36 Hours in Morocco: Best Things to Do in Marrakech

Marrakech is geographically located near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and a few hours away from the Sahara Desert. The contrast of landscapes is as distinct as the two parts of the city. Inside the Medina is the old historical city, with endless labyrinths, narrow passageways, and alleyways filled with local shops and souks, or bazaars. The Djemaa El-Fna is the main square that is the highlight for many tourists and photographers. Outside the Medina walls is the Gueliz, or Ville Nouvelle – the European district with modern restaurants, fast food chains, and internationally branded stores.

Best Things to Do in Marrakech, Morocco:

1. Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech

Ben Youssef Madrasa is one of the largest madrasas in North Africa. A madrasa is an educational institution that can either be secular or religious. The school was closed in 1960 and reopened in 1982 as a historical site for public viewing. The school is attached to the Ben Youssef Mosque, and it is also known as the Museum of Marrakech showcasing local art and architecture.

Ben Youssef Madrasa, one of the largest madrasa (religious education institutions) – Best things to do in Marrakech
You must take your time to appreciate all the fine details of this Madrasa – Best things to do in Marrakech

2. Dar Si Said Museum, Marrakech

Dar Si Said Museum, also known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts, is set in an old palace. The museum holds artifacts from Morocco through the ages, including wood carvings, musical instruments, and weaponry.

The museum houses artifacts including wood carvings, musical instruments, and weapons – Best things to do in Marrakech
Impressive walls with the intricate details and patterns all the way up to the ceiling – Best things to do in Marrakech

3. The Medina, Marrakech:

I booked a city tour through my hotel’s concierge to see the highlights of Marrakech. Trusting the quality and standards of the hotel, I expected a luxury tour experience. Unfortunately, it was anything but luxurious.

Our private tour guide was contracted by the hotel. Once in the Medina, we walked into the depths of dust and mud, soot and filth, stray cats, and beheaded goats bleeding and hanging from bike handles. Definitely not a luxury tour. I wish the hotel and guide had forewarned us of the details of the Medina.

4. Admiring Art and History in Marrakesh

Medina is full of life and color as seen through their architecture and art – Marrakech Travel Guide
Dust-stained white walls and wooden ceilings completely filled with details of patterns and writings – Marrakech Travel Guide
“Allah” written on the walls meaning “God” – Marrakech Travel Guide
Mosaics and patterns are the essentials of touring museums and landmarks in Marrakech – Marrakech Travel Guide
Mosaics and patterned carvings along columns through doors and passageways – Marrakech Travel Guide
Don’t forget to look up to admire the fine design and art overhead – Marrakech Travel Guide
This clay-like color is fitting under the intense desert heat and the cold winter nights – Marrakech Travel Guide

5. Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech:

Outside of the Medina in Gueliz, the Majorelle Gardens is a famous destination because of the French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent. The gardens and park were designed by its original owner, Jacques Majorelle, in the 1920s through 1930s. A small portion of the garden is open to the public, including a small Berber Museum featuring artifacts of textile and jewelry. In 1980, Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge bought the property after falling in love with Marrakech. Following his death in 2008, his ashes were scattered in the public garden, while his body rests in his private estate.

Berber MuseumThis shade of blue is known as “Majorelle Blue.” – Best things to do in Marrakech
Saint Laurent believed the cacti had healing properties that would lessen his ailments toward the end of his life – Best things to do in Marrakech
The garden’s bench is a quiet break away from the chaos of the Medina – Best things to do in Marrakech
Memorial Structure of Yves Saint Laurent in the public garden – Best things to do in Marrakech

Angela Sibal of Foodicles is a Food & Luxury Travel Blogger who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now bases herself in Manila, Philippines.


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