The largest and most famous of Marrakech’s many mosques, Koutoubia Mosque is also the city’s most prominent navigational landmark. Just a short stroll from Djemaa el Fna square, the mosque’s soaring minaret stands proud at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed medina.
Whether you’re exploring the medina on a walking or bike tour, sightseeing with a private guide, or visiting Marrakech on a day trip from Casablanca or Agadir, a photo stop at the Koutoubia Mosque is a must. Combine a stroll around the mosque’s beautiful grounds with a visit to the bustling Djemaa el Fna square, shopping in the souks, or other popular attractions such as Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Madrasa, and the Saadian Tombs.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The mosque interiors are only open to Muslim visitors, but the exterior grounds and gardens are open to all.
- The surrounding park has plenty of shady areas and benches, making it a great spot to take a break from sightseeing.
- The mosque grounds are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
It’s impossible to miss Koutoubia Mosque. Wherever you are in the medina, look up and you’ll spot the mosque’s distinctive minaret. Buses and taxis stop right outside the mosque, or walk two minutes southwest of Djemaa el Fna square.
When to Get There
The mosque is busiest during prayer times, and the call to prayer can be heard all around the medina. For the most atmospheric photos, arrive in time for sunset or ride past in a caleche (horse-drawn carriage) at night, when the minaret is dramatically floodlit.
Architecture of Koutoubia Mosque
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most influential buildings in the Muslim world. Buildings from the Hassan II Mosque in Rabat to La Giralda in Seville, Spain, echo Koutoubia Mosque’s intricate geometric stone work, graceful arches, and imposing square minaret. The 220-foot (61-meter) minaret is the star attraction. It’s the highest point in the city, and local laws even prevent any building from exceeding its height.