Looking to visit Marrakech? Are you wondering how many days in Marrakech you need?! Well, we have a complete travel guide to some absolutely epic things to do in Marrakech!
But really, how many days in Marrakech do you actually need?! Are there actually THAT many things to see and do in Marrakech? There sure is.
If you’re short on time, one day in Marrakech is doable. It’ll be a busy one day, allowing you to see some of the highlights in Marrakech, but one day is doable!
Ideally, we suggest allocating at least 2-3 days in Marrakech. 2-3 days in Marrakech gives you time to explore at a relaxed pace. You can tackle the city’s must-see sights, head out in the desert, or relax by your riad pool!
After all, Marrakech was founded in 1062 and is the fourth-largest city in Morocco. So it has some stuff to see and experience!
Want to learn how to spend one week in Morocco?! Check out our itinerary.
Once you arrive, you learn, like we did, Marrakech has an infectious buzz and spirit. The way souk stalls haggle, street vendors sizzle up tantalizing delicacies, and the way the sun sets over mosaic mosques, it feels as if time can stand still.
From ancient medina alleyways to rooftop cafes, beautiful riads, and a desert day trip full of adventure, Marrakech has a little something for every type of traveler. It’s beautiful, chaotic, charming, and truly nothing short of a must-visit destination in Morocco.
You’ll experience an ancient city that has centuries of cultures and cuisines. Marrakech is chaos, but beautiful chaos at that! Are you ready to explore?!
20 Things To Do In Marrakech
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1. Stay In a Traditional Marrakech Riad
The first thing you need to do when visiting Marrakech is to make sure you stay in a Riad!
What’s a Riad you ask?
Outside of it being THE QUITNESSINAL accommodation in Morocco, a riad is a Moroccan home that is comprised of multiple stories all surrounding an open-air courtyard with a fountain, garden, and sometimes, a pool.
It’s the perfect place to call home while exploring Morocco. You can sip mint tea in a mosaic courtyard, enjoy a sunset (if they have a rooftop), and of course, instantly make you feel like you are in beautiful Marrakech.
While we stayed in the Mandarin Oriental during our time in Marrakech, there are some AMAZING Riads in Marrakech for your reserve like Raid BE, Riad Melhoun & Spa, Riad Goloboy, and Riad Kasbah. Of course, there are SO MANY more Riads for you to choose from, there are just some top-rated favorites!
You cannot leave Morocco without staying in a Riad!
For more places to stay in Marrakech, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
2. Explore The Mosacis of Bahia Palace
As part of your visit to Marrakech, Bahia or the “Brilliance” Palace should be a must-see on your “things to do in Marrakech” list.
Bahia Palace was built in the 19th century and is home to some beautiful Moroccan architecture. With 150+ rooms, beautiful gardens, and gorgeous courtyards, Bahia Palace was designed to wow, and wow she does!
Once you arrive, you’ll immediately see why Bahia Palace is one of the most visited monuments in Morocco.
Open daily from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and costs 70MAD about $6-$7 USD to enter. Hours may vary on holy days and holidays.
TIP! You can visit some of these amazing Marrakech attractions with a guided tour! You’ll be whisked around Marrakech by a local guide where you’ll learn more about the palaces, mosques, and medina than you would by walking each yourself!
3. Take In The Chaos of Jemma el-Fna Square
No visit to Marrakech is complete without visiting one of, if not the most iconic places in Marrakech. It’s of course none other than Jemma el-Fna.
Jemma el-Fna is a square and marketplace used by locals and visited by bazillions of tourists every year. The best time to come is late afternoon, a few hours before sunset.
During the day, the square is a little “dead” so to speak. You’ll find a plethora of fresh-squeezed orange juice stalls and snake charmers along with a few well-trained monkeys.
Please skip interacting with the snake charmers and monkey trainers. How they treat the animals is cruel.
However, as the sun begins to set the square becomes alive! Stalls begin to erect, and food vendors start up their fires. Musicians begin to play and the medina shops start to get busy.
People by the thousands (or at least that’s what it felt like) come to the square to buy, shop, eat, and simply hang out. It’s honestly the beating heart of Marrakech and truly a place that cannot be missed!
4. Explore The Mellah, The Jewish Quarter of Marrakech
The Jewish Quarter, or Mellah and formally known as Hay Essalam, is located close to Bahia Palace. Once you pass through Ben Attar gate, you’ve arrived.
The Jewish Quarter in Marrakech is considered the second oldest Mellah in the entire country of Morocco.
Visitors can explore the many souks of the Mellah as well as Jewish museums, a synagogue (Slat Al Azama), and the Miara cemetery. This area is often overlooked by many tourists visiting Morocco, so if you have the time, it’s a great area rich in history to explore.
TIP! If you’d like to get a better understanding of the Mellah’s past and present, what better way to learn about its history than from a local?!
5. Take A Trip to The Agafay Desert
For those looking to spend a few hours outside the city of Marrakech, heading to a Morrocan desert is a fantastic option!
Located about 35 – 45 minutes outside of Marrakech is the Agafay Desert, the closest desert to Marrakech. Visitors to the Agafay Desert can opt for a half-day adventure or, what we did, a sunset dinner and camel ride.
You’ll enjoy Moroccan food and mint tea as the sun sets on the horizon of the desert. It’s really a wonderful way to end a day in Morocco!
The Agafay Desert is not a sand desert, but rather a rock desert. Meaning if you want to experience the rolling sand dunes of the Sahara, you should book a Sahara Desert tour.
6. Explore The Saddin Tombs
Built on an existing necropolis, the Saadian Tombs are not just any old tombs. They are beautifully decorated tombs with intricate mosaic pillars and details.
Transformed into a lavish tomb sometime in the late 16th century, the Saddin Tombs are comprised of two mausoleums each housing chambers and tombs that contain exquisite geometric tilework, gold, and marble accents.
You can wander through each mausoleum to get a true sense of just how wealthy the Saadian dynasty was.
Open daily from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and cost 60MAD, about $6-7 USDs. Hours may differ on holy days and holidays.
7. Take a Cooking Class or Food Tour in Marrakech
One of our favorite things to do when exploring a new country is to eat! Duh, right?!
We love food and what better way to learn about a country’s staple cuisines and flavor profiles than taking a cooking class or a food tour?! Lucky for you, both are offered in Marrakech!
For those looking to learn how to cook traditional, authentic Moroccan food, then a cooking class in Marrakech is for you! Buy local ingredients right from souks in the Medina and then head back to the chef’s home where you’ll cook an appetizer, entrée, and dessert!
For those just wanting to eat (not do the labor part 🙂 then a food tour throughout Marrakech is a perfect option for you! On this small group tour, you’ll visit around 10 food spots and stalls hidden within the medina of Marrakech. As you eat, you’ll learn about the food and why it’s a staple of Moroccan culture.
8. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque
The largest mosque in Morocco can be found in Marrakech. Koutoubia Mosque is a few hundred meters from Jemma el-Fna Square and a beautiful place to visit.
It’s a massive mosque measuring 80 meters (260ft) wide in some parts. Like other mosques in Morocco, only Muslims are allowed in. As for those who do not practice Islam, you can take in the beauty from the outside and its gardens.
Regardless if you can enter or not, this beautiful red brick mosque should be a pit stop on your day exploring Marrakech.
9. Wander Through the Ruins of El Badi Palace
Today, nothing but ruined walls of sandstone, an empty reflection pool, and sunken gardens remain. But back in the 16th century, El Badi Palace’s grandeur was to be rivaled.
Built by Sultan Ahmed el Mansour in the 16th century, the vast grounds were designed to show off the Sultan’s wealth and power. When visiting El Badi Palace today, wander the enormous grounds and try to imagine the grandeur of days past, take in the city views from the palace’s rooftop terrace, and opt to visit the Minbar of the Koutoubia Mosque exhibit.
Costing 70MAD for adults (children are free), El Badi Palace is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM. Hours may vary during holy days and holidays.
10. Book a Hammam Treatment
Whether you book a Hammam in Marrakech or during your visit to Fes, it’s a unique day at the spa! And if you’re looking to relax and get the Marrakech dust off you, a Hammam is the scrub down you’ve been waiting for!
You’ll be massaged with exfoliants in an effort to relax and cleanse your body. You can choose to partake in a local Hammam (a public bathhouse-like experience) or opt to have a more private experience at places like Les Bains d’Orient Marrakech, Mythic Oriental Spa, or Marajah Spa.
11. Shop the Souks of the Marrakech Medina
Your time in Marrakech isn’t complete unless you roam aimlessly through one of the many medinas and try your hand at haggling with a souk vendor.
If you’re in the market for leather goods, Moroccan rugs, spices, lanterns, or any other wonderful souvenirs, the Marrakech Medina and its souk stalls are where you go! A popular Medina route is located just off Jemma el-Fna Square.
Meander the alleyways yourself (just avoid doing so at night solo) and expect to get lost 🙂 Alternatively, you can opt for a Medina shopping tour with a local guide! Offering several time slots throughout the day, you can navigate the Marrakech Medina and shop with confidence with the help of your trusty local guide.
We said Jemma el-Fna was the heartbeat of Marrakech above. Well if Jemma el-Fna is the heartbeat, consider the Marrakech Medina the blood that pumps it! If you’re wanting to experience Moroccan culture, head to the Medina. You’ll witness life roll by and your senses will be on overdrive. It’s chaotically captivating.
Check out our tips for shopping in the Marrakech Medina!
12. Visit Ben Youssef Madrasa (Ibn Youssef School)
Historic Islamic college founded in the 14th century remains one of the finest buildings in Marrakesh and the largest madrasa in Morocco.
Built by the Marinid Sultan Abu Inan Faris, initially, Ben Youssef Madrasa started out as a modest madrasa, but that all changed once Abdallah al-Ghalib, the second Saadian sultan of Morocco got his hands on it.
Upon the completion of its upgrade and expansion in the 16th century, the Ben Youssef Madrasa housed more than 900 students for four centuries, making it one of the most significant theological colleges in North Africa.
Today it is open to the public as a mosaic and tile marvel. Geometric, colorful, mosaics, charming courtyards, a prayer hall, and 100+ dormitory rooms await to be explored as you wander through this beautiful Madrassa in Marrakech.
Ben Youssef Madrassa is open daily from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM and costs 70 MAD to enter. Hours may vary during holy days and holidays.
13. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Marrakech
One of the more luxurious, and let’s be honest, unique experiences you can have in Marrakech is taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise! You’ll fly with a small group and pilot as your sore over the red dirt landscape of Morocco with the Atlas Mountains in the distance.
After your flight, you’ll be treated to a traditional Berber breakfast in a cozy tent before being taken back to the city of Marrakech.
14. Enjoy Mint Tea From a Marrakech Cafe
Rooftop culture is alive and well in Morocco.
Need a break from the heat or from walking? Find a rooftop and sit. Take in the amazing views of the city and order some mint tea (aka Moroccan whiskey) while you’re at it.
One of our favorite rooftops in Marrakech was by happenstance. We stumbled onto it after we left the Saadian Tombs. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out Kasbah Café.
15. Take Your Photo infront of Moulay El Yazid Mosque
Also known as the Mansouria Mosque, the Kasbah Mosque was originally built around 1190. It’s located in the old Kasbah of Marrakech and the Moulay El Yazid Mosque is a site to see!
It stands tall and beautiful with its highly detailed walls and intricate green pops of design work.
Remember that café we recommend above? Kasbah Café? Well, you have ah-maz-ing views of Moulay El Yazid Mosque from the rooftop of the Kasbah Café 🙂
16. Explore The Botanical Gardens in Marrakech
If you are looking for some reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the bustling streets and medina alleyways, consider visiting two of the most popular gardens in Marrakech, Jardin Majorelle, and Le Jardin Secret.
Of the two, Jardin Majorelle is the closest to the city center of Marrakech, whereas Le Jardin Secret is about a 20-minute drive further north of Jardin Majorelle.
Jardin Majorelle is a beautiful two-acre botanical garden and oasis in Marrakech.
The Majorelle Garden was designed in 1924 by the French artist, Jacques Majorelle until it was taken over by the famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1980 to preserve the vision of its original owner and creator (Jacques Majorelle) as well as to keep this botanical garden open to the public.
Today, visitors can wander through the gardens to observe the 300 plant species from five different continents that call this Marrakech garden home.
At the center of the garden, you’ll find a blue stucco building that houses more than 600 artifacts of Morocco’s indigenous people.
Jardin Majorelle is open daily from 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM and costs 70MAD to enter. Children under 11 years and younger are free.
Secret Garden (Le Jardin Secret)
The ground the gardens reside on has been the home of several palaces of important Moroccan political figures and Sultans. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that a French diplomat took over the grounds looking to create a quiet place amongst the chaotic hum of Marrakech.
Once off-limits to the public, Le Jardin Secret opened its doors officially in 2016. Today, visitors can stroll along pathways as you mingle amongst lush vegetation, like palm trees, cacti, and several ponds.
The Secret Garden and its buildings are considered outstanding examples of traditional Islamic art and architecture.
The Secret Garden costs 80 MAD to enter and is open daily from 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM (October – February) and 9:30 AM – 7:30 PM (March – September).
17. Drink Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
We still dream about that freshly squeezed orange juice – excuse us as our mouths water…
In Jemma el-Fna square, there are dozens of orange juice vendors waiting to give you that sweet Moroccan OJ goodness. To not drink orange juice in Morocco is pretty much an epic food fail.
18. Watch The Sunset From A Rooftop in Marrakech
Let us tell you something…there is no better way to end your day in Marrakech than watching the sunset over the bustling Medina of Marrakech. No matter how little or long your stay when you visit Marrakech, taking time to slow down and watch the sunset is a must.
The best place to watch the sunset in Marrakech is Jemma el-Fna Square.
Lucky for you, we have not one, but two locations for you to catch the sunset. The best part, they are a stone’s throw away from each other.
Café Du France and Le Grand Balcon Café Glacier are rooftop restaurants situated in the heart of the Jemma el-Fna square.
Arrive early, grab a seat, and order some food and drinks as you watch a magical setting unfold in front of you!
19. Visit A Marrakech Museum or Two
If you’re looking to learn a little more about the past, history, and cultural influences Marrakech, and Morocco, have experienced over the decades and centuries, then visiting a museum in Marrakech is a great way to do so.
- Yves Saint Laurent Museum: With ties to Marrakech and being inspired by the colors and culture, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech, is a museum entirely devoted to the work of the legendary French fashion designer.
- Marrakech Museum: The Marrakech Museum houses works of art from around Morocco. Ancient items and artifacts like carpets, pottery, paintings, coins, weapons, jewelry, and wardrobes can be found here.
- House of Photography in Marrakech: Is a museum that houses old photographs from around Morocco depicting Moroccan life from the 1870s through to the 1960s.
- Dar Si Said Museum: Located in a former palace, Dar Si Said allows its visitors to not only wander through the halls and rooms of a 19th-century palace but also observe exhibits of rugs, instruments, jewelry, leather goods, and pottery.
- Dar El Bacha Museum (Museum of Confluences): Arguably one of the finest examples of raid architecture in Marrakesh, Dar El Bacha Museum is a luxurious and ornately detailed palace that not only houses a coffee shop specializing in traditional Arabic coffee (Bacha Coffee House) but exhibits highlighting the aspects of Moroccan culture.
20. Take A Day Trip from Marrakech
Last but certainly not least is experiencing the amazing sights that lay outside of the city of Marrakech. From deserts and mountains to waterfalls and villages, if you have the time to take a day trip from Marrakech, you definitely should!
- Atlas Mountains, Waterfalls, & A Camel Ride: Talk about a triple threat we are right?! Spend your day visiting Berber villages, hiking to waterfalls, and enjoying a camel ride in the desert. Not too bad, eh?!
- Explore Other Moroccan Cities and Towns: Like the seaside town of Essaouira, the “Hollywood of Morocco” Ouarzazate, or romantic Casablanca.
- Desert 4×4 Adventure: Explore Morocco’s rugged desert landscapes while cruising on the back of a 4×4 all-terrain quad bike! You’ll blaze the dusty trails until you eventually make a pit stop for some Moroccan tea and snacks with a local family in a Berber village.
- Visit Ouzoud Falls: A series of cascading 330 ft waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains where visitors can hike, see some monkeys, and enjoy a boat ride!
- 3 Days Desert Tour To Merzouga Dunes (Sahara): Ok, caught us! Totally not a day trip, but we wanted to include this tour IF you have the time! You’ll spend three amazing days exploring the southern Sahara Desert where you’ll spend the night at Berber desert camps, sandboarding, visit Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, and Todra Gorges. Alternatively, you can do a similar desert tour on your way to Fes!
For more day trips from Marrakech, you can always check out the latest tour prices and availability to select the best trip for you! Regardless of how you spend your days in Marrakech, one thing is for certain, it will be time well spent!
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stus)