Visit to the Saadian tombs of Marrakech: Your Complete Guide

saadian tombs marrakech article by maroc maker

The Saadian Tombs are among the most visited places in Marrakech. They were opened to the public in 1917, the year of their discovery.

The Saadian Tombs are closely linked to the Saadian dynasty, which ruled Morocco from the 16th to the 17th century. The Saadian dynasty reached its peak during the reign of Ahmad al-Mansour. The latter is considered one of the most powerful and influential rulers of his time.

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Vestige of the Saadian dynasty

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Very close to the Casbah, this necropolis of the Saadian dynasty (1524-1659) was rediscovered and opened to the public in 1917, after being entrusted to the Beaux-Arts services for its restoration. These tombs, which date from the end of the 16th century, considered the most beautiful period of the city, are the work of Sultan Ahmad al-Mansour, known as the Golden, also the author of the El Badi Palace. Furthermore, in the 18th century, Sultan Moulay Ismail decided to remove the remains of the previous dynasty and ordered the burials to be walled up, which were not rediscovered until 1917.

A true architectural masterpiece

This funerary complex made up of a chapel and 3 funerary rooms is located in the heart of a charming enclosed garden, which contains the tombs of the twenty-four wives of Ahmad the Golden and those of a few soldiers and faithful servants. Around sixty burials were scattered in these 3 rooms in a refined decoration in the Hispano-Moorish style with tombs decorated with multicolored zelliges and arabesques, vaulted with stucco stalactites and decorated with Italian marble.

First of all, we find in the koubba (the dome) the remains of Mohammed Ech Cheikh, the founder of the Saadian dynasty. Continuing, the Mihrab room is revealed which was originally an oratory serving as a prayer room to which, from the 18th century, tombs of sultans were added. The latter is divided into three naves by four white marble columns and a magnificent door which gives access to the large funerary room, the Hall of the Kings which serves as the main mausoleum. In this room of twelve columns decorated with Carrara marble rests the tomb of Sultan Ahmad the Golden in the center of the room and his family. The tomb is overlooked by a cedar wood dome dotted with gold leaf decorated with poetic epitaphs. And, finally, the room of three niches contains the tombs of the children of the Saadian sultans.

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Opening hours

The Saadian Tombs are open every day, Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We advise you to check hours before your visit, as they may vary depending on holidays or special events.

The price of entry

The entrance price for visiting the Saadian Tombs is 70 dirhams, or approximately €7. However, this price does not include the guided tour. Allow €15 more if you wish to hire a guide to appreciate and understand your visit to the Saadian Tombs.

Avoid the crowds

The Saadian Tombs are a popular attraction in Marrakech, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. This way, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the place and take photos without being disturbed.


Length of visit

Allow approximately 1 to 2 hours to visit the Saadian Tombs. This will give you plenty of time to explore the different mausoleums, admire the architectural details, and stroll through the surrounding gardens.

Souvenir photos

You are allowed to take photos inside the Saadian Tombs, except in certain areas where this may be prohibited for conservation reasons. So, be sure to follow the photography rules and ask permission if you want to take photos professionally or with special equipment.

Appropriate attire

When visiting the Saadian Tombs, we recommend that you wear appropriate attire, covering your shoulders and knees out of respect for local culture and traditions.

Combine the visit with other attractions

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Take advantage of your stay in Marrakech to combine a visit to the Saadian Tombs with other nearby attractions, such as the Koutoubia Mosque, the Bahia Palace or the Agdal Gardens. This will allow you to maximize your time and discover more of the wonders of the city.

The must-sees during your visit to the Saadian Tombs

When exploring the Saadian Tombs of Marrakech, there are several must-see items not to be missed. These points of interest will allow you to fully appreciate the beauty and history of this unique historic site.

The mausoleums

The Saadian Tombs include three main mausoleums: the mausoleum of Ahmad al-Mansour, the mausoleum of his relatives and the mausoleum of the soldiers. Each of them features distinctive architecture and decoration. Admire the finely carved stuccoes, colorful zelliges and delicate ornaments. They adorn these mausoleums, testifying to the artistic know-how of the Saadian era.

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The Hall of Twelve Columns

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The Room of the Twelve Columns is one of the highlights of the Saadian Tombs. This majestic room, supported by twelve marble columns, is a true architectural masterpiece. Take time to admire the intricate details of the carved ceilings and calligraphic inscriptions, creating an atmosphere that is both grandiose and serene.

Epitaphs and funerary steles

The walls of the Saadian Tombs are decorated with epitaphs and funerary steles which pay homage to the members of the Saadian dynasty. These poetic inscriptions, Koranic verses and prayers reflect the piety and importance given to the memory of the deceased. Take the time to observe them and absorb their spiritual meaning.

The gardens

The Saadian Tombs are surrounded by beautiful green gardens that add a touch of freshness and relaxation to your visit. Stroll through the shaded paths, relax by the fountains and admire the lush vegetation surrounding the tombs. The gardens provide a calming contrast to the majestic architecture of the mausoleums.

The historical atmosphere

During your visit to the Saadian Tombs, take the time to soak up the historical atmosphere that reigns in these places. The aura of mystery and grandeur that emanates from the tombs will transport you to a bygone era. Become aware of the importance of this site in the history of Marrakech and appreciate the privilege of being able to explore this hidden treasure.

By following this list of must-sees, you will be able to experience a complete and enriching visit to the Saadian Tombs of Marrakech. Take your time to absorb the history and beauty of these sacred places and enjoy this unique experience during your stay in Marrakech.

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