The 10 Best Museums in Marrakech

Inside the magnificent Dar Si Said, Marrakesh
Inside the magnificent Dar Si Said, Marrakesh | © Anton Zelenov / WikiCommons
Sarah Williams

Planning a trip to Morocco’s former imperial capital of Marrakech? While the Red City is famous for its lively souks, the statuesque Koutoubia Mosque, the old medina, and the carnival-like atmosphere of Djemaa el-Fna, there are plenty of great museums to discover too.

1. Museum of Marrakech

Building, Museum, School

Pottery
© Anna & Michal / Flickr

The Museum of Marrakech is housed within one of the city’s former palaces. The grand building was the private residence of the country’s defence minister before the colonial era. It was later used as a school for girls before being carefully restored and opened as a museum. The lavish Andalusian-style inner courtyard is a highlight, with carved cedar wood, colourful tiles, stained-glass windows, ornamental pillars, a large chandelier, and painted doorways. Visitors can also see the less opulent hammam and kitchen. An array of artwork and artefacts can be found in the various rooms, with pieces from the present time as well as the past. Collections include pottery, calligraphy, old gravestones, coins, paintings, clothing, and historic documents. The museum covers archeaology, ethnography, history, and art. Admission is 50 Moroccan dirhams (US$5).

Museum of Marrakech, Place Ben Youssef, Marrakech-Medina, Morocco

Pottery in the Museum of Marrakech | © Anna & Michal / Flickr

2. Tiskiwin Museum

Museum

Sign on wall outside Musee Tiskiwin
© btravel / Alamy Stock Photo
Housed in two conjoined riads, the Tiskiwin Museum showcases items from Morocco’s trading past. Take a journey along the ancient trading route between Marrakech and Timbuktu, via the Sahara, with different rooms dedicated to various communities and trading posts along the way. With a strong emphasis on Berber life, items include shelters, rugs, clothing, homewares, artworks, statues, jewellery, and basketwork. It’s a great place to gain further insights into Moroccan sub cultures and those of nearby lands. Entrance costs 20 Moroccan dirhams (US$2).

3. Heritage Museum

Museum

A family-run museum, the Heritage Museum is inside a well-restored riad. Also known as the Musee du Patrimoine, the museum displays items from Arab, Berber, and Jewish communities from around Morocco and from throughout the ages. The entrance fee is 30 Moroccan dirhams (US$3).

4. Dar Si Said

Building, Museum

Inside the magnificent Dar Si Said, Marrakesh | © Anton Zelenov / WikiCommons
© Anton Zelenov / WikiCommons

Experience the life of a wealthy Marrakshi from times gone by at Dar Si Said. A previous palace, the magnificent building in itself is a worthy museum piece that displays the finest craftsmanship from across Morocco. Marvel at the tilework and carvings that cover the floors, ceilings, walls, and doors, admire the inner courtyard with an ornamental fountain, stand on the exquisite balconies, and peek inside the various grand rooms. Items on display show Moroccan life and traditions from the 19th century. Exhibits include rugs, musical instruments, jewellery, kaftans, weapons, leather goods, and pottery. Admission costs 10 Moroccan dirhams (US$1).

Dar Si Said, Marrakech, Morocco

Inside the magnificent Dar Si Said, Marrakesh | © Anton Zelenov / WikiCommons

5. Mouassine Museum

Building, Museum

Mouassine Museum is a great example of a traditional Moroccan home from the Saadi dynasty. Restorations are still ongoing, with master artisans helping to show the building as it would have been in its heyday. The small douria, once used as a guest apartment, is considered one of the city’s finest examples of traditional Saadi designs. It houses collections of Berber rugs and photography, and provides details about Gnaoua music and traditions. The admission charge is 30 Moroccan dirhams (US$3).

6. Musee Boucharouite

Museum

It may be relatively small, but Musee Boucharouite packs a punch for anyone interested in traditional carpets and rugs. The collections focus on items handcrafted by Berber women, and visitors will immediately notice the difference between such rugs and the traditional Arabic rugs that are commonly found in the souks and homes around Marrakech. The museum is a testament to a lesser-appreciated, though no less visually pleasing, craft. The admission fee is 40 Moroccan dirhams (US$4).

Musee Boucharouite, 107 40000, Derb al Cadi, Marrakesh, Morocco

Bright colours of a Berber carpet | © 16:9clue / Flickr

7. Maison de la Photographie

Opened as a joint collaboration between a Marrakshi and Parisien, Maison de la Photographie houses many old photographs that show snapshots of Morocco and Moroccan life from the 1870s through to the 1960s. There are also original glass negatives collected from the High Atlas regions, old documents, magazines, and postcards. Visitors can watch a rare colour documentary filmed in Morocco in the late 1950s too. The entrance fee is 40 Moroccan dirhams (US$4).

Maison de la Photographie, 46 Rue Bin Lafnadek, Marrakesh 400030, Morocco

8. Museum of the Palmery

Museum

The Museum of the Palmery is a living museum that combines nature and art. Stroll through the cactus garden, the Andalusian Garden with its many orange trees, and the tranquil Water Garden. Within the serene walled garden complex there is also an art museum, filled with modern Moroccan works. Admission is 40 Moroccan dirhams (US$4).

9. Berber Museum

Building, Museum

Berber museum, Jardins Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco
© Andy Sutton / Alamy Stock Photo
Within the beautiful Majorelle Garden, the Berber Museum is dedicated to teaching visitors more about the Berber heritage and culture. There are three sections in the museum. One is related to knowledge, showing in particular how Berber communities make various practical and ceremonial items from raw materials. Leather goods, baskets, and pottery are among the collections. Another section showcases fine jewels, and the third part of the museum focuses on artistic expression, with items that include clothing, weaponry, jewellery, woven items, and ornamental wood carvings. The bright blue building that contains the museum was once used as a painting studio. Admission to the museum costs 30 Moroccan dirhams (US$3), though visitors will also need to pay 70 Moroccan dirhams (US$7) for entry to the Majorelle Garden.

10. Observatoire Astronomie

Located within Centre Culturel Atlas Golf, Observatoire Astronomie is a top spot for fans of stargazing and astronomy. The equipment contains the largest telescope in Morocco, with observation sessions held each Friday evening. Learn more about the universe and how the viewing apparatus works. Observation sessions cost 160 Moroccan dirhams (US$16) per person.

Observatoire Astronomie, 1, route d’Amizmiz, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

Found within the historic heart of Marrakech’s medina, the newer colonial-era area of Gueliz, the lush village of Palmeraie, and in other parts of the large city, Marrakech’s diverse museums are sure to please.

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