9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

Written and Published April 6, 2015


Trip Index (what we have published so far):

15 awesome things to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar – or is this the best island in the Indian Ocean?

Top 10 things to do in Nairobi and how to survive one of Africa's most dangerous cities with ease

Flight Review Ryanair Marrakech (RAK) to London-Stansted (STN)

Wizz Air Flight Review London Luton (LTN) to Prague (PRG)

Photo Review Jardin Majorelle Marrakech, Morrocco

TAP Premium Lounge at Lisbon Airport Review

Goree Island (Île de Gorée) Dakar Review

TAP Portugal Economy Class Review Dakar (DKR) to Lisbon (LIS) and on to Marrakech (RAK), TP1480 / TP1451

TOP 13 things to do and see in Dakar, Senegal

9 unusual things to do on a Johannesburg layover
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech's old town is dubbed Medina, which used to be the whole town of Marrakech in days gone by. Now it is a tourist attraction - think a huge outdoor shopping mall with anything you can imagine for sale - from handicrafts to souvenirs, shoes to lamps - every worldly imagination.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

The city is intense, with small alleys, crowds, tourists and scooters all fighting their way through the old town. The locals waste no opportunity in pitching their wares to you. The Medina is comparable withStone Town in Zanzibar,but it's bigger and has many more aggressive sellers in its midst. This WILL be annoying and there is no way around it - you have to just keep ignoring it for hours, again and again. Not an easy task!

In contrast withStone Town in Zanzibar, strolling through the Medina aimlessly is no fun as the toxic scooter exhausts fill the air and you will be approached hundreds of times by aggressive sellers. It's a shame, since this place would be really pretty without these constant annoyances.

Keep in mind that Marrakech receives a huge number of (mostly) European tourists. It's definitely not off the beaten path anymore. Huge organized groups mix with individual travelers, who are often attracted by the ultra-cheap Ryanair fares to Morocco's Marakkech, so it'saboonfor low-cost airlines.

The Medina is confusing and a good sense of direction will be very worthwhile here. It's also a good idea to planyour paths with Google Maps.

Maison de la Photographie de Marrakech


This was easily the highlight of my visit to the Medina. It's somewhat hidden along the eastern edge of the old town (just before the 'touristy' zone ends). It features a number of inspiring black and white photographs and video exhibitions. I found the quality of the photography shown (mainly Morocco in the 19th and 20th centuries) to be fantastic.

The terrace atMaison de la Photographie de Marrakech


The jewel of this place is the terrace, though. It gives you a 360-degree view over the old town. The lunch menu is equally fantastic and I had a hard time leaving my seat after 2 hours. The service is friendly and the prices are low.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

I had warm eggplant salad (more like an oily, but tasty, curry), a tomato salad, grilled chicken (in a traditional tagine) and Moroccan yogurt. Each was excellent, just that the chicken could have had more spices. It was well-cooked and came off the bone easily, but the taste was basically just cooked chicken and salt.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

The entrance fee is 40 dirham, which is about $4 and the lunch menu comes in at 100 dirham ($10).

Bahia Palace


Bahia actually means 'brilliance' and this palace from the late 19th century is certainly trying hard to achieve it.

The trouble with the strictly Islamic buildings is that there aren't too many ornaments leftand there is also no furniture, so the Bahia Palace appears more barren than it should do in my opinion.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

The Bahia Palace just had a few visitors when I was there and the entrance fee is only10 dirham ($1) - totally worth stopping by.

Palais El Badiî (El Badi Palace)


This huge palace from the 16th century is now ruins that are somewhat well-preserved, with dozens of storks nesting on itswalls. The palace grounds have been partially overgrown by little trees. Frankly there is not much to see here, but it's just 10 dirham ($1) entrance fee.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

I had trouble finding the palace, since the Foursquare marker is off and the locals sent me into varying directions. Try to look for an old building with high walls and keep asking people where the entrance is.

Ben Youssef Madrasa


This used to be the largest religious school in Marrakech. It's another riad, like many places in the Medina, and is essentially one building around a 'square'. It received huge crowds when I was there and I had trouble taking any pictures without a gathering. It is in great shape and it's fun to wander around for a couple of minutes.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

I was there on a hot day, but inside the rooms felt chilly - like freezing cold. It's an amazing way to keep the air bearable during a Moroccan summer.

The entrance fee is 20 dirham (US$2).

Musee de Marrakech


This is another well-restored riad, which features just a few exhibits, but none of them are likely tostay in your memory. However, the main room with a huge skylight is very pretty and a cool sight.

However, I don't think it's worth $5 for essentially one room and one photo opp, but you be the judge of that.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

Terrasse des épices


This rooftop terrace restaurant fetches great reviews from locals and tourists alike. Since it was closed when I was there, I could not see for myself if that really holds true.

Bakchich Cafe


This coffee shop is really a restaurant, despite its name. It features delicious and fresh Moroccan cuisine. I tried the avocado salad and the couscous, which werevery fresh. At the same time, I feel that Moroccan cuisine needs some more spice. The couscous and the salad basically only had salt as an enhancer of taste. I think a couple of spices would improve the dishes a lot.
9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco




I did not like the atmosphere at the Jemaa el-Fna, as it was very touristy and noisy, but you may enjoy it. The square is a UNESCO heritage site and impossible to miss when wandering through the Medina.

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco

9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco



There is a ton more to see in the Medina, but I did not have the stamina to return for the evening feast that several restaurants offered.



9 best things to do in the Medina, Marrakech, Morocco



If you like this post - subscribe via email or follow us on Twitter.