When you’re visiting Marrakesh, you’ll spend most of your time in the Medina. The new city outside the walls seems like another city and country. While it’s a manageable walk, it just feels like a hassle to get there on foot or by sketchy taxi. When you walk outside the walls, you’ll walking through a whole lot of nothing interesting, unless you think construction sites and office buildings are fun.
Jardin Majorelle is the best known destination outside the city and popular with French tourists. It was designed in 1924 by Jacques Majorelle, who created his own shade of blue which was named after him — Majorelle Blue. In 1980, it was bought be beloved French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé.
The layout is minimal with tiny splashes of that Majorelle Blue, stone gardens with cacti, narrow pathways, small fountains and dense bamboo forests. On a hot day, it provides ample shade. You then make your way to the Yves Saint-Laurent memorial, where his ashes were spread after his death in 2008.
In the center is the Islamic Art Museum which houses an extensive collection berber art. It requires a combo ticket to enter.
Since it’s a popular site and Marrakesh isn’t known for embracing modern technology like a reservation system, WiFi and credit card machines, you can expect a long line of 30-40 minutes to get a ticket to get in. There was one person working the ticket window the day I went. There’s no way around it besides getting there early at 8am. Same inside to get into the museum. After your visit, you exit through the ridiculous priced YSL gift shop.
Now, botanical gardens are often peaceful places to explore beauty, listen to water flowing, birds chirping and the wind going through the trees. This was not my experience as you’ll see in this quick video below. This was going for the whole 90 minutes while I was there.