If you’ve booked a trip to Marrakech (also commonly spelled Marrakesh), you’re in for a real treat. The city offers visitors a rich history – full of vibrant colors and flavors – that will make you wish you had more time to explore the area than you originally booked for.
Marrakech is very popular amongst tourists for all kinds of reasons – offering both traditional and modern regions to explore. It’s the kind of city that tourists visit in the country of Morocco because of all it has to offer – gardens, palaces, mosques, etc. What are some of the Marrakech attractions you should have on your must-see list?
What are the best things to see and do in Marrakech?
Marrakech is one of the imperial cities of Morocco and it is the fourth largest city in the country based on population estimation. It houses a large number of beautiful riads, mosques with impressive mosaic tiles and gardens, including the famous Place Jamaa El Fna and the Medina district that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
If you plan to travel to Morocco and wonder what you can see and do in Marrakech, we suggest you this list. Our list explores some of the attractions that should not be missed by every traveler in this fascinating city.
Jemaa el-Fnaa Market
The heartbeat of Marrakech is the Jemaa el-Fnaa market with an array of entertainers to stop by and enjoy. For example, you can check out the snake charmers, storytellers, water sellers or the henna-tattoo artists, and at night, you can partake in the different stalls that offer traditional lamb treats, fresh orange juice and all kinds of other delectable delights.
One of the best aspects of the market is that you can enjoy any time of the day or night, as the square is jumping all the time. Take home a few trinkets from the souvenir shops.
Hammam (Bath House)
When you need to get away from the hustle and bustle – and feel the need to relax – why not partake in a local hammam (or bathhouse). Here, you strip down and enjoy all the amenities you’d get from a spa back home such as an exfoliating massage, sauna or an ice-cold pool bath.
While there are numerous bathhouses in the Marrakech area, it’s best to find the one that’s ideal for you and will give you the experience you’re looking for. For instance, the Hammam Dar El-Bacha does not offer co-ed services – men come in the morning and women in the afternoon. However, Les Bains de Marrakech is set up to accommodate couples.
If you’re into the past and love history, the Saadian Tombs is an archaeological site that is the rest home of many rules and individuals from the Saadi dynasty. Once lost, the tombs were once again found in 1917. One of the more recognized tombs is Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour Eddahbi. He went all out with his tomb with elaborate carvings, right tiles, and Arabic calligraphy. For that reason, it’s a site that tourists must check out when visiting the area.
Although not right in the city of Marrakech, it’s not hard to get to and well worth the trek to see because of the care that’s been given to the Saadian Tombs.
Marrakech is full of museums for tourists to check out – one such museum is the Dar Si Said, which has on display a large array of Moroccan objects and architecture. At the Marrakech Museum, the Dar Menebhi Palace exhibit showcases weapons, embroidery, and contemporary art. At La Maison de la photographie, visitors can get a glimpse into the city’s past.
The Moroccan culture is all about its mosques, which is why visitors of the area should see the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech. It’s not only the biggest in the city but considered to be a spiritual center. On top of that, it’s got some amazing architecture that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Its 12th-century tower (or minaret) is a great example of extravagant capabilities of those in the past. The call to prayer rings five times a day from the tower, which is sure to capture your attention.
The Majorelle Garden is one of the most visited gardens in the red city. The garden was designed by the French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s. The garden houses a large number of plant species from 5 continents. Majorelle has various colorful fountains and blue painted walls with yellow windows. The garden also has a souvenir shop, an art gallery and a museum with more than 600 collections of artifacts. The museum is small and called “The Berber Art Museum”. Admission is not free, the ticket costs around 70 Dhs and 35 Dhs for students.