Marrakech Sights & Attractions
What to See and Do in Marrakech
The 70m-high minaret of the KOUTOUBIA MOSQUE dominates the city's skyline. Built in the 12th century, this mosque is not open to non-Muslims.
DAR SI SAÏD is the Museum of Moroccan Arts, a small palace displaying fascinating artifacts from around the country, including impressive carpets and finely carved Berber woodwork.
EL-BADI PALACE was built in the 16th century but all that remains are its romantic ruins, as it was ransacked in the 17th century to build another palace. Still, it's worth a visit to understand why its name means "the incomparable," as you pass by the huge pool and sunken gardens visible in the vast mystical site.
Still intact is the 19th century EL BAHIA PALACE, with dozens of rooms lavishly decorated and open to the public when the royal family is not using them.
Another notable building is the 14th century BEN YOUSSEF MEDERSA, a school until 1960 and opened to the public in 1982. You can visit its grand courtyard, decorated with intricate details.
The huge DJEMAA EL-FNA market square must be visited both during the day and at night. It is after the sun sets that its true spectacle comes alive, made up of snake charmers, merchants, and storytellers. It is just a short walk from the seductive MEDINA SOUKS, selling all kinds of junk, antiques, and local crafts.
Also visit the Jardin Majorelle, French gardens created in the early 20th century by French artist Jacques Majorelle. Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent renovated it in the 1980s and placed his personal collection of Islamic arts in a green-roofed pavilion that now stands as the Museum of Islamic Arts.
Other landmark gardens are the MENARA GARDENS, located about 3km from the center of the city. You'll see them on most of the city's postcards, especially their 19th century pavilion facing the central basin and with the Atlas Mountains in the background.
TOURS & DAYTRIPS
Go on a tour of Marrakech and discover the best of Morocco.
From Marrakech it is easy to reach Essaouira on the Atlantic coast, once a Portuguese port called Mogador. It is now a World Heritage City standing as an outstanding example of a fortified town. It is a popular windsurfing destination, but the pretty whitewashed streets, relaxing atmosphere, and charming riads have opened the city to all types of tourists.