Discovering Marrakech as a family means immersing yourself in a city vibrant with colors, sounds and smells … a nearby destination but a great trip with the children! Strolling through the souks, sipping mint tea, feasting on tagines and gazelle horns, you will fall under the spell of the red city. Here are our favorites and our best family addresses.

Marrakech with the family: practical guide

What you will love to do in Marrakech with your family

Stroll with the family on Jemaa El Fna Place : impossible to miss Place Jemaa el Fna, perhaps the most famous in Morocco, in any case the heart of Marrakech! Quiet during the day, the square comes alive at the end of the afternoon: people are in demand from all sides, but what a treat for the children! You can spend hours in this huge square, observing everything that is happening: musicians, water carriers, monkey trainers, and above all, snake charmers! The bravest can touch them or even put them on their shoulder (that said, snakes are well “asleep”). Plan a few pieces for the charmer and also in exchange for photos …

All roads lead to Jemaa El Fna, and if like me you have no sense of direction, do not worry: even before you have asked the question, the marrakchis that you will meet in the medina will tell you where direction of the place!

Bargain slippers in the souk, a labyrinth of narrow streets in the medina, full of small stalls grouped by specialties: slippers, carpets, pottery, djellabas, jewelry, metals … Of course, there are no fixed prices and that’s why you have to bargain for what interests you: a difficult exercise in patience for children! In any case, this is where they will find plenty of little treasures to bring back.

Get a traditional henna tattoo, a small original souvenir to bring back from Marrakech! You can choose the pattern from a small photo album. These women also make scorpions for boys, or a first name in Arabic, on demand. Done in just a few minutes, the precision of the gesture is impressive! You have to take the time to let it dry well (not very practical on the feet). The tattoo will wear off after about a week. For better results choose traditional “red” henna.

Marrakech with the family

Admire the sunset over the Koutoubia, the great mosque located behind Jemaa El Fna square. To get the best view, you can sit on the terrace of the famous Café de France, on the 2nd floor, and savor: mint tea, the spectacle of itinerant restaurateurs who set up shop in the square, the Koutoubia minaret which stands out against the orange sky, and even – supreme legal – a few sublime gazelle horns bought at the Pâtisserie des Princes… a moment of guaranteed happiness!

Relax by the pool. Do you fall for three hours in the souks of Marrrakech with your family? Now it is time to relax and take a dip in a swimming pool! Three possibilities:

There’s one in your hotel, in which case you haven’t waited for my permission to take advantage of it.

There aren’t any: enjoy access to the beautiful pools of restaurants and hotels! For example, that of the Beldi Country Club: we fell in love with the beautiful black-bottom swimming pool surrounded by a rose garden, the deckchairs for lounging after having lunch in the shade of the olive trees, and a great hammam …

Do you really really want to please your children? So head for the OASIRIA water park, certainly not very typical, but which is very popular with children: slides, a beach, Aquaboulevard-style water games …

Take a carriage ride: an opportunity to take a short break when everyone is tired of walking! Sure, it’s touristy and the parents aren’t necessarily a fan, but the kids love it! You can walk around the ramparts, or go to the Menara or the Majorelle Gardens.

The coachmen wait in the Jemaa el Fna square, west side.

Climb on a dromedary! For children who want to take a camel ride, it is possible in front of the Menara or in the Palmeraie. Taxis know everyone and will know how to drop you off at the right place.

La Ménara is a very beautiful place about 3 km from the medina, with a large basin and an olive grove.

favorite places in Marrakech to spend time with the family

The Majorelle garden: famous for its distinctive blue (and for having belonged to Yves Saint Laurent), the villa is surrounded by a splendid botanical garden, with plants from all over the world: cacti, bamboos, water lilies, jasmines… In the middle of this luxuriant vegetation, ponds, fountains: a real oasis of greenery, calm and freshness in this bustling city. It is a place of incredible charm, where you can sit back and daydream while the children watch the turtles and fish in the ponds, or play hide and seek in the bamboo trees. Try to get there in the morning, eat in the charming little restaurant there, and flee when the coaches arrive in the middle of the afternoon. The place then loses some of its charm …

The Majorelle Garden is outside the medina, a bit of a walk with children. You can take a taxi from Jamma El Fna, or much more fun, take a horse-drawn carriage back and forth!

The Place des Epices (Rahba Qedima). The herbalists around the square offer the “classics” pepper, cumin, saffron, cinnamon … and less classic: snake skins, goat horns, or even caged hedgehogs and chameleons that you can even touch! Guaranteed success with children and all Hogwarts sorcerer’s apprentices! A very pleasant place in the medina (a little to the west behind Place Jamaa El Fna) to drink a tea or a good squeezed orange on the terrace of the Café des Epices, while the children play with their new blooded boyfriend cold.

Medersa Ben Youssef: a very beautiful place, which was once the largest Koranic school in the Maghreb. Built in the 16th century, it could accommodate up to 900 students in the building’s 150 cells. Today, you wander through the very small cells, easily imagining the Spartan furnishings, and this place dedicated to faith exudes austerity.

In the historic heart of the medina, Place Ben Youssef. Open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be careful, it seems to me that it is closed for lunch. Free for children under eight Marrakech with family

The Bahia Palace, or “Belle’s Palace”, which dates from around 1880, was offered by the Grand Vizier to his favorite among his 80 concubines: 150 rooms, all on the ground floor (because he was helpless and could not climb the stairs), fountains, patios, several hectares of magnificent gardens… spoiled, beautiful! Only a small part of the palace and the gardens can be visited, as the royal family sometimes stays in the palace.

Rue de la Bahia 2 steps from Rue Zitoun el Jedid. Admission: € 1. Open every day: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Please note: times vary depending on the season …

For those who want to get away from the city a bit, in search of freshness, calm and authenticity, a little note also on two excursions in the surroundings of Marrakech …

In the Ourika Valley: a green valley, surrounded by arid mountains and the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas, Berber hamlets made of ocher adobe, and the Ourika river which winds between the terraced gardens. At the bottom of the valley, “terminus” at Setti-Fatma, from where you can admire the first of the 7 famous waterfalls (the excursion is a bit “sporty” for children) and the breathtaking view of the valley.

Located south of Marrakech, the extreme point of this valley is only 65 km from the city. It takes about 1h30 to get there. Most guides and organized excursions plan a day there: it is doable, but it is also very pleasant to stop there for a night. On the other hand, avoid the weekend, because many Marrakchis have their second home in the Ourika valley …

The Ouzoud waterfalls, a very beautiful natural site, with several waterfalls of around a hundred meters, in the middle of lush vegetation. You can swim at the foot of the waterfalls, accessible by a shaded path of olive trees, and take a mule ride along the river – much more popular with children than walking! You will surely see whole families of monkeys heckling in the trees: they live nearby, in the caves of the cliffs!

It still takes a good three hours to get there (170 km from Marrakech): a bit long for the children to make the round trip during the day! The solution might be to spend a night there at the charming Riad Cascades d’Ouzoud, which offers a family mini-suite.

Where to sleep in Marrakech with the family

A riad in the medina or a villa in the palm grove of Marrakech? Here are the most beautiful addresses suitable for families,

Small preamble: is it better to be in the Palm Grove or in the Medina? Delicate question, and very subjective answer! La Palmeraie is a little out of the way, more “luxury, calm and pleasure”, while the more authentic medina plunges you into the heart of Marrakech life with the song of the muezzin, the artisans at work, the small markets lively… Less restful of course, but that’s where we get our fill of memories!

In the Medina (historic center):

Beautiful traditional residences, the riads have several rooms around a central patio. The riads are full of charm, and you are at the heart of Marrakech life as soon as you step through the door!

The plus for families: the riads are rented exclusively, that is to say that you have the house to yourself, which is really nice with family or friends. House staff can cook or babysit if requested.

With basin or swimming pool:

Dar Cheref: A charming place, all in light tones. Nice patio, very nice terrace surrounded by the trees of the neighboring palace, 3 bedrooms, possibility of 6 beds. A very calm place and a very good cook at your disposal.

Riad Mazagao: Ideal for holidays with family or friends, 6 bedrooms, small swimming pool in the patio. Close to the Marrakech museum.

If you prefer only a family room in a riad, here are two very nice establishments that offer it:

Triple and quadruple rooms at Riad Farhan, a recently tastefully renovated riad, a lovely pool / pool in the patio and excellent breakfasts. Near the Place des Epices, which we love a lot!

Several beautiful rooms for 3 or 4 people at Riad La Perle Rouge, in the Kasbah (district of the Royal Palace). Renovated in 2018 and neat decor, nice indoor pool, and very good dinner on site.

In the Palm Grove:

A few kilometers from the center, luxury, calm, and pleasure and large gardens where children can run! It is very easy to find taxis that go back and forth to the medina (ask the driver for his mobile number, to give him an appointment for the return trip)

Villa Elo (7 bedrooms, sleeps 17): a very pretty traditional-style house in the heart of a very large garden and with a huge swimming pool. Perfect for 3 families and very good value for money.

Where to eat in Marrakech with the kids

Moroccan cuisine is delicious, from tagines and couscous to pastries. Fragrant without being spicy, it’s a real treat for the whole family!

My favorite places for lunch in Marrakech with the family:

In the heart of the Medina, on the Place des Epices: the Café des Epices. “An oasis in the heart of the medina”, says the pub, in any case a charming little café, in a must-see square in the heart of the souks. Fresh salads, sandwiches in Moroccan bread, delicious orange juice and a pretty terrace.

The Garden, also in the medina: a historic house revisited with a modern and charming decoration, all in refreshing green tones, and of course a pretty garden! Perfect for a light lunch, and a great place to relax. We had trouble leaving! 32, Sidi Abdelaziz, souk El Jeld

The Café du Jardin Majorelle, located in a charming little interior courtyard. Simple, fresh meals and delicious fruit juices in an enchanting setting.

To eat the best gazelle horns:

La Pâtisserie des Princes: fresh and still warm gazelle horn, scented with orange blossom, with one batch in the morning, another in the late afternoon. To be enjoyed with a mint tea in Jamaa el Fna Square, or to take home to console yourself for having returned!

Rue des Princes, the main pedestrian street, south of Place Jamaa-El-Fna.

To dine in Marrakech with the family:

I have a soft spot for the Foundouk: a very nice decoration, low prices for a slightly chic place, and delicious tagines (one to share for the children is more than enough!). Book to dine there, the place is very successful (deserved). A guide will lead you, lantern in hand through the alleys of the medina, from El Mokef square to the restaurant door…. a charming arrival!

Another charming place in the medina: the Terrasse des épices, which belongs to the same owners as the Café des épices. Installed on a large terrace, under the stars, tagines and grills at reasonable prices for a superb setting.

Good to know to discover Marrakech with the family

The best season to discover Marrakech with the family? All year ! Not so good anyway: February when it rains often.

Marrakech is an ideal destination for a great family weekend! The trip is not long (3 hours by plane), with very attractive prices for direct flights, for example on Transavia, the low-cost of Air France. To find the best deals, you can use price comparison sites.

Local transport: on foot, or by taxi in the Medina. To be honest, It is very hard to drive there by car. If you are at the Palmeraie, you will easily find taxis to go back and forth to the center. Many taxis park south of Jamaa El Fna Square. Take a “grand taxi” (= large car); they are authorized to transport 4/5 people and to leave the city; set the price before. A rental car is only useful when leaving Marrakech, in the Ourika Valley for example.

To put in the suitcase for Marrakech

an ideal book to keep busy, have fun, and discover lots of things about Morocco: the children’s book Morocco (from 7 years old)

a sweater or a “pashmina” for the evening (ideal for concealing a neckline or a golden shoulder …). The days are hot but the nights are cool!

Avoid tight-fitting dresses, prefer loose pants and tunics.

earplugs and a mask to sleep if you are in the medina and you are a light sleeper: the rooms are rather poorly soundproofed, and the song of the muezzin is early in the morning …

Take a small first aid kit with you, just in case …

in the children’s suitcase, a few games for them to occupy in quiet moments.

And have a good trip to Marrakech with the family!