El Badi Palace is one of the incredible places you simply must visit when in Marrakech. This ruined palace is one of the biggest and most splendid palace complexes in Morocco. The size of this incredible complex is huge. During your visit, you will be able to walk around the patios and orchards, climb up the ramparts for stunning views, or explore the underground dungeons.
In Arabic, the name El Badi Palace translates to ‘the incomparable palace’. And it is definitely an amazing complex. Even though the palace has come to be a shadow of its former glory, it is one of the most famous sights in Marrakech. And we understand why – it is stunning.
The history of El Badi Palace
El Badi Palace in Marrakech was built by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty. The work started in 1578 and continued throughout his reign. During the palace’s glory days, it was used for receptions for the sultan to show his wealth and power. After the sultan died in 1603 the palace was neglected. When the Saadian dynasty fell El Badi Palace fell into ruin.
The palace today
Nowadays only little is left of the magnificence of the Saadians, but the remaining ruins give you an idea of the dimension of the palace as it was. As it is in ruins most of what was used to create the former palace is now left as sandstone walls. This means that you will have to use your imagination to picture what this incredible palace might have looked like.
Inside the complex, you will find an area below ground, which was used as a prison and dungeons. As it is not marked as such it can be a bit difficult finding the right place. You should look for the stairs with a small hole opening at the ground level. If you are joining a tour your guide will most definitely point this part of the complex out for you.
Another thing you must do when visiting El Badi Palace is to admire the view from the upstairs part of the complex. Here you will have one of the best views of the Medina of Marrakech.
Lastly, you might need some help connecting the dots of the complex if you are not visiting with a guide. Inside the complex, you will find a small room in which a movie plays. This shows what the El Badi Palace once looked like. It is a perfect way to start your visit, as it makes it a bit easier to imagine the magnificence of the former palace.
What to know about visiting El Badi Palace in Marrakech
As with the many other attractions in Marrakech, some things are good to know before you visit. Therefore, we have done you a favor and collected some of the information you will need to know for your visit. Below we have gathered all the information we found useful for a visit to El Badi Palace in Marrakech.
Getting to El Badi Palace
El Badi Palace is located in the southern part of the Medina of Marrakech. You will be able to find this incredible complex by following the signs throughout the Medina. If you find yourself at the Koutoubia Mosque you are about a 15-minute walk from the palace, whereas if you are near the Saadian Tombs, you should be around a 10-minute walk from the complex. If you need a little help finding your way, it is very understandable – the Medina is a hectic maze. Google Maps should do the job. You can either search for ‘El Badi Palace’ or just use the address of the palace: Ksibat Nhass, Marrakech 40000, Morocco. Then you are set to find your way to the El Badi Palace.
El Badi Palace in Marrakech is open to the public every day, except on Saturdays. You will be able to visit the complex from 9:00 to 17:00. Keep in mind that the last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
The entrance fee to the palace complex depends on your nationality. The admission is 10 DH for Moroccan citizens, whereas it is 70 DH for tourists and other nationalities.
Time spent at El Badi Palace in Marrakech
El Badi Palace is a quite big complex in Marrakech. Even though the palace is not standing anymore, there are a lot of things to admire during your visit. We would recommend you set aside 2 hours for a visit to El Badi Palace. That way you will be able to get the full experience without any compromises.
Best time to visit El Badi Palace in Marrakech
The best time to visit El Badi Palace in Marrakech is as early as possible. That way you will be able to skip some of the bigger crowds and the heat during the day. But do not worry if you want to combine your visit with other attractions in Marrakech. It is very doable to visit the palace in the afternoon and you spend quite a time in the underground tunnels, so the heat should not be unbearable. No matter what time of the day you visit the El Badi Palace, it is definitely worth a visit.