Getting to MarrakechBy Air
Marrakech has an international airport with direct scheduled flights coming in from London and Paris and many charter flights arriving from all over Europe. If you are flying from the US, Canada, Asia or elsewhere, you'll have to change planes in Casablanca. The airport is only about 4 miles (15 minutes) from the city and buses as well as taxis operate throughout the day. You should set the taxi fare before you get in. The major car rental companies are represented at the airport.
Trains run regularly between Marrakech and Casablanca. The trip takes about 3 hours. If you want to go to Fez, Tangier or Meknes then you can take the train through Rabat (4 hours from Marrakech). More about train travel in Morocco and specific information about the overnight train between Tangier and Marrakech. It's best to take a taxi to the train station in Marrakech, since it's quite far from the old town (if that's where you're staying).
There are three national bus companies that operate between Marrakech and most major towns and cities in Morocco. They are Supratours, CTM and SATAS. According to recent traveler accounts on VirtualTourist.com SATAS doesn't have a very good reputation. Long-distance buses are comfortable and usually air-conditioned. You can buy your tickets at the bus depot. Supratours buses are handy if you are traveling onward by train since they stop at the Marrakech train station. The other bus companies arrive and depart from the long distance bus station near Bab Doukkala, a 20 minute walk from Jema el-Fna.
Note: For more information about transportation within Morocco see my article: Morocco Travel Tips.
Getting Around MarrakechThe best way to see Marrakech is on foot especially in the medina. But it's a sizable town and you'll probably want to make use of some of the following options:
- Taxis are readily available throughout town and probably the most efficient way of getting to the main sites. Grand taxis are old Mercedes cars that carry up to six people for a fixed fare. They usually keep to specific routes and you'll find them at the bus station, Djemaa el Fna and the main Post Office in Gueliz (new town). Petit taxis are a little more expensive but you get it to yourself and they'll take you anywhere you want to go. The meters aren't always used so either ask the driver to switch it on, or bragain for your fare before you hop in. Ask your hotel staff what a reasonable fare is if you know where you're going. Petit taxis in Marrakech are usually beige and you can just flag them down.
- Caleche is a horse-drawn carriage and a popular way to get around Marrakech. There are set prices for the more common routes, around the ramparts for example, but for other routes you'll have to bargain with the driver. Set the price before you hop in. You can catch a Caleche in the garden square between the Koutoubia Mosque and Djemaa el Fna, El Badi Palace and the more expensive hotels.
- Buses within town are frequent and cheap but can get crowded. The central bus station, Place El Mouarabitene is just outside Bab Doukkala on the northwestern edge of the old city. You can pay the bus driver directly. The no 8 will take you to the train station; the no 10 to the central bus station and the no 1 travels between the Medina and Gueliz (new town). Most buses will stop at the Djemaa-el-Fna
- Moped or Bicycle is also a popular way to get around Marrakech and you can cycle within the medina which is handy. Check out Maroc deux Roues to get an idea about rates.
Morocco: Guide to Marrakech continued ...Page One: Introduction and When to Go
Page Two: What to See in Marrakech
Page Four: Where to Stay in Marrakech