Marrakech is a vibrant and bustling city, with countless sights to explore and a wide range of unique activities to take part in. It’s almost impossible to leave this city without experiencing something you’ve never done or seen before- it’s truly that special! In fact, most of the activities you’ll see on this “Top 10” list can only be encountered in magical Marrakech✨ Whether you want to shop in the colorful souks, relax in a traditional hammam spa, or watch snake charmers in the medina, Marrakech has something to offer any and every traveler!!
If you’re overwhelmed trying to decide how to spend your time in Morocco’s “Red City,” this top 10 list of things to do will help you make the most of your visit, as it includes all the iconic sights and must-do activities that are oh so special to Marrakech!!
Keep scrolling for a short video guide, as well as a detailed written guide of the best things to do in Marrakech!
1. Haggle in the souks
No trip to Marrakech is complete without getting lost in the buzzing souks. Here you can find just about anything you’re looking to buy: Moroccan spices, handmade leather goods, vintage woven rugs, brass light fixtures, mosaic tiles, and much more!
Be prepared to negotiate since the prices initially requested are usually ridiculously expensive (one vendor tried to charge me 100 USD for cotton sweatpants!), but be firm, and they’ll usually accept your offer right after you walk away and tell them “no thank you!” Also, make sure to walk on the right side of the road in order to make way for motorcycles, donkeys, and other unexpected anomalies that zip by.
2. Visit the ancient Saadian Tombs
The Saadian Tombs are definitely a must-see site in Marrakech, with its mosaic tile details and rich historical significance. Dating all the way back to the reign of sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603), it is the burial sight of the sultan, his royal family, and all members of the Saadi Dynasty.
Even if you’re not a history buff, the complex architecture and peaceful atmosphere of the tombs make it worth a visit.
3. Ride a camel through a palm tree grove
If you don’t have the time to complete the day-long trek to the Sahara, riding a camel on the outskirts of Marrakech is the next best thing! Most tours include: transportation to/from the grove, a 1 hour camel ride (trust me, this is all the time you need!) through a palm grove/orange trees, and a snack of mint tea and biscuits.
I booked my tour through Marrakech Desert Tours, which was incredibly cheap at only 27 USD, but a bit disorganized with longer waits than expected. In the end of the day though, the once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding a camel in Morocco made it all worthwhile (regardless, I still suggest researching other options 😝).
4. Explore the royal Bahia Palace
The Bahia Palace is yet another architectural masterpiece you must visit in Marrakech. The palace is decorated with stunning tiled floors, marble-carved archways, and mosaic-glass windows and chandeliers, and surrounded by fragrant orange trees and lush gardens.
If you explore the palace on a tour, you’ll learn about the history of the sultan who constructed the palace, his personal uses for each room, and where his numerous wives once lived.
5. Hang with snake charmers in Jemaa el-Fna Medina
Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main medina, is home to some of the craziest sights you’ll probably ever witness in your life. Look one way and you’ll see snake charmers hypnotizing cobras into a trance, then look the other way and you’ll see fully-clothed pet monkeys posing for pictures.
I was never keen on participating in the medina madness, yet was practically forced to as a snake was draped around my neck while passing by. Beware of this, as nothing comes for free here and they’ll request some fee from you, even when just taking a picture from afar! Keep in mind though- these animals are exploited for the sake of tourists, so think twice before getting your picture taken (I still regret giving in, even though I’m not fond of snakes 😝). Simply witnessing the rowdy medina is enough on its own!!
6. Wander the tiled & marble arches of Ben Youssef Madrasa
For the most jaw-dropping Moroccan architecture, head to Ben Youssef Madrasa and take in its detailed marble carvings and intricate tiled walls. Built in the 14th century, it was once a college where students studied Islamic prayer, with 130 student dormitories to explore surrounding the central corridor.
Make sure to wander up to the second-floor dorms and peer out the windows looking over the beautiful corridor! Out of all the sights I experienced in Marrakech, this one definitely left the biggest impression on me 😍
7. Get a scrub & massage at a traditional hammam spa
After a fast-paced day in Marrakech’s souks and medina, the traditional hammam spas are a perfect place to escape and relax! You can choose between a wide range of reasonably priced treatments, from body scrubs and massages to facials and manicures.
I went to Farnatchi Spa, which was on the pricier side, but had top-notch service and was beautifully decorated. There are tons of spas to choose from though, so you’re bound to find one that fits your budget!
8. Feast on traditional Moroccan cuisine
Authentic Moroccan cuisine is complex and extremely flavorful, due to its heavy use of spices and unique styles of cooking. Some must-try dishes are its tagines, Moroccan pancakes with fresh-made chutney, pastillas, and tomato salads.
Do yourself a favor and book a reservation at Nomad– they have incredible modern Moroccan dishes, yummy cocktails, and a great terrace view overlooking Marrakech’s red rooftops!
9. Get lost in the city’s beautiful red streets
Given the fact that the city is mapped out like a maze, you’re bound to get lost at some point, but this will be a sight in itself! The chipped red-painted walls and colorful, elaborate doors make a stunning combination and you’ll really get a taste of what local life looks like in Marrakech. Just make sure you remain on the main roads and don’t venture off into any dark alleys!
10. Relax in the colorful Majorelle Garden
With the garden’s cobalt blue accents, picturesque lily-pond and diverse plant population, this place will easily be the most gorgeous garden you’ve ever visited! I spent a good 30 minutes watching the frogs and turtles dance around in the lily-pond and left wishing I had brought a book to read under the bamboo-lined pathways. The atmosphere of the garden is so serene and aesthetic that you’ll want to stay there and relax for hours!
If you liked this post, pin it for later! If you have any other suggestions to add to the list, please let me know if the comments below 😊