Photo Spots Marrakesh
On the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and near the Sahara Desert, Marrakesh (sometimes spelled Marrakech) is known as the Red City because of the reddish hues of its buildings and walls. The entire place is a visual feast filled with the best photo spots you can think of. The medina is a wonderland of landmarks and riads mixing Islamic, Berber and Hispano-Moorish styles. Whether you’re looking for the colourful chaos of a north African souk, the splendour of a medieval kasbah or the elegance of a centuries-old Islamic minaret, one thing is for sure: there’s an endless array of great places to take photos in Marrakesh.
Here at Flytographer, we easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. Today, we asked our local photographers in Marrakesh to show us around all the very best places for taking pictures. Are you ready to discover the magic of this fascinating city? 🇲🇦
(A little sneak peek just for you 😊)
- Riad Alassala: an intimate hotel hidden within the city’s ancient walls with a stunning riad.
- The Medina: Marrakesh’s beating heart and the centre of its cultural, commercial and social life.
- Bahia Palace: Morocco’s largest palace, with two stunning riads and a grand and lush courtyard.
- Koutoubia Mosque: Marrakesh’s largest mosque, home to the minaret—the city’s most recognizable symbol.
- Jemaa el-Fna: a centuries-old bustling market square and the site of many curious and photogenic activities.
- El Badi Palace: ruins of a medieval palace that will blow you away and make you dream about Morocco’s past.
- Le Jardin Secret: a world of calmness amidst the chaos.
- Majorelle Garden: famous home of French designer YSL and now a popular Instagram spot.
- Royal Mansour: Marrakech’s fanciest hotel, a veritable oasis of elegant riads and much more.
- Ben Youssef Madrassa: once the largest and most influential Islamic school in Morocco.
1. Riad Alassala
Riads are typical Moroccan patios that occupy the central part of a house. They usually have intricate design elements, such as tile work, arched doorways and carved wood details. In Marrakesh, several homes with riads were turned into hotels and guesthouses. If you are staying in a riad, that’s a great spot to take some pics with the Moroccan flair. 👌
One of the best riads in town is Riad Alassala, an intimate hotel hidden within the city’s ancient walls, only a stone’s throw away from the famous Jemaa el-Fna. This spot is a tranquil escape from the frenetic energy of the city. You can take great photos in the two patios, the oldest dating as far back as the 17th century, and capture their white walls adorned with stunning tile mosaics, blue doors and Moorish arches. A small central fountain and Moroccan lamps add to the allure. Riad Alassala also has a hammam, the traditional Arabic bathhouse famous for its cleansing and therapeutic benefits, and a rooftop terrace where you can try a to-die-for Moroccan couscous. What could be a better way to start your Marrakesh adventure? 🤔
2. The Medina
Marrakesh’s walled old town, the medina, is the city’s beating heart and the centre of its cultural, commercial and social life. The whole town grew around this fortified area, which was built in the 11th century with high walls and gates that could be closed in case of attack. This ancient past still echoes through the winding alleyways and in the several historical landmarks within the city walls, such as Bahia Palace, Koutoubia Mosque and the Saadian Tombs, all perfect locations for learning about Morocco’s history and taking amazing pics. 📸
As you wander through the maze-like alleyways, all filled with tourists, locals and, a common sight in town, donkey carts, you’ll find the overwhelming yet magical souks. These traditional markets sell everything you can think of, from textiles and spices to jewelry and ceramics. Souk el Attarine is especially photogenic, with shops displaying towers of spices and herbs, stained-glass lamps and silver teapots. The central part of the medina is the massive and hectic Jemaa el-Fna square, another tourist attraction surrounded by cafes, restaurants and some of the best places to take photos in Marrakesh.
A 🌶️ tip is to check out Nomad, a trendy restaurant reinventing Moroccan cuisine by focusing strongly on local and fresh seasonal ingredients. The results are nothing short of lip-smacking!
3. Bahia Palace
Once a royal residence for a wealthy Moroccan nobleman and to this day Morocco’s largest palace, Bahia Palace is one of Marrakesh’s most Instagrammable places. Only a few rooms of this monumental landmark are open to the public, but the ones that are will blow you away! 💥
The palace has two riads. The Petit Riad follows the look of traditional houses in the medina and displays outstanding and highly intricate plasterwork with inscriptions of the Quran. The Grand Riad has lush gardens and fountains. Keep your eyes open to see the most stunning example of zouak—a style of painting in bright and bold colours used to decorate walls, ceilings, doors and furniture—adorning the Grand Riad. The highlight of the palace is the Grand Courtyard, an outdoor heaven covered in Carrara marble and surrounded by a gallery boasting some mesmerizing plasterwork in bright blue and yellow.
Photo alert: snag the perfect shot by standing close to the central fountain of the Grand Courtyard. Besides capturing all the great features of the palace, you’ll capture the towering palm trees behind the building. 🌴
4. Koutoubia Mosque
Built in the 12th century, the Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakesh’s largest mosque and a symbol of the city’s rich Islamic heritage. Standing at 77 metres tall, its sandstone minaret is the most recognizable symbol of the Red City and one of the best places to take photos in Marrakesh. Non-Muslims can’t get inside the mosque, but wandering its surroundings will offer great glimpses of its beauty and grandeur. In the northwestern part of the mosque, you’ll see the ruins of the prayer hall. The arches that once held the hall’s ceiling still stand. This is also an excellent vantage point to take pictures with the minaret. 🕌
Another glorious area to admire the structure and take some shots of it framed by palm trees is the Koutoubia Gardens, right next to the mosque. Its lovely fountain and the long and narrow reflecting pool steaming from it is a particularly picturesque spot with the minaret standing in the background. ⛲ The gardens also make for a peaceful escape from the old town’s frantic pace. Five times a day, you can hear the call to prayer resonating from the mosque’s minaret. If you happen to be around at the right time, it’ll certainly add an extra dose of magnetism to your visit.
5. Jemaa el-Fna
Jemaa el-Fna is the largest and most famous square in Marrakesh. This vast triangle open space right at the entrance of the medina was established many centuries ago as a giant market with vendors flocking from the Atlas Mountains to sell all kinds of food products under colourful canvas tents. This place is ever bustling with activity. You’ll see curious things such as fortune-telling, preaching, henna tattooing, storytelling and even an odd form of open-air dental care where men sell teeth and offer their services amidst the chaos. 😮
The buzz gets even more overwhelming after sunset when Berber musicians, Gnawa dancers and sintir players perform for the crowds and diners sitting in the restaurants facing the square. To view everything from a different angle, head to one of the many rooftop terrace cafes surrounding the space—they’re great vantage points for some fantastic Insta pics.
Sadly, you’ll also see less admirable stuff, such as chained monkeys and snake charmers, which are very harmful to the animals. 🙅♂️ We discourage you from supporting these activities. Instead, turn your camera to the amazing presentation of Moroccan culture on display everywhere else.
6. El Badi Palace
Completed in the 16th century and commissioned by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty, the Badi Palace was once Morocco’s biggest and most magnificent palace complex, a true marvel of medieval architecture. Today, even as it sits in ruins, it’s still an impressive site, evoking its past grandeur through intricate architectural details, such as carved stucco work, ornate cedar wood ceilings and marble-lined rooms.
As soon as you enter the palace, you can imagine what the place was like in the past. An enormous reflecting pool, beautiful fountains and gardens surrounded by impressive clad walls welcome visitors and invite them to a beautiful place to take photos in Marrakesh. Wandering around the palace you can still see the remains of spectacular tile and stonework and visit the underground tunnels and chambers where enslaved prisoners once lived. There’s also a terrace where you get stunning views of the palace complex, its ornamental orange orchards, the city and the Atlas Mountains in the distance. Nothing short of a picture-perfect setting! ⛰️
Look amazing in photos
Get 50+ insider tips on how to prepare, what to wear, and easy posing ideas for your next photo shoot!
7. Le Jardin Secret
This 400-year-old riad feels like an oasis of serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of the medina and is one of the best places to take pictures in Marrakesh. Having been the home of some of Marrakesh’s most important political figures throughout history, this palace was beautifully restored and is now intact. The breathtaking gardens here are the major attraction. As the name suggests, they feel like hidden gems—a world of calmness amidst the chaos. 😌
Divided into a four-part layout, the Islamic Garden is the main garden and has a wonderfully adorned central gazebo surrounded by olive, fig and pomegranate trees. In the exotic garden, a more intimate part of Le Jardin Secret, you’ll lose all sense of time as you explore the array of different plants from all over the world and admire how the pale hue of the walls contrasts with the vivid green of the vegetation. A highly photogenic feature is the bright red pavilion—a splash of colour that will look amazing in your photos. The many water elements and cushioned benches complete the space and provide a sense of harmony, perfect for some contemplation. The garden also has a lovely outdoor cafe from which you can admire the views as you sip on delicious mint tea, a traditional drink in Morocco. 🍵
8. Majorelle Garden
The Majorelle Garden, or Jardin Majorelle, is named after its original owner, French landscape painter Jacques Majorelle. Still, it’s most famous for being the Moroccan residence of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé in the 1980s and is now among Morocco’s most photographed sites.
With its psychedelic and highly Instagrammable scenery, the garden has over 300 plant species from all five continents collected by Majorelle during his extensive travels around the globe. At the heart of it all sits his studio painted in electric blue. 💙 Today, it houses the excellent Musée Berbère that showcases artifacts belonging to the indigenous people of Morocco. Other highlights in the garden are the bamboo groves and garden pond, both great and serene backdrops for your photos. Recently, the Yves Saint Laurent foundation opened the Villa Oasis, the main house where Bergé lived until 2017, to the public. The garden also houses a sky cafe, a photo bookshop and (not surprisingly) a très chic souvenir shop.
Next door to the Majorelle Garden sits the much more modern Musée Yves Saint Laurent. The large YSL logo at its main entrance is a hit photo spot for fashion bloggers and social media influencers from all over the world. 🤳
9. Royal Mansour
Sitting within the walls of the old medina, the Royal Mansour is probably Marrakech’s fanciest hotel, a veritable oasis of elegant riads with everything you could wish for: from grand courtyards, fountains and pools to lavish private hammams. Once owned by the King of Morocco, this place is a must-see for anyone who is a fan of the Arab-Andalusian decorative arts and one of the best places to take photos in Marrakesh. The hotel has been widely written about by travel bloggers and is the preferred lodging option for international jet-setters and superstar influencers when they come to town. The wider public can also have a sneak peek: there are three fine dining options inside it, including a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as a five-star spa. Prices might be steep, but this place is truly something out of a modern One Thousand and One Nights tale! ✨
If you’re really into five-star hideaways, also check out La Mamounia, which is repeatedly included in Conde Nast’s list of the best hotels in the world year after year.
10. Ben Youssef Madrassa
Founded for the students who attended the Ben Youssef Mosque in the 14th century, the Ben Youssef Madrassa was once the largest and most influential Islamic school, not just in Marakesh but in the whole of Morocco. A madrassa is an ancient type of school focusing on religious education and Islamic studies. 🎓 This complex has over 130 rooms and is believed to have housed nearly one thousand students in its heyday.
It has been a museum since the 1960s and today is another top-rated attraction in the Red City. You enter the madrassa through an imposing gate intricately decorated with wood carvings and mosaics, making it a fantastic photo spot. The highlight is definitely the symmetrical central patio, which is made of marble, has a stunning reflecting water basin and is decorated with elaborate carvings and stucco works. On the second floor, you’ll find many of the student chambers. Many face smaller inner courtyards, and some face the large patio, too. Very little has changed since this building was inaugurated. “You who enter my door, may your highest hopes be exceeded,” says the inscription in Arabic at the front entrance—still relevant almost 500 years later. 😉
Capturing Memories in Marrakesh
With such beautiful scenery around the Red City, why not take a day trip and explore further? The Scarabeo Camp in the Agafay Desert is a great option to experience the beauty of Morocco’s desert landscape with its stunning rock formations and sand dunes. 🐪
Marrakesh never fails to captivate visitors, but over-tourism has also brought a negative side to the experience. Many visitors often complain of scams, especially concerning the city’s open-air tanneries. So, like this travel guide suggests, be aware of any overly helpful strangers, don’t photograph people in close-ups, and keep your sense of direction. As always with travelling: exert caution and don’t do anything that would make your mom furious!
For more insights, check these tips on the best things to do in Marrakesh from our community of travellers. While in town, why not book one of our local Flytographers and let them make your experiences in this fascinating place even more memorable?
“Ilyass is the world’s best photographer. He really has an eye for snapping incredible shots with the perfect lighting and backgrounds. I was lucky enough to get two photo shoots in Marrakech with Ilyass to allow for different locations and settings and each photograph he took was simply beautiful. I cannot recommend Ilyass highly enough.”
“Veronique was so friendly and energetic! She put us at ease right away and did such a wonderful job finding unique spots to showcase both the beautiful architecture as well as the vibrant market and colorful sites of the medina. She also provided our images so quickly – we had them back before we even left for the second part of our trip! We are so happy to have captured these memories and I highly recommend using her on your shoot in Marrakesh!”
“Veronique was absolutely wonderful! Veronique was totally flexible and suggested Le Jardin Secret, which was perfect with its beautiful gardens and tile floors. She already had plenty of ideas for great shots and poses so that we could really maximize our 30 minutes – she has a great eye for lighting and color! She and her husband Mark were so warm and made us feel comfortable throughout our shoot. They even took time to share their favorite restaurant recommendations with us afterward!”