Marrakech is one of the most popular destinations in the colourful and lively northern African country of Morocco. A former imperial city, the narrow and winding streets of the old medina enchant, a hustle and bustle of activity, and a place where people, bicycles, motorbikes, street carts, and donkeys all vie for space. Whilst Morocco in general isn’t an expensive destination when compared to many European destinations, you may find that costs quickly rack up with all the unexpected extras … tips for guides, over-pricing in the souks, tips for asking someone for directions when you’re lost in the confusing maze of similar-looking streets, fees to use public toilets, and so on. There are quite a few free things to do in Marrakech, which should help to keep your costs low.
Here are some of the best free things to do in Marrakech:
Admire Koutoubia Mosque
One of the main landmarks in Marrakech, Koutoubia Mosque is also the city’s largest Islamic place of worship. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque, but you can admire the grand exteriors and the soaring minaret. The call to prayer filters through the air periodically during the day. Take some time to wander through the green gardens next to the mosque.
Wander through the Souks
The bustling souks are filled with a tempting array of exotic goodies. From aromatic spices, decorative art work, and pungent leather, to intricate lamps, traditional clothes, and carved wooden ornaments, there’s certainly plenty to capture your attention. Whilst many people will ask you to buy, simply strolling through the souks and soaking up the atmosphere is totally free.
Relax in the Menara Gardens
Filled with lush olive trees and with plenty of shaded spots to escape the glaring sun, the Menara Gardens are a lovely place for some respite from the chaotic life in the heart of Marrakech. Enjoy a sense of peace and tranquility in nice surroundings. A shimmering pool is located in front of an old traditional building, which was once used as a viewing area for royalty.
Visit the Tanneries
Although you will be offered many guiding services, you can visit the tanneries independently and see people working with cow, sheep, goat, and camel hides to create leather in a traditional Moroccan way. Strong smells fill the air and people are hard at work. Mimosa (a type of tree) is used to colour the leather.
Other free things to do in Marrakech include strolling beneath the shaded palm trees in the Palmeraies, visiting the Agdal Gardens (only open on Fridays), making use of the free Wi-Fi in Cyber Park (Arsat Moulay Abdeslam), admiring the architecture of the train station, and exploring the old ramparts.
Be Amazed in Djemaa el Fna
One of the must-do things in Marrakech is also completely free of charge. Whilst the daytimes reveal market stalls, food stalls, and curiosities such as snake charmers and people with monkeys, the night time is when things really spring to life. Story-tellers entertain the crowds, people wear traditional clothes, ladies create henna tattoos, rhythmic music wafts through the air, and many other forms of entertainment are sure to keep you spellbound. Keep your distance though, and make sure photos are discreet, as otherwise you will need to tip.