One of Morocco’s most popular destinations, Marrakech has both ancient and modern attractions to explore. Roam the colorful souks, visit countless museums, or just people-watch in the town’s famous square.
Marrakech is a chic, modern metropolis with an ever-present ancient flair. Full of mosques, palaces, souks, outstanding architecture and gorgeous gardens, Morocco’s famed ‘’Red City’’ named after its ancient red sandstone walls, Marrakech takes you back in time while keeping one foot in the present. Bask in the culture of Morocco and soak up the charms of the old medina. You can experience contemporary delights from art exhibitions to museums as you feel the rhythm of the souks pulse under your feet.
El Badi Palace Ruins
El Badi is an ancient, royal palace that took around 25 years to be built. A once spectacular palace known as ‘’palace of the incomparable’’ it was donned in the finest décor of gold, turquoise, marble, and crystal, all that remains are its red sandstone walls and expansive courtyard. The architecture is a blend of Moroccan, Moorish, and Saadian styles all that contributed to its resplendent beauty. In the 16th century, Moulay Ismail stripped its interior treasures to decorate his own palace. Though its bare structure is all that remains, its exquisite energy lingers in the imagination.
Medersa Ben Youssef
One of the oldest Islamic schools in Morocco and the largest in North Africa. Established in the 14th century and named after Sultan Ali Ben Youssef. Medersa means ‘’school’’ in Arabic. Students came here from all around the globe to study the Koran and live onsite. The dormitories are small and without windows to help turn the focus inward. The courtyard radiates old-world beauty decorated with zellige mosaic tiles, stucco, marble, and wood carved with Arabic inscriptions.
Djemaa el Fna
Located in the main square of Marrakech, this is a place packed with action and entertainment where locals and tourists gather to experience everything. Watch acrobats, snake charmers, performers, musicians, storytellers, and magicians astonish and amaze the crowds. There are also several street vendors selling authentic trinkets and local foods. This is a great place to wander around with the entire family as everyone is sure to be intrigued.
This is the district where modern Marrakech thrives. Dubbed the French Quarter since it was previously occupied and developed by the French during the Protectorate era. Stroll along the tree-lined streets full of trendy bars, hip restaurants, contemporary art galleries, and plenty of places to go shopping for the latest trends. Many foreigners who live in Marrakech choose to live here so it tends to have a European and international vibe.
The Mohammed VI Museum/ The Civilization of Water in Morocco/Aman Museum
Who knew a museum about water could be so fascinating! This museum is devoted to the history, science, and technology of water in Morocco. Learn interesting facts about Morocco culture and how it relates to water. The permanent collection spans three floors and covers ten themes that reflect Morocco’s cultural heritage regarding water, multi-media exhibitions, a multi-purpose room for temporary exhibitions, research, seminars, and a media library for educational activities. Located at the entrance of la Circuit de Palmeraie Route de Casablanca in Marrakech.
A true, ethnic gem, this museum houses the extensive, personal collection of Dutch anthropologist, Bert Flint, who has called Morocco home since 1957. Flint lived on-site until recent years. Visitors will take a journey through ancient caravan routes and glimpse into the culture of the Amazigh/Berber tribe, Morocco’s indigenous people. This is a fascinating look at the history and culture of North Africa’s people from Marrakech to Timbuktu. Flint spent years collecting artifacts from various regions in Morocco: ancient jewelry, musical instruments, textiles, carpets, daggers, and various other tribal treasures. A unique experience not to be missed.
Dar Si Said Museum of Moroccan Arts
The museum itself is a work of art. Heavily influenced by Islamic art, the architecture boasts exquisite tile mosaics and stucco work, intricately carved cedar doors and ceilings, multi-colored stain glass windows with an incredible Andalusian fountain basin that is around 1,000 years old. Once a palace and residence of Si Said, brother of the grand vizier of Marrakech, Bou Ahmed. The museum collection is incredibly diverse. You can see traditional jewelry, carpets, pottery, ceramics, antique weapons, and weavings. There are also several other cultural and archeological artifacts displayed. An afternoon spent here will definitely provide some insight into the amazing cultural heritage of Morocco.
Take a time out at this gorgeous botanical garden sanctuary in the midst of the Medina. An abundance of cactus, exotic flowers, and fragrant fruit trees will make you forget you’re in a city. Created by Jacques Majorelle, a French Orientalist painter, who resided here until he could no longer afford to keep up with the maintenance and eventually sold the property. For over 30 years, the abandoned property fell into ruin until the ’80s when designers Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge purchased and restored it. The cubist style house designed by Paul Sinoir, retains its original electric blue hue, the infamous Majorelle blue. The visually stunning and massive complex is also home to the Berber Museum and Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech. Spend an inspiring afternoon here and soak up all its vibrant energies.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum
The legendary fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, found his home away from home in Marrakech. He was incredibly inspired by the vibrant energy and colors of this Moroccan city. This museum is dedicated to his life and work featuring exhibits of his personal items such as sketches, drawings, and photographs of his early life and beyond. An extensive collection of couture garments and accessories are also displayed. Another unique feature is an extensive research library that is available to the public by appointment only. Books on fashion, Amazigh/Berber culture, Arabic, Andalusian, Islamic arts, culture, and botany. Kick back in the outdoor terrace or café and don’t miss out on the bookstore.
Musee de la Palmerie
A little slice of heaven with themed gardens provide a welcome retreat in the heartbeat of the city. La Palmerie is a great place to reconnect with nature and spark your creativity. Get inspired by the permanent art collection that hosts the work of forty modern Moroccan artists that include paintings, sculptures, installations, calligraphy, and photography. The Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions. Revel in the beauty of the palm groves and explore the gardens that feature beds of gigantic balloon cactus, heavenly roses, and reflecting pools to recharge your energy before continuing on with your travels. The museum also offers unique workshops for children to explore their creativity and expand their minds.
Marrakech offers visitors endless opportunities to tap into its rich history while also experiencing its contemporary side so you won’t miss a beat. Looking to explore outside the city, book a Sahara Desert Trip. There are several Marrakech Sahara Desert tours available for you to enjoy.