hidden gems in Marrakech

15 Unique Hidden Gems in Marrakech & Alternative Places to Visit

With my list of hidden gems in Marrakech, you have a chance to visit lesser-known treasures inside and outside the Medina and get unique insights into the city’s rich culture and history!

One of my favorite things to do in any city that I visit is to avoid touristy places and opt for off-the-beaten-path gems. This is what I did in Marrakech while exploring it during my one-month staycation there. Overall, I visited more than 100 places (both famous sights and secret finds) but I definitely spent more time in lesser-explored neighborhoods exploring corners tucked away from the tourist crowds.

Some of these spots I found on my own while wandering through the labyrinthine streets while others came as advice from our hosts and new friends who call Marrakech home.

I decided to share my favorites as they help to make a list of non-touristy things to do in Marrakech and see the city from a different perspective – a more authentic one, without herds of tourists, long queues, and commercialized experiences.

So if you are looking for unusual things to do in Marrakech, don’t miss these secret locations and have fun exploring! 

Planning a Trip to Marrakech Last Minute? 

Traveling to Marrakech soon and dreaming of having a special visit combined with touristy and hidden gem places? If yes, then I am also sharing here my favorite alternative riads, tours, and activities. Check them out!

Beautiful Hidden Riads That Do Not Easily Pop Up on Booking Websites:

  • The Bohemian Jungle – a complete refuge-place for mid-budget away from the chaotic streets of Medina
  • Riad Kbour & Chou – hidden in the northwestern corner of Medina, has a spa and rooftop
  • Riad Azawan – alternative riad for low budget with everything of the highest standard 
  • Anya & Spa Riad – luxurious riad on a mid-budget with Instagram-worthy pool and Berber-style rooms

Unusual Activities in Marrakech:

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you).

Marrakech Hidden Gems For Alternative Experiences

Palais Sebban – Grandiose Palace-Hotel for Food, Culture & Elegance

hidden gem in Marrakech

Palais Sebban is a luxurious boutique hotel-riad, one of those that are open to the outside public. It was originally constructed as a private residence for a very wealthy Moroccan family (this place is huge!) and that is why has so many luxurious details that found its reflection in intricate tilework, carved wood details, and lush inner courtyards (there are 5 courtyards in total!) typical of the era.

The location of this palace is in the western part of Medina on a very quiet street where tourists rarely wander unless they know about this location. This is why it is kind of hidden and nontouristy.

Generally speaking, Palais Sebban is an incredibly beautiful place for aesthetes where it’s so inspiring to have lunch or dinner in a beautiful setting, and then go up to the rooftop terrace for a glass of sparkling wine while enjoying the views of Marrakesh from above.

No reservations are required. But once you get there, you need to dine or have a drink to be able to walk around the property as in-house guests do. At the entrance, tell the guard that you came to dine in and he’ll bring you inside.

Khalidoun Art – Interesting Rug & All Things Beautiful Shop

hidden shop in Marrakech Medina
handmade bags Marrakech

Khalidoun Art was a rug shop in the past until the recent moment when owners changed the concept and opened a bigger store with various items for sale made by locals. I stumbled upon this gem purely by chance when walking along Rue Sidi el Yamani Street which, by the way, is famous for exclusive shopping.

In Khalidoun Art you’ll find almost everything that you may think of – designer clothes, shoes, jewelry, leather bags, decorations for the home, carpets, and even furniture. Price tags are pretty high (and I am not sure who they are meant for) but it is still possible to find more or less affordable items and bargain for some of them.

I think this spot deserves to be on the list of gem locations as it is a nice example of a beautiful Marrakech shop where all things that are made by locals are showcased with exquisite craftsmanship and authenticity, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Morocco.

The location on google maps is not correct. It is actually here on the opposite side from Maison du Caftan clothing store. Make a stop here when visiting other locations from this hidden gems list or when trying street food in the area.

House of Photography – Alternative Museum to See What Marrakech Was Like in the 19th & 20th Centuries 

Old Marrakech
Photo Museum in Marrakech

The House of Photography is a lesser-known interesting museum in Marrakech hidden away from the masses in the northern part of Medina. It is the best place to see what Marrakech was like in the recent past when the country was closed to tourism.

The museum is housed in a former riad on 3 floors with a pretty inner courtyard and spacious rooftop terrace with panoramic views where you can pause after a visit and order juices, salads, and of course Moroccan tea with desserts.

In the museum itself, you’ll find a collection of hundreds of photographs showcasing Morocco’s history, culture, and daily life from the late 19th century to the present. Many photos show old Marrakech which was only the Medina without the newer part outside the walls.

rooftop cafe Marrakech medina
And here is an alternative rooftop cafe in Marrakech which is part of this museum. From here, you can see Atlas Mountains very close 

There are also regular temporary exhibitions, various educational programs, and a gift shop where to purchase one of many photographs in different sizes.

They are open every day from 9:30 to 19:00, ticket prices is 50 MAD, and children under 15 years old can enter for free. We spent there almost 2 hours and truly enjoyed the visit! You can find more info on the House of Photography website.

Miss Lalla Hammam – Best Hidden Place for Moroccan Hammam Experience


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A post shared by Miss’ Lalla Hammam Authentique (@misslallahammamspa)

As with other hidden places in Marrakech on this list, I learned about Miss Lalla Hammam also purely by chance when walking to Madrasa Ben Youseff College. There was a small signboard there with the name of a spa which was difficult to notice but the door was open and pleasant aromas wafted from inside, so I decided to take a look and ask about the spa services.

A lovely gentleman who turned out to be a manager was so nice to show me around, share all the information about the Hammam Center, and explain the menu. Everything was very clean and prices of services were slightly lower than in other spas I have been to. When I went through reviews, I also noticed how excellent they were (you can read them too) which is very important to me.

I haven’t been to this spa yet (but definitely plan to!), but I wanted to add it to my list as it is an alternative hammam place in Marrakech, especially if you want to avoid touristy spas like Le Bain Bleu or Les Bains D’Orient that are literally on all sources out there.

The spa itself is in a beautiful riad setting, the staff welcomes you with tea and fruit and provides everything needed for the experience – towels, slippers, and robes.

Mellah – Historic Jewish Quarter With Hidden Cafes & Synagogues

Mellah neighborhood
walking in Mellah

The Mellah quarter is that area of Medina that historically has been home to Marrakech’s Jewish population with traditional Jewish style architecture. It started in the 16th century and today remains a culturally rich area with synagogues, its own markets, and a unique atmosphere that reflects its heritage.

For me personally, this is a favorite part of Medina because it is somewhat quieter and not as hectic as anywhere near the Jemaa el-Fna square. Also, it has the best street food in Marrakech where you can eat to your heart’s content paying only a couple of dollars.

Its main square Tinsmiths Square has a market with a variety of goods like spices, textiles, and traditional Moroccan handicrafts. In fact, the number of spices is so big that you don’t know what many of them are. I think I saw some spices for the first time even though I’ve been to the biggest market in Istanbul and a couple of markets in Dubai.

If you have time, devote at least a few hours to this area which has a few interesting landmarks such as the Lazama Synagogue and the Jewish Cemetery. Both provide insights into the area’s Jewish heritage. 

Just a short walk from the Mellah, there is another hidden gem the Saadian Tombs which date back to the Saadian dynasty and show many beautiful decorations and architectural details.

Riad Elisa & Spa – Off the Beaten Path Riad Great for a Spa Visit

alternative spa in Marrakech

This is another of my favorite secret hammams in Marrakech which I also found purely by chance when looking for a spa in the area around the Bacha Palace.

Riad Elisa is not a very famous riad in the city (maybe because it is rather simplistic compared to many other riads in Medina) but it has a fantastic spa and traditional hammam which stays quite empty when other (touristy) hammams are booked for weeks in advance and always full of people.

Prices here are the same as everywhere else but what you get extra at no cost is a beautiful pool area in the room with loungers, dimmed lights, and tranquil music. After any treatment, including the complete traditional experience of the Moroccan hammam or a massage, visitors get a chance to spend time in this relaxing zone as long as desired.

We visited and truly enjoyed a hammam experience here. If you are interested as well when on a trip to Marrakech, take a look at the Riad Elisa Spa menu. There is a phone number in the end of the page which is connected to WhatsApp. Making reservations is easy and always quick.

Oh, and they also have a rooftop with drinks and views but if you are limited on time, I better recommend you skip it and go to another rooftop restaurant which I mention in this post.

Gallery Zahra Shop – Hidden Story With Cheap Moroccan Ceramics

Zahra shop ceramics in Medina

Zahra Shop Gallery is a lesser-known boutique shop within the historic center of Marrakech selling an array of black and white (as well as brightly colored) handcrafted ceramics that are sure to add character and charm to any space.

You’ll see how big and unique collections of ceramics here are with a fusion of classic Moroccan design elements and contemporary flair. All ceramics on display here tell a story of artistry and creativity. They are beautiful and interesting to look at or to buy to bring back home.

The owner, Mohamed, can deliver anything from this shop (there is also another one, a bigger one he has in another part of medina) to your home in Europe, Canada, or USA, if you don’t feel like carrying everything with you. At the time of writing, the delivery price is $4 per kg.

So if you are seeking distinctive pieces of ceramics for your home or simply want to look at unique examples of craftsmanship, Zahra shop is a place not to miss. Whether you’re drawn to bold patterns, intricate designs, or minimalist aesthetics, you’ll find something here that suits every taste and style. 

Riad Yima – Unusual Place for Different Types of Tea & Art Gallery

tea room in Marrakech
Moroccan varieties of teas

At first sight, after seeing the word ‘Riad’, you may think that it is another typical accommodation that offers a restaurant or spa experience. But in reality, it is a different place.

Riad Yima is not a private residence nor it is a guest house with dining options. It is an art gallery, tea salon, and at the same time cultural space where visitors can relax, see unique objects, and try (or buy) crafted teas or coffees available for purchase or tasting while there. 

It was created by the Moroccan artist and photographer Hassan Hajjaj who had a vision and desire to create a space that would uniquely celebrate Moroccan culture and creativity. He acquired this house when it was almost falling apart (like many riads in the city) and transformed it into a lovely riad with many details such as ingeniously repurposed Coca-Cola boxes and old road signs that became tables and chairs.

Besides them, the space is filled with a mix of other diverse items, photographs, and unique objects that leave you guessing what that is. Come here when in the area to see just how varied and truly cool Marrakech is thanks to unique places like this one.

Royal Mansour Marrakech – a Masterpiece of Moorish-Andalusian Architecture

secret place in Marrakech

The most grandiose and the most luxurious place in Marrakech, hidden from the general public is The Royal Mansour Marrakech Hotel, designed as a miniature replica of the traditional Medina. It is not only named after the Moroccan monarchy but is also owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

Situated on 5 hectares adjacent to the walls of the old city, it comprises 53 individual riads (private three-story villas in Moroccan style with their private gardens, courtyards and even pools), four restaurants, a spa center with a vast pool, 150 fountains, Arab-Andalusian gardens, and 550 art pieces.

This is a real masterpiece of Moorish-Andalusian architecture and a center of luxury that immerses guests in opulence and Moroccan heritage.

walking around Royal Mansour hotel
old Moroccan money

Staying here is beyond many people’s budget (check it out together with photos) but I don’t encourage you to do that. Instead, come here for a few hours to get amazed by the stunning architecture and lush gardens, indulge in a meal at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants, see a couple of exhibitions (one with old Moroccan money as you see in the photo above), or pamper yourself with a luxurious spa treatment. 

It is a place of improbable luxury where opulence meets sophistication creating an unforgettable experience even for those who just happen to visit without an overnight stay.

NOTE: You will need to go through the guard at the gate and later security. Tell them that you are coming to the restaurant or spa.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum


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A post shared by Musée YSL Marrakech (@myslmarrakech)

Everyone knows about the cobalt-blue Majorelle Garden as it is one of the most popular places to visit in Marrakech. However, many overlook the nearby museum of the famous couturier, which also offers much to explore.

It is dedicated to showcasing the life and work of the renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and features a permanent collection of Yves Saint Laurent’s designs, including clothing, accessories, sketches, and photographs, highlighting his significant contributions to the world of fashion. Additionally, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions that explore various aspects of fashion, art, and culture.

The building itself deserves special mention as the architecture of the museum is very impressive. It is an excellent example of modern museum architecture. With the first rays of sun, the brick walls take on a delicate powdery hue – a nod to the “pink city” (another alternative name that Marrakech received for the abundance of pink-red houses in the southwestern part).

The facades of the building are completely blank, like most traditional Moroccan houses. But inside is a very different matter – a series of rooms full of things related to Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career, including some interesting documentaries about his life.

Hidden Restaurants & Cafes in Marrakech

Here I want to share my favorite hidden gem food places that you will love visiitng as well. 

Atay Cafe – Secret Restaurant With Views Next to the Madrasa Ben Youssef College

non touristy cafe in Marrakech
Marrakech panorama

Atay Cafe is probably my favorite hidden gem rooftop restaurant in Marrakech with amazing views of Medina and Atlas Mountains. I don’t know why I love it so much – either because it was the first establishment of this type I visited in Marrakech or because it offers a great combo of prices, excellent service, and views, unlike many other restaurants in the city.

Menu here is extensive and diverse featuring African and Mediterranean cuisines. Drinks here cost between 1-70 MAD and food between 50-120 MAD per dish. My friends who told me about this cafe said they enjoyed here delicious chicken skewers, tagines, and couscous with chicken. We didn’t try them but loved parfaits, soufflés, and avocado juice (which was so creamy and perfectly sweet).

Oh, and their ‘nus-nus’ coffee drink with pepper and ginger tastes just like a traditional spiced Berber coffee, which is a rarity in Marrakech. If you get a chance, try it!

Whenever in the area visiting Madrasa Ben Youssef College or just walking on the Rue Amsafah street, don’t miss Atay Cafe for a quick break and instagrammable photos! Exact location is here.

Kui-Zin – Hidden Restaurant for Traditional Music & Moroccan Food Buffet

hidden gem cafe in Marrakech
alternative food in Marrakech

Just across the road from Atay Cafe, there is another rooftop restaurant that is somewhat hidden and easy to miss unless you know about it. It is a must-go-to place if you want to get some nice views of Marrakech, eat traditional food in a romantic setting, and at the same time have traditional-style entertainment. And all of this while not paying much. 

My experience here was a dinner with beautiful Berber and Gnawa music in the background (performed by local musicians). But a host at the door also told me that on many days during the month, they fill evenings with the captivating melodies of Andalusian music (the one you can hear all over the Malaga region) that has seamlessly integrated into Moroccan culture, adding depth and richness for centuries.

Mark and I came here specifically for the performance and ordered traditional dishes from the menu. But Kui-Zin also offers a buffet option of Moroccan food at a reasonable price of €18 per person, making it a fantastic choice for an enjoyable and affordable evening out.

All performances last from 19:00 to 22:30 every day (even during Ramadan, we were there during this time) and on some evenings (on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) there is a chance to see a belly dancing show here from 20:00 to 20:30.

Cafe Clock – Non Touristy Cafe Where to Try Camel Meat

Camel meat burger

This cafe is located in the Mellah neighborhood (Jewish quarter) that I mentioned above and is kind of a hidden gem food place in Marrakech where to try camel meat.

Finding this type of meat around the city is quite difficult as it is relatively expensive compared to other meats and is not widely available in local markets or restaurants due to its limited demand and price.

But Cafe Clock decided to stay loyal to the tradition of serving camel meat and does it by offering burgers (which are quite pricey, around $10 for one).

Honestly, I absolutely didn’t like this burger (or better to say the camel patty in it) but I am still glad I ordered it as now I know and can tell what camel meat tastes like. It was all part of the nice experience with the lively atmosphere!

Dar Essalam – the Oldest Restaurant in Marrakech


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A post shared by Restaurant DAR ESSALAM (@restaurant.dar.essalam)

This is actually a highly celebrated restaurant in Marrakech for its exceptional cuisine. Yet, I am adding it to hidden places to visit as I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere and found out about it from a host of the riad where we stayed.

Dar Essalam is located in the heart of the Medina within a 17th-century palace. It was featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” so you may recognize it if watched this movie.

The restaurant comprises three hallsK’Dim, a luxurious hall adorned with rich decorations, Bahia, an 18th-century hall designed for dinners for fifty people, and Royal, a beautiful example of Moroccan architecture, accommodating banquets for 180 people, dating back to the 19th century.

Additionally, there is the Marijane hall from the 19th century, with a capacity of up to 130 people.

You come here to taste such national dishes as couscous, harira soup, various tagines, salads, and Eastern sweets. Every evening, it also hosts a show featuring live Moroccan music and songs as well as various dances, including belly dancing.

You need to make a reservation here either over the phone or via Instagram.

Henna Cafe – For Henna Tattoos & Vegetarian Dishes

Moroccan henna
Marrakech hidden cafe

Number one reason I personally love this cafe is the opportunity to get here a beautiful henna tattoo while spending time in a peaceful corner with a cup of coffee and vegan dessert or falafel.

Although the reason I visited was not to get a tattoo done by someone but to ask them to teach me how to make it myself. The owner told me I was the first one to inquire about such service, so he offered a class (90 minutes long) for 150 MAD ($15) with a lady (and him translating) that would include information on how to choose henna (which ones are safe to buy and which ones are not) and detailed techniques on how to draw tattoos on my own.

If you are interested in the same type of experience, you need to go to the cafe first (or give them a call if you have a Moroccan number) and make an appointment. 

But if you are not into tattoos, it is still a nice place where to stop for a full-size meal and enjoy a relaxing atmosphere (however keep in mind, all food options are vegetarian).

There is also complimentary Wi-Fi here and the opportunity to get some work done on a laptop (when you order food). Moreover, guests can partake in Arabic language lessons for a nominal fee.

All in all, Henna Cafe is a fascinating venue where to indulge in tasty vegetarian Moroccan cuisine while immersing yourself in some unique Moroccan experiences!

I am going to update this post and add more hidden gems in Marrakech as I continue exploring this city at a slow pace. But if you have anything special to add of your own, please do, I’d love to know!

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