The mutual admiration between kids and Marrakesh is obvious. Children will gaze in wonderment at fairy-tale souq scenes, herbalists trading concoctions straight out of Harry Potter, cupboard-sized shops chock-a-block with spangled Cinderella-style slippers, and the chaotic, thrumming spectacle of Djemaa El Fna lit up at night. That said, for families with toddlers and babies the city can be overwhelming and logistically challenging. Careful planning takes the stress out of visiting Marrakesh with younger children
Marrakesh museums are a poor substitute for the live theatre of the souqs and the Djemaa El Fna.
- Early mornings are quieter in the souqs, meaning less hassle and a better view of craftspeople at work.
- Early evenings (6pm to 8pm) are best for Djemaa dance troupes and musicians, and offer chance encounters with Moroccan families also doing the rounds.
Head Out Of The City
- Beldi Country Club
A 15-hectare country retreat designed with families in mind; includes a children’s pool and child-focused activities ranging from bread baking to horse riding.
- Terres d’Amanar
Adrenaline-packed Terres d’Amanar to balance out all that souq strolling. This outdoor centre, 36km south of Marrakesh, offers zip lines, a forest adventure course, mountain biking and horse riding.
Beat the heat with nine pools, a kamikaze slide and a pirate lagoon, all tucked within lush gardens.
- Calèche rides
When kids' legs and parents' backs start to give out, do what Moroccan parents do: hire a horse carriage in the Djemaa El Fna and take a grand tour.
- Dromedary rides
Head out to the Palmeraie (palm grove), where dromedaries await in the parking lot of the Café le Palmier d'Or. About Dh50 to Dh70 should cover a 15- to 30-minute guided ride (bargaining required).
- Horse riding
For professional lessons and horse treks in the Palmeraie and Atlas Mountains, look no further than the stables at Les Cavaliers de L'Atlas.
Explore Marrakesh or the Atlas Mountains beyond, on a family-friendly bike tour with AXS.
Need to Know
- Admission The majority of museums have reduced rates for under-12s.
- Challenges Strollers are impractical in the medina, baby-changing facilities scarce and restaurants make few dietary concessions.
- Accommodation The key to a successful trip is child-friendly accommodation. Riad plunge pools and steep stairs aren’t exactly childproof, and sound reverberates through riad courtyards. Most riad owners and staff, however, dote on babies and will provide cots and high chairs, and prepare special meals on request.