Marrakesh Family Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Eat, and Top Things to Do with Kids in Marrakesh, Morocco

 The coloful stalls in Jemaa el-Fnaa Market are filled with local handcrafted goods.
The coloful stalls in Jemaa el-Fnaa Market are filled with local handcrafted goods.

Marrakesh, Morocco is a treat for the senses. The city is a riot of color, filled with the scent of Moroccan spices and the sounds of motorcycles and busy marketplaces.

Years ago I visited Tangiers in northern Morocco and instantly fell in love with Moroccan culture and mint tea. I had always wanted to return to explore more of the country and excitedly booked a family trip with Intrepid Travel. My children and I stayed in Marrakesh for several days at the beginning and end of the tour and had an amazing time.

Here are the best things to do in Marrakesh, Morocco with kids. Our International Travel Guide features more great cities to visit throughout the world, including London, Seoul, and so many more.

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Marrakesh with Kids: Medina
Wander the beautiful streets of the Marrakesh medina.

Best Things To Do in Marrakesh, Morocco with Kids

1. Medina of Marrakesh

A highlight of visiting Marrakesh is wandering through the medina, an old city founded in the 11th century. The medina still functions today much as it did then. It’s full of vendors selling everything you can imagine—soccer jerseys, spices, leather goods, rugs, lamps that look like they came straight out of Aladdin, tea sets, and so much more. Get ready to haggle, because very few items are marked with prices. The medina is incredibly confusing to navigate, but Google Maps can help.

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Marrakesh with Kids: Jemaa el-Fnaa Square
Explore the sights, sounds and smells of Jemaa el-Fnaa Square.

2. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square

The biggest part of the medina is Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. I recommend visiting twice, one during the day and again at night. By day, the square is busy and bustling with juice vendors and shopkeepers. By night, it takes on a fun carnival atmosphere filled with music, performers, and snake charmers.

3. Medersa Ben Youssef

A must-visit in the medina is the Medersa Ben Youssef, a historic Islamic school founded in the 14th century. Over the years, it has been expanded and used as a mosque and library. This is a great place to see fantastic examples of the mosaics for which Marakkesh is famous.

4. The Secret Garden

Le Jardin Secret, or the Secret Garden, is a quiet oasis in the medina. Dating back more than 400 years, these gardens are a great respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stop by The Secret Garden’s charming cafe for a snack and a fantastic view.

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Marrakesh with Kids: Jardin Majorelle
The Jardin Majorelle is one of the most enchanting gardens in Morocco.

5. Jardin Majorelle

When the Jardin Majorelle was slated for destruction, designer Yves Saint Laurent stepped in to save and restore the expansive gardens. Laurent eventually made the gardens his home and was buried there. These gardens are located in one of Marrakkesh’s poshest neighborhoods, so stick around after your visit to explore.

6. Pierre Bergé Museum of Berber Arts

This small museum highlights the story and art of the Berber people, who are indigenous to Morocco. Clothing, tools, and other artifacts representing Berber culture are on display. The museum is located inside the Jardin Majorelle, but requires a separate admission ticket.

7. Yves Saint Laurent Museum

Because Yves Saint Laurent made Marrakesh his home, many of his designs were inspired by Morocco. See some of Laurent’s original designs on display. Visitors can also learn about Laurent’s life in Morocco and about how his travels throughout the world inspired some of his most iconic looks.

8. Jewish Quarter

Morocco was once the home of hundreds of thousands of Jews. The mellah, or Jewish Quarter, of Marrakesh, still has echoes of the Jewish community that once called the neighborhood home. There is a vibrant marketplace that still displays some Hebrew writing along with a Jewish cemetery and synagogue.

9. Naturom

Morocco is known for beauty products made with Moroccan argan oil and natural lipsticks derived from flowers. However, some products may be adulterated. Naturom’s products are made with organic ingredients, and I felt comfortable allowing my daughter to shop there to her heart’s content.

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Marrakesh with Kids: Koutoubia Mosque
Built in the 12th century, it is one of the oldest and most impressive mosques in Morocco.

10. Koutoubia Mosque

This huge mosque is a landmark in Marrakesh. The Koutoubia Mosque, built in the 12th century, is still in use today and remains one of the country’s largest. However, only Muslims are allowed inside, so non-Muslims must view the impressive building from the outside.

11. Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace is a stunning place to explore Islamic architecture and mosaics, as well as learn about how the Sultans of Morocco lived in the early 19th century.

12. El Badi Palace

Visit the ruins of the El Badi Palace, which dates from the 16th century. This palace was once the home of the Sultan of the Saadian Dynasty, who built the palace to demonstrate his power and wealth. Today, only the remains of the palace exist, but there is still plenty to explore.

13. Saadian Tombs

The Saadian Tombs are the final resting place of many of the elite of the Saadian Dynasty, who ruled Marrakesh centuries ago. The intricate tombs are a great example of the architecture of the day.

14. Henna Art Cafe

Getting a henna design is a rite of passage when visiting Marrakesh. However, some henna—especially black henna—may cause allergic reactions. I wanted to be sure the henna used on my children was safe. So, I took them to Henna Art Cafe in the heart of medina because it uses only organic henna and avoids the black henna. The cafe has a big book of henna designs you can choose from, or you can create your own.

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Marrakesh with Kids: rooftop restaurants
Marrakesh is filled with wonderful foods and rooftop restaurants.

Restaurants and Foods to Try in Marrakesh, Morocco

15. Nobu Hotel Rooftop Garden

Sunset in Marrakesh is gorgeous. The city is full of rooftop restaurants with great views of the sun setting over the mountains. Seeing the sunset from the rooftop of the Nobu Hotel was a highlight of our trip. The food was delicious, with plenty of kid-friendly options like pizza. My children also enjoyed sitting on the rooftop’s swinging chairs.

16. Cafe Clock

This casual, bohemian cafe is a great place to rest and grab a family-friendly bite to eat. Friendly staff can help arrange Moroccan cooking classes, henna, and more.

17. Café des Épices

Café des Épices lies in the heart of the medina. It’s a casual, family-friendly restaurant with a rooftop overlooking the chaos below. Be sure to climb the cafe’s three flights of stairs to enjoy the view while enjoying traditional Moroccan fare or a glass of mint tea.

18. Try a Fresh Juice

Marakkesh is a great place to get fresh-squeezed juice. My kids had orange juice with almost every meal. However, many vendors sell freshly squeezed juices throughout the city. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square is a popular place to try a mixed fruit drink, but there are vendors throughout the city.

19. Drink Mint Tea

Mint tea is everywhere in Morocco. Whether you prefer it with sugar or without, drinking several glasses is almost mandatory during any trip to Marrakesh.

20. Eat Tagine

Tagine is a traditional Moroccan stew that is cooked in a clay pot, also called a tagine. Tagine can contain poultry, meat, or vegetables. Trying tagine at least once is a must in Marrakesh. Before ordering, ask to be sure you are getting the real deal, since some restaurants cook their food another way and simply serve it in a tagine pot.

21. Enjoy Moroccan Salads

Moroccan salads are a great way to refuel and refresh in Marrakesh. Salads vary by restaurant but usually involve fresh, healthy ingredients including cucumbers, tomatoes, and Moroccan spices.

Where to Stay in Marrakesh, Morocco

22. Stay in a Riad

Throughout Morocco, it’s possible to stay in hotels that were once the homes of wealthy merchants. Riads, which usually have a few rooms centered around a courtyard, are a special way to experience a part of Moroccan culture. My family stayed at the riad AnaYela in the medina. It was a magical experience complete with a “magic carpet” room on the roof and an incredible breakfast.

23. Park Hyatt Marrakesh

Families who prefer more traditional accommodations should consider the Park Hyatt Marrakesh. It’s a calm retreat in the chaos of the city. The hotel boasts a large, gorgeous pool which can be a lifesaver when the temperature in Marrakesh heats up. Plus, the hotel has a Kidz Club.

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Photos courtesy of Canva