Outside of visiting Chefchaouen, Marrakech was my second favorite city to visit during our week in Morocco. With it being such a conservative country, I felt more at home since it had such a “busy city” atmosphere. I even wore shorts! There was so much to do in the city center and I wanted to experience it all. If you’re ever planning a trip to Morocco, here’s a quick travel guide of things to while visiting Marrakech.
Marrakech (also known as Marrakesh) was founded in 1062 and is the fourth largest city in Morocco. The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122–1123, have given the city the nickname of the “Red City”.
Things to Do in Marrakech
Here are the various activities we did on our 1/2 day tour and evenings in Marrakesh.
- Visit Bahia Palace – Built in the late 19th century, for the grand-vizir of the sultan, Bahia Palace is a palace that was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style.
- Saadian Tombs – A mausoleum with interments of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty.
- Explore the Square – Jemaa el-Fnaa Square is the entrance to the outdoor markets and food courts, It is also the busiest square in Africa. If you’re a people watcher, this is the place to be because there’s ALWAYS something going on.
- Relax at La Mamounia – One of the most Instagrammable places in the city, La Mamounia Palace is a 5-star luxury hotel. If you can’t afford the $400+ a night stay, purchase a day pass. This gives access to the Pavilion of Fitness, tennis courts and swimming pools.
- Eat street food with Marrakech Food Tours – This food tour was absolutely worth the cost. We ate traditional Moroccan foods and learned a lot from shop owners and workers. I ate seasoned cow spleen with fresh bread and it was AMAZING.
Other Things to Do and See
Here are some other popular attractions to do while visiting Marrakech.
- Majorelle Botanical Gardens – Another Insta-worthy location, Majorelle Gardens was designed by the French artist, Jacques Majorelle. In 1980, the garden was purchased by designer Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé.
- Koutoubia Mosque – The largest mosque in Marrakesh. Unlike the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, if you are not Muslim, you cannot enter.
- Marrakesh Museum – Learn about the history of the city and view the artwork.
- Desert Tours – Trips to the Sahara or Zagora deserts are available, but are usually two or more days.
Where to Stay in Marrakech
For the two days in Marrakesh, we stayed in the Novotel Suites. The location was an average 5 walk to La Mamounia and 15-20-minutes from the square. If you’re visiting Marrakech you can also opt for a traditional Riad. Below are some suggestions, but you can also try Airbnb or other alternatives.
- Riad L’Orchidee
- Palm Plaza Marrakech Hotel & Spa
- Riad Dar One
- Riad Al Badia
- Riad le Clos des Arts
- Riad Dar Najat
We also purchased Argan Oil and Moroccan spices at a holistic pharmacy outside the Medina. When showing it to one of the women on our food tour, our guide said it was very reputable. I’m trying to figure out what meal I want to cook first. The two days for our tour were not even enough for me and I can’t wait to go back.
Would you visit Marrakech?