6 Must See Places in Marrakech
Although there are many exciting and unique places to visit in Marrakech, there are some must see places that should be on top of the list:
1/ Menara Gardens
The Menara Gardens are located about 3 km outside the Marrakesh so very easily reached by walking or public transportation. The gardens (Jardin de la Ménara) was designed and built in the middle of the 12th century during the Almohad dynasty.
Visitors can explore the 100 hectares of stunning gardens arrayed with colourful flowers, olive groves, palm trees and cobbled paths way.
There is the main walkway lined with stalls of every king of souvenir. In the distance from this perfectly straight paseo you can see the Koutoubia Mosque.
The main feature of the gardens is the large artificial pool. Here the gardens are irrigated by the water from this pool.
How much does it cost to enter the Menara Gardens?
There is no entrance fee to visit the gardens. Opening times are from 8am until 7pm each day.
What else is there to do at the Menara Gardens?
It is a haven to escape the noise of Marrakech. To walk or sit in nature is quite refreshing. There are camel rides for hire at the gardens to get into the true Moroccan spirit.
Are there any cafes at the Menara Gardens?
Yes there are a number of cafes and restaurants nearby.
Tip: As the gardens are very close to Marrakesh Airport they are the ideal place to visit and spend a couple of hours before returning your car hire at the airport.
Address: Les Jardin De La, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Opening times: October to May: 8am to 7pm.
Price: Free Entrance
2/ Mamounia Hotel
Considered by many as one of the best hotels in the world. This establishment has become famous for it splendour and grandeur being voted the No1 hotel not just in North Africa but the world, according to travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller. The hotel is situated just outside the Medina area of Marrakech.
The “Mamounia” means “safe haven” in the Arabic language. Mamounia hotel aims to live up to its name and goes beyond what is usually expected from a 5* hotel. This hotel was a favourite with Winston Churchill who made a number of visits here.
The hotel is set in extensive gardens that should be visited and admired. However, the key attraction is the pool and spa areas. The Mamounia hotel boasts one of the best spa experiences in Morocco.
To have a night at the hotel is not affordable to most travellers to Marrakesh. Therefore, visitors can gain access to the hotel with a day pass when booked in advance. Space is limited so it is recommended to book as early as possible.
The day pass costs 1600 Dirhams (£345) and includes a lavish lunch in the amazing Pavilion Piscine, however drinks are not included in the price. After lunch you can relax with a 60 minute spa treatment with a massage included. Also there is a sauna and jacuzzi and two swimming pools, one inside and one pool outside to spend the whole day sunbathing.
Tip: As there is a rather strict dress code it is advisable to wear smart casual clothing and not as if you were going to the beach.
Address: Avenue Bad Jdid, 40040 Marrakech-Medina, Morocco
Price: Day pass P.O.A
3/ Le Jardin Majorelleis
Le Jardin Majorelleis a two-acre botanical garden that is open to the public. It is an ideal place to visit after the hectic atmosphere of the Medina of Marrakech.
The gardens have become Morocco’s most visited attraction with over 800,000 visitors a year, hence making it on the list of must see places.
Work started in 1920’s by the French designer Jacques Majorelle. He envisioned a tranquil paradise of lush trees and cascading water features encased in marble ponds. The garden had become neglected over the years until it was purchased in 1980 by the renowned fashion designer Yves St Laurent. He arranged for a total restoration of it villa and buildings. Today the oasis of lush green plants and exotic flowers is a feast for the eyes. The stunning blue painted buildings make a striking statement to this beautiful part of Marrakech.
Snacks and beverages can be purchased at a small cafe set in a rustic courtyard. A museum dedicated to Yves St Laurent is also nearby and well worth a visit.
Address: Jardin Majorelle, Avenue Yacoub el Mansour, Marrakesh, Morocco
Opening times: October to May: 8am to 5pm., June to September: 8am to 6pm.
Price: 30 Dirhams
4/ Oasiria Water Park
Located just on the outskirts of Marrakech, Oasiria Water Park is a great fun day for the whole family. Enjoy the many pools and slides for a full day of excitement that will keep children and adults happy. Here you can raft on the rapids, slide down the many rides and twist down the Cobra Tube. For the adrenalin junkie, there is a climbing wall. If you should fall you end up in the water.
Feel secure and safe with the parks many attendants on duty to offer assistance if needed. There are a couple of restaurants and toilet facilities including shower rooms and storage lockers. Sun loungers and bathing chairs are available for rent by the day. The park provides a shuttle bus to Jamâa El Fna in Marrakech centre, and taxis are readily available.
Address: Km 4, route d’Amizmiz, Chrifia, Marrakech
Opening times: Daily between the end of March to the end of October
Price: Adult 220 Dirhams, Children 170 Dirhams
5/ Berber Villages and Ouzoud Falls
A popular day excursion from Marrakech is to the Atlas Mountains and Berber Villages. To visit these wonderful villages you can hire a car, but make sure it is a 4×4 vehicle as some of the roads are uneven and classed as off-road.However, the breathtaking landscape with snow capped mountains in Winter are incredible. Be enthralled by the ruined ancient Kasbahs or fortresses. Driving to and through the berber village you can’t help notice how luxuriant the scenery actually is, with walnut and almond trees, groves of olive trees and fig trees.
In the villages, life still follows the traditional culture, of drinking mint tea and Moroccan delights. This is a time to relax and savour the atmosphere, watching the local go about their daily life.
For the more adventerous, a little further in the the high Atlas are the Ouzoud Falls. These are the highest cascades in North Africa. The falls drop near to 110 meters. The lush paradise that surrounds the falls feel tropical.
This is a good road trip that takes the whole day. The round trip is approximately 300kms from Marrakesh.
Address: North-East from Marrakech. Approx 160km drive
Opening times: All day. Best to hire a car from the Marrakech Menara airport
Price: Depends on Season and time of year
6/ Bahia Palace
Bahia Palace provides a stunning view of Moroccan architecture in the traditional manner of the past.
The Bahia means “the beautiful”, and this building certainly lives up to its name. This magnificent palace with 150 rooms was constructed in the 19th century by the Sultan’s Grand Vizier. This palace is a treat to visit, but only a section of its eight hectares is accessible to the public.
Visitors can explore the courtyards’ typical Moroccan design, which are filled with orange trees, hanging lanterns, and water features, as well as the outstanding stained glass windows and mosaics floors. The massive, magnificent marble courtyard at the heart of the royal structure is the most impressive of all.
Here, the walls are adorned with stucco carved classic columns, colourful windows, water features.
Tip: Go early in the morning at 9 am or 10 am to avoid the enormous tourist crowds
Address: Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Opening times: Friday: 8 am to 5 pm; Rest of the week: 9 am to 4:30 pm
Price: 10 Dirhams entrance fee