See the monuments and palaces of Marrakech on a full-day private tour. You’ll enjoy the city’s historical gardens and the artists and entertainers at Djemaa el-Fna square and experience the exotic atmosphere of the medinas and souks.
What to Expect
The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words mur (n) akush, which means "Land of God." It is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat, and lies near the foothills of the snow capped Atlas Mountains.
The city is divided into two distinct parts: the Medina, the historical city, and the new European modern district called Gueliz or “Ville Nouvelle”. The Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways and local shops full of character. In contrast, Gueliz plays host to modern restaurants, fast food chains and big brand stores.
There is much to see and do in Marrakech. An entire day can be dedicated to wandering around all the different souks, seeking out the best bargains. The city also offers several historical and architectural sites as well as some interesting museums.
Djemaa El-Fna :
Is the highlight of any Marrakech night. Musicians, dancers, and story tellers pack this square at the heart of the medina, filling it with a cacophony of drum beats and excited shouts. Scores of stalls sell a wide array of Moroccan fare (see the Eat section) and you will almost certainly be accosted by women wanting to give you a henna tattoo. Enjoy the various shows, but be prepared to give some Dirhams to watch. By day it is largely filled with snake charmers and people with monkeys, as well as some of the more common stalls.
The Souks or markets of Marrakech :
Just adjacent to Place Djemaa El-Fna, are where you can buy almost anything. From spices to shoes, jellabas to kaftans, tea pots to tagines and much, much more. Undoubtedly, being a foreigner means you will end up paying higher prices than a native would, but be sure to bargain nonetheless. If you happen to run out of dirhams, you'll also find plenty of people in the souks who will eagerly exchange your dollars or euros (though a fair rate here is less likely than at an official exchange). All that said, the sellers here are much less aggressive than say, Egypt or Turkey, so have fun!
Visiting the Tanneries can be an interesting experience. Even if some people tell you the area is only for locals, it is possible to visit the Tanneries without paying a youngster. After finding a Tannery, ask one of the workers if you can visit it and take pictures.
Koutoubia Mosque :
Right besides Djemaa El-Fna, is named after the booksellers market that used to be located here. It is said that the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque is to Marrakech, as the Eiffel Tower for Paris. The minaret is visible from Gueliz which is connected to the Medina by Avenue Mohammed V. At night, the mosque is beautifully lit.
Saadian Tombs :
Were not discovered until the beginning of the 20th century. They have been preserved just like they were during the glory days of the Saadian rulers. Unlike the El Badi Palace, they were not destroyed, probably for superstitious reasons. The entrance was blocked so they remained untouched for hundreds of years. Inside you will find an overload of Zelij (Moroccan tiles) and some beautiful decoration. It doesn't take a lot of time to explore, but it is definitely worth the visit. While here, look for the tombs of Jews and Christians; they are noted by their different markings and direction of the tomb.
Majorelle Gardens www.jardinmajorelle.com
It provides an excellent respite from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The park boasts a collection of plants from across the globe, including what seems like every cactus species on the planet. Get here early to avoid the crowds. Inside the gardens is also the Museum of Islamic Art, for which an additional entrance fee is charged.
Dar Si Said Museum :
On Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid, is a museum 5 min away from Djemaa El-Fna. Set in an old palace, it houses many different artefacts’ from Morocco through the ages, such as wood carvings, musical instruments, and weapons. It is dedicated to the Moroccan craft industry of wood, gathering a very beautiful collection of popular art: carpets, clothing, pottery and ceramics. All these objects are regional, coming from Marrakech and the entire south, especially from Tensift, High Atlas, and Souss, Anti Atlas, Bani, and Tafilal.
The Madrassa Ben Youssef
Is one of the largest Madrassas in the North Africa. It is a school attached to the Ben Youssef Mosque and is home to beautiful art and architecture.
El Bahia Palace :
Is an ornate and beautiful palace, popular with guided tours and stray cats. The palace is well worth a visit and gives a great impression of what it must have been like to be a 19th century nobleman in Morocco. There is a nice garden with banana flowers, tranquil courtyards, and other lovely plants.
El Badi Palace :
Is a palace now in ruins and inhabited by storks and stray cats. There are some underground passageways to explore. The view from the terrace is majestic.
The Menara gardens
Which are located west of the city, and consist of a mixture of orchards and olive groves surrounding a central pavilion which is a popular sight on tourist postcards. The pavilion was built during the 16th century Saadi dynasty, and renovated in 1869. It has a small cafe.
- Official guide
- Monuments entrance fees
What's Not Included
- Extra meal costs
- Optional tips
- Majorelle Gardens (optional EUR 7)
Know Before You Go
Tour is only available with an English- or French-speaking guide.
Please note our policy regarding children:
Those under 2 years of age: free of charge
From 3-11 years: 50% discount
From 12 years and older: full price