13 Things to Do in Marrakesh: Best Activities & Attractions in 2023
04 Jul 2023
Marrakesh is the fourth-largest and one of the most visited cities in the North African country of Morocco. Also known as the Red City, this bustling metropolis is home to beautiful palaces, authentic cuisine, and year-round nice weather. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventurer, there’s no shortage of things to do in Marrakesh.
13 Things to Do in Marrakesh
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top things to do in Marrakesh. Use this list to find the perfect things to do when visiting this amazing city.
1. Explore the Medina
The Medina, or the old city, is the heart of Marrakesh. It’s a maze of narrow alleys, bustling souks (markets), and traditional Moroccan architecture. The Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a sensory overload with the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Be sure to check out the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which is the central hub of the Medina. Here, you’ll find snake charmers, street performers, food stalls, and more.
2. Visit the Bahia Palace
The Bahia Palace is a stunning example of Moroccan architecture. It was built in the late 19th century and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and design. The palace features intricate tilework, beautiful gardens, and a stunning courtyard. Be sure to take a guided tour to learn more about the palace’s history and significance.
3. Check out the Marrakesh Museum
Also known as the Musee De Marrakech, this museum is housed in the Dar Mnebhi Palace and contains various artifacts such as paintings, carpets, weapons, and pottery. As you walk through the Marrakesh Museum, you can feel the rich history of the city, which is one of the imperial cities of Morocco. Aside from the collection of important items, there are photo opportunities in the courtyard and the marvelous architecture of the building.
4. Haggle in the Souks
It’s nearly impossible to visit Marrakesh’s Madina and not find yourself wandering the endless Souks. A Souk is a traditional open-air Moroccan market selling everything you can think of, including rugs, shoes, and lots of brass. Negotiation is part of the culture in these markets, so be ready to put your best bargaining hat on if you plan on making a purchase.
5. Experience the French Vibes of Gueliz
The neighborhood of Gueliz is also known as ‘New Town’ for its modern buildings that house some of the trendiest restaurants and shops in the city. You will hear a lot of French spoken and will likely encounter people from France here. Although this area is not far from the oldest parts of the city, Gueliz offers a completely different look and feel from the Medina.
6. Road Trip to the Coast
When people think of Morocco, the ocean may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the country is home to some of the best beaches and surf in Africa. The port city of Essaouira is known for its rich history and crescent beach. The laid-back village of Taghazout has become a destination for surfers from around the world.
7. Take a Cooking Class
Moroccan food is known for its bold flavors and spices. Taking a cooking class in Marrakesh is a great way to learn about Moroccan culture and cuisine. You’ll learn how to prepare traditional Moroccan dishes like tagine and couscous, and you’ll get to taste your creations at the end of the class.
8. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most iconic landmarks in Marrakesh. It’s the largest mosque in the city and is known for its impressive minaret, which stands at over 200 feet tall. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque, but you can admire its beauty from the outside.
9. Drink Traditional Moroccan Mint Tea
This sweet Moroccan delicacy has become famous all over the world, but Marrakesh has some of the best mint tea you will ever drink. It won’t be hard to find, as it’s featured on the menu of nearly every restaurant in the city. Order a piping hot cup of tea, and watch as it’s poured from several feet high, as is tradition.
10. Relax in a Hammam
A hammam is a traditional Moroccan steam bath that’s a popular way to relax and unwind. There are many hammams in Marrakesh, ranging from luxurious spas to more traditional, local hammams. Whichever one you choose, it’s a great way to experience Moroccan culture and indulge in some self-care.
11. Walk through the Jewish Quarter
The Mellah of Marrakesh was once home to a sizeable Jewish population. While that population has declined to a fraction of its peak in the 1940s, the Jewish influence is prominent throughout the quarter. Some of the key sites to see here include the Lazama Synagogue, Miara Jewish Cemetery, and the Mellah Market.
12. Visit the Majorelle Garden
The Majorelle Garden is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. It was designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and is known for its vibrant blue color scheme and exotic plants. The garden was later owned by world-famous designer Yves Saint Laurent, and his ashes were scattered here after his death. It’s a lovely place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
13. Take a Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains are located just outside Marrakesh and offer a stunning backdrop to the city. Taking a day trip to the mountains is a great way to get away from the heat of the city and experience the natural beauty of Morocco. You can go hiking, visit traditional Berber villages, or even go skiing in the winter.
Visiting Marrakesh: FAQs
Keep reading for answers to some of the questions that are commonly asked about visiting Marrakesh.
How many days in Marrakesh is enough?
If you want to see the major sites in Marrakesh, you can probably get it done in 2 to 3 days. However, Marrakesh is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Morocco because it has so much to offer. Many visitors will spend a week or longer if they really want to take in the culture or take day trips to the nearby mountains, desert, and coast.
What is Marrakesh best known for?
Marrakesh is best known for its Medina quarter, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also known as the first of four imperial cities of Morocco, which is why it has some of the oldest palaces and historical sites in the country. Marrakesh is nicknamed the “Red City” due to the buildings and walls that were constructed using red sandstone.
Is Marrakesh a cheap place to visit?
Compared to the United States and most of Europe, Morocco has a very low cost of living. This makes Marrakesh an inexpensive destination for tourists. Prices for accommodation, food, and souvenirs will be much lower than what most tourists are used to.
Is Marrakesh a walkable city?
Yes, most of Marrakesh can easily be explored on foot. The Medina district is especially compact since it was built before the age of automobiles. Nearby neighborhoods such as Gueliz are also within walking distance from the Medina.
Best Marrakesh Activities
Marrakesh is a city that has something for everyone. From exploring the Medina to indulging in Moroccan cuisine, there’s plenty to do in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Marrakesh is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.