Full of heady sights, noise and bustle, and bursts of color that will dazzle and enchant any traveler, Marrakesh will make you feel like you’ve been hit in the face with sensations. Bursting at the seams with culture, this city in Western Morocco will certainly get your pulse racing.
Known as a magpie’s nest of treasures, Marrakesh is filled with labyrinthine medieval-era streets crowded with people all battering for the best deal on their favorite Northern African products. As you can imagine, with such a bustling city at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains surrounded by the Sahara Desert, there’s no shortage of things to see and do here.
If you’re planning on traveling to Morocco, here are just some of the top things to do in Marrakesh.
- 1 Get lost in the vibrant Medina of Marrakesh
- 2 Ride a camel through the Sahara
- 3 Discover the magic of Djemaa El-Fna
- 4 Admire the masterpiece that is Bahia Palace
- 5 Enjoy a drink over the city at Sky Bar
- 6 Admire the city walls
- 7 Explore the Marrakesh landscape by horse or quad bike
- 8 Grab some lunch at Henna Art Cafe
- 9 Hear the calls from the Koutoubia Mosque
- 10 Treat yourself to a luxury stay at Riad Kniza
- 11 Soar above the clouds in a hot air balloon
- 12 Devour local cuisine at Dar Cherifa
- 13 Opt for a day of trekking from Marrakesh
- 14 Hit the slopes in the Atlas Mountains
- 15 Discover Marrakesh’s interesting past at Badi Palace
- 16 Get the best bang for your buck at Riad Tchaikana
- 17 Visit the once-hidden Saadian Tombs
- 18 Enjoy a different experience at Mama Afrika
- 19 Visit the Marrakesh Museum
- 20 Feast your eyes on the glorious Ben Youssef Madrasa
- 21 Eat your heart out at La Cantine Des Gazelles
- 22 Stay where luxury meets history at La Sultana Marrakech
- 23 Take a cooking class at Cafe Clock
- 24 Go canyoning in the Middle Atlas Mountains
- 25 Take a break at Bazaar Cafe
- 26 Camp under the stars in the Sahara Desert
- 27 Cool down by day or heat up by night at Nikki Beach
- 28 Zoom down the huge dunes of Merzouga on a sandboard
- 29 Get the most out of Marrakesh with a stay at Riad O
Get lost in the vibrant Medina of Marrakesh
Full to the brim with winding alleys, Moroccan architecture, and a labyrinth of market stalls, you can spend some serious time here wandering around with no purpose.
Enjoy immersing yourself in African culture in the Medina, and you’ll see that it’s a day well spent.
Ride a camel through the Sahara
When we think of Marrakesh, we may think of bustling markets and maze-like streets, but it’s not far from the amazing Sahara Desert. Get a well-rounded perspective of Morocco by venturing out of the city for a day (or five!) for a sand-filled adventure with camels.
Discover the magic of Djemaa El-Fna
Marrakesh brings to mind busy open-air markets, and this is one of the biggest around.
Smack bang in the middle of the old city, spend some time watching smoke billowing from fires, snakes being charmed, and deals being made, and you’ll soon feel like you’re in the capital within the capital.
Admire the masterpiece that is Bahia Palace
The Palace of the beautiful, the brilliant is a 19th-century sight to behold.
With incredible architecture, pristine gardens, and extravagant decor, absorb yourself in the rich history and tradition of one of Marrakesh’s major cultural sites.
Enjoy a drink over the city at Sky Bar
There are few better rooftop bars in Marrakesh than Sky Bar, so perch yourself atop the Renaissance Hotel and admire the bustle hundreds of feet below you.
Whether you go there day or night, you will be rewarded with sweeping views and an intimate atmosphere.
Admire the city walls
Surrounding the Medina is magnificent, towering 12th-century walls.
With 6 miles of walls complete with numerous gates, over 200 towers, and the breathtaking sight of them glowing a light pink in the afternoon sun, this is such a special yet easy experience to have.
Explore the Marrakesh landscape by horse or quad bike
Imagine riding over the dunes with the desert sand stretching out for miles and miles around, the wind whipping your hair as you speed faster and faster. All you need to do is decide how you want to experience your thrill — by horse or bike?
Grab some lunch at Henna Art Cafe
Just a 5-minute stroll from the main square, you will find a delightful cafe perfect for a lunchtime snack or early evening meal. As well as serving delicious traditional food, the cafe is very popular for the excellent, personal service and for getting temporary henna tattoos!
Hear the calls from the Koutoubia Mosque
Five times a day, one voice rises above the Djeema din as the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer from the towering Koutoubia Mosque. Visit this 12th-century monument and learn about the country’s culture at the largest mosque in Marrakesh.
Treat yourself to a luxury stay at Riad Kniza
Experience Moroccan hospitality at its finest in a historic 200-year old mansion called Riad Kniza.
Complete with lavishly restored suites, plush decor, and a swimming pool that will make you drool, this riad is definitely towards the higher end of luxury.
Soar above the clouds in a hot air balloon
Want a unique view of the city of Marrakesh? Dying to see the city from a bird’s eye view?
Near the Atlas Mountains, you can set off on a morning flight gliding over the Moroccan villages and surrounding mountains. It’s simply stunning and a thrill that you’ll remember forever.
Devour local cuisine at Dar Cherifa
Considered a “must visit” by many travelers, Dar Cherifa can’t be recommended highly enough. A traditional restaurant with a superb atmosphere and even better food, you won’t find a more friendly and welcoming place to be.
Opt for a day of trekking from Marrakesh
Marrakesh is a great base to set off for adventures as the surrounding area is full of hidden trails, passes, valleys, and traditional villages just waiting to be explored.
Whether you like short and easy treks or multi-day challenges, Marrakesh offers a plethora of activities throughout the Imlil Valley and Atlas Mountains.
Hit the slopes in the Atlas Mountains
Yep, by slopes I mean skiing! During the winter months (December to March/April), the Atlas Mountains are covered in heaps of snow that make for some pretty sweet slopes.
If you need a break from the city for a few days or just a more affordable skiing adventure, consider giving Morocco a shot.
Discover Marrakesh’s interesting past at Badi Palace
The once-grand and now-ruined El Badi Palace holds many stories that still remain strong in its ruins.
Built at the end of the 16th-century by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour to commemorate the victory of the Battle of the Three Kings against the Portuguese, this huge ruined palace reflects years of battles, opulence and destruction.
Get the best bang for your buck at Riad Tchaikana
If you’re looking for a great place to stay without breaking the bank too much, Riad Tchaikana offers you the best of both worlds. Offering spacious suites and stunning traditional decoration, this riad will give you great value for money.
Sealed up for centuries, only to be rediscovered in 1917, the majestic Saadian Tombs are the former resting place of royalty. Considered a sacred destination, the quiet enclosure at the kasbah is decorated with colorful tiles, Arabic script and elaborate carvings.
Enjoy a different experience at Mama Afrika
Don’t enjoy drinking alcohol or want to do something different with your evening?
At Mama Afrika, you can enjoy blended fruit smoothies and mocktails that taste just as good as they look. With great drinks, food and a quirky atmosphere, this is a great place to chill and chat.
Visit the Marrakesh Museum
Calling all art and history buffs, this one is for you!
Located in the old center of Marrakesh within the beautiful Dar Menebhi Palace, this art museum contains art pieces and stunning architecture that are simply there to be admired.
Feast your eyes on the glorious Ben Youssef Madrasa
The largest and most important Islamic school in Morocco, this magnificent building is home to 130 rooms and houses over 900 students.
Built over 500 years ago, the Ben Youssef Madrasa needs to be on your list of things to see in Marrakesh even if you just stand there and admire its beauty.
Eat your heart out at La Cantine Des Gazelles
Looking for a place that serves some of the best chicken tajine or beef cous cous? Look no further than La Cantine Des Gazelles.
Offering Moroccan classics that will blow your mind, this cute little restaurant is also widely known for its chocolate crepes.
Stay where luxury meets history at La Sultana Marrakech
Ever wondered what a maximalist style looks like?
At La Sultana Marrakech, you will be bombarded with painted, carved, tiled and polished finishes, exotic decor, and facilities that will entice you to never leave the hotel.
Take a cooking class at Cafe Clock
Experience Moroccan tradition when it comes to creating culinary classics by taking a cooking class at Cafe Clock.
From starting the day buying the ingredients at the local market to experimenting with spices, flavors, and ingredients that amaze when combined together, you’ll end the day sitting down for a huge feast and laughing until you can’t anymore.
Read our experience: The Best Marrakesh Cooking Class
Go canyoning in the Middle Atlas Mountains
Need some adventure?
Not far from the city, you can get your thrill on by cliff jumping, abseiling from waterfalls and sliding down natural rock slides in the Atlas Mountains. There are many daily to 5-day activities here where you can trek and camp your way to Marrakesh or just pop out for an adventure-filled day.
Take a break at Bazaar Cafe
Relax after a day in the busy souk at Bazaar Cafe. Boasting incredible views over the city, this location is a popular spot both day and night, and the food and service are always top-notch.
Camp under the stars in the Sahara Desert
There is nothing like sleeping under the stars especially surrounded by desert for miles around, so consider taking a multi-day adventure from Marrakesh.
Grab a camel and walk in a nomad’s shoes, experiencing what it is like to sleep in one of Mother Nature’s greatest treasures.
Cool down by day or heat up by night at Nikki Beach
If you’re looking for a place to relax in the day but also party in the night, then you don’t have to leave Nikki Beach.
Full of swimming pools, lively bars and restaurants, and an enticing dancefloor, this is a great place to be if you like to get your groove on.
Zoom down the huge dunes of Merzouga on a sandboard
Not far from Marrakesh, you can get a serious adrenaline rush. Spend hours hiking to the top of some of the steepest sand dunes around and zoom down them at 50 mph on your trusty sandboard.
Trust us, it’s worth it!
Get the most out of Marrakesh with a stay at Riad O
Located in central Marrakesh and walking distance from all the main attractions, Riad O ticks all the boxes for convenience. But it doesn’t stop there! This stunning riad also scores major points for comfort, cuisine, facilities, decor, and an overall fantastic service.
What are your favorite things to do in Marrakesh? Share with us in the comments!
Planning a trip to Morocco? Check out a few of our other articles
- Morocco Travel Tips
- Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Morocco
- 5 Outdoor Activities You’d Be Crazy to Miss in Morocco
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