Jardin Majorelle YSL Garden Marrakech: Last week when we are in Marrakech we visited the YSL Gardens. It was by far the best attraction we visited during our stay although it didn’t quite go to plan. So here is what to expect along with some tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
We were staying just off of the Medina in one of the riads. This meant that we would have to get public transport to the gardens as it was too far to walk. Discovering that the gardens are on the green route of the big red bus sightseeing tour and decided to use this to get to the destination. Our guide book did say that you should get to the gardens either early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Unfortunately just because of the way things worked out we arrived there about midday and took one look at the queue decided that we would do it on another day. It was extremely long and four a breast. You can pre-book tickets but you can only do this 24 hours in advance. Plus they only allow certain number of tickets at each timed entry. When we checked they were sold out well in advance. Feeling a little despondent we decided to stop for a drink and something to eat in one of the cafes nearby.
After having something to eat and drink we looked inside of the little shops for some souvenirs. As we wandered we noticed that the queue has significantly reduced by more than half. This was about 1.30pm so I’m guessing that it could get busy just before lunchtime. We joined the queue and it took about 20 minutes to get to the kiosk. Entrance is 70 Dhs which is about £7, this is the same as many of the other tourist attractions. If you’re only going to do one then I would suggest you do the gardens because they are they are worth the money. Compared to some the other places we visited which I didn’t feel were as good. If you want more information see my Marrakesh tips blog post.
The garden is completely stunning there is really no other word for it. As you enter there is towering bamboo all around which creates shade and shelter from the sun. Plus there are number of brightly coloured pots in orange, blue and yellow lined up along the pathways. There is a natural flow around the gardens which you are encouraged to follow, by the staff indicating the route round. First we went through a little fruit area with lots of fruit trees and these beautifully symmetrical water Fountains. Despite it being busy it really was serene and I could have spent hours just sitting watching the world go by. We followed the gardens around towards his villa which is painted in this bright cobalt blue. There were so many giant cactus to draw interest as well as a pagoda covered in lots of brightly coloured flowers. As Yves Saint Laurent actually lived in the villa there is a memorial in the garden to the great designer.
Despite it being busy there are lots of opportunities for photos. Some of the main areas are completely roped off to the public. So you can go get an interrupted view. There were plenty of places to sit and take in scenery. Although my favourite part has to be the blue bridge which has a large pink flower trailing over it. There is also a small café selling traditional Moroccan dishes and salads as well as a shop selling local textiles and leather goods. We also went into the picture museum it shows promotional artwork from the YSL campaigns year by year. In total we spent about an hour and a half in the grounds. You’re not under time pressure and I would allow two hours if you’re building a visit into an itinerary.
My top tips are visiting the Jardin Majorelle YSL Garden Marrakech
- Pre-book your tickets online so that you can avoid the queues. Although you may need to book some time in advance. If you are visiting with children under 12 then you can also be treated as priority. This means you can get tickets from a small window on the left hand side.
- Make sure you pack your camera as there are some stunning photos. Despite it being busy you should still be to get photos without other tourists in. However if you want the gardens to yourself then you really do need to visit when they open which is at 8am. Be mindful that in the Winter months it may only just be getting light by then.
- Use public transport to get to the gardens and if time is of the essence then a taxi is recommended
- If you do want to grab a bite to eat then the cafés outside the gardens are cheaper than the one in the garden itself. If you get a chance then I would recommend the avocado juice mixed with milk its delicious.
- The gift shop stocks a small number of books and postcards if you are looking for a specific souvineer of the garden. The gift shops outside sell a winder selection. We actually found them cheaper than the souks off the main square.
- If time is short and you can only visit one national monument while visiting Marrakesh then I would make it this one.
Have you ever visit a garden while abroad? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.