You are currently viewing 10 places to visit in Marrakech (Morocco)

If you haven’t been to Marrakech yet, what are you waiting for? The “Red City” of Morocco is the country’s most popular destination. This true gem of Northern Africa awaits you with its fascinating history, delicious food, and rich culture. I’m going in October so I wanted to share my research.

Marrakech’s traditions, influenced by a fusion of Berber, Arab, and French heritage, create a melting pot of unique experiences.

Here’s a list of places to visit in Marrakech, Morocco.

 

Overview of Marrakech 

As 1 of Morocco’s 4 imperial cities, Marrakech (sometimes spelled Marrakesh) stands out as an incredible destination worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.

Marrakech is located inland in the central part of the country just West of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, about 3 hours away from the coast in either Casablanca, Essaouira, or Agadir.

Location of Marrakech (image credit: Google Maps)

 

Marrakech’s population is around 1 million, slightly more than Winnipeg. Founded by the Almoravid Dynasty in the 11th century, Marrakech has served as the capital for many other dynasties over the centuries, notably the Almohad and Saadian. 

The city played a crucial role as a meeting point for trade along trans-Saharan routes. Marrakech has earned its nickname of “The Red City”, due to the recurring reddish color of its infrastructure, which is often made with clay.

Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: emrecan arık)

 

You may be surprised by the number of languages spoken in this dynamic North African city. The locals mainly speak Arabic and Berber, Morocco’s 2 official languages. But despite gaining independence from French colonization in 1956, Moroccans of all ages continue to speak the French language in many parts of the country.

One could say that French is the country’s 3rd (non-official) language. Andrew, Flytrippers’ other co-founder, was able to speak some French on his 3 trips to Morocco (although he went to Fez, Tangier, Chefchaouen, and Casablanca — not Marrakech). You’ll also meet some people who speak a bit of English (like almost everywhere) and even Spanish, especially if they work in tourism. 

Rue de la Bahia, Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: Paradigm Visuals)

 

As for religions, Sunni Islam largely dominates, with a multitude of mosques gracefully adorning the city’s skyline.

Now, let’s dive into the 10 places that are absolutely worth a visit in Marrakech.

 

1. Medina and souks

The Medina of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a truly exceptional destination, full of treasures and surprises.

Medina Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: Calin Stan)

 

In this region of the world, historical districts or ancient walled cities are called a “medina” and visitors from all over the world come to the one in Marrakech, especially to see the labyrinthine souks.

You too, can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of these bustling markets.

You’ll find spices, souvenirs, textiles, as well as arts and crafts such as tilework and wood carving.

Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: zakariae daoui)

 

2. Jemaa el-Fnaa

The Jemaa el-Fnaa central square is the place to be, in the heart of Marrakech’s medina.

Jemaa el-Fnaa, Morocco (photo credit: Selina Bubendorfer)

 

Enjoy Gnaoua music, street food, numerous market stalls, and lively performances by great musicians, acrobats, and even snake charmers! 

Jemaa el-Fnaa is also the perfect place to try authentic Morrocan cuisine, such as tajines, couscous, and mint tea.

Jemaa el-Fnaa, Morocco (photo credit: Alex Azabache)

 

Bargaining is very common in the area so don’t hesitate to try your luck.

 

3. Ben Youssef Medersa

The Ben Youssed Medersa is also located in the Medina but deserves its own spot on the list, with a history dating back to the 14th century.

Ben Youssef Medersa, Morocco (photo credit: Alex Azabache)

 

This building served as an Islamic college until the 1960s and was one of the most important theological colleges in North Africa.

Nowadays, it’s a museum that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Why not go on a walking tour to learn more about the site’s incredible history? 

Ben Youssef Medersa, Morocco (photo credit: Mauro Lima)

 

You’ll be amazed by the breathtaking architecture, seamlessly combining the elegance of marble with intricate mosaic designs.

 

4. Jardin Majorelle

The Jardin Majorelle is a magnificent must-see garden for anyone exploring the Red City.

Jardin Majorelle, Morocco (photo credit: Max Böhme)

 

Designed in the 1920s by Jacques Majorelle, a French artist, this botanical haven was almost destroyed by a real estate project, until the renowned fashion designer, Yves Saint-Laurent, and his partner intervened.

The couple acquired the property and restored it, with the intention of opening it to the public.

Today, thanks to the world-famous couturier and his lover, the garden attracts more than 700,000 visitors annually. It’s the perfect place to unwind.

Jardin Majorelle, Morocco (photo credit: Carter Obasohan)

 

Take a moment to admire all the ponds, the fountains, and the diverse plant collection, including exotic cacti, bamboo, and water lilies. 

 

5. Bahia Palace

The Bahia Palace is another architectural masterpiece renowned for its luxurious Moroccan architecture.

Bahia Palace, Morocco (photo credit: Paradigm Visuals)

 

Once the residence of the Grand vizier (the head of government), the palace offers a captivating insight into the opulent lifestyle of Morocco’s historical elite. 

As you explore the colorful rooms, enchanting courtyards, and lush gardens, the Bahia Palace will take you back in time to the 19th century. 

Don’t forget your camera to capture the most Instagram-worthy shots of your Marrakech journey!

Large Riad Garden at Bahia Palace, Morocco (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

6. Hammam

Marrakech hammams are a relaxation option that goes beyond a simple spa treatment. It’s another opportunity to delve into Moroccan customs, as it is a ritual for locals.

Derb Sidi Lahcen Ouest Ali, Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: Alex Azabache)

 

Enjoy a relaxing steam bath, exfoliate your skin, and try applying the popular Moroccan black soap. 

Whether you’re adventuring solo or in a group, the hammam experience is a great addition that can easily take you out of your comfort zone. It’s another activity that will make your trip to Marrakech memorable.

Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: Gorsche)

 

7. Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque is the city’s largest, and you can’t come to Marrakesh without seeing it!

Koutoubia Mosque, Morocco (photo credit: Mehdi El marouazi)

 

Towering over the cityscape, the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque rises to a height of 77 meters and can be seen from afar.

Note that non-Muslim visitors are not allowed inside the prayer halls. If this is your case, you can still appreciate the mosque’s beautiful exterior and the surrounding landscaped gardens.

 

8. Saadian Tombs

The Saadian Tombs serve as the burial site for more than 60 members of the royal Saadi family.

Saadian Tombs, Morocco (photo credit: Jean Carlo Emer)

 

Several unidentified persons are also buried there. While it is speculated that these individuals may be nobles, the unresolved mystery surrounding their identities adds an enigmatic allure to this historical site.

Inside, you can admire Islamic art, intricate carvings, vibrant tiles, and elaborate details that captivate visitors. 

 

9. Desert

Marrakech is the gateway to the Moroccan desert.

Sahara Desert, Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: Y K)

 

That’s one of the reasons I’m going there with my girlfriend. To immerse yourself in the mesmerizing landscapes, you can explore on your own or opt for a desert safari with a tour guide.

If you don’t want to go as far, Palmeraie is an oasis just outside the city. Its impressive, serene, and scenic palm tree plantations have been used as film locations for various productions.

It’s quite touristy, but you can visit traditional Berber villages offering a glimpse into the local way of life. In this beautiful area, you can try camel riding, riding ATVs, or even playing golf.

Palmeraie, Morocco (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

10. Relaxation

If you want to relax and chill after busy days spent exploring the city, you can do it at a nice free hotel.

Pool at the Le Méridien N’Fis (photo credit: Marriott)

 

The Le Méridien N’Fis hotel is not the most recent, but it has a very nice pool area and, on some dates, it doesn’t cost too many points. 

It costs 9,200 Marriott points per night (46,000 for 5 nights). That’s just 4,600 points per person per night with a companion! It’s not as cheap as Marriott hotels in Southeast Asia of course, but that’s not bad at all for a destination much closer to home. 

The current welcome bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card gives you 53,000 points (or 106,000 points if your companion takes advantage of it too).

Price of the Le Méridien N’Fis (image credit: Marriott)

 

The cash price is C$254 ($1,270/night for 5 nights) so using points can give you AMAZING value — 3 times more than our conservative Flytrippers Valuation! You can read the basics of how Marriott Bonvoy points work.

Even if you pay in cash, there are affordable accommodation options in Marrakech:

  • Well-rated hostel: Hostel Dream Belko
    • $9 per night per person
    • Rated 8.3/10
  • Well-rated hotel: Riad Romouz
    • $49 per night
    • $25 per night per person with a companion
    • Rated 8.4/10
  • Well-rated luxury hotel: Riad Eloise
    • $97 per night
    • $49 per night per person with a companion
    • Rated 9.8/10
  • Well-rated private house/apartment: Calm Apartment Close To Airport
    • $49 per night
    • $25 per night per person with a companion
    • Rated 9.7/10

 

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Summary

I’m excited for my first experience in Marrakech, Morocco in October, as the city looks wonderful. For travelers who are less experienced than me, in terms of getting an amazing culture shock without having to go too far from Canada, Morocco is very hard to beat.

 

What would you like to know about places to visit in Marrakech, Morocco? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Featured image: Marrakech, Morocco (photo credit: Paul Macallan)

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Kevin Gagnon

Kevin is the co-founder of Flytrippers. A former structural engineer, he is now following his true passion, traveling! With the website, he also wants to share this passion with you and allow you to travel more than you would have thought possible. His goal is to visit all the countries in the world. Current count: 87/193!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Judith Guy

    Makes an upcoming trip exciting. Thanks ….

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