Marrakech Itinerary

Visiting Marrakech, a city brimming with culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes, can be a truly memorable experience. To make the most out of your trip, whether it’s for 3, 4, 5, or 7 days, here’s a perfect Marrakech itinerary that highlights the must-see attractions and the best activities to enjoy during your stay.

Table of Contents

What to do in Marrakech: the essential activities

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A brief presentation and history of Marrakech

From the Almoravids to the Alawites

Marrakech was started in 1071 by Youssef Ibn Tachfin, leading the Almoravids. It quickly became a big deal, serving as the main spot for business, religion, and crafts, and was the capital of a huge area that included today’s Morocco, Mauritania, some of Algeria, and the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).

Later, the Almohads took over, making Marrakech their capital too. They built the famous Koutoubia mosque and ruled an even bigger empire along the Atlantic coast.

Marrakech became a place where artists and smart people from Al-Andalus liked to hang out, making it stand out. It was also a key trading spot, connecting the riches of Africa with the rest of its empire.

But from the 13th to the 16th century, under the Merinids, Marrakech wasn’t as important, and Fez took over as the capital.

The city got its spark back with the Saadians, who built a lot of palaces, though we don’t see many of them today.

In the 17th century, the Alaouites moved the capital around between Fez, Meknes, and Marrakech, with Marrakech being the capital again between 1757 and 1790.

Marrakech from the French protectorate to the present day

Marrakech entered the French protectorate of Morocco in 1912 .

Thami El Glaoui became the pasha of the city, with the approval of Marshal Lyautey, and remained so for more than 40 years, collaborating with the French.

Morocco regained its independence in 1956 , and from the 1960s Marrakech became a prestigious tourist destination, notably under the impetus of Yves-Saint-Laurent, who built his Majorelle villa there.

Today, it is still Morocco’s number one tourist destination, and there is something for every budget!

Marrakech extended around its vast medina (the largest in North Africa!) between modern districts, hotel districts or residences for Westerners, and more popular districts.

Where to stay in Marrakech: best hotels and riads

Riad In Marrakech

The choice of accommodation in Marrakech is great! Between Airbnb, simple hotels, luxury hotels, riads… there is something for everyone and all budgets!

 Where to stay to visit Marrakech?

Most points of interest are concentrated in the medina. However, it is very extensive, with its 600 hectares.

I offer you a small selection of the best accommodation in Marrakech , by district, budget, and type of accommodation, some of them are real gems!

Stay in the medina of Marrakech

Riad Casa Sophia Marrakech
Riad Casa Sophia

Accommodation in the Hivernage district of Marrakech

Red House Riad Marrakech
Red House

Do you need a visa to go to Marrakech?

Nationals of the European Union do not need a visa to visit Morocco, and therefore Marrakech.

Do you need a passport to visit Marrakech? 

Yes, you will need a passport to enter Morocco!  Your passport will be stamped on entry and exit.

Getting from Marrakech-Menara airport to medina

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The easiest way to reach the medina or other districts from Marrakech airport is to book a minibus, or to get a taxi, at a negotiated price, from a hotel. 

If negotiating on arrival in Marrakech does not tempt you, there are private transfers that can be booked in advance (and can be canceled). Do not hesitate to compare the offers!

Visit Marrakech in 1 day

What to do in one day in Marrakech?

For this first day in Marrakech I suggest:

The medina of Marrakech being huge, I suggest you explore the southern part, up to the old Kasbah.

A good option: take advantage of this tour, a guided tour of the medina and all highlights of Marrakech

BEST PLACES TO VISIT:

Medina of Marrakesh

Medina In Marrakech

The Medina of Marrakech, enclosed by 19 km of historic walls, is a labyrinth of narrow streets bathed in its iconic ocher color. Hidden within these walls are hidden gems like palaces and riads.

Within this ancient city, numerous mosques stand along the streets. While non-Muslim visitors cannot enter the mosques, the beauty of their minarets and doors can still be admired from the outside.

Given the Medina’s vast size, it’s unlikely you’ll see everything in one visit. Try to explore a different part each day, especially since most points of interest are not far from Jamaa el-Fna Square.

Be prepared to get a bit lost and possibly overwhelmed by the bustling atmosphere. However, take time to notice the intricate details around you, such as the doors and public fountains scattered throughout the Medina.

Jamaa el-Fna Square

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Jamaa el-Fna Square, also known as Jemaa el-Fna, is Marrakech’s biggest square in the old city. It’s always bustling, attracting visitors more for its lively atmosphere than its looks. This square is a must-visit in Marrakech, offering a real street performance with food stalls, juice sellers, snake charmers, and fortune tellers. It’s particularly vibrant at night, making it a great spot for an evening meal.

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakech’s most iconic monument, easily recognized by its minaret, which inspired Seville’s Giralda. Located about 200 meters from Jamaa el-Fna, the mosque was built between 1120 and 1196, replacing an older mosque. It’s the largest mosque in the city, though it’s important to note that non-Muslims cannot enter most mosques in Morocco, except for the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. However, its simple, white interior and “Arab-Andalusian” garden are worth seeing from what you can catch at the door, especially at dusk.

The Souks of Marrakech

Marrakech Souk

The Souks of Marrakech, right next to Jamaa el-Fna Square, is a maze of themed markets organized by profession. It’s easy to get lost, but that’s part of the fun. The souks are a key attraction in Marrakech, offering a glimpse into traditional life and a variety of craftsmanship like ceramics, leather goods, and food items like spices and tea. Remember, haggling is expected, especially outside of food purchases.

The Mellah

Mellah

The Mellah, or old Jewish quarter, is another area worth visiting, located south of Jamaa el-Fna. Recently renovated synagogues here are open for visits.

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace

Lastly, the Bahia Palace is a must-see, arguably the most beautiful in Marrakech. Built for Si Moussa, the vizier of Sultan Hassan I, between 1866 and 1900, it sprawls over 80,000 square meters. The palace showcases the era’s finest craftsmanship and materials. The name “Bahia” means “the beautiful one,” named after the vizier’s favorite. The palace, once home to General Lyautey during the French protectorate, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an entrance fee of 80 dirhams for non-Moroccans.

Visit to the Bahia Palace in Marrakech

Unfortunately, only part of this huge palace can be visited, the rest being owned by the Moroccan royal family.

But it’s also worth it since it’s beautiful! Be aware that the rooms are not furnished.

About 1h30 of visit.

You first have to cross a long driveway before entering a small courtyard (or patio) and discovering the small riad , which is very nice!

It was in the rooms around that Lyautey lived, who even had a fireplace added! And yes, it can be cold in winter in Marrakech…

We especially notice the magnificent painted wood ceilings!

The most beautiful rooms are organized around a larger patio . Notice the details!

These amazing ceilings, I can’t get enough of them!

The old Kasbah of Marrakech

Kasbah In Marrakech

Meet us further south of the medina of Marrakech, in the old Kasbah a military fortress, which can be found in most cities in North Africa.

The Kasbah is also from a district like any other, with wider streets, however! And a little more traffic…

The Kasbah is also bounded by the ancient ramparts of the city of Marrakech . 

Don’t miss the beautiful Bab Agnaou Gate !

There is still the Royal Palace of Marrakech (which cannot be visited, too bad!)

The Saadian tombs of Marrakech

Saadian Tombs Marrakech Itinerary

Among the other places to visit in Marrakech , adjoining the El Mansour Mosque (former Grand Mosque of Marrakech), are the tombs of the Saadian dynasty.

Their Alawite successors did not change it, so we can admire them!

The tombs are located in the heart of a green enclosure.

The Saadian tombs generally date from the end of the 16th century . 

The necropolis consists of several mausoleums. It is impossible to enter them, so we are content to admire them from the landing.

In particular, you can see the very beautiful chamber of the twelve columnsthe chamber of the mihrab and the large chamber.

In 2024, the entrance price to the tombs is 60 MAD , or almost 6€. A bit expensive compared to the size, but it’s up to you…

El Badi Palace 

El Badi Place Marrakech Itinerary

Another curiosity in Marrakech , not far from there, we visited the El Badi palace .

It is the ruins of this old palace, the largest in Marrakech at its time!

It was built between 1578 and 1594 by the Saadian sultan Ahmed al-Mansur ad-Dhahbî.

Very richly decorated, it was inspired by the Nasrid palaces of the Alhambra in Granada.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much left of it!

It was indeed completely looted by the Alaouite sultan Moulay Ismaïl who recovered everything possible for his palace in Meknes, the new capital of the kingdom, which then dethroned Marrakech.

We therefore come here to discover the size of the palace and stroll through what is left of it, but also to enjoy the view of Marrakech.

An exhibition hall houses the old minbar (chair to preach) of the Koutoubia, one of the oldest in Morocco.

This will especially appeal to history buffs.

The Agdal Gardens

Agdal Gardens

The Kasbah, the royal palace of Marrakech is extended by the gardens of Agdal .

Regarding these gardens, we mistakenly thought that everything was visible.

In fact only a small part is open to the public (only on weekends) and the entrance is far from the medina of Marrakech (we walked several kilometers…)

In the end, the interest lies above all in the view of the peaks of the Atlas and on the other side of the Medina, which can be observed from the abandoned building.

In short, a nice moment away from the crowds and the medina, to see according to your desires and the time available!

You can return by taxi.

Visit Marrakech in 2 days

What to do in Marrakech in 2 days?

For this second day to visit Marrakech , I suggest you discover:

Dar-Si-Said Museum in Marrakech

Dar Si Said Museum

I invite you to discover this other pretty palace in Marrakech.

The Dar Si Saïd Palace was also built in the 19th century by Si Saïd Ben Moussa, who held the position of Minister of War under the regency of the Alawite sultan Moulay Abdelaziz.

It is located not far from the Bahia Palace and has a lot of pretty rooms! 

Again, look up to admire the details of the amazing painted wood ceilings. Typically Moroccan!

Outside, a pretty riad with a small kiosk offers a veritable oasis of greenery!

The Dar Si Said Palace is open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The entrance fee is 30 dirhams.

Info on the official website of the Dar Si Saïd Palace

North of Jamaa el-Fna Square

Now let’s go north of the Jamaa el-Fna

Along the way, stroll through the souks of this part of the medina!

Also always pay attention to the details, this is what makes the charm of the medina of Marrakech…

Madrasa Ben-Youssef 

Madra Bem Youssef

Next we are at the Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech.

Visit of the Ben Youssef madrasa

What is a madrasa ?

A Madrasa or medersa, is a Koranic school .

The Ben Youssef Medersa is very old (1570) and was mainly used as a university, as is often the case in the Muslim world.

The Madrasa itself was rather a kind of university city.

This is where the students not originally from Marrakech lived, in tiny rooms or rather “cells”, often several in less than 9m²!

Classes were held in the adjoining mosque.

The Madrasa of Marrakech was in operation for four centuries!

It is currently no longer in service, and can therefore be visited like any historical and tourist monument.

We discover the magnificent courtyard of ablutions , ahead of the prayer room . 

All around, notice the windows of the cells!

The prayer room is simply magnificent, with its typically Arab-Andalusian stucco.

Above all, don’t miss the mihrab , a niche that indicates the direction of Mecca for praying.

The interior of the medersa is concentrated around a small patio. Again, admire the details!

Upstairs, we visit the cells, all very modest. Some overlook the courtyard, with a nice view, others the street.

The Ben Youssef Medersa in Marrakech is not very big and the visit does not take too long.

Marrakech Museum

Marrakech Museum

Right next to the medersa is another palace/museum: the Marrakech Museum , or Omar Benjelloun Foundation .

Located in a restored 19th-century palace, it houses temporary exhibitions on Moroccan art and crafts .

Here too the decor is worth the detour, especially the magnificent covered patio, but also for the ceilings.

A combined ticket with the Medersa ben Youssef costs barely 1€ more.

The tanners’ quarter of Marrakech

Tanneries De Marrakech

After these last visits, we discovered Tanneries de Marrakech. Not too difficult to find.

We discover how tanners work, always in the old-fashioned way!

The visit was indeed free, visit also to the shop.

Visit Marrakech in 3 days

What to do in Marrakech in 3 days?

I suggest you get out of the medina a bit this time!

Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle

Among the essentials of Marrakech , not far from the limits of the medina, is the Majorelle garden , a real gem!

Even if it owes its name to its founder, the painter Jacques Majorelle, it is best known for having been the residence of Yves Saint-Laurent in Marrakech!

The famous couturier fell in love with the garden and his Art Deco villa during a trip in 1966, and bought it in 1980 with his companion Pierre Berger.

Jacques Majorelle, the first owner, wanted to recreate a real oasis inspired by Islamic gardens.

Saint-Laurent and Berger further improved the garden, creating a real botanical space with 300 species over a one-hectare area. It is a must-visit!

Not very big, it is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Marrakech but also in Morocco!

With 600,000 visitors per year, the Majorelle garden is a very touristy place!

The villa has remained famous for its intense blue!

It houses a Berber museum, founded by Yves Saint-Laurent. 

Do not hesitate to take a break at the café in the Majorelle garden!

Also, next door is the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum in Marrakech, dedicated to the couturier and his fashion designs. 

Opening times and prices for the Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint-Laurent museum

The Majorelle garden and the Yves Saint Laurent museum are open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 5.30 p.m.)

The price of the full price ticket is:

Prices have risen a lot in a few years, and I find it a bit expensive, although I still recommend it!

Majorelle garden official website

Official site of the Yves Saint-Laurent museum

Guéliz: the modern district of Marrakech

Gueliz

You can continue to discover the district of Guéliz !

It was created by the French during the colonial era and has remained very “Europeanized”.

Modern buildings but not too modern, the ocher of the city being preserved, rather clean streets, McDonalds, Starbucks, a large shopping center, restaurants of “international food”, girls dressed in Western style…

Beautiful sidewalks…

There is the Royal Theater of Marrakech , quite “oriental” in style. 

A little further on, I really liked the “neo-regional” style Marrakech train station

Discover another aspect of the city. Because Marrakech is not just the medina…

Fans of shopping will find what they are looking for in the many shopping centers in the area, such as the Carre Eden.

The Secret Garden of Marrakech

Le Jardin Secret Marrakech

Back in the medina, not far from the central souks, I see an invitation to discover Le Jardin Secret !

This garden was at the heart of a 16th century Saadian complex comprising several palaces, which were destroyed when the dynasty died out.

A new palace was built in the middle of the 19th century by a caïd from the Atlas, and changed owners several times, until it was abandoned in the 1930s.

Recently restored, the Secret Garden of Marrakech is divided into two separate riads.

We discover an Islamic garden and an exotic garden.

Part of the restored palace houses an exhibition hall, a shop, and a café.

From the top of the tower, you get a nice view of the garden and the medina!

Le Jardin Secret is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. depending on the season (closed earlier in the summer!) 

The entrance fee is 100 DH, 80 for 7-24 year olds, free for children under 7 and disabled people and their companion.

It will be necessary to add 60 DH to climb the tower, 40 at a reduced rate.

Information on the official website of the Secret Garden

Dar el Bacha: the museum of Confluences in Marrakech

Confluences Museum In Marrakech

Right next to the Secret Garden is the new Confluences Museum, also recently opened, in a partially restored former palace from 1912.

It was the palace of El Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech under the French Protectorate. In other words, it was beautiful and luxurious!

The museum hosts a collection of objects from the Marrakech region (woodwork, ceramics, jewelry, fabrics).

For the moment only part of the museum is open to visitors and the collections are rotating.

Dar el Bacha is home to a lounge of cafes from all over the world! Its riad is very pleasant.

The Musée des Confluences is open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entry price is 60 DH for foreigners.

Official website of the Confluences museum

Visit Marrakech in 4 days

What to do in Marrakech in 4 days?

The Menara gardens

Menara Gardens

The Menara Gardens are located outside the medina of Marrakech, about 45 minutes from Jamaa-el-Fna Square.

Very well known, it is a 12th century garden planted with olive trees.

The 19th century pavilion and its basin reservoir offer a real postcard image of Marrakech.

Riads and beautiful hotels in Marrakech

La Mamounia Marrakech
@lamamouniamarrakech

In Marrakech, another hidden gem is the riads and hotels, beautifully styled in the Arab-Andalusian tradition. We had the chance to explore a few of these riads within the medina, which usually involves a small fee.

It’s common there to pay for such experiences, so expect that if someone offers to show you around, they’ll likely want something in return. However, there’s no need to spend a lot; just give what you think is fair and don’t feel pressured.

Stay in a riad in Marrakech

La Mamounia Marrakech
@lamamouniamarrakech

Visiting riads is great, but staying in one is even better! If it fits your budget, experiencing a stay in a Marrakech riad is something truly special.

We also got the chance to explore two palatial hotels right by the city walls: the Mamounia, a famous hotel from the Belle Époque era. Entry to the Mamounia is free, and you can even enjoy a walk through its magnificent gardens!

The Tiskiwin Museum (Bert Flint)

Tiskwin Museum Marrakech

If you like museums, go see the Tiskiwin or Bert Flint museum, in the medina of Marrakech.

Located next to the Bahia Palace, this house from the beginning of the 20th century brings together the Bert Flint collection, a professor passionate about Morocco.

It brings together many Moroccan handicrafts, but also an ethnographic collection of the various peoples of Morocco and the Sahara.

I found it rather interesting!

Info on the official website of the Tiskiwin Museum in Marrakech

Visit Marrakech in 5 days, 6 days, or 7 days

Desert Marrakech Itinerrary

If you’re in Marrakech for over 4 days, you’ve probably seen all the big spots. What’s next? For couples, chilling in a nice riad or going to a traditional hammam can be really cool.

Want to see more than just the city? It’s a good idea to head out for some adventures around Marrakech. To avoid any hassle, it’s best to book these trips online through reliable sites instead of taking chances with local sellers.

Palmeraie Marrakech : This area has around 100,000 palm trees and covers 15,000 hectares, started in the 11th century. It’s a popular place, but online reviews and locals might tell you it’s not in the best shape because it’s not well-kept and is overused. The city’s growing into it too, all because of tourism.

Sahara Desert Tour: A cool thing to do is a 3-day desert trip. It kicks off with a drive to Merzouga, a village near the Algeria border, about 560 km away. You’ll spend a night in a desert camp among the Erg Chebbi dunes, ride camels, and check out places like the Aït Benhaddou kasbah, Dadès Gorges, and Ouarzazate, where they’ve filmed movies like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Gladiator”.

No matter what you choose, booking ahead is smart to dodge any trouble, and you can usually cancel if you need to.

Ouzoud waterfalls and Berber villages: From Marrakech, you can easily head out for a day to the Ourika Valley or the Ouzoud waterfalls, where you can even take a dip in the El Abid river—so, remember to pack a swimsuit!

These spots offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets of the medina.

Visit Essaouira from Marrakech: Essaouira, set on the Atlantic coast, presents a stark contrast to Marrakech. This is a quaint port, once known as Mogador, with its protective walls.

It’s feasible to take a day trip to Essaouira from Marrakech.

Other museums in Marrakech

Macma Marrakech

You can also choose to stay in the Medina and visit other museums in Marrakech! I’ll give you a few examples:

Where and what to eat in Marrakech? 

Moroccan Dinner

Morocco’s food is rich and varied, offering dishes like tajines, couscous, and skewers at good prices if you avoid places packed with tourists. Thanks to a travel guide, we found some great spots to eat in Marrakech!

We really liked “Oscar Progresnear Jemaa el-Fna Square and ended up going there a few times. It felt more genuine than the fancier “Chez Brahim.”

In the Guéliz area of Marrakech, we enjoyed amazing spiced grilled fish at Al Bahriya. The prices for fish were between 150 to 200 dirhams per kilo, and lobster was about 300 dirhams per kilo.

We also tried Moroccan pastries, which you shouldn’t miss. The smaller, local snack bars offer these pastries at much cheaper prices, and they taste just as good. Plus, you get to eat alongside locals instead of tourists.

For drinks, there’s plenty of mint tea everywhere, and a variety of fresh juices like orange for just 4 dirhams, or mixes of avocado, banana, fig, and coconut.

Another cool find was amlou, a yummy spread made from argan oil with peanuts or almonds. You can eat it with bread or pancakes. There are different kinds, some using different oils instead of argan oil.

Marrakech is a fun place to explore different foods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Marrakesh

How long to visit Marrakech?

How many days to visit Marrakech?

Marrakech has a vast medina, souks, palaces, and a few curiosities to see outside the ramparts.

Nevertheless, you will be able to see most of it in 3 days.

To take the time to enjoy it, to visit more things, to stroll, do not hesitate to stay a little longer!

Is Marrakech dangerous?

Marrakech isn’t a city where you need to be overly worried about safety, but it’s smart to follow basic safety tips: don’t flash expensive items, carry only what you need, and try not to wander alone late at night. The city is generally safe, with police keeping an eye out.

However, be cautious of scams. Some people might try to trick you into paying for unsolicited help or directions.

If you didn’t ask for help, you don’t need to pay for it. And it’s better not to give money to begging children, as it keeps them out of school.

What to Wear in Marrakech

When it comes to what to wear in Marrakech, there’s no strict dress code. Women should consider dressing modestly to avoid unwanted attention, like skipping the very short shorts and crop tops. Everyone should aim for comfort, especially in footwear, and choose breathable, loose-fitting clothes if it’s hot, staying away from synthetics that can make you sweat more.

How to get around in Marrakech?

You have to visit Marrakech on foot ! It’s still the easiest!

If you live in the medina, you can visit almost everything on foot, and anyway, the buses do not pass there.

Getting around in the medina of Marrakech is however another problem! 

This is where fake guides will come to your rescue for a fee most of the time!

Be patient, take a paper guide, and a GPS app if needed, and plan the time to get lost!

To go outside the medina, in the district of Guéliz for example, the simplest thing is to NEGOTIATE a taxi .

You have to know that you will always pay more than a Moroccan, that’s the game. But overall it’s still cheap.

Depending on your accommodation in Marrakech, you can ask for a guide (a real one this time).

When to visit Marrakech?

With its mild climate in the heart of the desert, Marrakech can easily be visited in winter, spring, and autumn. 

Avoid all the same November and March which can be rainy!

Summers are VERY hot and will therefore only be reserved for resistant visitors and fans of hot weather!