Updated on January 22, 2023
Before getting to Marrakech this spring, I’ve never heard about Jardin Majorelle, blue Majorelle, or anything else related to the home of Yves Saint Laurent in the city of Marrakech. Now I’m happy I had the opportunity to see this wonderful place where nature meets architecture to create what I would have loved to be my own home and gardens.
Majorelle Garden is now on my list of best 10 things to do in Marrakech.
What You'll Read About
Who created Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech?
Jacques Majorelle, the Orientalist artist, and Paul Sinoir, the architect who created the villa, have done an awesome job. In the beginning, Jacques Majorelle started by buying this four-acre plot near the palm grove in Marrakech. He planted the wonderful garden and he built a Moroccan style house. Later on, in 1931, he had Paul Sinoir design and build a Cubist style villa on this land. Majorelle was in love with the vibrant blue color of Moroccan tiles. He painted his villa and many of the features in his garden in this color. He bought more land and extended the garden.
In 1947, Majorelle turned his villa and the surrounding garden into a public museum, in order to afford the high maintenance cost of this venue (source of information: Wikipedia). Three years later, Jacques Majorelle sold the property. The new owner didn’t bother with maintenance, so the site has been slowly turning into a ruin.
Over three decades later, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé rediscovered and renovated the lovely property.
Where Is Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech?
Jardin Majorelle is outside the Medina, on Yves Saint Laurent Street, not far from Gueliz. This is a good 30 minutes walk from Djema-el-Fna, if you want to have some exercise during your vacation. The neighborhoods are nice and safe, so you don’t have to worry about being robbed or stuff like that. Anyway, since Jardin Majorelle closes by 5pm, you’ll walk in full daylight.
Unfortunately, mobile internet in roaming in Marrakech is incredibly expensive, so you should either have a paper map or save your route to be able to access it offline.
Your other option to get to Majorelle Gardens from Djema-el-Fna (or La Koutubia) is to take a taxi. The ride shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. In fact, it’s nicer to get to Majorelle by taxi and then take a walk back to the Medina.
What Is the Best Time To Visit Majorelle Gardens?
In my experience, getting there about 1.5-2 hours before the closing time is the best. The line is shorter, and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the golden hour, with its lovely, yellowish light that makes everything look so beautiful.
If you prefer the first part of the day to visit the gardens of Majorelle and the YSL museum, you’d better be there first thing in the morning, which is at 8-8:30am. During the day, the line is huge, and you’ll have to do it in full sun, as there’s not much of a shadow on that sidewalk.
There is a chance to skip the line if you buy the most expensive ticket that includes the garden and both YSL and the Berber museums.
Another good chance to skip the line and the walk from Medina to Majorelle is to purchase this tour that includes visits to Menara and Majorelle gardens, as well as pickup from your hotel or riad.
If you decide to take the tour, you won’t have to bother with anything else than showing up in front of your hotel by the right time. I’m not sure if they take you back to your hotel, but I went on other tours and the driver took us back.
What Is There Inside Jardin de Majorelle?
The short answer is PEOPLE!
All those who flocked in front of the gates to buy a ticket are now inside of what is a relatively small space, walking on the narrow alleyways, some of them talking loudly, and almost all of them taking photos.
If you want to enjoy Jardin Majorelle, you must ignore the crowds. Fortunately, the beauty of the plants will help a great deal, so you’ll soon forget that you are in the middle of a crowd that barely moves.
As you step along the alleys, you’ll be impressed with the cool shade that makes you feel refreshed. After doing the line under the scorching heat of the noon sun, you’ll love this garden even more.
I didn’t count them, but I think there were hundreds of species of cacti, thorny, fat and beautiful, in all shapes and sizes, with or without cats sleeping in their shadow.
The tall palm trees and the vividly colored bougainvillea are a match made in heaven.
If you visit the gardens on a sunny day, you’ll see the intricate designs created in the sand by the shadows of so many different types of leaves.
The trees and the flowers reflect in the pond, amplifying the effect of the shadows even more.
The blue and the yellow go hand in hand in a lively dance.
The bamboo forest is incredible. If you’ve already seen a lot of bamboo forests in your life, you may not be so impressed. However, this was my first time, so I couldn’t believe the beauty of these slim and yet so tough plants rising above everything else around. Some of these reeds had names of people deeply engraved in their flesh. I don’t know what drives some to do this. Maybe sustainable tourism is just another myth.
You don’t want to know how much I had to wait to take the photo below without people in it. The setting was so beautiful that all Instagram girls felt the urge to have a selfie in this spot.
If you want to see a plan of the Majorelle garden, visit this web page. You’ll notice that it includes a Cafe Majorelle – this is a beautiful enclosure where you can have a cup of coffee or a tea. However, you may have to wait for a table to become available. If you don’t want to wait, you can have your coffee outside, just in front of the museum. There is a small restaurant that serves traditional Moroccan foods and drinks. Their lamb tajine with prunes is delicious.
Is Jardin Majorelle Marrakech Worth Visiting?
Despite the crowds, Jardin Majorelle has a unique charm that makes it worth visiting. I would have loved more to be alone in there, to be able to stare for hours at those beautiful plants and to listen to the birds rather than to conversations about nothing.
In fact, I’m telling you that I’d love to have such an oasis all to myself. Until then, I’d visit Majorelle again if I returned to Marrakech.
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