When I was a kid, my parents used to take me regularly to Marrakech for vacation, and I loved it! There is so much for families to explore in this great city of vibrant colors, sounds, and smells. We are certain that families will find plenty to do in Marrakech with kids.
The Marrakech souks are great fun for the little ones, and you might get them to eat some delicious pastries and sip some mint tea in a luxurious Moroccan tea ceremony. They can watch snake charmers perform, dance with acrobats, and explore the medina and its thousands of colorful shops and treasures. Children of all ages will appreciate this beautiful exotic city!
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Common Questions about Marrakech
Is Marrakech safe?
Marrakech is safe for families as a major tourist attraction. However, pickpockets may be expected as in most visited cities in the world. More common are the local sellers who will try to convince you to buy their many wares.
Never feel pressured to buy anything you don’t like. Just be polite and say thank you and move on to the next shop on your list. This is the normal dynamic in most Moroccan souks and markets.
When is the best time to visit Marrakech with Kids?
If traveling with the entire family, I recommend visiting Marrakech from March to June and September to November. Summer months can be rather hot, making it a tough time to navigate with kids in tow. The winter season brings rain during the day accompanied by chilly nights.
Packing tips for Marrakech with Kids
We recommend bringing things to occupy children such as books and games. Women will need a light pashmina shawl or sweater for cool nights. It is also useful to cover the head, neck, and shoulders. Out of respect to the country’s culture, it’s better to wear conservative clothes during your trip to Marrakech.
We would also recommend packing earplugs and a sleeping mask. City noises or constant activity in the medina might keep travelers awake at night. Some hotels don’t have air conditioning, so you’ll have to sleep with the windows open. Having earplugs on hand will help at night.
How do you get around Marrakech with kids?
International travelers arrive at Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK), which is about 15 minutes from the city center. We recommend arranging a car service through your hotel in advance or using a taxi. Just be sure to have the address of the hotel available to share with the taxi driver.
Assuming you don’t already have any Moroccan currency (Dirham), we recommend exchanging a small amount at the airport so you can tip your taxi driver or hotel staff. Tipping in Morocco is not mandatory, but it is recommended that you round up the bill.
Public transport may be the easiest way to travel but buses can get crowded. We recommend you opt for taxis or private cars which are very cheap in Morocco.
Tips for first-time visitors
It’s probable that you will see many homeless cats and dogs in Marrakech in some neighborhoods. While this is not very common and most cats and dogs are safe to play with, I would recommend keeping your kids away as some animals may have rabies.
Bring refillable water bottles and carry your own water even if you are told that the local water is safe to drink.
If you want to let someone else do the planning, we highly recommend National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures. If you are looking for a Moroccan family tour, this is the one I recommend!
Where to Stay in Marrakech with Kids
Accommodations in Marrakech run the gamut, with everything from beautiful traditional riads to luxurious family-friendly hotels complete with a kids’ club and swimming pools. Here are a few places to stay in Marrakech with kids.
Riad Kaiss by Anaika
This stunning riad dates to the 16th century and was once home to a sultan. This is a good place for families as it is centrally located, just steps away from Jemaa el Fna.
Families will love the suites which have extra space and private patios. Suites sleep three people, or you can book a deluxe twin room for kids and a deluxe or superior room for parents.
Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa
This luxury resort is about a 15-minute walk to the main square. There are several restaurants, a spa, and a fitness center. Kids will love spending time at the swimming pool, hanging out at the kids club, or checking out the playground.
This modern hotel is a great place for a family holiday in Marrakech. If for some reason rooms are not available, look at the Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial. It offers many of the same amenities and is adjacent to the first property.
What are the Best Things to do in Marrakech with kids
1. Visit Jemaa El Fna Square
Jemaa El-Fnaa square is a must-visit. It’s the liveliest place in Africa, located in the heart of Marrakech. The main square may feel a bit quiet during the day, but don’t be fooled. It comes alive in the late afternoon and on through the evening.
This is a wonderful place to pass the time watching the world go by. You will see street performers, musicians, monkey trainers, and even snake charmers! The charmers wait for tourists to give them a few coins and are happy to oblige your need for a few photos.
The square is the perfect place to sample street food as there are literally dozens of kiosks offering everything from lamb stew to snail soup. If your kids aren’t adventurous eaters, we recommend eating at one of the restaurants just off the square. There are many choices and they are some of the best restaurants in Marrakech.
Le Marrakchi has beautiful views overlooking Jemma El Fna, and offers tagine, chicken skewers, lamb, and vegetarian dishes. This is a good option for families since there is a large variety of authentic dishes.
2. Admire the Sunset over the Koutoubia
The sunset over the Koutoubia is divine, so find a place to enjoy the view. Koutoubia Mosque is the largest in Marrakech and there are several restaurants that offer a good view over the city rooftops.
One place we recommend is the terrace of the Café de France. It is on the 2nd floor, and you can enjoy mint tea. Another option is Kabana, which has snack foods, sushi, and cocktails. The minaret of the largest mosque standing out against the vibrant orange sky is one of the most memorable experiences in Marrakech.
3. Eat Delicious Moroccan Food
One of the things Morocco is known for is its cuisine. Moroccan food is full of flavors! There are dozens of dishes to try, so each meal will be an opportunity to try new flavors.
Start by trying Moroccan tagines (there are a variety of choices – salty, sweet, salty and sweet), Moroccan couscous, and Marrakech’s specialty dish: the Tangia. This is a lamb or beef stew cooked in an urn-shaped clay pot. It truly is delicious.
If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed. Moroccan pastries are very delicate and satisfying, made with almonds, orange blossom water, and honey. Ask for the gazelle horns, the Chebakia, and the Briwates, and do not forget to taste them while sipping the heartwarming Moroccan mint tea.
4. Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
Who doesn’t enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride? Carriages are readily available in Marrakech, and if the kids are tired, it’s a unique experience to travel by horse.
The typical tour will take you around the ramparts, or you can ask to go to the Menara or the Jardin Majorelle. Prices are negotiated and you can also haggle. While the initial suggested price can be high, divide it by 2 or 3, and you’ll probably end up with a good price, well worth it for the experience.
5. Cross the Palm Grove on a Camel
If you can’t make it to the Sahara Desert, there are several places in Marrakech where families can take a camel ride. A real adventure for children is crossing the Palm Grove by camel if they dare. Palm Grove has over 100,000 palm trees over 13,000 hectares. These were planted in the 11th and 12th centuries and it’s a must-see attraction in the city.
Another great area to explore is the Palmeraie in the northern section of Marrakech. It has hundreds of palm trees and is close to several luxury properties in Marrakech including Palais Rhoul, and Jnane Tamsna. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn a bit more about Moroccan culture.
6. Treat your Kids to Some Karting Fun
Everyone will appreciate a calm, sunset walk. But for some real excitement, take the kids karting! It is all about speed at Marrakech Kart Racing.
This modern track is at the Moulay El Hassan circuit. Children can get behind the wheel of a go-kart, complete with adjustable controls and a four-stroke engine. Kids must be at least 7 years of age to participate. The cost is 200MAD (around $20) per person.
7. Visit the Majorelle Garden
The Majorelle Garden is known for its stunning blue hues. The villa that once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent is surrounded by an impressive botanical garden, laden with plants from across the globe.
This is a charming spot, where children can observe the turtles and fish in the ponds. They make sneak away and play hide and seek amid the bamboo. This is a great escape on a hot day because there are a lot of shade trees.
Note: Kids are free with paid adult admission.
8. Visit the Ouzoud Waterfalls
The Ouzoud waterfalls are perfect for a day trip from Marrakech. If you enjoy beautiful natural sites, this is for you. Several tour operators offer trips from the city to Ouzoud Waterfalls.
There are several waterfalls over a hundred meters high amid lush vegetation. Many don’t know that kids can swim at the foot of these waterfalls. It requires a three-hour trip from Marrakech, making for a rather long day. If you would rather not spend all that time in the car, there are vacation rentals nearby for overnight stays.
9. Relax at a Pool or Water Park
If relaxing at a pool or water park is your cup of tea, take the kids with you to Oasiria. It is but a few kilometers from Marrakech, and there are plenty of free shuttles to Oasiria from Jemaa el Fna square.
Children will find fun attractions while you rest. There is a Pirates’ Lagoon play area, a wave pool, a lazy river, and water slides, as well as 5 on-site restaurants, and 10 hectares of gardens. There are tons of kid-friendly activities at the park, and it might be hard to peel the kids away at the end of the day.
10. Visit the Lands of Amanar
The Lands of Amanar is an ecotourism destination about a half hour from Marrakech in the Atlas Mountains foothills. There is also a Terres d’Amanar hotel complex, so if you would rather have several days to explore the area and nearby Toubkal National Park, we would highly recommend it.
Kids will love all of the activities on offer. There are zip lines, rock climbing, disc golf, craft workshops, archery, and a ropes course. This is a popular option for families looking for a getaway from the city and exploring the outdoors.
11. Tour the Bahia Palace
The Bahia Palace can be visited without a tour, but we recommend a guided tour for families because there is a ton of history to learn about in this magical place.
This stunning complex was built in the 19th century by Si Moussa the Grand Vizier of the Sultan. The property covers eight hectares and features stunning marble floors in the main courtyard and unique architectural details.
Kids will love exploring the different rooms and nooks and crannies. Plan on spending one to two hours exploring with a guide.
12. Get a Henna Tattoo
For something kids will enjoy, consider getting a temporary henna tattoo. Head to the Marrakech Henna Art Cafe, where local artists create magical designs of your choosing.
Young children will appreciate the hard work of the local artists and proudly display their tattoos for weeks to come (it lasts for 10-14 days before washing off).
There’s also a delicious cafe on-site if anyone wants to grab a bite to eat.
13. Explore the Souks
The souks of Marrakech are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a must-visit for families. This is the heart of the city, with shops featuring everything from dishes to shoes to scarves and more.
I would recommend pulling your kids aside before entering as they need to always be aware. Motorscooters constantly drive through the narrow streets and they don’t slow down. You need to pay attention to them and so do your kids.
If your kids get bored while shopping, consider making your own treasure hunts. Tell them to find the following: traditional lamps, spices, Moroccan slippers, jewelry, and carpets. You can make it as easy or difficult as it needs to be, and it’s the perfect way to keep them busy while you haggle with the local shop owners.
About the author: Safaa is a Moroccan native who was born into a traditional family of artisans. She is passionate about Moroccan design, Moroccan food, and Moroccan history. You can find her at Moroccan Zest.