13 Recommended Tours To Take in Marrakech

The Palmeraie, Marrakech
The Palmeraie, Marrakech | © Artur Debat / Getty Images
Photo of Paul Feinstein
Travel Expert4 February 2020

While exploring a city on your own comes with its own thrills and unforgettable moments, sometimes it helps to take a tour to fully immerse yourself in the culture. Marrakech is one of those cities where it’s easy to get lost and hard to break in, so here’s a curated list of some of the most unique tours of the metropolis.

Winding markets, lush gardens, endless desert and epic palaces make up just a few of the incredible sights and sounds of Marrakech. To fully explore this wondrous city, it can be useful to have a guide to lead the way. This hand-selected list of Marrakech tours highlights what’s best about this city. So, hop on that camel, wind through the Medina and soar over the desert as we take you on a wild ride through this majestic North African city.

Hot air balloon tour

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Hot Air balloon Marrakech
© GetYourGuide

Probably the best way to see the entire city of Marrakech in one fell swoop is via hot air balloon (especially since you need a special permit just to fly a drone). On this magical five-hour tour through the sky, visitors will be regaled with vistas of local villages, sprouting palm groves and, of course, the hustle and bustle of Marrakech itself. Afterwards, you’ll be treated to tea and bread at a local Berber home to cap off the experience. The tour isn’t cheap (around €950 (£800) for two), but it’s worth it.

Marrakech tagine cookery class with a local

Restaurant, Moroccan
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If you’re looking for all the ways to cook with a tagine, this is the class for you
© GetYourGuide

If you’re looking for all the ways to cook with a tagine, this is the class for you. For the price of a moderately expensive meal, you’ll start off with a one-of-a-kind tour of the markets gathering ingredients, you’ll get a deep understanding of culture and history through the world of spices, and then you’ll prepare your meal and indulge in Moroccan dishes like harira, pastilla, and a special Moroccan soup.

A Taste of Marrakech: Inside the Medina

Restaurant, Cafe, Moroccan
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Djemaa el Fna square. People dining at the food stalls at dusk. Marrakesh, Morocco
© Luis Dafos / Alamy

This is the Marrakech food tour to end all food tours. Wandering through the souks, a guide will take through the winding alleyways to taste and sample everything from dried fruits and olives to nuts, pastries and spices. Touring at night, you’ll experience Marrakech at its finest when all the local merchants who escape the sun during the day peddle their wares in the most flamboyant fashion. Finish off the tour with a decadent dinner in the middle of a World Heritage-listed square.

Medina, palaces and tombs

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Vistors watching documentary in of House of photography Maison de la Photographie, Marrakech, Morocco.
© Perry van Munster / Alamy

Navigating Marrakech on your own can often be a confusing and frustrating experience. But on this relatively inexpensive tour, you’ll get a hands-on guide to wind your way through the labyrinthine alleys leading to the grand palaces, tombs and markets of Marrakech. The tour includes tickets to the Bahia Palace and the Maison de la Photographie.

Half-day desert quad and dromedary tour

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quad bike at sunset.
© BraunS / Getty Images

The desert is vast, and there’s no way to see it all, but one incredible (and cheap) tour will give you a taste you’ll never forget. Over the course of four hours, you’ll race through the desert on adrenaline-inducing quad bikes, visit a Berber village and ride a camel to visualise life in the dry expanse. You’ll get a relaxing tea break between activities, but be aware that kids under 16 aren’t permitted.

Sunset camel ride in the Marrakech Palmeraie

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The Resting Camels in Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa
© Artie Photography / Getty Images

The desert sunset is one of the most exquisite sights in all of Morocco. And what better way to experience it than on a camel ride through palm trees? This two-hour tour takes you to a local Berber home for tea and a chat about their lives and then ends with a camel ride to watch the sunset over the desert horizon. It’s around €50 (£42) for the tour, but can you really put a price tag on watching daylight turn to dusk in the Saharan desert?

Magic 3-hour private night-time tour

Architectural Landmark
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Morocco, Marrakech, Medina, Jemaa el-Fnaa, market place, at night
© Engelke / Getty Images

A Marrakech afternoon is tantamount to walking around inside a sauna. Temperatures consistently reach into the high 30s and low 40s Celsius (95-105F), and many businesses close shop because of the oppressive heat. That’s why a night tour is the perfect way to experience the city. Watch as the city comes alive as soon as the sun sets while you tour the Medina, the mosques, and sample local sweets and snacks along the way. The tour ends with rooftop drinks as you watch the chaos of the open markets below.

Horse-drawn carriage gardens and city walls tour

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During this tour, the carriage will pick you up from your hotel at 10am. First, you’ll visit the Menara Gardens, created in the 12th century during the Almohad Dynasty, with majestic views over the Atlas Mountains and over 30,000 olive trees. You will also the Agdal Gardens, a 400-hectare (1000-acre) blissful grove, while riding across the famous city walls from the 12th century.

Guided half-day cycling tour

Hiking Trail
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ride through the narrow streets of marrakesh, Morocco
© Cavan Images / Alamy

Try this three-hour cycling tour in Marrakech for a new way of exploring the Red City. The guide will meet you at your hotel, where you’ll begin cycling towards the King’s Palace, the Medina and Jemaa el-Fna. At Jemaa el-Fna, you will have a break of around one hour where you can enjoy a freshly pressed glass of orange juice while watching people walk by. Your tour guide will also show you around the square, and tell you about Moroccan remedies and spices. Finally, you will head back and discover other Marrakech attractions such as the popular Koutoubia Mosque.

Marrakech city tour: Private half-day guided tour

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The Art deco villa at the centre of the Majorelle Garden.
© Ian Dagnall Commercial Collection / Alamy

Explore the Red City with the comfort of a driver and an experienced tour guide who will take you through Marrakech’s most popular attractions. The tour starts at your hotel, where you will be picked up, and the first stop will be the astonishing Majorelle Gardens, one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city. Next, enter the historic Royal Kasbah to see the Saadian Tombs, then discover the royal architecture at Bahia Palace. After that, it’s time to head out on foot to explore the magical Medina of Marrakech and its souks, where you can buy some unique souvenirs to take back with you. Finally, finish the tour outside of the city at the Palmeraie, a palm grove oasis that is another photo opportunity spot.

Jewish heritage and Moorish splendour tour

Synagogue
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Alzama Synagogue, Derb Saka, Medina, Marrakech, Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Morocco
© Martin Moxter / Getty Images

Through this special tour, you will discover the important heritage of the Jewish community in the city of Marrakech. You will walk through the small alleyways of the 16th-century Jewish quarter, the Mellah, which has great historical importance in Marrakech, as it is there that the Moroccan Jewish community practiced trades and crafts. Next, your guide will take you to the Lazama Synagogue, the main synagogue in the Mellah, and also the most picturesque with its blue and white colours. After the synagogue, you will visit Bahia Palace, a Moorish-style royal palace from the 19th century.

Shopping in the hidden stalls of the Medina

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Dimitrios Papageorgiou  / © Culture Trip
Dimitrios Papageorgiou / | © Culture Trip

Shopping in the Medina can be quite the overwhelming experience, which is why shopping with a local guide who knows their way into the most precious hidden spots will make the experience 10 times better. You will be picked up at your hotel, and taken into the Medina by your guide, who will make an itinerary according to what you desire to purchase. Some of the most common objects people ask for are Moroccan rugs, argan oil, spices, lamps, camel leather objects and much more. During this four-hour shopping tour, you will learn a few Moroccan words so you can bargain like a pro and take home the most unique items.

Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains tour

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Dimitrios Papageorgiou  / © Culture Trip
Dimitris Papageorgiou / | © Culture Trip

This half-day tour starts with your driver picking you up from your hotel, and driving you towards the High Atlas Mountains where your guide will tell you about the famous landscapes and villages surrounding you. As you approach the mountains, you will enter the lush Ourika Valley, driving past the mud villages and palm trees. After another hour’s drive, you will finally reach a town near the falls, where you can have a walk or grab a glass of mint tea by the riverside; this is also a stop where you can take some impressive photographs. Then, you hop back on the vehicle and visit an argan oil cooperative, where you will watch Berber women extracting the oil using traditional methods.

Yasmine Guermoudi contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on February 4, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.