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Admiring the gorgeous palace ruins and Moroccan tiling of Palais El Badi in Marrakech, Morocco

 Admiring the gorgeous palace ruins and Moroccan tiling of Palais El Badi in Marrakech, Morocco

As a travelling photographer, I’m always on the lookout for unique destinations to inspire my soul and my camera lens.

Marrakech, Morocco’s vibrant pink capital, does not disappoint!

With its rich heritage, vibrant colours, and warm, golden light, Marrakech is a photography paradise for creative travellers, photographers and content creators.

In this blog post, I’ll share 11 top photography spots in Marrakech perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy content, plus tips on making the most of the Red City’s magical light and colour.

So, if you want to find out where to create amazing content in Marrakech, keep reading!

YSL Museum and Jardin Majorelle - Best Photography Spots in Marrakech

The YSL Museum and Jardin Majorelle botanical gardens have beautiful colours, architecture and nature – illumelation.com

  1. Jardin Majorelle: A Botanical Oasis

One of the most iconic and Instagrammable places in Marrakech is the Jardin Majorelle, a stunning botanical garden owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

The vibrant blue buildings, lush greenery, and pops of colorful flowers make it a perfect spot for capturing dreamy shots. The combination of the vibrant blue and the lush greenery creates a mesmerizing contrast that is a photographer’s delight.

Tip: Arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds and have the garden almost to yourself.

Iconic street sign along Rue Yves Saint Laurent at the YSL Musée / Museum in Marrakech, Morocco - illumelation.com

Iconic street sign along Rue Yves Saint Laurent at the YSL Musée / Museum in Marrakech, Morocco – illumelation.com

 

2. YSL Museum: A Celebration of Art and Fashion

Right next to the Jardin Majorelle is the YSL Museum, a must-visit for fashion enthusiasts and art lovers alike. This museum, dedicated to the life and work of the iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, is housed in a stunning building designed by French architects Studio KO, which seamlessly blends minimalist architecture with Moroccan elements.

Rue Yves Saint Laurent YSL Musee Museum Marrakech - Pink Concrete Blue Sky - illumelation.com.JPG

Street sign at the Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Musée Museum in Marrakech, Morocco – illumelation.com

Stone foyer at the YSL Museum in Marrakech, designed by Studio KO - illumelation.com

Stone foyer at the YSL Museum in Marrakech, designed by Studio KO – illumelation.com

Shooting a vibrant blue wall and pink flowers at Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

Shooting a vibrant blue wall and pink flowers at Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

The vibrant blue colour, inspired by Majorelle blue, used throughout the museum, along with the striking exhibitions showcasing YSL’s creations, make it a visually captivating place to capture artistic shots.

The sleek lines and design intentions behind the museum make it a perfect backdrop for capturing artistic shots.

The monochromatic color palette and clean lines of the building create a visually stunning and harmonious setting for your photos. The museum also has a beautiful garden, inspired by the Majorelle Garden, which offers a serene and tranquil setting for capturing nature-inspired shots.

Intricate tilework and doorways of Bahia Palace in Marrakech

Intricate tilework and doorways of Bahia Palace in Marrakech

3. Bahia Palace: A Palatial Beauty

For those seeking grandeur and opulence, the Bahia Palace is a must-visit. This stunning palace, built in the 19th century, features beautiful gardens, grand courtyards, and intricately carved ceilings that are a feast for the eyes and the camera lens.

The stunning architectural details, including colorful tiles, carved stucco, and ornate doorways, make it a perfect spot for capturing regal shots. Arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds and have the palace almost to yourself.

Ruinous walls of Badi Palace in Marrakech

Ruinous walls of Badi Palace in Marrakech

4. Badi Palace: A Ruinous Beauty, But Not Ruined

While Bahia Palace exudes grandeur, Badi Palace offers a contrasting aesthetic. This 16th-century ruined palace, once a symbol of power and wealth, now stands in a state of glorious decay, with crumbling walls, overgrown gardens, and remnants of its former glory.

The unique textures, patterns, and colors of the weathered walls and the play of light in the open courtyards create a captivating atmosphere that is perfect for capturing moody and atmospheric shots.

Arrive early in the morning or during the golden hour in the evening to capture the best light and avoid crowds.

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Straw bags for sale in the souks of Marrakech

Straw bags for sale in the souks of Marrakech

5. Medina: The Heart of Marrakech

No trip to Marrakech is complete without exploring the Medina, the historic heart of the city. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a maze of narrow winding streets, bustling souks (markets), and stunning architecture that offers endless opportunities for unique and captivating shots.

From the vibrant colors of the spices and textiles in the souks to the intricate details of the doorways and facades of the ancient buildings, every corner of the Medina is a treasure trove for photographers.

Tip: double-check the stalls and shops for signs that might say “no photography allowed” – and be respectful about taking photos that might feature other people.

6. Ben Youssef Madrasa: A Masterpiece of Islamic Architecture

Located in the heart of the Medina, the Ben Youssef Madrasa is an exquisite example of Islamic architecture and a hidden gem for photographers.

This former Islamic school is adorned with intricately carved wooden details, colourful tiles, and stunning courtyards that make it a visual feast for the eyes.

The play of light and shadow in the courtyards creates a mesmerising effect, offering endless opportunities for capturing unique and artistic shots.

7. Saadian Tombs: An Ornate Gem

Tucked away in the Medina, the Saadian Tombs are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by photographers.

Discovered in 1917, these tombs date back to the 16th century and were only re-opened to the public in 1971. The tombs feature beautifully decorated mausoleums with intricate tilework, ornate carvings, and serene courtyards that offer a peaceful and mystical atmosphere for capturing unique shots.

The subdued light filtering through the arched doorways and the quiet serenity of the tombs create a somber and evocative setting for your photographs.

8. Koutoubia Mosque: A Majestic Landmark

No visit to Marrakech is complete without admiring the majestic Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech and a prominent landmark of the city.

The towering minaret, adorned with intricate geometric patterns, is visible from various parts of the city and offers a perfect backdrop for capturing stunning shots.

The best time to capture the mosque in all its glory is during sunset when the warm, golden light bathes the mosque and creates a magical atmosphere.

Arrive early to secure a good spot and avoid crowds!

Statuesque Mosque building in the heart of Marrakech

Statuesque Mosque building in the heart of Marrakech

9. Le Jardin Secret: A Hidden Oasis

Le Jardin Secret, a recently restored 19th-century palace, is a hidden oasis in the heart of the Medina.

This beautiful garden features serene courtyards, lush greenery, and stunning architecture that is a photographer’s paradise. The tranquil atmosphere, combined with the beautiful play of light and shadow, makes it a perfect spot for capturing peaceful and serene shots.

The rooftop terrace of the palace also offers panoramic views of the city, making it an ideal location for capturing sweeping cityscapes and sunset shots.

Dusty Red Minimalist Building and a neutral courtyard with a swimming pool and Mediterranean plants

MORO wellness: gorgeous courtyard with a swimming pool and Mediterranean plants

10. The “New Marrakech”: A Bougie Wonderland

In addition to its historic and cultural charm, Marrakech also has a “new Marrakech” — a haven for stylish and fashionable travelers.

This district, located in the Gueliz and Hivernage areas, is known for its trendy shops, chic cafes, and modern architecture, offering a contrasting aesthetic to the traditional charm of the Medina.

Places like Moro concept store and Chabi Chic are perfect for capturing shots of contemporary design, unique fashion, and modern lifestyle.

The sleek lines, minimalist aesthetics, and vibrant colors of these shops make them a perfect backdrop for capturing stylish and trendy shots.

Rooftop Shot of Cafe Des Espices in Marrakech Medina Morocco

Rooftops over the medina and Cafe Des Espices in Marrakech

Rooftop Shot of Street near Bahia Palace in Marrakech Medina Morocco.JPG

Birds-eye view of street life near Bahia Palace in Marrakech, Morocco

11. Rooftop Cafes and Riads: A Bird’s Eye View

Marrakech is famous for its beautiful riads, traditional Moroccan houses with inner courtyards, and rooftop cafes that offer stunning panoramic views of the city.

Climbing to the rooftops of riads or visiting rooftop cafes like Nomad or Café Des Épices can provide a bird’s eye view of Marrakech, allowing you to capture breathtaking shots of the city from above.

The unique architecture of the riads, with their intricate tilework, decorative details, and lush greenery, combined with the panoramic views of the city, offer a perfect setting for capturing stunning photographs.

The golden hour, just before sunset, is the ideal time to visit rooftop cafes and riads for the best light and fewer crowds.

Mel at Riad La Maison - Design Details - Marrakech Morocco -3.JPG

Taking a moment of reflection at Riad La Maison in Marrakech

Riad La Maison - Design Details - Marrakech Morocco -3.JPG

Sunlight-dappled courtyard at Riad La Maison in Marrakech

12. Bonus Location: Beautiful Riads in Marrakech

If you’re visiting Marrakech, chances are very high that the hotel or riad you’re staying in will be beautifully designed.

We stayed at a private airbnb named Riad La Maison Marrakech. La Maison is an impeccably designed riad with timeless, tasteful, tranquil and chic places to lounge, relax, swim, eat and shoot cute content.

The light that fell inside and outside the riad was beautiful too – the rooftop courtyard was incredibly gorgeous. Photo opportunities for days!

There are exquisite luxury hotels too, like Royal Mansour Marrakech and Mamounia Hotel – though do note, these hotels are extremely expensive, and are heaving with security. Make sure you book a table or dress up a bit before going to visit – or they might not let you go in!

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Arched doorway ruin of Badi Palace in Marrakech

Arched doorway ruin of Badi Palace in Marrakech

Photography Tips for Shooting Content in Marrakech

Marrakech is truly a photographer’s paradise, with its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant colors, and unique culture. The play of light and shadow, especially in golden hour, creates a magical atmosphere and adds Moroccan enchantment to your photographs.

To make the most of your photography experience in Marrakech, here are some additional tips:

  1. Plan your visits to landmarks early in the morning to avoid crowds and capture the best light. Golden or blue hour are great too!
  2. Explore the lesser-known corners of Marrakech, such as hidden alleys, local markets, and off-the-beaten-path spots, to capture authentic and unique shots.
  3. Pay attention to the details, such as the intricate tilework, decorative elements, and vibrant colours that are characteristic of Islamic and Moroccan architecture and design.
  4. Experiment with different perspectives, angles, and compositions to create visually interesting and dynamic shots.
  5. Interact with the locals and immerse yourself in the local culture to capture candid and authentic moments that tell a story.
  6. Remember to respect local customs and traditions: ask for permission before taking portraits of locals, and be mindful of the privacy and sacredness of certain places.
  7. Take breaks to savour the local cuisine, indulge in Moroccan tea, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Marrakech, as these interactions also provide unique photo opportunities.
  8. Remember to keep your camera safe and use common sense if walking around alone in areas that are less well-populated. Pickpockets are watching in every country!

Marrakech is a true treasure trove of photogenic locations for creative travellers. From the Medina’s historic landmarks to the modern charms of “new Marrakech,” the city shimmers with stunning backdrops laying in wait.

Share your Marrakech content with me by tagging @illumelation on Instagram!

 

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.

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