8 of the best things to do with kids in Marrakesh

For curious travelers with an open mind, Marrakesh is a family-friendly treasure chest waiting to be explored.

Moroccans, as a culture, love children, often growing up in multi-generational homes. Traveling with kids can open doors to unique cultural connections and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The city has year-round sunny weather and is perfect for families who love outdoor play, water parks, city explorations and desert adventures. 

The bustle of the city can be overstimulating for all ages, adults included. Noisy, smelly, and an endless maze of labyrinthine streets, it awakens all the senses and can be a cultural shock for first-time visitors. Be realistic about how much you can see during your stay.

Is Marrakech good for kids?

Marrakech is an excellent city for intrepid families looking to introduce their kids to a unique culture and different ways of seeing the world. Children are welcome in most places, and there are many public gardens and play spaces where you can meet and mingle with local families. Few restaurants offer separate kids’ menus, but most will include a child-friendly option and try to accommodate any dietary wishes.

While the child-specific attractions are less obvious than in some global cities, they do exist. A walk through souk alleyways with some imagination can become an evening of entertainment. The Medina can feel like an open-air museum; watch your kids’ eyes light up as their history books come to life.

That said, the city can be overwhelming. You may encounter basic public conveniences, limited changing facilities, relaxed health and safety laws, the hassle of being asked for money for photos, uneven footpaths, and busy public transport. Keep an open mind, be realistic with your travel plans, and include time out to recharge.

Djemaa El Fna is busiest around sunset, with a magical atmosphere that kids will love © Maremagnum / Getty Images

Where is best in Marrakech for kids?

The Medina and Djemaa El Fna are where your kids’ natural curiosity can run wild. Both are busiest around sunset; you could avoid this by visiting in the morning, but you will miss out on the atmosphere of the city’s pulsing heart and mingling with the masses.

The city center is flat and easily explored on foot. Babes in arms are best in a baby carrier or sling. Toddlers may be easier in a lightweight stroller, keeping them safe from passing bikes and motos in the narrow streets. Big buggies can be cumbersome for the souk-lined alleys and heavy to carry upstairs to rooftop cafes with no lifts.

If you’re in the Medina area and your kids need to let off some steam, the Djemaa El Fna, nearby Koutobia Gardens, and Cafe Munich are a few options. Cafe Munich is the only place in the Medina with an indoor kids’ area, including a slide for little ones. 

Traveling in Marrakesh with babies and toddlers

Marrakech has a dry, sunny, hot climate. If you and your little ones enjoy shaded gardens and pool play, the hotels in leafy suburbs such as the Palmeraie and Hivernage offer plenty of options. 

Moroccans will go out of their way to help if you are traveling with a baby. They love babies. You can buy local brands for baby care in most small shops and recognizable international brands such as Pampers in Carrefour.

Fountain and park in front of Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh
Families can relax in Marrakesh’s parks and green spaces, including Koutoubia Gardens © Olena_Z / Getty Images

Best things to do in Marrakesh with young kids

Take a quiet break at the Koutoubia Gardens

Little kids love playing in the refreshing fountains of the Koutoubia Gardens. Behind the Koutoubia Mosque, the welcome shade of palm trees and open green space is a favorite Marrakshi spot for outdoor play, walking and relaxing.

Play in the water parks and pools

With almost year-round sunshine, it’s easy to spend a day at one of the cities’ many water parks. At Oasiria you’ll find 25 acres of gardens, multiple pools, slides, waves, a lazy river, a climbing wall and peaceful tropical gardens. Free shuttles run from Djemaa El Fna and Gueliz throughout the day.

Alternatively, pool passes can be purchased online to access most of the city hotel’s best swimming pools for a day.

Hop into a calèche for a horse carriage tour

When you tire of the city streets and souks, do what Moroccan families do: hire a calèche (horse-drawn carriage). The horses with a blue tag have been microchipped and are regularly monitored by SPANA, an international charity. These green carriages are a fun way to see the city, and tailor-make your tour to include neighborhoods of interest to you, such as the Djemaa El Fna, Mellah, city ramparts, and the Jardins Marjorelle district.

Head to a play zone to mingle with local families

On a rare rainy day, or more likely, when it’s too hot to play outdoors, at air-conditioned Menara Mall, Kidzo – with its play area, 7D cinema, and ice skating rink – is a popular option. Also, KidsZone at Marjane has trampolines, slides and a cafeteria. Both are great places to meet local families in a relaxed and fun way. 

Sunset camel ride in the Palmeraie

The Palmeraie is a palm grove oasis, home to date palms, orange trees and local villages, and for that quintessential Moroccan sunset moment, a family camel ride through the area is pretty unbeatable. Most one-hour tours will also include a Moroccan mint tea and a glimpse into rural life on the outskirts of Marrakech.

Take a day trip to the desert 

The Agafay desert is an arid, rocky landscape less than an hour from Marrakech. Spend a night under the stars in one of the multiple glamping options, or an afternoon visit to enjoy a stunning sunset and campfire desert dining experience. Horse and camel rides are also available.

A family on a camel tour of the desert
Families with kids of all ages will enjoy an adventure in the Agafay desert © Kathryn Sullivan / Shutterstock

Best things to do in Marrakesh with tweens and teenagers

Shopping in the souks

Teach your kids the unique skill of bartering in a souk. They can learn the value of shopping at source and meeting craftspeople using age-old techniques and local materials. The souks are like never-ending treasure chests, containing sparkly babouche slippers, knock-off Nikes, Hakimi football shirts, and glimmering Aladdin lamps.

Go back to the classroom 

To deepen travelers’ understanding of Morocco’s rich culture, Creative Interactions offers workshops on haggling, cooking, henna art, and Moroccan Arabic, a course to master the basics, specifically aimed at short-term visitors. 

The Moroccan Culinary Arts Museum and many riads and hotels also offer cookery classes which can be a fun family-bonding activity.

Planning tips

Other things to consider when booking your accommodation; in summer air-conditioning is a must, in winter, check for heating and a heated pool. Riads usually don’t accept young children, but may take guests aged 12 years or older – be sure to confirm before booking. Most larger hotels have kids’ clubs, but again, check ahead for age limits. Non-Muslims who don’t want to be woken by the dawn call to prayer should check the proximity of accommodation to a mosque.

In summer, plan early starts, and end-of-the-day sunset explorations. The middle of the day is best spent in the hotel pool or napping in shaded gardens.

Most attractions do not charge for children under 3 years. Some entry tickets are free for children under 12 years and discounted by 50% for those aged 12–16 years. 

Taxis don’t tend to have car seats and some won’t have seatbelts or air-conditioning. If either is essential, book a private driver service via your hotel or stay near Djemaa El Fna and take advantage of the free shuttles offered to and from most family attractions.

Take some extra coloring pencils and stickers to give to the local kids. Street dogs and cats are all over the city, often fed and tagged by the community. Encourage your children not to be afraid of them, but also not to frighten them. If you run, the dogs may chase you, thinking it’s a game.

If you’re planning to travel beyond the city as a family, see our guide to visiting Morocco with kids.

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