people and vehicles give you the feeling of stepping back in time to the medieval era. Its alleys with ancient architecture are effortlessly providing modern comfort with surprises in every corner.

The Marrakech Medina was also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1985.

While wandering the medina, you will discover that there is more than just haggling. There is a lot to see and discover, whether it’s by negotiating or just by having a friendly chitchat with shop owners, it is in fact, the perfect way to immerse yourself into the culture. The medina counts more than hundred shops selling all types of Moroccan goods, such as spices, jewelry, food, herbs, and leatherwork among many others.

The Secret Garden

To escape the hustle and bustle of the medina, we highly recommend another hidden gem, located right in the heart of the vibrant old town. A peaceful place called The Secret Garden, it is a historical garden that saw the day during the Saadian dynasty, in the mid-16th century. The buildings inside are magnificent examples of Moroccan architecture and art.

Renovated with passion in the mid-19th century, the palace consists of two joined-gardens each with a specific design. The Moroccan Garden with its large courtyard and a central fountain represents the Moroccan-Andalusian touch. On the other side, there is a mesmerizing garden filled with greenery, exotic plants, and fountains. Besides its delightful cafés, you can find a tower which offers its visitors the opportunity to get a panoramic view of the red city and the Atlas mountains.

Menara Gardens

Speaking of gardens, one of the most famous and iconic gardens of Marrakech is The Menara Gardens; they were established during the 12th century by the Almohads. At the heart of the site, there is a large pool used for watering all the plantations around. The uniqueness and originality of this place made it to be classified as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The olive groves of this historical monument do not attract tourists only, they are also locals’ favorite place. It is the perfect spot for picnics and refreshing breaks to Marrakchis. They offer shade and a fresh atmosphere to escape the heat of the city. On the other hand, what attracts foreigners the most, is the artistically decorated pavilion with the green-tiled roof. The building’s balcony is not to be missed either; it offers a scenery panoramic view, overlooking the city and the snow-capped mountains.

El Badiî Palace – Palace of Wonder

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As a commemoration for the victory of the Battle of the Three Kings against the Portuguese, the Badi Palace was built at the end of the 16th century, by the Saadian Sultan Ahmed Al-Mansour. The historic castle is one of the oldest palaces in Morocco, and also the greatest of its time; it was actually often viewed as one of the seven wonders thanks to its breathtaking grandeur.

Unlike other historical monuments, the palace lost its political value and fell into disuse after the Saadian Dynasty’s decline.

While roaming around the remaining structures, one can only imagine how this massive place looked like in its heyday. The ruins of today, were once crystal-tiled floors with over 360 rooms decorated in gold and turquoise. However, some parts of the castle are still intact, such as the beautiful sunken gardens, the tunnels, the large pool, and ochre underground chambers for prisoners.

The Saadian Tombs

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Another testament to the rich history of the Saadian dynasty, under the reign of the famous Sultan Ahmed El-Mansour, is the popular tourist attraction “ The Saadian Tombs “, constructed in the late 16th century. Inside the lavish mausoleum, rests the “ Golden Sultan”  Al-Mansour, his family, and various servants and officials from that era.

The royal necropolis contains a small, beautiful garden and a refreshing courtyard with fine latticework, and more importantly; it is home to three main chambers decorated with intricate carvings and plasterwork:

The Chamber of the Twelve Capillars, the largest of the three.

The Chamber of the Three Niches, where the Sultan Ahmed Al-Mansour is buried next to his sons.

And lastly, The Chamber of Lalla Messaouda. Sultan Moulay Yazid’s mother.

While the picturesque buildings overlooking the Atlas Mountais and the luxurious Riads with their Instagrammable Rooftops present some perfect picture opportunities, the hectic side of the city, is also not to be missed. The smells, the colors and the sounds of the ochre city can stimulate all your senses at once.

Whether you are planning a family vacation, a romantic gataway or even a solo trip; Marrakech, is the answer to all your questions. As busy as it can get, the red city, satisfies effortlessly the needs of all its visitors. During your stay, make sure to visit our 10 must-visit places in Marrakech, and do not forget your Camera!

Wherever you go in the cosmopolitan city of Morocco, you will be amazed and your vacation will certainly, be forever engraved in your memory.

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Salma is a content strategist & SEO content writer, fitness enthousiast and longlife learner. Passionate about knowledge, literature and all things Morocco.
3 Reviews
  • AvatarElmostafa AITABDELMALK says:

    I visited Marrakech before, but what I saw amazed me. I did not know some of these places. Thank you for the addition.

  • AvatarL’coach walid says:

    Interesting.thank you.

  • AvatarZayn says:

    Thank you


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