The Majorelle Garden is one of the best places to see in Marrakech and is Morocco’s most visited tourist attraction, with over 800,000 visitors annually.
Its iconic Majorelle blue Art Deco house, rare and exotic botanical plants, and lily pond have been photographed continually through the decades bringing visitors from far and wide to see this famous garden in Marrakech.
As you stroll around the enchanting and mystical garden, the vibrant splashes of colour at every turn will make you smile.
From orange pathways to yellow and baby blue painted benches and pink doorways, Majorelle Garden is an utter delight for the senses.
Majorelle Garden provides a tranquil haven to escape the mayhem of the streets beyond and is a delight to see. If you intend to visit Marrakech, a stop here should be high on your itinerary.
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The history of Jardin Majorelle
Seeing Jardin Majorelle, also known as Majorelle Garden or simply the YSL Gardens Marrakech, is one of the best things to do in Marrakech.
The iconic blue house and garden were designed in the 1920s by the French painter Jaques Majorelle.
He combined his love of traditional indigo-coloured Berber houses and his interest in botanical plants to create a magical space of over 9,000 m² where he could live and work.
His travels took him worldwide to collect rare and exotic specimens to bring back to Marrakech and plant in his garden.
The plants thrived in the Moroccan heat. A lush garden full of varying cactus specimens interspersed with delicate orchids and flowering plants grew into the beautiful space that Majorelle had only dreamed of.
Jardin Majorelle falls into disrepair
Unfortunately, the property cost more to maintain than Majorelle had expected, and in 1947 he opened the doors to his secret hideaway for the first time to inject some well-needed money into the project.
The public arrived, and his garden became the talk of the town, but sadly the funds were still insufficient to finance its upkeep.
Majorelle divorced in the late 1950s and had to sell pieces of the property to developers. He still didn’t have the funds to keep the house and garden in good repair, so they remained untouched.
After Majorelle died in 1962, his beloved garden lay abandoned until the famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent came across it twenty years later. The rest, as they say, is history!
Yves Saint Laurent saves Majorelle Garden
Fast forward to the 1980s, and Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé bought the crumbling property.
The couple had lived in Marrakech since the 60s and loved the Red City, so buying such a unique property in Gueliz, on the outskirts of the main part of Marrakech, seemed logical.
Yves Saint Laurent renovated the Art Deco house and garden in keeping with Majorelle’s vision. He retained the Majorelle blue of the main house and added vibrant colours to pathways, benches and pots.
Jardin Majorelle was a beautiful oasis once again.
Yves Saint Laurent planted even more cacti, ferns and palms collected from all five continents, creating a dense tropical setting in this North African garden.
He also installed an automated watering system to ensure the peak health of his rare and exotic plants.
Water features at the Yves Saint Laurent garden, including the stunning lily pond, fountains and water channels, created a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city on the other side of the garden’s high walls. Yves Saint Laurent called his new home Villa Oasis.
After the death of Saint Laurent in 2008, Bergé donated the villa and garden to the couple’s Paris-based charitable foundation, and Majorelle Garden was again opened to the public.
Once the Yves Saint Laurent name was connected to the iconic electric blue villa and desert-like gardens, visiting the Majorelle Garden became a must-visit attraction in Marrakech.
Majorelle Garden in the 21st century
Today Jardin Majorelle is a wonderful place to spend an hour or so.
Stroll along the crisscrossing paths through the tall cactus plants and flowering bougainvillaea, past the pavilion, the Yves Saint Laurent memorial and dreamy lily pond, before continuing to the bookshop, gift shop and Berber museum.
Along the way, take a moment to relax on one of the pastel-coloured benches and listen to the birds singing high in the trees above.
It is hard to believe the bustling city of Marrakech is on the other side of the tall walls that enclose the garden.
Every turning is a photographer’s dream, with the vibrant pops of Majorelle blue, yellow, pink and orange on pots, doors, walls, benches and paths.
Make sure you have enough time in the garden to capture some magical images.
During your visit, check out the small Berber museum housing over 600 Islamic artefacts Saint Laurent and Bergé collected over the years.
And don’t forget to look inside the small art gallery and gift shop before you leave.
Afterwards, the courtyard cafe is a nice place to finish visiting Majorelle Garden before heading next door to the separate YSL museum, dedicated to the designer’s creations.
Is Majorelle Garden worth visiting?
Absolutely! As someone who loves botanical gardens and has seen many over the years, visiting Jardin Majorelle was always going to be at the top of my list of things to do in Marrakech.
It is one of the best gardens in Marrakech (although the Secret Garden in Marrakech is also beautiful); it has an interesting history with its connections to YSL and is a charming place to visit.
While it is not a garden filled with colourful flowers, les gardens de Majorelle does blend seamlessly into its surroundings because, let’s remember, we are in North Africa, where date trees and cacti grow in abundance.
It’s fabulous to see the cobalt blue house, which has been featured in so many articles, so make sure you include a visit to Majorelle Garden on your Marrakech travel itinerary.
Helpful Information About Majorelle Garden
Address: Rue Yves St Laurent, Marrakech 40090, Morocco
Timed Jardin Majorelle tickets must be booked online before a visit. On arrival, two queues on either side of the entrance have a sign with the time slot over them. Make sure you queue in the correct one for the time shown on your ticket.
Admission Fee 2023 Prices: Garden only: Adults 150 Dhs | Garden and Berber Museum: 200 Dhs | Garden, Berber Museum and YSL museum 300 Dhs
You can also buy an entry ticket to Jardin Majorelle and a relaxing traditional Moroccan hammam experience.
How long do you need in the garden?
One hour for a leisurely stroll around the garden, with time to take photos. Two hours if you want also to visit the YSL museum, Berber museum, bookshop, and gift shop and stop for refreshments at the garden cafe.
You must buy a combined ticket to visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum which is located next door to Majorelle Garden.
When is the best time to visit?
Go as early as possible; the garden will be less crowded and cooler than later in the day.
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