Marrakech: Orientation, Arrival and Transport
Marrakech is a large city by any standards and famous for its bewildering maze of souks. However, orientation is not too hard once you locate the famous Djemaa el Fna.
This large space is at the heart of the Medina and almost everything of interest in Marrakech lies within the alleyways north and south of here. Locate Avenue Mohammed V, just in the shadow of the Koutoubia Minaret. Walking the length of this main avenue will lead you through the Medina walls and all the way through the new city, Guéliz.
To navigate the various souks you might consider a guide but other than that you should be able to navigate Marrakech on your own without major problems.
Arrival in Marrakech
The train station in Marrakech is at the edge of the new city in Guéliz. From here, you can either walk for fifteen-minutes to Guéliz or considerably longer to reach the Medina. A petit taxi is probably a good idea – the fare being no more than 15 dh to the Medina. You can also hop on buses #3, #8, #10 and #14 opposite the train station to the Place de Foucauld, alongside Djemaa el Fna.
The bus station (gare routière) is by Bab Doukkala, just outside the walls of the Medina. This station is used by long-distance bus services other than CTM or Supratours.
From the bus station you can walk to Guéliz for around ten minutes by following Avenue des Nation Unies, or to Djemaa el Fna for around 30 minutes by following the Medina Walls down Avenue Mohammed V. If you don’t want to walk, take a petit taxi for about 10dh to Djemaa el Fna and 6 dh to Guéliz. Alternatively, buses #3, #8, #10, #14 and #16 run to the Koutoubia.
CTM buses stop at their offices in the new town of Guéliz, while Supratours services stop next to the train station at the edge of Guéliz. From here, it’s a longish walk to the Medina so it’s a good idea to hop into a petit taxi for the ride (around 10dh).
Marrakech-Ménara Airport is located some 4 kilometers south west of the city. Bus service #11 runs every half hour to Place Djemaa el Fna but it’s rather erratic. A better option to reach Marrakech is to take a petit taxi or a grand taxi, but watch out for the fares. Make sure your petit taxi is metered and agree for a fare with grand taxis before making the journey. As a general rule, petit taxis shouldn’t cost more than 25dh from the airport to Djemaa el Fna, and grand taxis no more than 70dh for six people sharing.
Marrakech City Transport
There is fairly a long distance between the new town, Guéliz, and the Medina of Marrakech. To move between the two, and in fact for any transport within the city, you have a number of options.
First, there are taxis. Taxi ranks are at major intersections in Guéliz and in the Medina at Place Djemaa el Fna, at the Place des Ferblantiers, Avenue Houman el Fetouaki and outside Grand Hôtel Tazi.
When taking a taxi in Marrakech watch out for fares as some drivers are unscrupulous and would charge extra. Make sure a petit taxi is metered – equipped with a meter. Grand taxis should display prices for specific trips in advance. Note that by evening, both petit and grand taxis may surcharge.
Another travel option is the horse-drawn carriages – known locally as calèches – at Place Foucault near the Koutoubia and outside some hotels. Taking up to no more than five people, they are generally favoured by tourists for a tour of town. They are very similar in price to petit taxis.
For exploring the various sights in Marrakech, you can rent a bicycle or a moped for 100dh and 300dh respectively
Tourist Office in Marrakech
The tourist office in Marrakech is the Délégation Régionale du Tourisme on Place Abdelmoumen Ben Ali with a branch office at Place Venus by the Koutoubia. The two offices are open Monday to Fridays from 8:30 – Noon & 14:30 – 18:30. Telephone: 044 43 62 39.