Every year more people get to discover Morocco, a country, the atmosphere of which capture the mind and spirit of travellers. The first destination most people choose to visit in Morocco is the marvellous city of Marrakech (Marrakesh). There are many things to see in Marrakech filled with gardens, palaces and most importantly the main square considered to be UNESCO Cultural Heritage. Amongst the variety of interesting places, it’s not so easy to choose what to do in Marrakech, where the chaos and intensity can intimidate first time visitors. To make your life easier, here’s our proposal of the essential things to see and do in Marrakech in 3 days.

What to see in Marrakech in 3 days

To get a first insight to the city you can book this tour of the Old Town of Marrakech.

Map for your 3-day itinerary in Marrakech

Day 1. Visit Djemma el Fna Square and its surroundings

Amongst the many things to do in Marrakech, the visit to the main square, Djemma el Fna, stands out, since it’s this place where you can explore and breathe in the real spirit of Morocco. It’s a place both touristic and authentic, and in fact the flow of tourists nicely mix up with the local chaos at the square. At first you will definitely feel a bit intimidated by the quantity of people including snake charmers, dancers, fortune tellers and other strange things you will see there. Djemma el Fna Square is found in the Medina (the medieval old town) and this is the focal point of the local life, too. This is where the main market is found, and this is where locals get together to discuss their issues, sometimes really loudly in big groups. The square was declared to be World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the category of cultural space. Djemma el Fna Square, Marrakech, Morocco | Things to see and do in Morocco

You can’t complete your visit to Marrakech without spending some time on this square both during the day and at night. We recommend you to spend some time in the roof terrace of one of the restaurants. We have tried it several times and although Café Glacier is the most obvious choice, since it grants you a full view of the square, the perspective from Café France is also very interesting. One of the best things to do in Marrakech after walking for the whole day is to sit down with a cup of tea in one of these terraces to watch the sunset. Apart from enjoying the lovely colors at dusk, you will see how the square is completely transformed as the lights get switched on.

On the Djemma el Fna Square you will also be able to get between the souks. It’s unimaginable to visit Marrakech without getting lost in the souks for a few hours. You will find here anything you can image, and even more. The stands with dried fruit or spices are especially attractive for the eye, and locals will try to convince you to start haggling with them.  Based on experience told us by other, before visiting Morocco we expected people to be more annoying in the souks, but we have never met any verbal aggression.  As usual, we always end up watching more and buying less, but if you plan to buy something, you will need your haggling skills.

Wandering around the souks you will find several other smaller squares, it’s worth for example checking out the Place des Épices (Square of Spices), one of the most charming squares to see in Marrakech. It’s always quite busy with vendors of all kinds of products. Spices in the souk, Marrakech, Morocco

Close to Djemma el Fna Square you will find also one of the most emblematic buildings in Marrakech, which you will not be able to visit on the inside, but you will find impressive enough from the outside. It’s the Koutobia Mosque with its large 70 meter tall minaret  that can be seen from almost any point in town. It’s worth walking around this building and checking it out from all different angles, and it’s also quite possible that you will hear the loud sound of the Islamic call to worship.

The Medina of Marrakech is surrounded by a wall with several gates that give access to the old town, some of these gates are a masterpiece, the Bab Agnaou especially stands out as an architectural beauty.Bab Agnaou Gate, Marrakech, Morocco | Things to do in Morocco in 3 days

Day 2 – Visiting the main palaces and monuments in Marrakech

The Medina is full of fascinating palaces and other historically or culturally important monuments, and visiting them is one of the indispensable things to do in Marrakech. The most prominent landmarks are the following:

Ben Youssef Madrasa: It’s an antique boarding school from the 16th century, where almost a 1,000 student could stay. Visiting the wonderful patio and the quite austere rooms, you will get an idea bout the life of the students who lived here. It’s possible to visit only the Ben Youssef Madrasa or combine it with the Marrakech Museum and the Koubba Ba’Adiyn,  the only building in the city that remains from the Almoravid era.Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech, Morocco

Bahía Palace: It’s probably the most impressive palace in Marrakech. It was built in the 19th century and the rooms in Bahía Palace were quite luxurious and the decoration of the patio is a real masterpiece.

Badí Palace: Badí Palace is much more antique than Bahía Palace and actually it’s in ruinous state. It’s still worth visiting to appreciate the monumental architecture of the era of Saadí Ahmed al-Mansur, the famous sultan of the 16the century.

Saadian Tombs: It’s probably the most picturesque and most indispensable thing to see in the Medina of Marrakech. The Saadian Tombs were only discovered in 1917, but they hide the most precious gem of the city. You will surely be amazed by the Mausoleum of Ahmed el Mansur and the tombs of the most important members of the Saadian Dinasty. The columns from Italian marble from Carrera, the wooden cupola covered with gold and all the small details together with the nice garden all contribute to the beauty of this sight and will make you spend some time visiting this landmark. Saadian Tombs, Marrakech, Morocco | Things to do in Morocco

Day 3. Visiting places outside the Medina of Marrakech

On your third day in Marrakech, you have two main options: either you visit some of the interesting places outside the Medina or you can also do a day trip to visit some of the close destinations.

The main places of interest outside the Medina are the following:

Majorelle Garden: This charming garden has a really small size, but it still features a large variety of palm trees and cacti. There’s also a small pond in the garden, and places with shade where you can relax on warm days (almost every day in Marrakech). The only things we didn’t like in this private garden – it belongs to Yves Saint Lauren – is that it’s the only place in Marrakech where the entrance fee is quite high.

Menara Garden: This is the largest garden in the city (90 ha.) with a nice lake, olive trees that give you shadow and lot of space to do a picnic or simply have a rest. Here you will also find a lot of local people, and it can never get really busy due to its large surface.

Palmeral: If you want to see where rich people live in Marrakech, you can get a calesa or a taxi and ask for a lift to the Great Palmeral, an area with around 100,000 palm trees. In this area you will luxury condos and hotels or golf courts.

You can also keep exploring the Medina in search for picturesque corners.Calm corner, Marrakech, Morocco

If none of these plans convince you for the 3rd day, you can do one of these day trips instead. The most typical excursions are:

Essaouira: This small fortified town is found on the Atlantic Coast. Apart from the beauty of the city, the beaches are also an attraction here. You can book here the excursion to Essaouira.

Ouzoud Waterfalls:  These are the most impressive waterfalls in North Africa, but we only recommend you to visit them when there’s a lot of water in the falls (in April and May especially). You can visit the waterfalls on this organized tour.

Ourika Valley: A popular excursion from Marrakech that follows the flow of the Ourika Valley. In this excursion you get to enjoy some beautiful landscapes with great views of the High Atlas included. You can visit the valley on this nice excursion.

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–  Excursion in 3 days to the Merzouga Desert

If you plan to visit a desert in Morocco, you will need at least 2 days to do that. You can visit the Zagora Desert located at around a 7-hour drive from Marrakech. Nevertheless, if you want to see a Sahara-like desert with tall sand dunes, we recommend you to do an excursion to the Merzouga Desert. The latter excursion is usually carried out in 3 days, and you will get to visit many interesting places on the road towards Merzouga.

We hope that this plan will be useful for you to decide what to visit in Marrakech in 3 days. We already warn you that this city is addictive, and you will surely fall in love with it. Therefore, don’t worry, if you don’t get to visit everything planned on your trip, there will surely be more to come.

Marrakech is of course only one of the magical cities in Morocco. Check out here also the best things to do in Tangier, a charming city in the Northern tip of the country.

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