Tale of the Red City - 20 Things to Do in Marrakesh

Marrakesh - or Marrakech, if you prefer French spelling - is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco with long history since Neolithic age. Its sandstone walls have witnessed changing civilizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and its fortified old city has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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If you plan to visit this wonderful city, then our list below will help you make decision about places to see and things to do in Marrakesh.

1. Bahia Palace

The ornate palace complex from 19th century is a great example of Moroccan architecture. You will be mesmerized by its decorated chambers, doorways, courtyards and inner symmetrical gardens called Riad. Bahia Palace is still used sometimes by King of Morocco to receive foreign guests.  

2. Souk Semmarine

They call it The Heartbeat of Marrakesh. This traditional market is a labyrinth of narrow alleys filled with shops of brass and metalware, pottery, textiles, leather products, and also food and spices. With its magical ambience, Souk Semmarine is a good option if you don't have much time in Marrakesh.  

3. Tiskiwin Museum

Owned by Bern Flint, a Dutch anthropologist who loves collecting North African art, this little museum displays ethnographic artifacts including baskets, textiles, carpets, and jewelry found along the old route between Marrakesh and Mali. Please note, the text in Musee Tiskiwin is mostly in French.   

4. Koutoubia Mosque

Built almost 1,000 years ago, Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakesh. Koutoubia or Kutubiyya means booksellers, reflecting its past as an intellectual center in the region. Get ready to be blown away by its majestic architecture with horseshoe arches and soaring minaret.


5. Jemaa el-Fnaa

This main square of Marrakesh offers all the classic Moroccan entertainment for visitors, from snake charmers and dancing boys to magicians, storytellers, and traditional medicine vendors. Stroll around and buy some food, orange juice, or souvenirs from many stalls nearby. 

6. Jardin Majorelle

Named after Jacques Majorelle, the French artist who found it, the garden is a major tourist attraction with colorful villa, palm trees, fountains, and large collection of cactus. Prepare your camera for the best selfie in here! There is also a special museum displaying items from Amazigh/ Berber culture. 

7. Medina of Marrakesh

The walled old city of Marrakesh was the imperial capital of Almoravids and Almohads. It is a fine example of a pre-industrial urban center in the Western Muslim World (Maghribi). Hear centuries of history whispering as you walk through its alleys, souks, and gates with impressive architecture. 

8. Le Jardin Secret

The garden complex consists of two historical riads dating back to Saadian Dynasty some 400 years ago. Discover symmetrical gardens with exotic plants, pavilions, and classical fountains typically found in Moroccan and Arab-Andalusian palaces. 

9. Musee Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

As the name suggests, the museum is dedicated to the works of Yves Saint Laurent, an iconic fashion designer from France. Some 5,000 pieces of clothing and more than 15,000 haute couture items are displayed here, along with sketches and other objects. 

10. Dar Si Said Museum

Dar Si Said is a historic palace from the same era as Bahia Palace with similar architecture and features such as riad garden and decorated ceiling. It is the oldest museum in Marrakesh with large collection of artworks. Today, it is reopened as National Museum of Weaving and Carpet.

11. El Badi Palace

The ruined palace was built by Ahmad Al-Mansur, the most famous sultan from Saadian Dynasty. In the unique landscape of garden and pool, you can imagine the glorious past of this site. Don't miss the spectacular view from rooftop and the exhibition space displaying historic items.

12. Medersa Ben Youssef

The historic madrasa from 500 years ago was once the largest Islamic education center in Morocco. Marvel at the beauty of the school's architecture with reflective pool and impressive horseshoe arches, resembling that of Andalusian palaces in Cordoba and Granada. 

13. Nikki Beach

It's not located next to the beach to be clear. But Nikki Beach Marrakesh is a really fun place if you love drinking some cocktail with your friends while enjoying the music and sunbathing beside the pool. Some of the best pool parties in Marrakesh can be found here. 

14. Hammam de la Rose

Hammam or public bath is an integral part of Moroccan culture. Hammam de la Rose is a good choice if you prefer authentic experience combined with modern comfort. There are also other options, from cheaper one such as Hammam Mouassine to the most luxurious one such as Royal Mansour. 

15. Palmeraie Camel Ride

Feel the old middle eastern vibe by riding camel along the rural area with traditional settlements and palm trees. Many tours offer half-day or even just 1-2 hours experience of riding camel in this oasis. They will give you Cheich, a turban veil to protect you from the sun before riding camel with guide.

16. Marrakech Train Station

Just across the Royal Theater, Marrakesh Train Station will greet you with its beautiful main arch, pillars, and Moorish patterns. Even if you don't plan to travel to other cities in Morocco, a visit to the new building of Marrakesh Train Station is a nice experience.  

17. Rahba Kedima Square

Located inside Marrakesh Medina, Rahba Kedima Square is a good spot to shop. The bustling plaza is filled vendors selling ceramics, leather slippers, wool hats, essential oils, and jewelry. Even just walking around and enjoying some entertainment while tasting local food can be exhilarating. 

18. Menara Mall

One of the largest and most luxurious malls in Marrakesh, Menara Mall is equipped with more than 90 shops, souk-style alley, kids playground, and food court. There is also a large dancing fountain in front of the mall which is illuminated with beautiful lights at night.


19. Mellah of Marrakesh

Outside the walls of El Badi Palace, this mellah (Jewish quarter) was once densely populated with more than 40,000 residents before mass emigration to Israel. Today, the quarter has been restored to bring back its Jewish identity, from synagogue to Jewish cemetery and street names. 

20. Atlas Mountains and Three Valleys

Pack up early for a day trip to Atlas Mountains with breathtaking view of snowy peaks. You can take a guided tour where you will have a chance to enjoy local lunch and authentic Moroccan tea at a Berber village in the mountain slope.  

Anyway, do you wonder why French is more dominant than English in Marrakesh and Morocco in general? It is because Morocco was once a French protectorate. 

We hope you enjoy your trip to Marrakesh. And if you know other places to visit and things to do in Marrakesh, don't hesitate to tell us in the comment section.

Marrakesh also has a lot of beautiful hotels. Click here to book now. 

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