Marrakesh is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of history and culture. It is a vibrant and bustling city that is surrounded by breath-taking scenery.
Marrakesh is worth visiting and offers an unforgettable experience. From the stunning architecture of the historic Koutoubia Mosque and Saadian Tombs to the vibrant souks of the bustling Medina and delicious cuisine on rooftop terraces, Marrakesh is a city that promises to captivate and delight.
Whether you are interested in history, food, shopping or simply relaxing, Marrakesh has something for everyone. Let us help you decide Is Marrakesh Worth Visiting with our list of 21 reasons to visit Marrakesh.
Is Marrakesh Worth Visiting? 21 Reasons to Visit Marrakesh
1. Discover the Largest Mosque in Marrakesh (The Koutoubia Mosque)
The Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakesh and is considered one of the most important and most beautiful mosques in the city. The Koutoubia Mosque is the main landmark of Marrakesh. You can catch sight of the 77m high minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque from all over the Medina.
Although non-Muslim visitors are not allowed inside the Koutoubia Mosque, it is worth visiting for its beautiful architecture and to learn about the role of religion in the city’s history.
Next to the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, you can see the ruins of the prayer hall. Behind the Koutoubia Mosque are the attractive Koutoubia Gardens that are dotted with palm trees. The Koutoubia Gardens are a great place to relax and escape the busy Jemaa El-Fna Square and Medina.
2. Explore the Peaceful Saadian Tombs
The Saadian Tombs are located in the Kasbah area of Marrakesh and are a fascinating glimpse into the city’s royal history.
The Saadian Tomb complex dates back to the 16th century but lay forgotten until 1917 when they were discovered. Over the years, the Saadian Tombs have been carefully restored and the intricate architecture and mosaics are beautiful.
The Saadian Tombs offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city of Marrakesh.
3. Roam Through the Rooms and Courtyards of the Bahia Palace
The Bahia Palace was built in the 19th century and is considered one of the most beautiful examples of Moroccan architecture. The well-preserved rooms and courtyards of the Bahia Palace have stunning mosaics, intricate carvings and beautiful painted wood and marquetry.
Some of the rooms of the Bahia Palace open on to sunny courtyards with beautiful mosaic floors, fountains and lush banana and orange trees. The Bahia Palace also has an old hammam that is interesting to visit. The Bahia Palace offers an interesting insight into the luxurious past lifestyle of Marrakesh’s wealthy citizens.
Take advantage of this guided tour through the Medina with skip the line entry to the Bahia Palace, Al Badi Palace (see 8 below) and the Saadian Tombs.
4. Relax in the Stylish Majorelle Garden
The stunning Majorelle Garden was designed by French artist Jacques Majorelle and was bought by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner. The garden is a beautiful paradise with over 300 species of exotic plants and palm trees arranged artistically against a back drop of bright electric blue buildings, structures and walls.
Although the gardens can get busy, they still offer a peaceful and serene escape from the busy city of Marrakesh. You can also visit the Musée Berbère that is housed in the striking art-deco studio.
5. Stroll Around the Menara Gardens
The Menara Gardens are located on the edge of Marrakesh and offer stunning views of the city and the Atlas Mountains. They are also home to large man-made lake making them a popular spot for picnics and relaxation.
The Menara Gardens are free to visit but there is a fee to enter the pavilion. These gardens are a good choice if you want to pass a couple of hours of calm away from the wonderful madness of Marrakesh. The Menara Gardens are much less touristic than the Majorelle Garden.
6. Visit the Dar Si Said Museum (Museum of Moroccan Arts)
The Dar Si Said Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 19th century palace and offers an interesting insight into Moroccan art and culture. Visitors can see traditional textiles, ceramics, and other works of art from across the country.
The building of the Dar Si Said Museum is a hidden gem in itself with lavish panels, decorative ceilings, beautiful courtyard and garden.
7. Pay a Visit to The Marrakesh Museum (Musée de Marrakesh)
The Marrakesh Museum is a small museum dedicated to the history and culture of Marrakesh and offers a good introduction to the city. Visitors can learn about the city’s history. see traditional costumes, textiles and artefacts from daily life in Marrakesh.
The museum itself is also very photogenic with beautiful architecture, mosaics and an impressive chandelier. Be aware that most of the display information is written in Arabic or French.
8. Imagine the Former Splendour of The El Badi Palace
The El Badi Palace was once one of the most magnificent palaces in Morocco, but today only ruins remain with nesting storks. Despite its state of disrepair, the palace is worth visiting for its architecture and to learn more about the city’s history.
Make sure you visit the exhibition in the underground tunnel that explains the palace’s past with artefacts and photographs. The rooftop terrace also offers great views of the palace complex, the Atlas Mountains and the city of Marrakesh.
9. Enjoy Stunning Scenery at Toubkal National Park
Toubkal National Park is located 70 km south of Marrakesh in the Atlas Mountains. Toubkal National Park is home to Mount Toubkal (Jbel Toubkal), the highest peak in North Africa at 4,167m.
Toubkal National Park offers visitors breath-taking views, scenic hiking trails and is a great escape from the busy city. Enjoy time in the mountains and discover its landscape of plateaux, plains, rivers and gorges.
10. Soak Up the Sights and Sounds of the Jemaa El-Fna Square
The Jemaa El-Fna Square is the heart of Marrakesh and is a must-see place for anyone staying in the city. This bustling place is home to street performers, vendors selling traditional crafts, food and fresh juices. The Jemaa El-Fna Square is a great place to experience the city’s vibrant culture.
11. Grab a Bargain in the Souks of Marrakesh
The labyrinth of souks (or markets) in Marrakesh are an unforgettable experience. They are a maze of narrow streets lined with shops selling everything from leather goods and spices to jewelry and pottery. Expect to get lost in the souks of the Medina and haggle for a bargain!
12. Get Lost in the Medina of Marrakesh
At the heart of Marrakesh is the Medina of Marrakesh that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Medina itself originates from the 11th century and is enclosed by 16km of ramparts and gates. The Medina of Marrakesh is a bustling maze of streets and buildings full of people, horse-drawn carts and mopeds.
Staying in the Medina is an authentic experience as tourists and locals mix and go about their daily business of buying food, keeping their homes and making a living. To keep your valuables safe in the busy Medina, use a travel wallet that can be concealed beneath your clothes.
13. Be Inspired by the Beauty of the Ben Youssef Medersa
Although you cannot visit any of the mosques in Marrakesh, you can enter the Ben Youssef Medersa. This beautiful setting was once an important Islamic college and is now open to the public.
The Ben Youssef Medersa is an interesting place to visit and is known for its intricate decoration. The ground floor has stunning tiled mosaic floors and walls with a central shallow pool of water. You can visit the dormitories on the upper floors and look down onto the various courtyards.
Although there are no written displays to give you information about the history of this building, you can hire a guide inside.
14. Enjoy Sunset at the Marrakesh Palmeraie
The Marrakesh Palmeraie is an area located on the outskirts of Marrakesh that is home to a large oasis of palm trees. The Marrakesh Palmeraie is a nice place to unwind after spending time in the busy city and to enjoy the sunset. You can arrange a quad bike or camel ride by clicking on the banner to give you peace of mind.
15. Admire Haute Couture in the Yves Saint Laurent Museum
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum is dedicated to the famous fashion designer and is located in the heart of Marrakesh near the Jardin Majorelle. Visitors learn about Yves Saint Laurent’s life and work through a range of exhibits including clothing, accessories, sketches and personal items.
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum is housed in a beautiful traditional Moroccan building, making it a must-visit place for both fashion lovers and architecture enthusiasts.
16. Browse Collected Artefacts in the Pierre Bergé Art Museum
The Pierre Bergé Art Museum is located in the Majorelle Garden and is dedicated to Berber art and culture. Berbers are the most ancient people of North Africa and visitors can see more than 600 objects collected by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara.
The Musée Pierre Bergé is housed in the former painting studio of Jacques Majorelle.
17. Learn About the Berber People in The Dar Tiskiwin Museum
If you are interested in the Berber people, the Dar Tiskiwin Museum is a small museum that is dedicated to their culture and life.
This museum is found in a riad with a small courtyard and visitors can see a range of artefacts including textiles, ceramics and jewelry. The exhibition is designed to follow the ancient trade route from Marrakesh to Timbuktu in Mali.
18. Walk to the Agdal Gardens
The Agdal Gardens are located on the edge of Marrakesh, south of the city’s Kasbah area and the royal palace. They are home to a large lake, olive groves and fruit trees but there is not much shade.
Be aware that only part of the gardens are open to the public as they back on to the Royal Palace and the gardens are a 45-minute walk from the Saadian Tombs.
19. Unwind at a Hammam
A Hammam is a traditional bathhouse and is a great place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. There are many Hammams in Marrakesh and visitors can enjoy a traditional experience including a scrub and massage.
20. Enjoy a Performance at the Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal is located in the heart of Marrakesh and is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings with an impressive dome and columns. Visitors can enter the theatre during the day to admire its architecture or to enjoy a performance.
21. Take a Day Trip from Marrakesh
Although Marrakesh is an exciting city with plenty to see and do, it is also a great starting point for exploring the surrounding area. If you are in Marrakesh long enough, you can easily take a day trip to the coastal town of Essaouira or to the famous Ouzoud Falls.
Although there are many places in Marrakesh to buy tours from, why not book in advance and have peace of mind.