Marrakech is a city that has been on our bucket list since forever! Full of beautiful architecture, bustling souks, and plenty of mint tea – this is a place you really need to experience for yourself to truely feel the essence and vibe this city holds.
Late last year we headed out on our first visit to Morocco with Travel Talk Tours on their 10 day Exotic Morocco tour taking us across the country. As the tour was starting in Marrakech we decided to fly in a couple of days early to ensure we could experience this colourful city before exploring the rest of the country.
Here are our top recommendations of things to see & do during a visit to Marrakech…
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1. Get Lost in the Medina
You can not visit Marrakech without heading into the historic city center. This UNESCO World Heritage site has been used for centuries as a political and economic hub which had great influence throughout the Middle East. It has seen royals live here, international trade took place here and many important historical moments were made within these walls.
Take a stroll through this 11th century labyrinth of alleyways – but just a warning, you will get lost more than once!
2. Visit El Badi Palace
Built at the end of the 16th century by Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour, this beautiful palace was built to celebrate the victory of the Three Kings over the Portuguese.
Back in its prime, its 360 rooms, stunning esplanade and sunken gardens were covered in turquoise marble and crystal, before it was raided 75 years after being built. Still, this palace is a sight that needs to be seen!
Opens daily between 9am to 5pm and costs 20 dirhams to enter.
3. Attempt to visit Plaza Jemaa El-Fnaa
If you are wanting to have the local experience here in Marrakech, you can not miss exploring the main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa. It is a giant square filled with hundreds of stalls and is quite a full on experience, with locals coming up and trying to sell you things or wanting you to eat at their stalls.
If you are finding it all a little overwhelming we recommend heading to a rooftop patio to watch the sun go down, and enjoy the square from above.
4. Barter in the Souks
If you feel like shopping, Marrakech is the place to be. The souks are the traditional markets of Morocco, where you will find thousands of shops and stalls selling everything from shoes and handbags to pottery and lanterns. You can find the souks just off Jemaa el-Fna Sqaure and could easily spend an entire afternoon looking through these exotic stalls.
Remember the price they tell you isn’t the set price. Have a go at bartering to get a better deal!
5. Go on a Street Food Tour
Marrakech is the perfect place to be if you want to try traditional Moroccan cuisine. We highly suggest checking out Marrakech Food Tours, it is owned and operated by a husband and wife team who have made it their mission to bring the real food of Marrakech to those visiting and they know all the best spots to eat.
Check out our YouTube video below if you want to see all the delicious foods we tried on our food tour!
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6. Stay in a Riad
If you are looking for a place to stay in Marrakech we recommend spending at least one night in a riad.
Riads are the traditional Moroccan houses built around a central courtyard or garden. Rather than having windows facing out into the streets, they have an open roof that brings in the light. Riads were historically the city homes of wealthy Morroccans and are usually very large and grand.
There is so much choice when it comes to riads. Here is a list of some amazing riads to stay in!
7. Maison De La Photographie
There are a number of amazing museums that you can check out during our time in Marrakech, however if we were to suggest just one it would have to be Maison De La Photographie. This museum was created by two avid collectors of vintage Moroccan photography, with a gallery containing thousands of photographs, glass negatives, and documents related to photography in Morocco between 1870 to 1960.
We also recommend checking out the museum’s terrance for an amazing view of Marrakech while you enjoy a coffee.
Opening times are 9.30am to 7pm and costs 50 dirhams to enter.
8. Take a Cooking Class
We absolutely love doing cooking classes when we visit new countries. Learning how to make the popular dishes to be able to recreate for our family when we return home is so much fun. During our time in Marrakech we experienced an amazing cooking class with Urban Adventures, where we visited a local fresh market to pick up our ingredients and than cooked our tangines inside a stunning riad. Would 100% recommend!
READ MORE: TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
Thanks to Travel Talk Tours for inviting Flying The Nest to experience their Exotic Morocco Tour, as always all opinions are our own.