The name of the Bahia Palace nods to its greatness: "Bahia” translates as “Brilliance.” Part of Marrakech’s UNESCO-listed medina and located on the northern edge of the Mellah (the Jewish quarter), the palace was the 19th-century residence of Si Ahmed ben Musa (or Ba Ahmed), the Grand Vizier of Marrakech.
Bahia Palace is one of Marrakech’s most popular attractions. It’s often visited during Marrakech sightseeing tours, as well as day trips to Marrakech from cities including Essaouira, Agadir, or Casablanca. Guided tours typically visit the Petit Riad; Grand Riad; the Grand Courtyard, where Ba Ahmed lived with his four wives, 24 concubines, and numerous children; the Room of Honor; and the Harem.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is an admission fee to visit the palace.
- It’s best to visit with a guide, as there is no visitor information available.
- Plan to spend about an hour.
- Most areas of the palace are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Bahia Palace is located at the southern end of Marrakech’s medina, close to the Mellah Jewish quarter. Taxis stop right outside the palace, or else it’s an around 15 minutes’ walk from Jemaa el-Fna square.
When to Get There
The palace is open daily, but it can get busy. Plan to visit before 10am to avoid the crowds.
Architectural Highlights of the Bahia Palace
This richly decorated masterpiece is one of Marrakech’s most magnificent buildings. The palace showcases a mix of Islamic and Moroccan architectural styles, with dazzling floor-to-ceiling embellishments, including intricate mosaics, inlaid wooden ceilings, molded stucco, and gilded finishes. Highlights include the grand marble-paved courtyard with its beautiful zellij tile-work lining the walkways; and the harem, a series of rooms encircling a vast courtyard, where the ladies of the house once congregated.