Tourist Attractions in Marrakesh Morocco

Marrakesh is a city that sums up all of Morocco’s exotic North African charm.

The city’s name provided the root for the name of the country itself, spelling out this town’s importance down the ages.

Within the hustle of the city core you’ll find old and new clashing and blending, which can make some tourists almost dizzy.

Snake charmers and smooth shop touts both compete for your attention amid a noisy, colourful bustle that encapsulates Morocco’s vibrant soul.

For shoppers this city is famous as a frenzied hub for bargain hunting.

For history lovers the many museums and monuments are some of the country’s not to be missed star attractions.

And for those who just want to dive into local culture, the Medina offers Moroccan life in all its hectic glory.

Marrakesh is also the gateway to Morocco’s High Atlas region where you can relish the scenic mountain beauty after your Marrakesh metropolis adventures.

Tourist Attractions in Marrakesh Morocco

marrakesh, Attractions in Marrakesh

The “Red City” of Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques.

Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day.

Find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle or take in the beauty of one of the city’s historic mosques (taking note that, unless you are Muslim, you are not allowed to enter).

Medina Souks

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Attractions in Marrakesh

For many travelers , Marrakech’s labyrinth Medina (Old City) district is the town’s number one attraction.

The narrow alleyways are a kaleidoscope of colours, scents and sounds, and bound to be the sightseeing highlight of the trip.

As well as simply wandering (and getting lost) amid the bustling maze, there are myriad shopping opportunities where you can put your haggling hat on and barter to your heart’s content.

Shoppers shouldn’t miss the Babouche (shoe) Souk, Chouari (carpenter’s) Souk, El-Attarine (perfume and spice) Souk and the Cherratine (leather) Souk.

Just west of the main souk area, at the end of Rue Bab Debbagh, you’ll find Marrakesh’s tanneries where animal skins are still dyed the old fashioned way.

Djemaa El Fna

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Attractions in Marrakesh

This large square at the entry to the Medina is the centre of Marrakesh life.

The Djemaa El Fna (assembly place of the nobodies) is a vibrant hub of bric-a-brac stalls, musicians, storytellers, fortune-tellers and snake charmers that never seems to rest.

Here the entire spectrum of Moroccan life enfolds before you.

If being down among the thrum becomes too much, it’s also easy to escape to one of the many surrounding rooftop cafes and restaurants where you can survey the crazy scene from above.

Dar Si Said Museum of Moroccan Arts and Crafts

morocco-marrakesh-dar-si-said-museum-of-moroccan-arts-and-crafts-atrium, Attractions in Marrakech

Attractions in Marrakesh

This lovely old palace built by Vizier Si Said is home to a wonderful collection of Berber jewellery in finely worked silver, oil lamps from Taroudant, pottery artifacts, embroidered leather, and marble.

There is also a display of Moroccan carpets and an amazing collection of traditional Moroccan door and window frames, which highlight this country’s local architecture styles.

For anyone interested in the evolution of North African art and crafts, it’s a lovely place to potter about for a couple of hours.

Near the Dar Si Said, the Maison Tiskiwine has a rather wonderful collection of costumes, jewellery, arms, musical instruments, textiles and furniture (focused on Saharan culture) put together by Dutch art historian Bert Flint.

Another branch of the museum is located in Agadir City.

Koutoubia Mosque

morocco-marrakesh-koutoubia-mosque, Attractions in Marrakesh

Attractions in Marrakesh

The Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakech’s most famous landmark with its striking, 70 m tall minaret visible for miles in every direction.

Local Marrakech legend tells that when first built it, the muezzin (man who calls the faithful to pray) for this mosque had to be blind as the minaret was so tall that it overlooked the ruler’s harem.

The mosque was built in 1162 and is one of the great achievements of Almohad architecture. Non-Muslims are not allowed into the prayer hall.

Medersa Ben Youssef

morocco-marrakesh-medersa-ben-youssef, Attractions in Marrakech

Attractions in Marrakesh

Built in 1565 by the Saadians, the Medersa (madrassa – Islamic school of learning) of Ben Youssef is the largest theological college in Morocco.

The warrens of rooms (with student cells which once were home to 900 pupils) are clustered around small internal courtyards in typical Islamic architecture style.

The fine zellige tiling, stalactite ceilings and Kufic inscriptions used as decoration across much of the building interior are the highlights of a visit to this Medina attraction.

Saadian Tombs

morocco-marrakesh-saadian-tombs, Attractions in Marrakech

Attractions in Marrakesh

This 16th century burial ground is home to 66 members of the Saadian dynasty, which ruled over Marrakech between 1524 and 1668.

The tombs here include that of the ruler Al-Mansour, his successors and their closest family members.

It’s a rambling, atmospheric place with the mausoleums set amid a rather overgrown garden.

In particular, the main mausoleum (where Moulay Yazid is buried) has a fine surviving mihrab (prayer niche).

Majorelle Gardens

morocco-marrakesh-majorelle-gardens-house-facade-detail, Attractions in Marrakech

Attractions in Marrakech

These lush tropical gardens, full of cacti, palms and ferns, are the work of painter Jacques Majorelle.

Originally from the town of Nancy in France, Majorelle came to Marrakesh for health reasons and became well known for his paintings of local Moroccan life.

His most famous work though was this garden and the vibrant blue (the colour now known as Majorelle blue) painter’s studio he lived in on the grounds.

Manara Gardens

morocco-marrakesh-manara-gardens, Attractions in Marrakech

Attractions in Marrakesh

This inner-city garden is a bubble of serenity hidden right in the heart of Marrakesh.

It’s a local-favorite spot for getting out of the hustle to enjoy some peace and quiet.

The large pool in the center of the garden has a fine pavilion, built on the water’s edge in the late 19th century.

For many local Marrakesh families the Manara Gardens are picnicking central and on the weekend it can be a great place to witness local family life.

Imlil

morocco-marrakesh-imlil, Attractions in Marrakesh

Attractions in Marrakech

The charming mountain village of Imlil is the starting point for excursions into Toubkal National Park.

It’s a chilled out kind of place that provides respite if you’ve been amid the Marrakesh hustle for awhile and want some peace and quiet.

The village is also home to a rather impressively restored kasbah (fortress).

The structure is now one of the town’s best hotels, and played a starring role in the Martin Scorsese film ‘Kundun’.

Location: 57 km south of Marrakesh.

Marrakesh Museum

morocco-marrakesh-marrakesh-museum-facade, Attractions in Marrakesh

Attractions in Marrakesh

The Marrakesh Museum has an eclectic collection, which ranges from contemporary art to Qur’anic inscriptions with local ceramic work, textiles and coins thrown in for good measure.

For most visitors, the real highlight of a visit here is the building the museum is housed in.

The Dar Me’nebhi was built in the early 20th century and was once home to a minister in Morocco’s government.

The architecture is a harmonious blend of local North African form with Portuguese elements, and features an extremely impressive central courtyard area complete with lavish chandelier.

Bahia Palace

morocco-marrakesh-bahia-palace, Attractions in Marrakesh

Attractions in Marrakesh

This magnificent peacock of a palace was built in the 19th century as the residence of the Grand Vizier Bou Ahmed, who served Sultan Moulay al-Hassan I.

The interior decoration is a dazzling display of zellige tiles, painted ceilings and ornate wrought-iron features showcasing the opulent lives of those high-up in the sultan’s favour at that time.

The palace is surrounded by sumptuous flower and tree-filled gardens.

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Almoravid Koubba

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Attractions in Marrakesh

Also known as the Koubba Ba’adiyn, the Almoravid Koubba is Marrakesh’s oldest monument – built in the 12th century during Ali Ben Youssuf’s reign.

Although its original use is unknown, some experts have suggested that it may have been the ablution house of a mosque that once sat next door.

Its simple exterior design (a squat, square building topped with a dome) belies an interesting interior, with a dome ceiling covered in Almoravid motifs.

The koubba was one of the few buildings to survive the destruction wrecked on the city by Almohad conquerors who destroyed much of the earlier Almoravid architectural legacy.

Toubkal National Park

morocco-marrakesh-toubkal-national-park, Attractions in Marrakesh

Attractions in Marrakesh

This National Park is home to Morocco’s (and North Africa’s) highest mountain, Djebel Toubkal, as well as a number of fantastic walking opportunities.

If you don’t fancy bagging Toubkal’s 4,167 m peak then you can opt for the lovely scenic village-to-village Aremd circuit, which has sumptuous views without the sweaty effort required for mountain climbing.

Location: 57 km south of Marrakesh

Tizi-n’Test Pass

morocco-marrakesh-tizi-n-test-pass-panorama, Attractions in Marrakesh

Attractions in Marrakesh

Even in a country chock-a-block full of sublime road-trip scenery, the Tizi-n’Test Passstands out.

This winding mountain road heads south out of Marrakesh down to Taroudant in a dizzying array of switchbacks that may give the wobbles to those who don’t like heights.

The mountain scenery along the way is simply sumptuous.

A road branching off the pass just past Taliouine is the start of the high pass into the Draa Valley.

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Source:  planetware.com
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