Welcome Trekkers to Marrakech, a vibrant and bustling city located in western Morocco, known for its rich culture, stunning architecture, and bustling markets. Marrakech is a city steeped in history, with many impressive monuments, palaces, and museums that offer glimpses into its past. The city is also a haven for travelers looking to experience Morocco’s unique culture, with an array of tasty foods, exciting festivals, and warm hospitality.
One of the most striking features of Marrakech is the Medina, a labyrinthine, walled city built in the 12th century. This part of the city is home to several markets, or souks, selling everything from spices and textiles to pottery and jewelry. It’s a sensory experience, with the colorful streets filled with interesting smells and sounds. Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square in the Medina, is a lively hub of activity. As dusk falls, the area transforms into a spectacle, with street performers, snake charmers, and food vendors all trying to capture your attention.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the Medina, Marrakech is also home to several beautiful gardens and parks. The Menara Gardens, located just outside the city, offer a peaceful oasis away from the crowds. The gardens are famous for their tranquil reflecting pool, which dates back to the 12th century. The Majorelle Garden, once owned by French artist Jacques Majorelle, is an enchanting garden with over 300 species of plants, vibrant blue buildings, and a fascinating museum.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or an immersive cultural experience, Marrakech is the perfect destination. With amazing food, unique architecture, and fascinating history, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. So pack your bags and head to Marrakech – the trip of a lifetime is waiting for you!
Here are 10 things to do while you’re in Marrakech, Morocco
1. Visit Bahia Palace
Bahia Palace, located in the heart of Marrakech, is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Morocco. As you walk through the ornate doors, you’ll be transported to a world of intricate architecture, lush courtyards, and tranquil gardens that are sure to leave you mesmerized.
The palace was built in the late 19th century by Si Moussa, a powerful Moroccan nobleman, and was later expanded by his son, Ba Ahmed. It was designed to be the grandest palace of its time, and every detail reflects the opulence and grandeur of its era.
As you explore the palace, you’ll see intricate zellij tilework, stunning woodwork, and grand reception halls that are fit for a king. The gardens, which cover almost two acres of the palace grounds, are a hidden paradise that are filled with fountains, tranquil courtyards, and blooming flowers that will take your breath away.
Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates beauty, Bahia Palace is a destination that you won’t want to miss. From the grand entrance to the tranquil gardens, every step you take will be an experience that you’ll treasure forever. So, book your trip to Marrakech today, and discover the magic of Bahia Palace for yourself.
2. Climb the Koutoubia Mosque
Koutoubia Mosque, located in Marrakech, Morocco, is not only a religious site but also a must-visit destination for all tourists exploring this exciting city. The towering minaret, which stands at over 200 feet tall, is a stunning example of Moroccan architecture and has been a common feature within the city’s skyline for centuries. Climbing to the top of the minaret provides breathtaking panoramic views of Marrakech and the surrounding areas.
From the top of Koutoubia Mosque, you can take in the magnificent views of the city’s architecture and the stunning Atlas Mountains in the distance. You’ll witness the bustling city streets, markets, and North Africa’s largest traditional marketplace, Djemaa El-Fna. The view of Marrakech is particularly enchanting at sunset, with the vibrant and unique colors of the city’s buildings glowing in the evening light.
Alongside the view, climbing to the top of Koutoubia Mosque is an opportunity to appreciate the intricate and unique architecture of the mosque. The mosque was built in 1184 and has since been renovated several times, resulting in a mix of traditional Moroccan, Andalusian, and Moorish architecture patterns.
Climbing to the top of Koutoubia Mosque provides a unique and unforgettable experience, allowing you to appreciate Marrakech’s culture, history, and stunning views. If you’re seeking a memorable experience with a good mix of breathtaking views and historical architecture, Koutoubia Mosque is undoubtedly a destination you will not want to miss.
3. Visit the Saadian Tombs
Once you arrive at the entrance, you will be immediately taken aback by the beauty of the intricate designs displayed all around you. The tombs are divided into three main sections, each one unique and magnificent in its own right. The Hall of Twelve Columns, for instance, is a breathtaking example of how the Saadian dynasty managed to create a serene and tranquil tomb that is not just a resting place but also a work of art.
As you walk through the different sections of the tombs, you will see beautifully carved cedar wood doors, intricate mosaics adorning the walls and floors, and the Saadian’s own personal touch in every corner. With so much intricate detail, it is difficult to know where to look first. Every turn will reveal a new and different masterpiece to be appreciated.
Ultimately, the Saadian Tombs provide an awe-inspiring and unique visit to travelers looking for a glimpse into the grandeur of the past. It is an experience that will leave you wanting to explore more of what Marrakech has to offer. So, add the Saadian Tombs to your top things to do in Marrakech, and witness the grandeur and beauty of this dynasty’s resting place firsthand.
4. Wander through Majorelle Gardens
Are you ready for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? Come stroll through the Majorelle Gardens, where the tranquil atmosphere and stunning beauty of exotic plants are sure to leave you feeling rejuvenated. Designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle over a span of forty years, these gardens showcase a unique blend of diverse flora and fauna.
As you wander through the pathways, let yourself be immersed in the vibrant colors of the garden’s surroundings. With bright blue buildings nestled among the greenery, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. The gardens’ most iconic feature is the surprisingly serene blue-colored house that houses the Museum of Islamic Art, surrounded by a pond of water lilies.
Take a break from the heat of the day at one of the garden’s several benches or even have a picnic with family and friends on the large grassy area. You’ll have the chance to spot several different bird species, including peacocks roaming freely the garden. This spot is perfect for nature lovers, families, and anyone looking for a peaceful escape in the heart of the city. Trust me, you won’t regret visiting this beautiful oasis in the middle of Marrakech.
5. Explore the Medina
The Medina of an old city is often a maze of narrow, winding alleys and bustling marketplaces that are rich in culture and history. It is said that the best way to experience a city’s culture is to delve into its heart and soul, and nowhere is that truer than the Medina. You will find a wide array of people with different cultural backgrounds, colorful street markets, spice vendors, food stalls, and artisan boutiques selling handmade crafts.
As you explore the winding streets of the Medina, you’ll discover the hidden treasures of the city. Listen to the sounds of the bustling bazaar, the clanging of metalwork being crafted in a tiny shop, or the chatter of locals in a small café. Stroll along the narrow alleys, haggle with vendors, and discover the city’s unique hand-crafted goods, from traditional leather goods to ornate pottery and jewelry.
The Medina is not just about shopping and cultural exploration. You’ll find some of the best traditional street food in the area. The savory aroma of freshly cooked spices and herbs lingers around the city, inviting you to indulge in mouth-watering dishes. You can try a wide range of local foods, such as falafel, kebab, and tagine, to name a few. And be sure to wash it all down with a refreshing cup of mint tea.
In the heart of the Medina, you’ll find spectacular mosques, palaces, and historical sites that bear witness to the city’s long and diverse history. You can discover the ancient Islamic architecture, the exquisite mosaics, and the breathtaking gardens scattered throughout the city.
Exploring the Medina is an adventure like no other, an experience that will leave you spellbound and enchanted. To stroll aimlessly through the labyrinthine alleys of the Old Town, to let your curiosity lead you down winding paths, is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have while traveling to an ancient city like this.
6. Haggle at the Souks
One of the most vibrant and exciting experiences in any travel destination is undoubtedly exploring the local markets. When it comes to the markets of the Middle East, the scene is even more captivating. The souks, or markets, of the region provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the culture, engage with locals and stock up on some unique and exotic souvenirs.
Among the many exciting things to do in the souks, haggling is a must-try experience. At first, the thought of bargaining may be intimidating, but this is actually a fun and authentic way to shop. The vendors expect and enjoy bargaining with the shoppers, and not only does it create a friendly and personal interaction, but it also provides an opportunity to secure some great deals.
The souks offer an array of goods, including spices, textiles, pottery, and jewelry, along with a variety of quirky local handicrafts. To make the most of the haggling experience, shoppers must be prepared to be bold, patient and persistent. It is essential to develop an understanding of the roughly expected prices and have a clear idea of what you are willing to pay for a particular item. Start with a lowball offer, and work your way up to a mutually beneficial price.
Haggling is a cultural staple and an unforgettable experience that every visitor must try. The souks not only provide the opportunity to engage with the locals and grab a bargain, but they also offer a unique window into the local culture, history, and tradition. So, if you are up for an adventurous and exciting shopping spree, put on your bargaining hat and visit the souks.
7. Watch a Snake Charmer
When you visit Morocco, one of the most fascinating and intriguing things you can experience is watching a snake charmer. This ancient tradition is still very much alive in Moroccan culture and is something that every visitor should see.
Snake charmers can be found in the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech, where they perform for tourists and locals alike. The snake charmers sit on the ground, surrounded by baskets of snakes, charming them to sway to traditional Moroccan music. The snakes are usually cobras, although other species may also be used. The performance is not only fascinating to watch, but it is also a powerful reminder of ancient Moroccan culture and tradition.
Watching a snake charmer is not for the faint of heart, but it is a memorable experience that visitors to Morocco will never forget. The snake charmers have a powerful presence, and they are skilled at capturing the attention of their audience. As they play their traditional flutes and coax the snakes out of their baskets, visitors are transported to a different time and place.
In addition to the cultural significance of the snake charmer, there is also a thrill factor that cannot be ignored. Watching a cobra sway to the music of a charmer is a heart-pumping experience that will leave visitors breathless. This is not something that can be missed when visiting Morocco.
Watching a snake charmer is definitely an interesting and unique activity to experience in Morocco. Observing the snake charmer play an instrument to which the snake reacts is a special cultural experience and something most tourists wouldn’t see in their home countries. However, some travelers may not feel comfortable watching a live animal show, especially if they are animal lovers. The snake charmer is not necessarily a true reflection of modern Moroccan life, and it is important to note that not all locals engage in this tradition.
8. Get a Henna Tattoo
If you’re looking for a unique and authentic experience in Morocco, getting a henna tattoo is a must. Henna tattoos have a rich history in Moroccan culture, with women adorning their hands and feet with intricate designs for special occasions such as weddings, Eid celebrations, and religious festivals.
While the designs are temporary, the experience of getting a henna tattoo can be a lasting memory of your trip to Morocco. You’ll have the opportunity to sit with a skilled henna artist who will carefully create a design of your choice using a natural henna paste. The designs can range from traditional geometric patterns to more modern and intricate designs, depending on your preference.
Not only is the process of getting a henna tattoo a unique cultural experience, but it’s also a chance to take some time for yourself and relax in the bustling city. While the design process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to slow down, enjoy a cup of mint tea, and chat with your henna artist.
Getting a traditional Moroccan Henna Tattoo can be a unique and interesting experience during your visit to Morocco. Henna is a traditional type of tattoo that uses a natural plant-based dye to make intricate designs on hands, feet or other parts of the body. Many tourists often opt for this as a souvenir from their trip or to show appreciation to the local culture. The process is easy and painless and the result can last for up to two weeks.
9. Learn Moroccan Cuisine
Moroccan cuisine is a fusion of various culinary traditions, heavily influenced by the country’s diverse history and geography, blending Arab, Berber, Andalusian, and Mediterranean flavors. A cooking class in Morocco is not just about learning how to prepare delicious dishes, but it’s also a journey through history, culture, and tradition.
As a tour guide, I would recommend starting your culinary adventure by visiting the local markets known as “souks.” You will be viscerally immersed in the ambiance of the local markets, surrounded by colors, sounds, and smells that are unique to this part of the world. You’ll discover local produce, spices, and ingredients such as Harissa, Ras El Hanout, and preserved lemons that can elevate any dish.
Once you’ve acquired your ingredients, it’s time to head to the kitchen. Moroccan cooking is all about slow cooking, using a variety of spices and herbs that gently tantalize your taste buds. A typical class consists of learning how to prepare signature dishes like tajines, couscous, and pastillas. The class is run by a local chef, who will take you through each step of the cooking process while sharing their personal stories of family, tradition, and culture.
After the class, what could be better than enjoying the fruits of your labor? Savor the flavors of the dishes you’ve prepared with your new-found friends while enjoying a hot cup of traditional mint tea. Not only will you leave with a full stomach, but also with the knowledge and skills to recreate the dishes you’ve learned back home. Taking a cooking class in Morocco is a hands-on experience through vibrant culture, and it’s a surefire way to impress your friends with your newly acquired culinary skills.
10. Climb up to the Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains, stretching over 2400 kilometers across North Africa, is a natural wonder that offers breathtaking views and an unforgettable outdoor experience. Hiking through these stunning mountains promises an incredible adventure, filled with majestic natural landscapes and gorgeous waterfalls. A day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is a must-do experience that should not be missed.
As you start your climb to the Atlas Mountains, the landscape rapidly changes, giving way to lush vegetation, snow-capped summits, and glistening rivers that wind through the valleys. Trekking through the picturesque scenery of this natural wonder, you’ll encounter Berber villages and get a glimpse of the traditional lifestyle of North African people. The warm hospitality of the Berber locals is an experience within itself.
As you venture deeper into the Atlas Mountains, you’ll come across beautiful waterfalls such as Ouzoud and Setti Fathma. The sight of these cascading waterfalls is simply awe-inspiring and will leave you with indelible memories of this magnificent region. Finding a good spot for a picnic lunch amidst these beautiful surroundings is also an option.
With its stunning panoramic views, the Atlas Mountains holds a treasure trove of natural beauty and an outdoor playground that will appeal to all adventurous spirits. Whether you’re seeking to explore the rich local culture or simply looking for an escape from the hustle-bustle of city life, the Atlas Mountains must be included in your itinerary. Book a day trip to the Atlas Mountains, and you’ll be captivated by the alluring charm of this natural wonder.
Marrakesh is a city that is truly unique, offering visitors a fascinating glimpse into the rich culture and history of Morocco. From its bustling souks and markets to its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, there is no shortage of things to see and do during your visit.
Whether you’re wandering through the colorful alleys of the Medina, sipping mint tea at a traditional Moroccan riad, or exploring the ancient palaces and mosques that dot the city, you’re sure to be captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of Marrakesh.
But perhaps what makes Marrakesh truly special is the warmth and hospitality of its people. The locals are known for their friendliness and welcoming nature, and visitors to the city are often struck by the kindness and generosity of those they meet.
So if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable travel experience, be sure to add Marrakesh to your list. With its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning scenery, it’s a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.