Marrakech is a city of wonders, and with nearly unlimited things to see and do, you can spend weeks just trying to squeeze everything in. However, if you only have a finite amount of time, it’s important to hit up the main sights to get a real feel for the city. Here are the best attractions in Marrakech.
There is no shortage of things to see and do in Marrakech, and it can often be overwhelming when choosing how to spend your limited time here. That’s why Culture Trip is here to help, scouring the city for the most exciting, historical and stunning attractions that will keep you on your toes during your entire vacation. So, if you want to fill your time with the best attractions, here is the perfect list for you.
The Medina is the centre of the city, filled with winding alleyways, bustling squares and souks. Touring the Medina will take you into picturesque palaces, busy markets and mesmerising mosques as you learn about the history and culture of this unique, ancient and UNESCO World Heritage-listed neighbourhood.
As the main square inside Marrakech’s Medina, Jemaa el-Fnaa is the heart and soul of the city. Wandering through on scorching hot afternoons, you’ll encounter singers, storytellers and snake charmers. At night, the square comes alive with street-food vendors and merchants hawking everything from babouche slippers to spices.
Koutoubia – the largest mosque in Marrakech – dates back to the 12th century and is known for its minaret tower that rises high above the rest of the city at 77 metres (253 feet). Located in the southwest portion of the Medina, the mosque features intricate tiling, stunning ceramics and lush gardens that are all worth exploring.
As the final resting place of the founder of the Saadian dynasty, the Saadian Tombs date back to the 16th century. The site is close to the Kasbah Mosque and became the burial place of royals. Today, it features 66 tombs between two mausoleums and another hundred or so graves in the surrounding gardens.
If you’re looking for a unique side of Marrakech history, check out Mellah, otherwise known as the Jewish quarter of the Medina. While this predominantly Muslim city is brimming with mosques, there are still fascinating remnants of its former Jewish population, including a Jewish cemetery and a synagogue that date back to the 15th century.
One of the more unique attractions in Marrakech, André Heller’s ANIMA is a stunning garden that features mother nature’s natural beauty alongside works of art by Rodin, Picasso and Keith Haring. Shaded paths allow visitors to stroll at leisure as vistas of the Atlas Mountains tower in the distance. The garden is a 45-minute drive outside the city, but it’s worth sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the views along the way.
There’s nothing quite like a hammam experience to awaken your body, mind and spirit. This particular activity is similar to a Turkish bath where you’ll be massaged with argan oil and eucalyptus and then scrubbed raw with a horsehair glove. The journey is one of a kind, and your skin will be glowing for weeks afterwards.
The Medina has alleys upon alleys of souks, so it’s worth hiring a guide to navigate them all. This tour takes you through the spice souk, Jemaa el-Fnaa and then to the markets with hand-stitched clothing and local artisans plying their trades. You’ll meet tile- and slipper-makers, ceramicists and rug weavers who will give you an idea of the breadth of commerce taking place inside this complex marketplace.
There’s no waiting in line on this spectacular tour. Two of the most impressive palaces in Marrakech, Bahia and Badii, are both included on this excursion where you’ll get to take in unique architectural features while learning about the history of Moroccan royalty.
The gardens of Marrakech are known the world over for their impeccably manicured styles and unmatched greenery. This unique tour takes you to two of the city’s most exquisite gardens – Majorelle (which features a Cubist-designed villa) and Menara (featuring insane views of the Atlas Mountains). The icing on the cake comes in the form of a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Agdal Gardens, which border the luxurious Hivernage and La Mamounia hotels.
One of the best ways to beat the heat of Marrakech is to head to Oasiria, the most exciting water park in Northern Africa. Oasiria features the largest wave pool on the continent, epic water slides, a lazy river and so much more. It’s the perfect family getaway after dragging the little ones around the souks.
One of the most intriguing sites in the world is the Palmeraie, which has thousands of palm trees, just outside of Marrakech. Spanning 140 square kilometres (54 square miles), the palm-tree oasis is also home to luxury resorts and golf clubs. One of the best ways to experience this expanse of land is via a camel ride and quad bike where you can zip through ancient villages while soaking in the awe-inspiring views.