What to do and where to eat in Marrakech
Visit the souks of the Medina during the day, one of the best things to do on a trip to Marrakech
For your first trip and stay in Marrakech, Morocco, consider visiting the Medina, the city’s historic center. You’ll learn a lot about the city’s dynamism, as most of the most important activities can be found here. Among other things, take the time to explore the various souks. You can do this after checking into your hotel or before leaving Marrakech.
The souks of the Medina are a must for shopping enthusiasts the world over. Even if you’re not, you’re sure to find some bargain souvenirs to bring back to your loved ones. The narrow streets of Marrakech’s Medina are lined with handicrafts sold at attractive prices: colorful textiles, clothing, jewelry and more.
A tour of Place Jemaa el Fna is the best way to spend an evening in Marrakech’s Medina.
If you’re looking for something to do in the evening in Marrakech, head for the Place Jemaa el Fna. Over a million visitors a year stroll through this part of the city, which is a veritable cultural space. Listed as an intangible cultural heritage site since 2008, the square lights up at dusk and merchants mingle with the crowds. The dynamism of the city of Marrakech is beginning to be felt, and the buildings are magnified by the last light of day. You can also enjoy a variety of street performances, including snake charmers. Gourmets will also find on the Place Jemaa el Fna the culinary recipes for which this city and Morocco are famous.
Visit the El Badiî Palace, just a few minutes from Marrakech airport
Morocco is famous for its distinctive architecture. You can discover one of the country’s most interesting sites in Marrakech, the El Badiî Palace. This monument is in ruins, but it still shows a fascinating aspect of the power of the ancient Moroccan dynasties. The palace is distinguished by its grandeur and distinctive architectural form. On site, a guide can tell you the story of the building’s construction. Among other things, you’ll be surprised to learn that the palace was built using gold, onyx and Italian marble, the most expensive materials in the world.
Visit the Bahia Palace with a guide during your stay
Would you like to discover a palace that’s still in excellent condition? Include a visit to the Bahia Palace in your itinerary. As its name suggests, the palace shines from every angle. Every courtyard and room is adorned with the kind of sculptures and paintings that Moroccans know so well. Every wall is decorated with mosaics and marble, as is the floor. A true architectural discovery awaits you in this grand palace in the city of Marrakech. It has around 160 rooms and 3 hectares of gardens. It’s sure to make for a fascinating visit.
Get lost in the Jewish quarter of Mellah during the day
Cultural visits never end in Marrakech. The city is full of places steeped in history, such as the Jewish quarter of Mellah. Located in the Medina, it promises strolls full of cultural discoveries. The district boasts synagogues with distinctive architecture and cemeteries representative of the people. It also became a refuge for Hebrews from Spain and Portugal after their expulsion, hence its cultural richness.
Discover the Koutoubia mosque, one of our most attractive activities
A visit to the Koutoubia Mosque is one of the must-do activities in Marrakech. You’ll discover an ascetic architecture and décor worthy of Moroccan construction know-how. This majestic mosque is a fine example of the art of the Almohads. Another point that makes this place of worship so special is its height, which makes it one of the largest mosques in Morocco. Its minaret can be seen from miles around.
The Ouzoud waterfalls, the Atlas mountains and around Marrakech on a camel
Marrakech offers a wide range of tours for couples, families and friends. You can plan an outing to discover the famous Ouzoud waterfalls, 110 m high in a desert setting. Set in the middle of a lush green gorge, they are ideal for relaxing, swimming or taking a boat ride. Depending on the organization you choose, you can be picked up and taken back to your hotel.
If you’re looking for a beach, there are many excursions to the town of Essaouira, not far from Marrakech. Essaouira’s beaches are ideal for sunbathing and activities such as surfing and wakeboarding. If you’re more interested in the desert or mountains, you can either take part in an Atlas tour or opt for a camel ride. Quad biking is also available in Marrakech’s Palmeraie. Exploring the Sahara desert is another option for lovers of wide open spaces.
Book a Riad in Marrakech instead of a hotel room
Once small Arab palaces, riads have now been transformed into hotels. They are the most authentic way to stay in Marrakech. If you’ve just booked a room in a conventional hotel, you can spend at least one night there for the experience. This type of place allows you to stay in a majestic room overlooking an inner courtyard, something you won’t necessarily find in traditional hotels. You can also reserve a table for an exotic dinner in an atypical setting. Some riads have terraces where you can enjoy Moroccan dishes under the stars.
Experience hammam baths in hotels after an excursion
Hammams are a traditional Moroccan relaxation activity. This typically Moroccan ritual involves enjoying a good steam bath to improve general health. In Marrakech, you’ll easily find one in every neighborhood. Simply visit one of the public baths near your Riad to give it a try. FYou may also benefit from a massage for an additional cost.. Some hotels also have a hammam for relaxing between activities. Here, you can enjoy the benefits of traditional scrubs and masks. This activity is recommended after a long walk around Marrakech.
Discover Marrakech’s city walls
Marrakech’s Medina is surrounded by a defensive wall that’s well worth a visit. This 19 km-long rampart was built between 1126 and 1127. It bears witness to Moroccan construction expertise. With a height of 10 m, the wall rises majestically into the sky. It also represents Almoravid architectural heritage. This construction is punctuated by 10 imposing and beautiful entrance gates, all leading into the Medina. You can then continue your stroll through the souks after taking the time to admire them.
Visit the Menara Gardens to recharge your batteries after a desert excursion
There are many sumptuous gardens waiting to be visited in Marrakech. One of the city’s must-see spots is the Menara Gardens, on the outskirts of Marrakech. Depending on your location, you may need to take a cab, but it’s well worth the detour. The botanical garden is perfectly manicured and provides a relaxing stroll in lush green surroundings. You’ll also appreciate the view over the large man-made lake. To top it all off, don’t forget to immortalize the Atlas Mountains, which serve as the backdrop to the garden’s paths.
Discover the museum of French couturier Yves Saint-Laurent and Marrakech
The Yves Saint Laurent museum is one of Marrakech’s must-see attractions. The great couturier was so taken with the city that he decided to buy the Majorelle garden in 1980 and create a museum there. During your visit, you’ll discover new facets of the designer and his love of Moroccan objects. Numerous collections of sketches and garments await you in this museum, housed in one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.
After visiting the museum, you can continue your stroll in the Majorelle botanical garden. The 8,000 m² estate is inspired by Moroccan oases and Islamic gardens. Ponds, water lilies and timeless blue buildings are just some of what you can see in this garden. For your information, the Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum are among Marrakech’s most visited sites. Plan ahead to avoid the tourist crowds.
Discover the Dome of the Almoravids, one of Marrakech’s oldest historic sites
If you’re interested in history and monuments, a visit to the Dôme des Almoravides is just the thing. Quite simply, it’s the oldest known building in Marrakech, Morocco. It’s a place steeped in history and rather well preserved. It is said to date back to the 17th century, and to have provided the city with its first sources of drinking water.
The tour lasts just a few minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the Ben Youssef mosque next door or the Yves Saint Laurent museum.
Visit the Ben Youssef medersa, one of Morocco’s best leisure activities
Exploring the Ben Youssef medersa is a must during a stay in Marrakech. It’s best to get there early for a quiet visit to this former 16th-century Islamic school. Start with a stroll through its arcaded courtyard. You’ll discover the fascinating side of Moroccan architecture, thanks in particular to the multiple earthenware tiles used to build the place. After the courtyard, head upstairs to explore the rooms that once housed the students. The decoration is even more interesting, with engravings, mosaics and wooden accessories. In short, the Ben Youssef medersa is so beautiful that it’s well worth the detour.
Enjoy good local food at attractive prices after a long day’s excursion
A trip is always an opportunity to sample original dishes, especially in a country as culturally rich as Morocco. Morocco’s culinary identity is very strong. It would be a shame not to take advantage of local recipes during your stay. In Marrakech, you can sample emblematic dishes such as tajine, couscous, pastilla, msemen and Moroccan salads in the many small restaurants dotting the city. Prices are affordable, and the Moroccans are friendly. You can also enjoy traditional dishes in the Medina’s traditional stalls, not forgetting the inevitable Moroccan mint tea.
The 12 best restaurants to eat in Marrakech
This sentinel at the gateway to the Sahara awakens all your senses in a fraction of a second. Your taste buds and nose even more so! Whether you call it Marrakech, the Red City or the Pearl of the South, one thing’s for sure: there’s no shortage of good places to eat in Morocco’s tourist capital.
From the Medina (the old town famous for its Jemaâ el-Fna square and its intoxicating souks) to the Ville Nouvelle (trendy and teeming with young Marrakchis), the culinary journey is exceptional. Dive in to discover the 12 best restaurants to eat in Marrakesh.
1. Le Stylia
Where to eat in Marrakech when you’re looking for a picturesque, intimate setting? At Le Stylia, without hesitation.
This Riad, nestled in a huge 15th-century mansion, has preserved its typical character. The central fountain trickles through rose carpets, water beads off the walls, and the massive carved doors bear witness to all the splendor of yesteryear.
Far from folklore, Le Stylia advocates calm and boasts a grandiose menu. While all the Moroccan dishes are succulent and refined, special mention must go to the pastilla au lait, simply superb.
2. Café des Epices
This café has earned its place among the best restaurants in Marrakech, not least for its warm ambience and mythical location. In addition to its fine culinary offerings, its terrace offers a breathtaking view of the Place des Epices and the incessant spectacle of merchants.
The menu is ideal for discovering the authentic flavors of Morocco: tajine, harira, Beldi breakfast or kefta sandwich.
3. Cour des Lions
Where to eat in Marrakech when you’re looking for a luxurious, refined and confidential experience? La Cour des Lions is the perfect answer.
This exceptional restaurant, nestled in the Palace of the Es Saadi Resort, can more than hold its own against all the city’s gastros. In a setting reminiscent of the Thousand and One Nights, the chef concocts forgotten dishes from Moroccan cuisine. All your senses are pampered, especially your taste buds and eyes.
4. Les Jardins de la Médina
Refined, tasty and sophisticated, the cuisine at Les Jardins de la Médina is an art in itself. French specialties are generously sprinkled with Moroccan influences. It’s undoubtedly this perfect balance that makes this restaurant one of the best places to eat in Marrakech.
The garden patio plunges you into the gleaming world of the sultans. Trees soak in the pool, while waiters juggle foie gras and lamb mice, salted fish and vegetable carpaccio.
5. The Arab House
One of Marrakech’s most acclaimed restaurants, La Maison Arabe offers three culinary journeys in one.
This superb residence features several restaurants: a traditional Moroccan gourmet restaurant, an Asian restaurant in a magical setting glittering with candles and photophores, and a tapas bar with a jazz piano background. Pastilla and quartet of tajines, tandoori chicken or salmon and zucchini lollipops: the hardest part will be choosing.
6. Le Foundouk
This superb table nestled inside a fondouk is a little gem in the Red City. Among Marrakech’s restaurants, this entity plays the card of a certain bucolic sobriety. The furnishings are pleasant, in ceramic and wood, sometimes contemporary, sometimes Moroccan. Flowers and wall-mounted fountains add a green touch.
Its terrace is another undeniable asset, with its view over the rooftops of the Medina and the peaks of the Atlas Mountains. In addition to a delicious and daring Moroccan menu, Le Foundouk boasts a variety of local spirits and innovative cocktails.
7. Riad Monceau
Riad Monceau’s Moroccan cuisine is infused with creativity. This luxurious table delights palates in search of authentic, inventive and refined flavors. It’s hardly surprising that it ranks among Marrakech’s finest restaurants.
In addition to these menus, expertly accompanied by Moroccan wines, Riad Monceau offers a splendid setting. The romantic atmosphere of the patio alternates between Andalusian ambience, traditional velvet sofas and contemporary Moroccan decor.
8. Al Fassia
Al Fassia is a unique place to eat in Marrakech. This restaurant is run entirely by women. And that’s probably what makes its cuisine so comforting and refined… Like its quartiez, Guéliz, it’s both traditional and Western-inspired, resolutely modern and picturesque. You are welcomed into a veritable well of light, gorged with green plants and draped in beautiful white tablecloths.
9. Le Nomad
This Moroccan bistro’s 1950s-inspired decor is both chic and traditional. If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Marrakech, this is the place to go.
In addition to its interior design and layout, perfectly thought out by the interior architect, the place opens onto a breathtaking view of the Medina and, as a backdrop, the Atlas Mountains. Le Nomad also stands out for its revisited local and international menu, enriched with a Moroccan touch.
10. Dar Mimoun
Walk five minutes from Place Jemaä el-Fna and enjoy a traditional pastilla in this superb family-run Riad. Its tree-lined patio, the setting for numerous advertisements and the idyllic home of the ancestral pasha, never ceases to enchant. It’s impossible to resist the charm of the Moroccan salon or a table in an intimate corner.
Among the best restaurants in Marrakech, it’s also one of the best places to enjoy a pastilla. More voracious appetites can tackle the full menu: harira, royal couscous and a plate of pastries.
11. Le Grand Café de La Poste
This café-restaurant is an institution in Marrakech. With its brasserie feel, its atmosphere is unique and delightfully convivial. Regulars come and go at all hours of the day.
Colonial-era furniture, candles and large mirrors are the perfect accompaniment to a menu of French specialties. Le Grand Café de La Poste is ideal if you’ve had enough of spice and sweet and sour.
12. Café Clock
The latest of our top restaurants in Marrakech, Café Clock is a highly original and affordable affair. The owner, who is passionate about food and art, has combined his two passions in one place.
The artists in the kitchen accompany the storytellers and musicians as they enjoy a meal with a European or Moroccan flavour. This cultural and alternative space is unique in that it also offers cooking, yoga and calligraphy classes.