Explore the vibrant heart of Kesh: Discover the Best Things To Do in Marrakech

Nestled near the majestic Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is a city with nearly a thousand years of history. Whether you’re a fan of history, a lover of gardens, or just looking to enjoy a lively atmosphere, Marrakech has something for everyone. Its bustling streets and vibrant markets can feel overwhelming at first, but don’t let that stop you. This enchanting city is full of fascinating sights and experiences. To help you make the most of your visit, here are some of the best things to do in Marrakech. 

1. Ben Youssef Madrasa

First on your list should be the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a stunning example of Islamic architecture. This ancient college (madrasa) has recently been restored, and its intricate Zellij mosaics and carved marble panels are simply breathtaking. Wander through the serene courtyard and admire the detailed craftsmanship; it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Marrakech.

best things to do in Marrakech

2. Bahia Palace

Next, visit Bahia Palace, a dazzling display of Moroccan artistry from the 19th century. With its lush gardens, elaborate tile work, and tranquil courtyards, it’s a must-see and one of the best things to do in Marrakech. You can easily buy tickets at the entrance.

best things to do in Marrakech

3. Badi Palace

Explore the ruins of the Badi Palace, a grand structure built in the 16th century. Though now a shadow of its former glory, the palace’s vast courtyards and remaining walls still evoke a sense of its historical magnificence. Plan for at least 90 minutes to fully appreciate this expansive site. Remember to bring water, especially in the hot summer months, as there’s little shade.

badi palace

4. Marrakech Souks

Dive into the sensory overload of the Marrakech souks, particularly the spices market. The narrow alleys are filled with vibrant colors, enticing aromas, and a wide array of goods. Bargaining is part of the experience, so start low and negotiate for the best price. If you’re uncertain, take a break and return later.

marrakech souks

For a taste of authentic Marrakech cuisine, visit Chez Lamine Hadj Mustapha, located down a narrow alley just off Jemaa el-Fnaa for an authentic dining experience. This local favourite, run by a former royal chef, is famous for lamb mechoui and Marrakech’s signature dish, beef tanjia. The former is roasted in underground ovens for three to four hours and served by weight, either as a half or full kilo, with bread. The tanjia is lamb prepped in a terracotta pot with preserved lemon, spices, and olive oil, then slow-cooked in smoldering coals. Be sure to arrive early, as everything is usually sold out by 3 pm.

5. Jemaa el-Fnaa

The heart of Marrakech is undoubtedly Jemaa el-Fnaa, a lively square and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage site that offers a different experience day and night. By day, it’s filled with stalls, storytellers, performers, and snake charmers. By night, it transforms into a bustling food market with countless stalls offering delicious local fare. The energy and atmosphere here are unmatched, making it a must-visit spot. However, be prepared for some stress as each food stall has enthusiastic vendors trying to convince you to dine at their stand. Most stalls serve similar dishes, so take your time to choose one that catches your eye, or join a food tour for a guided experience.

jemaa el-fna

6. Jardin Majorelle and Yves Saint Laurent Museum

Escape the city’s chaos at the tranquil Jardin Majorelle. Designed by artist Jacques Majorelle and later owned by Yves Saint Laurent, this garden is a vibrant, serene oasis. Just a short walk away, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum showcases the designer’s iconic work. A combined ticket for both attractions can help you avoid long lines. Note that the only official website where you can purchase your entry tickets is their official website.

Jardin Majorelle

7. La Mamounia

Discover the enchanting beauty of La Mamounia, located just outside the medina of Marrakech. Adorned with lush textiles, sparkling fountains, intricate tile-work, and exquisite woodwork, every corner is a visual delight. Spend an afternoon indulging in its elegance, from the serene open courtyards with lush plants and ornate Zellige pillars to the hammam spa experienceLa Mamounia offers a luxurious escape and is another one of the best things to do in Marrakech. Notably, Winston Churchill was a frequent guest, famously calling La Mamounia “the most lovely spot in the whole world.” He often retreated here to paint, relax, and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlas Mountains and lush gardens. Now it’s your turn. Just remember, La Mamounia maintains an elegant dress code in all public areas, with shorts not permitted in bars and restaurants after 6 pm.

best things to do in marrakech
The stunning entrance to the spa at La Mamounia

8. Dar el Bacha Museum

Hidden in the medina, the Dar el Bacha Museum offers a glimpse into Morocco’s artistic and cultural heritage. Once the home of Thami El Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech, this beautifully restored palace now houses fascinating exhibitions. Be sure to visit the Bacha Coffee Room for a delightful break with excellent coffee and pastries.

Bacha Coffee
Photo credit: Bacha Coffee

9. Le Jardin Secret

Le Jardin Secret is a recently restored historical garden nestled in the heart of Marrakech’s labyrinthine souk. This oasis, dating back to the Saadian Dynasty, is ideal for a leisurely stroll. The garden features two distinct sections. The first and largest is the Islamic garden, designed to embody the essence of traditional ‘paradise’ gardens. The second is an exotic garden, which, while maintaining a classic fourfold layout, showcases a variety of plants not available to the garden’s original owners. These beautifully designed spaces, complete with serene water features, offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city, making Le Jardin Secret a perfect spot to relax and recharge.

Le Jardin Secret

10. Day Trip to the Ourika Valley

For a change of pace, take a day trip to the Ourika Valley in the Atlas Mountains. This beautiful valley offers stunning scenery, traditional Berber villages, and refreshing waterfalls. Whether you go with a guided tour or on your own, the Ourika Valley provides a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. Additionally, nearby destinations like the Ouzoud Waterfalls or the Agafay Desert offer equally captivating experiences, perfect for enriching your Moroccan adventure.

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Where to Stay in Marrakech

To fully immerse yourself in the Marrakech experience, stay in a traditional riad. A riad is a  traditional Moroccan house with an interior courtyard and garden, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. These charming guesthouses feature cozy rooms, beautiful courtyards, and often rooftop terraces. With their warm hospitality, delicious homemade meals, and authentic decor, riads provide a unique and tranquil way to experience Moroccan culture right in the heart of the city. Luxury Riad options include:

La Mamounia Marrakech Riads

Royal Mansour Marrakech

La Sultana Marrakech

These Riads offer a blend of luxury and authenticity, ensuring a memorable stay in Marrakech.

riad be marrakesh
Riad BE Marrakech

Marrakech is a city that captures the heart and imagination with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re wandering through ancient palaces, exploring bustling markets, or relaxing in serene gardens, experiencing the best things to do in Marrakech promises an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, put on your comfy shoes, and get ready to be enchanted by the magic of Marrakech!

Thank you for reading: The 10 Best Things To Do in Marrakech | Places to Visit & Top Tips

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Now that we have all the information we need, it’s time to plan your trip to Marrakech and experience the best things to do in Marrakech!

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