Magical Oasis in the Desert: A Family-Friendly Guide to Marrakech

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Advisor - Tarika Richter
Curated By

Tarika Richter

  • Marrakech

  • Family Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Morocco

  • Luxury Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Local culture

High tower in Marrakech
Curator’s statement

 Marrakech is a magical oasis in the desert just waiting for you to discover it. Stay within the walls of "The Red City" to experience the hustle and bustle of the Medina. Get lost in the maze of the souks, and explore ornate palaces. Around every corner, there are treasures to discover. Marrakech is vibrant and full of life; make your way down to Jemaa el-Fnaa to be entertained by street musicians and snake charmers, just don't get hustled.  To escape the heat or to give the little ones a break, stop by a rooftop restaurant to enjoy a refreshing drink with views of Koutoubia Mosque and Atlas Mountains. It's hard not to be mesmerized by all things in Marrakech—the energy, the people and culture are warm and welcoming, especially those traveling with children. Enjoy!

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Where to stay in Marrakech, Morocco

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Things to do in Marrakech, Morocco in Marrakech, Morocco

The beautiful sitting area


Medina tour - You will get lost if you go out on your own ... So do yourself a favor and hire a guide! Hanane Chouquir became one of the first women licensed as a tour guide in Marrakech in 2007. She has lived in Marrakech all her life. If you have kids, she is amazing with them! She is a mom of two girls; she is patient, knows where all of the bakeries are to stop for a cookie break. She knows her way around the souks, the history and most importantly she knows where to buy a rug. She works with ALL of the best hotels. Tip: Book ahead so you get a morning appointment before it gets too hot for the kiddos. 

Marrakech Insiders  - If you want to check out Marrakech beyond the walls, Marrakech Insiders is the way to go with vintage motorbikes with sidecars. They will take you around the perimeter of Marrakech, through the Gueliz, the Palmeraie and what's more fun than weaving through the Medina on a motorbike. The guides are awesome, giving you lots of information about the city. If you have more time and are a bit more adventurous— they have longer tour options to the desert. Tip: Kids under 12 need to ride with an adult.


Le Secret Garden - If you need a cool down while wandering through the Medina, stop by Le Secret Garden. Recently renovated, this is one of the only traditional Islamic gardens within Marrakech. Once a riad, it dates back over 400 years. Take in the views at the rooftop cafe. It is the second tallest viewpoint besides the Koutoubia Mosque. Tip: Tickets can be purchased on site, kids under 6 are free, they have clean bathrooms and a baby changing table.

Jardin Majorelle - A must see, the beautiful botanical garden was built by French artist Jacques Marjorelle. In the 80's, it was purchased and restored by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierré Berge. It houses the Berber Museum, formerly the villa on the property. Tip: Go earlier in the day when the temperatures are mild and to avoid the crowds. Purchase tickets ahead of time, they have timed entries and are strict about. You can also buy the combo ticket to visit the YSL Museum after the gardens.

YSL Museum - If you love fashion, visit the YSL Museum which is dedicated to the legacy of the late Yves Saint-Laurent. You will get an intimate look at his creative process and creations. It's absolutely stunning. 

Ben Youssef Medersa - Located within the Medina, the mosque dates back to the 14th century and was one of the largest islamic schools in North Africa. The architecture is unmatched with its tiled walls, wood carved doors and serene courtyards, showcasing traditional Moroccan artistry. Ben Youssef is now a UNESCO heritage site. Kids will love to visit the students' dormitories that surround the courtyard. 


Treat yourself to an out of this world spa experience at the Royal Mansour . The spa is nothing short of perfection, the utmost attention to detail. The immaculate decor of pearly whites and marble. Soft, soothing sounds of gentle waters fill the spa and transport you into a state of relaxation. After your treatment, you will feel like you are floating on a cloud and your skin will feel amazing. Tip: Hire a babysitter for the kids through your hotel and give yourself a few hours of R&R.

Most hotels/ Riads have hammams, so you have no excuse not to do it!


El Fenn Boutique - Before or after your dinner at the rooftop restaurant, do not forget to take a peek at the boutique. Beautifully curated with local designers, contemporary and vintage items.

Moro - After you visit Jardin Marjorelle and the YSL museum, take a short walk to visit Moro Marrakech. A boutique hotel, cafe and concept store all in one.


Sunset Camel Ride - The Agafay desert is located about 45 minutes from Marrakech, and feels like worlds away from the hustle and bustle. When you arrive, you will put on your traditional berber robe and the guides will help you onto your camel. Take a stroll through the desert, with the sunset in the background. And always finish with a mint tea.

Atlas Mountains Tour - After getting your fill in Marrakech, take a day or overnight trip to the Atlas Mountains. The mood is slower and the  weather is cooler. Along the way you will visit some local Berber villages and pick up some argan oil products. 

Places to eat & drink in Marrakech, Morocco in Marrakech, Morocco

dinning sitting

El Fenn - The rooftop is where it's at whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you are staying at El Fenn, you are in for a breakfast treat. Fresh baked breads, fresh squeezed juices, homemade granola and spreads are just the start! At night, they usually have a line at the start of dinner waiting to get in. So definitely make a reservation. It's also a great place for a nightcap with beautiful views of Koutoubia mosque. 

Le Jardin - if you get lost on your way to this restaurant, you are not the only one. The maze deep into the Medina will bring you to a small wooden door and inside you will be mesmerized by the dramatic green zellige tiles and overflowing greenery. The food is a mix of moroccan and European flavors.

l'mida - Check out one of the most beautiful terraces within the Medina. The terrace gives you views of Atlas Mountains while sipping on fresh, fruity mocktails. Tip: When making a reservation, ask for a terrace table.

Sahbi Sahbi - This restaurant is something to take note of, it is a fully women run restaurant which is amazing on so many levels. The decor is stunning, floor to ceiling zellige tiles and an open kitchen takes center stage, the service was attentive and kind. The food is thoughtful, all meant to be shared. It was truly a wonderful dining experience. Tip: They do not have high chairs.

Plus 61 - One of our favorite family friendly restaurants! Located in the Gueliz, this Australian restaurant is an inviting and casual eatery which has delicious food! The food is influenced by Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Tip: Get the chicken schnitzel - you can thank me later. And they have kids options as well, just ask your server.

Comptoir Darna - This place is legendary, it's dark, dramatic and sexy. If you get one night on the town this is it! They have 2 shows every night with belly and candle dancers. Tip: Make a reservation for 9pm, order a cocktail and sit back and watch the first show at 9:30pm. 

The White Camel - This is the perfect place to go after your sunset camel ride. Head to the Singita Tent with 360 degree glass views of the Agafay desert. Enjoy a drink in their outdoor lounge and take in the beauty of the desert and night sky. Tip: The White Camel is also a hotel, if you have a few extra days, stay in one of their beautiful tents and lounge by the pool during the day.

Nomad - Another gem located in the heart of the Medina. Nomad is a wonderful place to have modern Moroccan cuisine.

Kasbah Bab Ourika - On your day trip through the Atlas Mountains, stop for lunch high on a hilltop with views of the mountain range, Ourika Valley and Berber villages below. This is a perfect hideaway from Marrakech; take a stroll through gardens, courtyards and terraces. Enjoy a leisurely meal before heading back to the city. Tip: This is also a hotel, if you have a few extra days, this is a great place to escape the summer heat.

Need to Know

If you are traveling with young kids, hire a driver for the duration of your trip. It takes the stress out of trying to figure out how to visit different areas of Marrakech. They also can provide a car seat, so you don't have to lug yours to Marrakech!

Local taxis do not have car seats and you will have to barter for your fares. 

Everyone loves kids! Many of the restaurants have kids menus and high chairs. They are extremely accommodating. 

Most restaurants also have free wifi available for your use. 

If you visit during Ramadan, at sundown you will notice many of the locals have gone home to break the fast with their families. Nighttime is extremely lively with families celebrating and enjoying their time together. 

Shopping in the Medina - if you are looking for furniture, rugs or larger items; it is best to use a guide who has credible resources to make sure your items get shipped to you! Anything and everything is negotiable...but do it within reason. 

Advisor - Tarika Richter

Travel Advisor

Tarika Richter

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Marrakech.