The unusual properties such as high surface area, good thermal stability, uniform structured nanoscale cavities and the availability of in-pore functionality and outer-surface modification make metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) attractive for diverse analytical applications. However, integration of MOFs with magnets for magnetic solid-phase extraction for analytical application has not been attempted so far. Here we show a facile magnetization of MOF MIL-101(Cr) for rapid magnetic solid-phase extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from environmental water samples. MIL-101 is attractive as a sorbent for solid-phase extraction of pollutants in aqueous solution due to its high surface area, large pores, accessible coordinative unsaturated sites, and excellent chemical and solvent stability. In situ magnetization of MIL-101 microcrystals as well as magnetic solid-phase extraction of PAHs was achieved simultaneously by simply mixing MIL-101 and silica-coated Fe3O4 microparticles in a sample solution under sonication. Such MOF-based magnetic solid-phase extraction in combination with high-performance liquid chromatography gave the detection limits of 2.8–27.2 ng L−1 and quantitation limits of 6.3–87.7 ng L−1 for the PAHs. The relative standard deviations for intra- and inter-day analyses were in the range of 3.1–8.7% and 6.1–8.5%, respectively. The results showed that hydrophobic and π–π interactions between the PAHs and the framework terephthalic acid molecules, and the π-complexation between PAHs and the Lewis acid sites in the pores of MIL-101 play a significant role in the adsorption of PAHs.