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What to do in Marrakech

Updated: Jan 15

The best tips on what to do in Marrakech, where to stay, where to eat, and the places you absolutely can't miss.

Marrakech is an intense and lively city, located in the central-west of Morocco, and is currently one of the most visited cities in the country.

If you are looking to experience a completely different culture close to Europe, then Marrakech is the ideal destination.

Today, we will share with you what to do in this vibrant city so that when you visit, you won't miss a thing.

Disclaimer: In this article you will find some links to different travel's partners. They are all trustworthy and if you use some of them to book an experience or stay, for example, you are helping us maintaining the work we do on this project.

What to do in Marrakech

Jamaa El-Fna Square

We start this list with the postcard of Marrakech, Jamaa El-Fna Square. This is the main square of the city and is bustling at all hours of the day, but it truly comes to life in the late afternoon.

Here, you find a bit of everything: vendors, snake charmers, street performers, food stalls, etc. For a complete experience, we recommend visiting during the day and early evening.

Jamaa El-Fna Square, Marrakech's heart
Jamaa El-Fna Square, Marrakech's heart

Medina of Marraquexe

The medina is the old part of the city, typically surrounded by a wall or what remains of it. The interior of the medina is filled with riads (traditional hotels), souks (traditional markets), and shops with items for all tastes, from carpets and dishes to shoes, food, and clothing.

Set aside some hours for shopping and getting lost in the medina.

Bargaining is the norm here; few items have fixed prices, and negotiation is a cultural practice.

Our tip: Ask the price of something you genuinely want to buy, as they may persist until they sell the item if you inquire out of curiosity.

Important: From 9 pm onwards, some doors in the medina close, and the passage is blocked. If your riad is inside the medina, but far from the main square, don't try to walk back through the medina, as you could easily get lost. Call a taxi and ask them to drop you off at the location closest to your riad.

Jardin Majorelle

This is the most popular garden in the city. The ticket can only be purchased online here.

It is a tranquil retreat amidst the bustle of Marrakech, featuring numerous species of exotic plants and trees, including cactus, palm trees, and bamboo.

The garden is open every day from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, and the ticket costs 15€. We chose not to visit because we found the price too high for the reviews we had seen.

Ben Youssef Madrasa

Ben Youssef Madrasa was built to be a school dedicated to studying Islam. If you are interested in Moroccan architecture, this is a true example, as its details are indeed extraordinary.

You can visit it every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and the admission ticket costs 5€. We visited it right at 9:00 am and had it all to ourselves until 9:30 am, so we recommend visiting early if you want to avoid crowds and queues.

Bahia Palace

Built in the 19th century, this palace is one of the busiest places in the city. It is only about a 12-minute walk from Place Jemaa el-Fna and can be visited every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is another place where you can admire Moroccan architecture and details.

The admission ticket is 7€.

El Badi Palace

Built-in the late 16th century to commemorate the victory in the Battle of Alcácer-Quibir against the Portuguese, the palace's name translates to "incomparable palace," and today, you can visit the ruins of this palace.

It can be visited daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm for 7€.

Koutoubia Mosque

It is the largest mosque in Marrakech and one of the city's landmarks. It is located right in front of Jamaa el-Fna Square, so you can't miss it.

When we visited Marrakech in December 2023, the mosque was closed for renovation due to the earthquake in September of that year. Before the earthquake, the mosque was open to the public, but only Muslims could enter.

Saadian Tombs

These tombs were rediscovered in the 20th century and opened to the public. There are about 60 tombs of members of the Saadian dynasty.

Currently, they are highly visited by tourists who appreciate the marble and gold details. The place gets very crowded during the day, so the best time to go is in the early morning or late afternoon.

It can be visited every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and the price is 7€.

Sahara Desert Tour

If you are in Marrakech and have enough days, you can't miss the opportunity to take a tour of the Sahara Desert!

The trip is long, usually 2 nights/3 days, and visits various places along the way, such as Ait Ben Haddou (where Game of Thrones and Gladiator were filmed), Todra Gorges, and Atlas mountains.

It ends in the Sahara Desert, where we spent an unforgettable night. We took this tour and highly recommend it! It's a unique experience that we will never forget.

Other important tips:

Staying Connected

If you plan to visit Morocco, don't forget that mobile data does not work outside the EU! The best solution to stay connected to the Internet is to buy an eSIM. That's what we did, and it was super quick, cheap, and intuitive.

We bought it from Airalo, and it always worked well. Just have a phone compatible with eSIM and buy the card through the Airalo app. It's very easy!

Where to eat

Moroccan cuisine is known for its rich variety of flavors, spices, and colors, and we have to admit it's very good! From tajine to couscous and harira, there are dishes for all tastes, and we advise you to try as many as you can!

Here are some restaurant/cafe suggestions in Marrakech:

  1. Nomad: Known for its modern atmosphere and delicious dishes. They offer a variety of Moroccan and international dishes.

  2. Cafe restaurant dar l’hssira: Specialized in Moroccan cuisine, it is known for its traditional dishes, including tagines and couscous.

  3. Le Salama: Located next to Place Jemaa el-Fna, Le Salama features a varied menu of Moroccan and international dishes. It usually has a belly dance show every night at 9:00 pm.

  4. Café des Épices: Located in Rahba Kedima Square, it offers an incredible view of the Medina. In addition to drinks, they serve light dishes and Moroccan snacks.

Best Time to Visit

Marrakech is a good destination to visit throughout the year. Of course, spring and autumn are the ideal seasons, with mild temperatures, perfect for exploring the city.

However, I have experienced visiting in winter (December) and summer (August). The temperature in December was pleasant; only mornings and evenings were cooler, but during the day, it was a great temperature for walking. In August, on the contrary, it was very hot; it reached 45ºC, so it was ideal to enjoy the hotel pool.

Where to Stay

Marrakech offers a wide range of accommodation options, from traditional riads to modern hotels. If you want a more typical experience, we recommend staying in a riad.

Riads are traditional Moroccan houses with an internal courtyard or garden, usually located in the medina, featuring unique decorations with colorful tiles and Moroccan architectural details.

This is a small luxury riad located inside the medina. With a tranquil atmosphere that contrasts with the hustle and bustle outside, the decoration with typical Moroccan tiles makes it one of the most beautiful and highly Instagrammable riads.

Riad Botanica
Riad Botanica

A true oasis of peace and tranquility, this luxury riad also has a restaurant with typical food, a spa, two pools, and a terrace with panoramic views of the medina. Every corner of the riad is decorated in a traditional Moroccan style, providing a calm and relaxing environment.

Riad Kheirredine
Riad Kheirredine

Get Travel Insurance

It is essential to be prepared for any trip you take, especially outside of Europe. Unexpected events happen, and no one wants to come back from vacation with a huge hospital bill to pay. That's where travel insurance comes in, an indispensable ally to ensure tranquility and safety for your holidays.

IATI offers numerous types of travel insurance depending on your type of trip and various coverages. Moreover, by purchasing insurance through our link, you get a special 5% discount.

Don't let unforeseen events ruin your adventure!

Click here to get your discount.

Seguro de viagem

These are our suggestions for what to do in Marrakech.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a wonderful experience in the city, some things didn't make us feel comfortable and we didn't feel very welcome... But it was our experience and we met a lot more people who had a good experience than a bad one, so, we encourage you to visit Marrakech and then tell us what you think!


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