This post has sat in my drafts for what feels like weeks now. It’s a busy topic to cover! Where do I even begin? When visiting a new places, you’re never to be certain of the outcome. That’s one of the things I love about traveling. I was never very enthusiastic about visiting Rome, but it turns out it was a city I fell head over hells in love with. For years I wanted to visit Prague, yet after spending 5 days there – it turns out it wasn’t one of my favourite cities. We loved Marrakech. But it’s somewhere we’ll probably never visit again! It was mad. Mental. Busy. Hectic. Tiring. Overwhelming. Exhausting. Beautiful. Cultural. It was an experience and one that I’m so incredibly glad we booked. Daisy proclaims it to be one of her favourite holidays – she is desperate to go back. So here’s my guide to Marrakech with a preschooler – If you’re a lover of travel then I really urge you to go!
The Moroccans love kids
One thing I can say for certain is how lovely the majority of the locals are. We felt so incredibly welcomed (even if we did stick out like a sore thumb!). A lot of the locals have grown up in large families and will tend to come up to your children and cuddle them/kiss them. This didn’t bother us at all – we thought it was sweet. We did find it was a little harder with market salesmen – they would pop things into Daisy’s hand in an act for us to purchase the item. Sometimes it was a little harder to say no if it was a toy of some sort as Daisy would say she wanted it! Nothing against them – it is their job after all and they need to make a living. We always let Daisy have a toy at the end of the holiday if she’s been good – she’ll spend about 20 minutes contemplating what she wants. It’s best not to do this in the Souks as you’re definitely going to be pestered.
Find the quiet
It’s important to find the quiet within Marrakech. Stay further into the new town rather than the old town – this way you’re likely to have a swimming pool and can spend some days just relaxing around the pool. Marrakech is mad and can be overwhelming for adults and children – take time away to relax – otherwise you’re going to need a holiday to recover from your holiday! We also visited Le Jardin Majorelle which was a lovely little escape from the hustle and bustle.
Oasiria water park
I wrote a whole post about this as we visited twice during our trip. A free shuttle bus runs to and from Oasiria water park and it’s definitely a must do whilst in Marrakech. I’m not sure if it’s because we visited during Ramadan, but it was so empty – we had the park pretty much to ourselves which was lovely. They do fab food, the staff are friendly and there are lots of little sections to visit. We loved the rapids and the lazy river – Daisy loved the park!
Take a buggy – no matter the age
Marrakech involves a lot of walking – especially if you’re staying in the new town. Definitely take a buggy if your child may get tired legs – either that or consider a taxi. There are several things to look out for when it comes to getting taxis – They will try to alter your plans! For example – they’ll try to take you somewhere you don’t want to go in order to make a profit for themselves. We attempted to visit Jardin Marjorelle and the taxi driver proclaimed it wasn’t open until lunch time. We then asked to be dropped at the local Zara to which he replied he will drop us off at the mall. He dropped us off at a local tourist shop in which a previous taxi driver had mistakenly taken us to. This shop will not let you leave empty handed – pushy is an understatement. Also make sure you agree the price upfront – one taxi driver wouldn’t agree a price and so we ended up paying way more than we should have once arriving at our stop.
Jemmaa El Fna square
Be aware when visiting the square that this is where you will be approaches by snake charmers and men with monkeys – they will ask you (very persistently) if you would like your photo taken with the snakes or monkeys for a small charge. Make sure you haggle this because they will definitely go in at a higher rate. In actual fact, be sure to haggle everything – especially in the Souks and market stalls. Again, it’s important to negotiate a price upfront rather than afterwards – one man tried to charge us half our daily budget for having a photo with a snake – we managed to haggle it down luckily! Lesson learnt.
Henna tattoos – the right ones
There will be lots of ladies on the streets asking if you want henna tattoos – I’ve been told that you need to make sure the ink is brown and not black. The black ink can cause skin reactions later in life – especially take note of this if your children would like a henna tattoo. We let Daisy have one (although we didn’t really have much of a choice! – the lady tattooed us before we could even say no!).
Food and drink
There are so many incredibly places to eat in Marrakech – I’m not that adventurous when it comes to food (I am trying though!) I tend to eat the same thing day after day. I eat a lot of plain food like pasta, burgers, wraps (see – so unadventurous). Andrew on the other hand will eat a little more local – he enjoyed a lovely tagine and Daisy tends to eat whatever we give her. There are many cafes and coffee shops along the way too – we would quite often sit in a nice cafe just to get away from the hustle and bustle of the old town. Also be sure not to drink tap water – purchase bottled water instead.
A great introduction
Marrakech is a great introduction to further African travel. We’d like to visit South Africa soon and so it was a great way to step further away from Europe and introduce Daisy to a different feel of travel. I really do recommend visiting Marrakech if you’re a lover of travel – it was a huge overload of our senses – the smells, the sounds, the places to look. It was generally an amazing trip and one I know we won’t ever forget. I have a lot of different tips that I want to write about Marrakech because we learnt a lot about what to do and what not to do, so you’ll be seeing more Marrakech blog posts very soon! In the mean time I have lots of photos to share (As usual!).