Morocco’s busy capital city, Marrakech, is a flurry of activity and excitement. There is so much to explore in this colorful city, the city streets are a winding maze of densely-packed souks, luxurious riads, and stunningly beautiful madrassas. This centuries-old North African trading center is still very much alive and is just as full of action today.
Marrakech is an endlessly fascinating city, but it can be a tad bit intimidating for even the most experienced traveler. If you want a day of Marrakech sightseeing without having to deal with the hassle of navigating on your own, then opt for a city tour. You can explore Marrakech’s vibrant maze of streets with a knowledgeable local guide by your side.
If you want to escape Marrakech’s commotion and winding alleyways for a day, then take a day trip to the scenic Atlas Mountains or the nearby coastal town of Essaouira.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
The Best Marrakech Tours and Day Trips
1. Explore the Markets of Marrakech on a Moroccan Food Tour
Roam through the vibrant maze of winding streets of Marrakech with a knowledgeable local guide on this entertaining tour of Marrakech’s colorful souks and its main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa. You’ll explore exotic spice markets, sample local delicacies, and be served a traditional Moroccan dinner in the center of the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
After meeting your guide, you’ll be given a brief introduction to the array of colorful stalls. Shopping is the main purpose of Marrakech’s markets, but they are also the social epicenter of the city where friends and family come to mingle. You’ll learn the fine art of bargaining in Morocco to get the best deal. You’ll also be able to sample delicious local snacks like olives, dried fruits, nuts, and other Moroccan specialties.
Next, the group will visit a local spice market to learn how spices are used in Moroccan dishes. It’s a chance to experience the aromatic smells and bold colors of spices like cumin, ginger, saffron, and turmeric. After seeing all the fresh ingredients of the souks, you’ll enjoy a traditional Moroccan dinner at dusk, when the Jemaa el-Fnaa really comes alive. You might even see a snake charmer or two!
Your Moroccan food tour will include:
- Local English-speaking guide
- Food tastings in the markets of Marrakech
- Authentic local Moroccan dinner
2. Meet the Artisans of Marrakech on a Private Souk Tour
Learn all about the beautiful handicrafts of Morocco and the artists who create them on this private artisans tour. This Marrakech tour offers a deeper look into the souks and a chance to meet skilled Moroccan artisans. The tour starts in the lesser-visited Mellah, Marrakech’s old Jewish quarter, before visiting the heart of Marrakech in the iconic Djemaa El Fnaa square.
This lively market is often described as an assault on the senses. You’ll be surrounded by colorful sights, fragrant smells, and the commotion and sounds of the daily life of Moroccans. Your knowledgeable guide will introduce you to local artisans where you can admire their works – ornate carpets, multicolored textiles, and hand-painted ceramics. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a local women’s cooperative to learn how they make clothes made from natural fabrics.
Continuing, you’ll follow your guide through the winding alleys, admiring places often missed by other travelers while exploring the hidden gems of Marrakech. At the conclusion of your tour, you’ll experience Morocco’s warm hospitality – sharing a fresh cup of tea and a local pancake dessert with your guide while getting recommendations on other things not-to-be-missed in Morocco.
Your private artisans’ souks tour will include:
- Private tour
- Local guide
- Tea, coffee, or other non-alcoholic drink
3. Learn to Cook a Tagine with this Moroccan Cooking Class
Looking for something beyond the typical touristy Marrakech sightseeing? How about learning to cook an authentic Moroccan tagine in Marrakech with a professional chef?
One of our favorite activities to do in a new city is to take a cooking class. It’s a great introduction to the local culture and customs. It’s also fun to recreate the culinary dishes we have learned with friends and family back home.
On this Moroccan cooking tour, you’ll learn to cook a typical Moroccan meal and afterward enjoy the meal you created for lunch. The class is held in a typical Moroccan riad with a local family.
A tagine is a cone-shaped clay pot that you’ll see often in restaurants and food stalls in Morocco. Most tagine recipes use fresh, local ingredients – layers of meats, veggies, herbs, and spices cooked together to create a bold and flavorful dish. Your tour starts with a visit to the markets of Marrakech, where you’ll shop for ingredients alongside your guide while learning Arabic words for the goods you’re purchasing.
You’ll learn about common spices used in Moroccan food and get to taste fresh homegrown ingredients, including saffron, mint, olives, oranges, and lemons. During your hands-on cooking class, the expert chef will give you step-by-step instructions to teach you how to make a traditional Moroccan meal.
And, of course, everyone’s favorite part of this tour is being able to eat their freshly-cooked meal afterward!
Your Marrakech Tagine Cooking Class will include:
- Local English-speaking chef and instructor
- Lunch and tea
- Recipe sheet
4. Explore the Desert and Palmeraie with a Quad Bike Experience
If you’re up for an adrenaline rush during your trip to Marrakech, then try this desert quad bike tour to explore the sand dunes and a palm oasis in the area just outside of the city.
For two hours, you’ll ride along one of the largest deserts in the world, which provides great views of the surrounding Atlas Mountains. You’ll discover traditional Berber villages and experience an authentic warm welcome into a local home for a cup of Moroccan mint tea and a light snack. During the trip, you’ll take short stops for photo ops of the scenic desert landscapes and areas.
Your guide will be on hand to give you how-to driving instructions for a 4×4 quad bike to ensure maximum safety during trips. They will be riding alongside you to answer any questions you have about this amazing area. This tour is perfect for beginner quad-bike riders that want unique, offbeat adventures. Be prepared to get sandy and bring your sense of adventure!
Your quad-bike desert tour will include:
- Pick-up/drop-off transfer from your hotel
- 2 hours of quad biking
- Helmet and safety goggles
- Traditional tea in a local Berber home
5. Visit the Atlas Mountains and Ride a Camel
If you want to escape the crowds, consider booking this full-day tour to the Atlas Mountains that even includes a camel ride! Highlights of this day trip include a stop in Asni, where a traditional market takes place and a stop to meet a local family in the village of Ait Souka where you’ll be treated to a typical Moroccan meal in a Berber house.
The tour starts with a 9 am pick up at your accommodation in Marrakech. After a short stop in Tahanaout, you will learn how argan oil-based products are made – it’s one of Morocco’s famous exports.
Next in the small mountain town of Imlil, your guide will help you decide whether you would like to do an easy 1-hour trek or a more strenuous 3-hour trek through the scenic Imlil valley. Trekking past waterfalls, breathtaking views, and small villages of Ait Mizan, Targa, and Imoula, you’ll have a firsthand look at the daily life of villagers in the Atlas Mountains.
You’ll enjoy a delicious local meal at a Berber family guest house in the town of Ait Souka. Once you are well-rested, you’ll head back toward Marrakech. On the way, you’ll stop at the Moulay Brahim Gorges to experience camel riding. See the other side of Moroccan life on this incredible day trip from Marrakech!
Your Atlas Mountains day trip will include:
- Hotel pickup in Marrakech
- English-speaking guide
- Mint tea or coffee
- Camel ride
6. Take a Day Trip to the Coastal City of Essaouira
For one of the best day trips from Marrakech, head to the beautiful coastal town of Essaouira. This colorful Moroccan port city offers a far more laidback view of Moroccan life than bustling Marrakech. Essaouria is famous for the strong winds that blow in from the Atlantic Ocean, making it a hotspot for windsurfers and kiteboards.
This tour of Essaouira gives you a full day to visit this charming coastal town and plenty of opportunities to explore its vibrant blue and white medina – the inner walls of the city that enclose the markets and riads of Essaouira.
The tour will leave Marrakech at 8 in the morning for a 3-hour journey to Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast. On the way, there will be a short stop to stretch your legs and visit an association of Berber women producing argan oil – a natural product Morocco is well known for. Once you arrive at the port city, the group will visit the picturesque harbor of Essaouira, famous for its orange-colored walls that contrast nicely with the small blue fishing boats dotting the beach.
Essaouira is home to many art galleries and wooden handicrafts found in the many souks, in the historic Jeweler’s Quarter, and sprinkled throughout the old Medina. The freshly-caught seafood is outstanding in Essaouira. There are numerous restaurants to choose from for a delicious lunch – Taros is one of our favorites.
A day trip to Essaouira is one of the best tours to choose from if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll arrive back at your accommodations by 7 pm feeling recharged and ready for another day of sightseeing in Marrakech.
Your Day Trip to Essaouira will include:
- Hotel pickup in Marrakech
- Transportation to Essaouira by air-conditioned minibus
- English-speaking driver and local guide
7. Swim Under the Ouzoud Waterfalls on a Day Trip from Marrakech
Escape the heat for a swim in one of Africa’s highest waterfalls on this full-day waterfall tour. Found high in the Atlas Mountains, about 100 miles away from Marrakech is one of Morocco’s natural wonders – the stunning Ouzoud Falls. It’s one of the most visited natural sites in Morocco. It’s easy to see why. The Ouzoud Falls is a beautiful multi-tiered waterfall surrounded by olive trees and is home to wild monkeys roaming freely.
The tour starts at 8 am with a pick-up from your accommodation in Marrakech. After a few hours of driving through the countryside, where you’ll pass by traditional Berber villages and local towns in the Atlas Mountains, the group will arrive at the waterfalls.
You’ll have about four hours of free time to explore this stunning natural area. You can take a dip in the cool clear waters of the Al Abid River or hire one of the small boats for an up-close look at the waterfall. There are also several viewpoints for stunning photos of the waterfalls and surrounding areas.
After a relaxing afternoon, you will depart from the falls and return back to Marrakech by 6 pm.
Your Ouzoud Waterfall Tour will include:
- Hotel pickup
- Transportation by an air-conditioned minibus
- English-speaking driver
- Local guide
That’s it! The best Marrakech tours and day trips. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.
Planning a trip to Morocco? Check out our favorite books and travel guides.
2 thoughts on “Marrakech Sightseeing: 7 Best Marrakech Tours & Day Trip”
Worth visiting even if just the once!
Amazing article rich with much information, helpfull for any newcomers, thank you so much for sharing with us