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El Badi Palace is a spectacular sight comprising the ruins of a 16th-century palace. Among the surviving structures are the garden walls and ornamental orange orchard, which make this sight among the most popular in the city. Visit the complex’s museum to see its range of fascinating and ornate artifacts.
Note that the palace was commissioned by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur in the late 16th century and funded by cash ransomed from Portugal following the Battle of the Three Kings. It took about 25 years to construct, using expensive materials such as gold and onyx.
The original building contained about 360 Baroque rooms and a fountain surrounded by a pool. Stroll along the courtyard, which is about 440 feet (135 meters) long and 360 feet (110 meters) wide. The colonnade was built with Italian marble. See the preserved pavilions, which were probably used as summer houses. Stables, slave quarters and dungeons are among the other buildings in this complex.
Make your way to the balcony for its viewing platform and snap photos of the mountains in the distance. Gaze up at the trees to see nesting storks, which also like to loiter along the tops of the palace ramparts.
Go to the complex’s museum to see the displays of items excavated at this site. Marvel at the 12th-century minbar (mosque pulpit) that was once part of the Koutoubia Mosque. See some of the temporary exhibits, such as works of photography and other artistic and historic displays.
Visit the ruins daily from morning to late afternoon. There is a small fee to enter. Arrive early to miss the crowds and have the site to yourself.
El Badi Palace is in the historic Mellah area in the heart of Marrakech. It is just south of the Place des Ferblantiers, a square that is often filled with tin artisans. See nearby sights, such as the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Bahia Palace and the Saadian Tombs.
Ensure you have plenty of time at El Badi Palace. Here are the best things to do:
Why not think about buying a Small-Group Best of Marrakech Full-Day Tour with Lunch & Dinner? It's one of the most exciting activities on offer here.
If you'd like even more options, check out our Marrakech things to do page.
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