Marrakesh, a city that offers a complete change of scenery! From its architectural richness to the buzzing markets, it boasts at least these top 20 unique things to do.
The possibilities of things to see and do seemed to never end, and if they do – there are countless day trips to take!
This post is designed to show you some unique things to do and see and hopefully give inspiration for your next trip to Marrakesh!
My top 20 Unique Things to Do and See when in Marrakesh
1. Get a Drink at El Fenn Hotel
El Fenn is a super stylish boutique hotel right in the center of Marrakesh. It got one of the prettiest rooftops I’ve encountered. Equipped with two pools, it has a great lounge area to cool down on a hot day. The place offers a nice selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and got some of the best views of the nearby Koutoubia Square. As the space is mainly reserved for guests of the hotel. My tip: arrive early, especially on the weekend!
2. Plan a Date Night at Kabana Rooftop Bar
Kabana with its ‘Come As You Are’ attitude, tropical boho interior and always buzzing vibe, this lush rooftop makes it the perfect place for a date night out. They got a great selection of cocktails, and food and it’s never too loud to have a chat. You’d be better off reserving a table but the bar will usually have space for walk-ins.
3. Splurge on a 5 Star Luxury Riad
If not in Morocco, when would you rather want to feel like you in 1001’s Night? Marrakesh is full of dreamy, majestic Riad’s that are just transporting you into a different world. I got the chance to be hosted by Riad Kheirredine which is considered a 5-star riad. Think people putting out your slippers, free snacks and the loveliest staff that make sure you got the best experience. (This post is not sponsored, I genuinely loved the place).
For more inspo on Marrakesh Luxury Riads head to my portfolio. (Collaboration stay)
4. Stroll Through the Souk
Take a trip through the souk and buy typical souvenirs like leather goods, carpets, glass ware or lamps
When in Morocco you just have to take some sort of souvenir with you. Whether it be original Argan oil, a traditional rug, a beautiful puff or a glamorous lamp – you are inundated with options. Make sure to negotiate the price or look out for shops with fixed prices! Tip – the further away from the main part of the souk you go, the more affordable the pieces will be! Think about it, the best shops might be the ones where the locals shop at!
5. Eat a Traditional Moroccan Breakfast
Another must-do when in Morocco and Marrakesh, have a proper Moroccan breakfast. In most places, this will consist of freshly squeezed orange juice, Msemmen (Moroccan crepes), olives, a break basket, eggs, something sweet, soft cheese and of course – Moroccan tea.
My favourite places for breakfast are Zeitoun Cafe, Cafe Clock and Cafe de Epices.
6. Visit Bacha Coffee for the Best Coffee Experience
If you are a coffee lover like myself, this is a unique place to go in Marrakesh! Founded in 1910, Bacha Coffee is housed in the Dar El Bacha Palace and was one of the places that even Winston Churchill visited. The place got over 200 varieties of pure 100% Arabica beans, sourced from 30 countries around the world. Let me tell you it was hard to choose one!
Also, the cake & sweets selection was outstanding. I recommend you to arrive to get a seat in the pretty foyer.
7. Visit Jardin Majorelle
You cannot leave Marrakesh without having visited the famous Jardin Majorelle. Designed by Jacques Majorelle in 1924, it got eventually acquired by Yves Saint Laurent who restored it to its current glory. The one-hectare botanical garden with its striking blue villa is just outstanding.
To get some good shots without the crowds, I recommend arriving at 8 am sharp! Firstly, head straight down to the villa itself. Once you got your shots, continue to the garden. There you can find all kinds of cacti and plants, perfect for a stroll.
Entry: 120 DH or 12 USD. Opening time: 8.00 am
8. Visit the Le Musée de Mouassine & Attend a Concert
After two years of strenuous reservation, Le Musee de Mouassine is open to receive visitors and it is truly worth it! The Museum of Music sits in a Saadian house that was built in the 16th and 17th centuries and presents different music from Morocco. Check their website for weekly concerts!
It’s a bit tricky to find but once you reach it it’s like an oasis of wonderful musical instruments from various African countries. They got some of the most special reception rooms with amazingly colourful wood carvings I’ve seen in Marrakesh. Truly one of the 20 unique things to do when in Marrakesh.
Entry is 40DH. Get there around 10 am to have it to yourself.
9. Take a Trip to ANIMA Garden
If you are looking for something truly offbeat and unusual, then put the ANIMA Garden on your list. Just outside of Marrakesh you find a two-hectare botanical garden that is one of the best most beautiful and enchanting places. Andre Heller’s magical place makes a great day trip from buzzing Marrakesh and immerses you in a different world.
Near Koutoubia Mosque is a shuttle bus that you can take to get to the gardens twice a day
15. Unwind at The Beldi Country Club
The Beldi Country Club, nestled within paths of century-old olive trees sits on the feet of the Atlas Mountain and makes a unique place to spend a day. It got a variety of activities like cooking lessons, quad trips and features three swimming pools, a tennis court, a spa, and serves as a destination wedding as well. A thing that makes this place unique is the fact you can buy the famous Beldi glass right out from the glass blowers. Beldi glass is made out of recycled glass and this plant is the last one that produces blown glasses in Morocco – what a great souvenir!
10. Listen to Live Jazz Music on a Thursday Night
Jazz Music and Marrakesh wouldn’t necessarily go hand in hand but this place made it work! Nestled in the Medina, La Pergola Jazz Bar is a lush rooftop bar and got a fantastic Riad courtyard to dine in. It’s also one of the few places that serve alcohol and even got a happy hour! Win-Win!
Probably not the first thing you’d think of but that’s why I included in the top 20 unique things to do in Marrakesh.
11. Watch the Sun Go Down over Jemaa El Fnaa Square
Rather quiet during the day, Jemaa El-Fnaa Square comes to life once the heat of the day has vanished. The world-famous square is UNESCO protected and is to this day, a place that locals use for cultural exchange. Things you can expect are fruit juice shops, stalls selling arts & craft, women who want to adorn you with a Henna tattoo, people playing funny fishing games and a huge food market. Sadly you can also encounter snake charmers and people with dressed-up monkeys. Both are ready for you to take pictures with – two things that I’d urge you to stay away from.
To get the best view of the Koutoubia – head to one of the rooftop restaurants! I loved Terrace Cafe de France and Cafe de la Place.
12. Explore the Le Jardin Secret
Another gem that only recently opened to the public. The origins of Le Jardin Secret date back to the Saadian Dynasty over 400 years ago. It’s a prime example of Islamic Art and architecture, with a spring in the middle. As part of that, a water path shows the water that is coming from the Atlas Mountains. Its so interesting to see how its distributed throughout the palace and gardens.
There is also a cute rooftop restaurant from which you can catch a great glimpse of the garden, its pavilion and the museum from above.
Entry: 80 DH – 8 USD. Opening time: 9.30 am
18. Try the Digital Nomad Life
As more and more people start working remotely its natural to seek out places to do so. Marrakesh alongside Taghazout become more and more popular. A few of the co-working spaces in Marrakesh include CocoHub, The Spot and Cowork Marrakesh. I however, used coffee shops and my AirBnB primarily.
I heard great things about Plus 61 in Gueliz. Personally I can recommend Mandala Society for the best Wi-Fi, chill coffee shop vibes and great service!
13. Explore El Bahia Palace
That one had to be my favourite place, and rightfully so its on the top 20 unique things to do in Marrakesh for a reason. It was constructed in the 19th century with the intention to be the most impressive of all times. It’s an 8000 square metre complex with 150 rooms that reveal the most intricate courtyards, patios and garden.
I recommend coming here right before they open to make sure you can have the place to yourself. It’s got a bunch of photo opportunities, and truthfully the colours would look more intense on a sunny day!
14. Photograph Doors of Marrakesh
If there is one place that allows you to find countless magnificent door frames it would be Marrakesh, Morocco. The Geometric patterns No matter where in the medina you walk, you are sure to find some interesting door frames. This particular style of doors is a gorgeous mix of Spanish, French and Islamic influence. It’s often set into arched doorways, surrounded by intricate tile work.
Some of my favourite places to catch them is right outside Ben Youssef Madrasa and lesser-known mosques around the medina.
17. Go Shopping in Concept Stores
Sure the souk is the main place to get your souvenirs shopping fix but if you after some cool Moroccon brands, you also got a range of cool concept stores. A quite popular one is the hip boutique of Max & Jan Medina. They got a cool rooftop cafe on top and sits right in the medina.
Also some of the most stunning pieces I found to be in the El Fenn Boutique. The vintage-inspired clothes are not the cheapest but certainly carefully selected from local creatives featuring high quality. Around the corner is Foundouk Garage which has a lovely rooftop area and downstairs a variety of cool local brands.
16. Koutoubia Mosque
The symbol of the city as some might say, Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakesh’s most important mosque. It used to be the largest place of worship upon its completion. The minaret is about 70m tall and can you can see it from almost every point in the city.
It’s not possible to enter if you aren’t Muslim. Instead, you can stroll around it and enjoy some downtime at the park behind it. It makes a great photo location in the morning and at sunset!
19. Go on a Day Trip to Essaouira
One of the prettiest places in Morocco must be Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast. The picturesque resort town is a great example of a late 18th-century fortified town. Yet, it still has this beautiful authentic charme to it. It’s a fantastic place for all kind of windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing activities.
You can see the town in a day but staying a day or two is a good way to unwind! Its the ideal place to truly breath some fresh ocean air and make the long journey to Marrakesh less stressful.
20. Visit Cactus Thiemann
Let’s end this list with the largest cactus garden in Africa – Cactus Thiemann. Since 1964, Hans Thiemann has successfully acclimmatized more than 150 cacti from Latin American origin to Marrakesh. The cactus enthusiast has receives normal walk-in guests and also holds space for private events, seminars and photo shoots. If you’re into something very unique, why admire some 8 metre tall cacti?
Sidenote: My experience as a blonde woman in Marrakesh and Morocco:
It’s easy to hear a few bad stories from people and decide to not visit but as with all the places, nothing is truly that black and white. After I have visited Egypt, I felt that Morocco was so much more relaxed, friendly and welcoming.
I didn’t follow a traditionally covered dress code, ie. I wore clothes that showed shoulders and knees. At the beginning, I tried to dress more conservatively and then switched to what I normally wear and I did not notice a big difference in treatment. You naturally get attention by being a foreigner, and its ok.
Men at the souk try to show you their shop, but aren’t harassing you at all if you just tell them ‘La Shukran’ – ‘No Thank You’ and keep walking. I know it can be tiring to say the same words day in day out but if you keep a friendly and smily attitude, they are also friendly.
Moroccans tend to be more joking, happy to make some jokes with you and the instances of where someone got rude very single cases and far apart. You cannot avoid it in any place.
What a full on two weeks its been – if you are short on tiime and still want to see a lot, Morocco is a great choice!
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