Top 10 Things to do in Marrakech, Morocco- Must-See Guide !

Marrakech, the red city, is unlike any other place. It is unique in almost every aspect!  The clay colored buildings, the dunes, the palms!  Marrakech is a fascinating oasis in the heart of the door of the Moroccan Sahara desert that has been ranked as the world’s top destination for 2015, by Trip Advisor.

Marrakech

Looking for the top 10 things to do in Marrakech? If it’s your first time visiting, check out our list of favorite things to do from arts and culture to attractions and from shopping to sightseeing. These are all worth seeing!

Club Med Marrakech, Photo credit: Dirk Houbrechts, Flickr

Club Med Marrakech, Photo credit: Dirk Houbrechts, Flickr

1-  Tour Marrakech in a calèche :  The Horse-drawn carriage ride is a great way to tour the city, visit the medina and the historical sites or even visit the well known gardens of Majorelle, Menara and Palmeraie .  You can pick up a calèche at the entrance of Jemâa El Fenna square or just outside the Majorelle Garden.

Calèche Marrakech, Photo Credit: ONMT

Calèche Marrakech, Photo Credit: ONMT

2- Indulge in a little culture and visit Marrakech must-see historical buildings, museums,  squares, declared a World Heritage sites.

  • Menara:  is historical building in the form of a pavilion with a green roof, built in the 12th century.  It is surrounded by a basin that serves to irrigate the bordering beautiful gardens of Menara of authentic local palm, olive and fruit trees.

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  • Palais El Badiî (the Incomparable or the Unique Palace):  is according to Wikipedia is “a ruined palace located in Marrakesh, Morocco. Commissioned by the arab Saadian sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, sometime shortly after his accession in 1578, its construction was funded by a substantial ransom paid by the Portuguese after the Battle of the Three Kings.”

    El Badi Palace, Marrakech, Photo Credit: Claire André, Flickr

    El Badi Palace, Marrakech, Photo Credit: Claire André, Flickr

  • La Koutoubia Mosque:  Located near the famous place Djemaa el Fna, La Koutoubia is well known especially for its beautiful 70 m minaret,  the oldest of the three great Almohad minarets remaining in the world.

    Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Photo credit: Antonio Cinotti, Flickr

    Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Photo credit: Antonio Cinotti, Flickr

  • Palais de la Bahia (Palace of the Beautiful): is a must-see place in Marrakech.  It took the craftsmen from Fez 14 years to build this palace, in the late 19th century.  The most spectacular quarter is the harem, which was opulently ornamented to house Bou Ahmed’s four wives and 24 concubines.
Palais Bahia or Bahia Palace, Marrakech, Photo credit: yellowmagpie , Flickr

Palais Bahia or Bahia Palace, Marrakech, Photo credit: yellowmagpie , Flickr

  • Medersa Benyoussef:  This old school, which is attached to the Ben Youssef Mosque, is home to some of the most beautiful art and architecture in Marrakesh.  ‘You who enter my door, may your highest hopes be exceeded’ reads the inscription over the entryway.
  • Museum of Marrakech:  Located in the heart of the medina, not far from Medersa Ben Youseef, the museum of Marrakech is a stunning restored 19th-century building  with one of the biggest collections of carpets, textiles, jewelry, furniture, pottery and manuscripts.
Museum of Marrakech, photo by: Heather Cowper, Flickr

Museum of Marrakech, photo by: Heather Cowper, Flickr

  • Place Jemâa El Fna;  Marrakech is famed by its square Jemâa El Fna.  Located at the entrance of the Medina,  this cultural space was founded in the eleventh century. It is considered one of the most beautiful and unique squares in Morocco hosting a colorful marketplace and is also home to many concerts and exotic performances by storytellers, poets, snake-charmers, Gnaoua dancers and local musicians. The place is always crawling with tourists and locals especially at night where it becomes packed with stalls lit by gas lanterns, offering a variety of local moroccan food and dishes from Tagines to Mrouzia to the famous orange and grapefruit juice.  Unesco declared the Djemaa el-Fna a ‘Masterpiece of World Heritage’ in 2001.
Place Jemaa el-Fna - Marrakech, Morocco. Photo Credit: SuperCar-RoadTrip, Flickr

Place Jemaa el-Fna – Marrakech, Morocco. Photo Credit: SuperCar-RoadTrip, Flickr

  • Majorelle Gardens:  Created by French painter Louis Majorelle in the 1920s, and owned later by Yves Saint Laurent, these gardens are a feast for the eyes and are considered an inspiration for landscape designers all over the world.

3- Marrakech is home to the most luxurious hotels and exotic riads.  Staying in a Riad can be a unique “authentic” experience .

Moroccan Riad courtyard and pool at night, huge palm trees, Photo: Flickr

Moroccan Riad courtyard and pool at night, huge palm trees, Photo: Flickr

4- For sports and adventure lovers, Marrakech is home to the most beautiful golf courses and a wide range of activities: from trekking the Atlas Mountains, to skiing Sahara jeep adventures, camel riding are just few of the the things you can experience.

Sahara adventure, Morocco, Photo credit: lalo Fuentes. Flickr

Sahara adventure, Morocco, Photo credit: lalo Fuentes. Flickr

5-  If you enjoy Sightseeing, get off the city and explore the surrounding:  Lalla Takerkoust Lake, Ourika Valley, Setti Fatma, Ourigane Village,  Moulay Brahim are just some of the magnificent sites you don’t want to miss!

Ourika River and Setti Fatma, Photo credit: Jamie Anderson, Flickr

Ourika River and Setti Fatma, Photo credit: Jamie Anderson, Flickr

6-  If you are an amateur of nightlife.  There is something for everyone!  You can either spend the night wandering the Jamaa El Fna Square or be entertained at one of the trendy lounges and nightclubs, animated by DJ’s from around the  world!  Keep an eye out for celebrities. You might just run into Cameroun Diaz or the Beckham’s !!

Chez Ali Fantasia, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo credit: tripadvisor

Chez Ali Fantasia, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo credit: tripadvisor

7-  The city is well known for its concerts and film festival, where you can spot world class celebrities wandering in the medina.  From Hollywood to Bollywood stars all enjoy being in Marrakech, especially during the Marrakech International Film Festival!

Marrakech Film Festival, Photo via : festivalmarrakech.info

Marrakech Film Festival, Photo via : festivalmarrakech.info

8-  Marrakech food offer is very diversified.  Wether one is looking for fine dining or local popular food,  Marrakech has it all.  The centuries-old local dish Tangia Marrakchia is a must-try !!

Tangia Marrakchia Moroccan Dish, Photo Credit: Josh, Flickr

Tangia Marrakchia Moroccan Dish, Photo Credit: Josh, Flickr

9-  Do some shopping at one of the old Medina artisanal shops: Moroccan rugs, poufs, lanterns and handmade slippers are just few of the souvenirs you can bring home!

Moroccan lamps and Lanterns shop at the souk, Medina of Marrakech, Photo Credit: Mark Rowland, Flickr

Moroccan lamps and Lanterns shop at the souk, Medina of Marrakech, Photo Credit: Mark Rowland, Flickr

10-  Relax in a traditional Moroccan Hammam!

Scrubbing and Purification of the skin with a Hammam mitt or Kessa

Scrubbing and Purification of the skin with a Hammam mitt or Kessa

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