The 22 most beautiful sights in Marrakech
Marrakech is also called the "Pearl of the South". Rightly so, because it has some very worth seeing corners. Ornate palaces, bustling markets and some great museums. In this post you will find out which are the most beautiful sights of Marrakech, including tips and information.
In Marrakech you immerse yourself in a completely foreign world.
Between magnificent palaces, mosques and the winding alleys of the souks, you feel like in a fairy tale from 1001 nights.
And that after just four hours flight from Germany.
Marrakech is a dream destination for a city break or the perfect base for your trip through oriental Morocco.
With its red houses, beautiful gardens and cultural sights, Marrakech is simply a must for Morocco.
After all, the metropolis is also the eponym of the country. The Arabic word Mraksch means "the city".
In this article I show you my highlights of the city. I also give you many practical tips for visiting the sights in Marrakech.
Are you looking for accommodation in Marrakech? Then be sure to check out my article on the most beautiful riads to stay in Marrakech .
General tips: This is the best way to visit the sights in Marrakech
Before I get to the sights, I'll start with some general information. Here I show you how to best visit the highlights of the city.
# 1 Out and about in Marrakech
You have to walk through Marrakech. You can only absorb oriental life with all your senses on foot.
In addition, many streets in the medina are so narrow that there is no other way. My recommendation is to take you to the sights of a quarter in a day or a half.
I have arranged the highlights according to their location. So you see what is close together and which sights you can combine well.
With the taxi
For the longer distances between the neighborhoods, it is best to take a taxi. The beige, so-called small taxis ("petite taxi") operate throughout the city.
Compared to the European standard, the trip is quite cheap. But be careful: the drivers tend not to turn on the taximeter and ask for an overpriced price.
Here you have to act before the trip. You should not pay more than 30 Moroccan Dirhams (Dh) for a city trip. That is less than 3 euros.
With the city bus
Alternatively there are city buses. The most important departure point for you is the Djemaa el Fna square. More specifically, the stop is between the central square (see # 1) and the Koutoubia mosque (see # 2).
A single ticket costs between 2 and 5 Dh (under 0.50 euros). Timetables and routes are, however, quite unclear. Departure times are not marked and stops are miserably marked. If any.
Sounds difficult? It is. But at the station Djemaa el Fna there is usually an employee of the bus company in a blue uniform. He can give you information.
With the hop-on hop-off bus
The red hop-on-hop-off double-decker buses run on two lines. The red line leads to some important sights. You can get on and off at 18 stops.
The green line goes to the northern part of the city. The 13 stops extend to the outskirts. This is of course easier, but also more expensive. And less authentic.
The ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus costs 168 Dh (approx. 16 euros). You can order your ticket here. You can also get it at the tourist information in Marrakech. Both lines start from there.
With the ticket you can use the green and red lines for 48 hours and get in and out as often as you like. There is also an audio guide. However, the information is poor.
# 2 With the city guide through Marrakech
You can explore Marrakech on your own, but it is worth hiring a city guide to get you started.
In this way you will find out a lot of interesting background information about the sights. Your guide will also give you a first overview of the city. This is definitely very helpful, because Marrakech is pretty confusing.
If you speak English, French or Arabic, there are more interesting tours around the city. For example this one:
And now it's my little city tour to the most beautiful highlights in Marrakech.
Marrakech has a turbulent history and was an important city in the Middle Ages. No wonder there is a lot to see here. These are the best sights in Marrakech:
# 1 Djemaa El Fna
When I think of Marrakech, the image of Djemaa El Fna immediately comes to my mind: the square of jugglers, storytellers and snake charmers.
Literally translated, it means “place of the beheaded”. But don't be put off by the name. It has been a long time since criminals were executed and their skulls exposed.
Sounds very creepy, but none of that can be felt today. On the contrary: Djemaa El Fna is the pulsating heart of the city. I love the place because there is just so much to see, take pictures and feast on.
During the day you can be enchanted by musicians and dancers, women paint henna tattoos on your hands and jugglers are available with their dancing snakes and monkeys as photo motifs.
If the hustle and bustle is too much for you, you can retreat to the numerous roof terraces of the restaurants around the square. From here you have a wonderful view of the bustle from above.
The tourist spectacle is an important source of income, but especially in the evening it attracts many Moroccans to the square. They then listen to the stories of the storytellers and the musicians and they eat in the numerous mobile food stalls that populate the square in the evening. Here you can try the whole range of Moroccan delicacies.
Not only is it super tasty and inexpensive, it's also amazingly hygienic. The dishes are freshly prepared over an open fire and in large cauldrons. The health department regularly checks the food stalls.
The place is really exceptional. That is why UNESCO recognized it in 2001 as the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
My tip : Especially in the evening, the spectacle from above is a great photo opportunity. You have the perfect overview from the roof terraces.
For photos of the sunset and the blue hour, you should find a place in time. For dinner it gets pretty crowded on the terraces.
For example, you have a great view of the setting sun and the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque (see attraction # 2) in the background from the large corner terrace on the northeast side of the square.
Attention : A tip is required for photographing artists on the square. That is completely ok, after all, it is the daily bread of the jugglers. It is best to have 5 or 10 Dh (approx. 0.50 or 1 Euro) ready and do not get involved with inappropriate demands.
At Get Your Guide you can take a guided tour in English or French through the Djemaa El Fna market at night. Then the market is much more colorful and lively than during the day.
# 2 Koutoubia mosque
The 77-meter high minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque rises above the Djemaa El Fna square in the south. Together, the square and the mosque symbolize Marakesch.
The minaret of the mosque is particularly admirable. With its sculptured relief and the small white and green tiles, it is an example of Moroccan architecture.
It is also the largest building in the city and can therefore be seen far in Marrakech. A great landmark if you should get lost.
The name of the mosque is derived from the word "Kutubiyn". That means “bookseller”. They used to be based around the building with their booths.
Today the mosque is surrounded by palm gardens and open spaces. The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the few free-standing mosques in Marrakech.
You can walk around them and admire the mosque in all its glory, but unfortunately not from the inside. The mosque is only accessible to Muslims.
My tip : The minaret is illuminated in the evening and then comes out particularly well on photos.
# 3 Medersa Ben Youssef
In the heart of the medina is the Ben Youssef Medersa. It is certainly one of the most impressive cultural assets in Marrakech, and the largest and most important Koran school in the entire Maghreb.
Islam was taught here as early as the 14th century. Until the cessation of teaching in 1960, students from the rural regions were accommodated in the associated residences.
However, the Koran school only got its splendid shape in the 16th century under the Saadian Sultan Abdallah El Ghalib. Tile mosaics, stucco ornaments, wood paneling and Arabic lettering tapes blend together wonderfully harmoniously in the courtyard.
The Koran School is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Entry costs 50 Dh (approx. 4.50 euros). You can also buy a combined ticket together with the adjacent Museum of Marrakech (see sight # 9) and the Koubba El Badiyin (sight # 4) for 60 Dh (approx. 5.50 euros).
# 4 Koubba El-Badiyin
The Koubba El-Badiyin is a medieval building in the medina and one of the few testimonies from the Almoravid dynasty. Accordingly, it is also known as Almoraviden Koubba.
The Almoradives founded Marrakech in 1070. The city grew rapidly and the supply of drinking water became a problem. The sultan had the Koubba built as the center of a new fountain.
Covered with rubble, it was only rediscovered in 1948. The rectangular, two-story tower has been preserved. Definitely go inside, because you only see the highlight when you look inside the dome: artistic, filigree stucco work. The Koubba El-Badiyin is centrally located in the medina in front of the Koran school (see # 3).
# 5 Bahia Palace
The most popular palace in Marrakech for tourists is the Bahia Palace. On a tour of the 8,000 m² labyrinth of rooms, halls, courtyards, hammam and gardens you will experience how splendidly the oriental princes of Morocco once lived.
Translated, Bahia means "the shining" or "the shining". The name alludes to the favorite woman of the grand vizier Ba Ahmed who once lived here with his harem. He was the central supporter of the sultan at the end of the 19th century and led his government affairs.
The best Moroccan artists worked on the completion of the palace for 14 years. The result is impressive: the finest cedar carvings, colorful mosaic ceilings, ornaments and stucco shine on every corner.
You can visit the palace for 10 Dh (approx. 1 Euro) daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and therefore quite crowded especially in the high season.
# 6 El Badi Palace
The name stands for itself: El Badi - the incomparable. That was certainly the palace once. It is said to have been the largest and one of the most magnificent palace complexes in the Maghreb.
Today the ruins only give a hint of the former splendor and it takes a little imagination to imagine how hand-painted tiles, colorful mosaics and fine carvings adorned the property in the 16th century.
The famous Saadian Sultan Ahmed El Mansour once had high-quality materials such as gold and Italian marble brought in for the construction. However, as early as 1700, he had large parts removed in order to build a new palace in Mèknes.
Today, the remains of the wall, towers and old stairs still testify to the former size of the complex. Another highlight of the attraction are the countless storks that nest on the old walls.
The facility can be visited daily for 10 Dh (approx. 1 euro) between 9:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
# 7 Saadian tombs
The extensive grave site of the royal family of the Saadian dynasty is another tourist highlight in Marrakech. At first glance, it does not look like an outstanding sight, because the system is relatively unadorned with a wall made of rammed earth.
The interior, on the other hand, is artistically decorated and above all of historical importance. A total of seven sultans and 62 members of their families were buried here between 1557 and 1664.
The highlight of the tomb is the hall of the twelve columns. In the middle tomb of the mausoleum is the sarcophagus of the Saadian Sultan Moulay Ahmed El Mansour. He was the fifth and most famous Sultan of the Saadian dynasty, who led Morocco to economic and cultural prosperity.
The Saadian tombs are not far from Palais El Badi (see # 6) in the Kasbah district (see # 15). Today, like the entire city center, they are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
You can visit the grave complex daily from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., in Ramadan until 3 p.m. Entry costs 10 Dh (approx. 1 euro).
My tip : The Saadian tombs are overrun by tourists, especially in the high season. It is best to visit them in the morning shortly after opening or in the evening before closing.
# 8 souks
The second thing I think of when I think of Marrakech is the souks. The small alleys with the countless stands lead mainly north of Djemaa El Fna through the old town.
The souks of Marrakech are the largest in the country. Here you will find unique wooden artworks, colorful fabrics, filigree mosaic lamps, Arabic carpets, oriental spices, high-quality leather goods and much more. Everything handmade.
You can also look over the shoulder of artisans at work. The souk is traditionally structured according to the different branches of the craft.
In the labyrinth of winding paths, vaults and stairs, one thing is certain: you will get lost. It's just part of it.
But don't panic! The best thing to remember is the way from Djemaa El Fna to your hotel. To find the place again, ask the dealers. If you are lucky, you will see the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque.
My tip : it is full and bustling in the souks. If you want to browse undisturbed, you should visit the medina early in the morning before 10:00 a.m. or at noon. Then there are fewer tourists.
You can also book a private souk tour in English, where you'll get to know local artisans and learn about spices, fabrics, and jewelry.
# 9 Marrakech Museum
Marrakech, with its checkered, old history, of course also has some museums. Art lovers will get their money's worth in the Marrakech Museum, but architecture fans will also get plenty.
Like many other museums, the Marrakech Museum is installed in an old palace from the end of the 19th century. It thus represents the architecture of the era as a model.
The marble and mosaic floor of the large courtyard, the traditional hammam, and richly decorated walls and rooms show the pomp of the sultan's days.
Inside the small guest house (Douiria), top-class art from different eras awaits. The exhibition shows paintings and sculptures by contemporary, international artists alongside traditional Moroccan art from the 14th to 19th centuries.
The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., during Ramadan from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Entry costs 30 Dh (approx. 3 euros).
# 10 Maison de la Photographie
The small photography museum is located between the Gerberviertel (see # 21) and the Koran school (see # 3). Several thousand original documents, photographs, postcards and antique signs bear witness to the history of Morocco here.
The centerpiece is the 4,500 historical black and white photographs from the years 1870 to 1950. They show cities and architecture in Morocco as well as the people living in the country and their traditions.
The museum opens daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and costs 40 Dh (approx. 4 euros) entry.
My tip : From the great roof terrace you have a wonderful view of the city.
# 11 Dar si Said Museum
An alternative to the Bahia Palace (see # 5) is the smaller, but also magnificent Dar Si Said Museum. It is not far from the Bahia Palace grounds.
The Folk Art Museum is housed in an old, beautifully restored 19th century palace. The entire architecture of the palace is part of the exhibition.
The building is similar to the Bahia Palace, but much smaller. Nevertheless, there are also intricate mosaics, filigree carvings and impressive stucco work to be seen.
The rooms house an extensive collection of Berber handicrafts from Morocco: everyday objects, fountains, weapons, musical instruments and tools. The highlight is the magnificent ballroom on the upper floor.
For 10 Dh (approx. 1 Euro) you can visit the museum every day except Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
# 12 Dar Tiskiwin Museum
Another museum with an extensive collection of traditional art is in the immediate vicinity of the Dar Si Said Museum. The Dar Tiskiwin Museum shows the private collection of the art historian Bert Flint from the Netherlands.
The focus is on the cultural and economic exchange along the caravan route. The everyday life of the Tuareg is revived between carpets, fabrics, leather goods and jewelry.
When you visit you go on a trip from Morocco to Timbouktou with the Tuareg and their caravans. You will see clothing, jewelry and everyday objects from different races.
The museum is located in the private riad of the collector and reflects a lot of his passion and art knowledge. You can visit it daily from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for 20 Dh (approx. 2 euros).
# 13 Yves Saint Laurent Museum
It was only on October 19, 2017 that the museum opened its doors in honor of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The designer lived in Marrakech from 1966 until his death.
His fashion at that time was marked by the influence of the “red city”. Above all, she brought new colors to his works. No wonder when you see Marrakech's colorful palaces and markets.
The museum exhibits the artist's designer pieces on an area of 400 square meters - around 100 creations and thousands of accessories.
You can combine the visit with the nearby Jardin Majorelle (see # 19). Incidentally, many of the works exhibited in the museum have their origin there.
The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It only closes at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Entry costs 100 Dh (approx. 9.50 euros).
# 14 Mellah - Jewish Quarter
The city's old Jewish quarter stretches between the magnificent Bahia Palace (see # 5) and El Badi Palace (see # 6). The minority of the Jewish population was once banished behind walls here.
Today there is only a small Jewish community of around 200 people living in the district. Everyday life in the Mellah has long been Islamic.
While walking through the district, you will still discover the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery. It is the main sights of the Mellah.
In addition, you stroll through the famous spice market, with its colorful spice pyramids and baskets full of fragrant herbs.
# 15 Bab Agnaou and Kasbah district
Bab means gate in Arabic. Through the gates of the city, one entered Marrakesh's medina - and still partially today.
One of the most beautiful gates in the city is Bab Agnaou, the central entrance gate to the Kasbah district. The Kasbah district was built for the Sultan's court at the end of the 12th century.
From the Agnaou entrance gate, you can follow the wide lane to the Kasbah mosque in the center of the district.
My tip : it is also worth a detour into the back alleys. Here you can experience a little of the original Moroccan life, away from the tourist hustle and bustle.
# 16 Jardin Secret
Jardin Secret is French and means "secret garden". This means the green areas of one of the oldest and largest riads in Marrakech which are open to the public. You can relax here wonderfully and recharge your batteries in the small sitting areas for the busy city visit.
Two magical gardens open like a little treasure behind the doors of the riad: the exotic garden with international plants and the Islamic garden. Small fountains and the water surfaces belonging to the original water system are a defining element.
The origins of the Jardin Secret date back to the Saadien dynasty more than 400 years ago. The riad was reconstructed in the middle of the 19th century and served as a residence for high politicians from Morocco and Marrakech for a while.
The garden is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in February and October, from March to September to 7:30 p.m. and from November to January from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry costs 60 Dh (approx. 5.50 euros).
The hidden garden is not far from the Koran school (see # 3), in the middle of the medina.
# 17 Menara Garden
Created as a fruit and olive plantation in the 19th century, the Menara Garden is now the public city park of Marrakech.
The park is very popular with Moroccans as an oasis of calm. You can also have a great picnic under one of the large olive trees here. You should bring a blanket with you, because there are only a few lawns or benches.
From the pavilion on the central water surface, you also have a beautiful view of the city. Admission to the pavilion costs 15 Dh (approx. 1.50 euros), otherwise the park is free of charge. The city park is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until sunset.
The Menara garden is located just outside the medina. In about a 40-minute walk you can reach it from the Koutoubia Mosque (see # 2). Just follow Avenue Prince Moulay Rachid.
# 18 Agdal Garden
The 500 hectares of Agdal Gardens are not only huge, they are also the oldest park in Marrakech. It is even one of the oldest gardens in the entire Arab-Islamic world.
The park was created in 1157. Dates, lemons, walnuts, figs, apricots and all kinds of other fruit grew along three large pools of water.
The park is still a large orchard. You can walk along the water channels under the trees here.
You have a beautiful view of the mountains of the High Atlas from the panoramic terrace on the edge of the largest water basin.
However, there are hardly any banks because the practical benefit is paramount.
Parts of the facility are accessible free of charge on Fridays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The extensive complex borders on the grounds of Palais El Badi in the south (see # 6).
# 19 Majorelle Gardens
The Jardin Majorelle is probably the best known park in Marrakech. With its strong blue and yellow details and buildings between the lush green flowers, it is a popular postcard and photo motif.
In 1931 the French painter Jacque Majorelle created it around his studio. Hence the name.
Monsieur Majorelle collected plants from all over the world for his garden. Huge bamboo, various palm trees, meter-high cacti and numerous aquatic plants can be admired today.
As a true artist, Monsieur Majorelle arranged everything with colorful flower pots and details to create a beautiful overall work of art. In 1947 he opened his private facility to the public.
After the park was largely forgotten in the meantime, the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent rediscovered it in 1980 and bought the property.
Today, around 800,000 visitors visit the garden every year. You can imagine that it gets quite crowded at times.
The garden and a Berber museum housed in the artist's former studio are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from October to late April until 6:00 p.m. Entry costs 70 Dh (about 6.50 euros).
The Jardin Majorelle is located northeast of the medina. You can take a small taxi here. The green line of the hop-on-hop-of bus also stops at the garden.
If you want it to be romantic, you can have a horse-drawn carriage take you there. The carriages are waiting for guests in front of the Koutoubia mosque (see # 2).
My tip : You can also book the Jardin Majorelle as part of a half-day tour, where you then go on a camel ride into the old palm groves of Marrakech. You will be picked up and brought back from your accommodation.
# 20 Anima Garden
The Anima Garden is 30 kilometers from the city center, but it is definitely worth a visit. The 3 hectare area was created by the famous multimedia artist André Heller.
In a report, the television station Arte titled the garden as the most beautiful and most imaginative garden in the world. And what can I say, the place really has something magical.
The Atlas Mountains with their snow-capped peaks rise behind the small, colorfully blooming paradise.
The garden is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and costs 11 euros entry.
To visit the garden, you can use a free bus shuttle that leaves several times a day from the parking lot in front of the Koutoubia mosque (see # 2). The journey takes about 40 minutes.
You have to print out the ticket or bring it on your mobile phone to use the bus shuttle.
The bus runs three times a day at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. You can also reserve a seat on the official website . So your ride is guaranteed even with a large crowd.
# 21 tanneries
If you are planning a visit to Fès during your tour of Morocco, visit the tanneries there. In Fez, the tanners' quarter is even bigger and more impressive.
But also in Marrakech you get a good impression of the working conditions of the tanners. The leather is tanned in huge vats and then dyed in bright colors.
The craftsmen work on the animal skin with bare feet and hands. The work is not only exhausting and dirty, it also stinks badly.
It's best to visit the tanners in the morning when it's busiest. The easiest way to plan a visit is as part of a city tour.
You can also go directly to a tanner's farm. The tanners' quarter is on the edge of the medina towards the Bab Debbagh city gate. For a tip, the guard lets you enter and take photos.
My tip : Buy a few sprigs of fresh mint at the market beforehand. When held under the nose, they soften the stench a little.
# 22 Hammam
After so much art, culture and history, you really deserve Highlight No. 22. A visit to the hammam is an integral part of Moroccan culture and is simply part of every stay in Marrakech.
The oriental steam bath serves the Moroccans both body care and relaxation. The cleaning ritual takes place in several stages:
First of all, you let heat and moisture work on you in the steam sauna. Then comes the calving. Or better, scrubbing, because the Moroccans don't pretend to do this.