Marrakesh in detail

Flights & getting there

Marrakesh has excellent transport links with regular train and bus connections to major centres, as well as flights to other Moroccan cities and to Europe. High Atlas villages are serviced by either grands taxis (long-distance taxis) or local buses.

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Air

Royal Air Maroc (www.royalairmaroc.com) has several flights daily to and from Casablanca, where you can pick up domestic and international connections. Low-cost Emirati airline AirArabia (www.airarabia.com) also offers direct flights between Fez and Marrakesh three times a week, with additional options during peak season. You can fly direct to Marrakesh from various European cities with EasyJet (www.easyjet.com), Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and Transavia (www.transavia.com).

Marrakech Menara Airport

Small, modern Marrakech Menara Airport is located 6km southwest of town. Because of the growing number of international and charter flights serving Marrakesh, the airport is expanding and a second terminal is now open.

In the arrivals hall, you'll find currency exchange, ATMs, an information desk and phone providers where you can equip yourself with a Moroccan SIM card. The currency exchange office stays open until the last flight for the night has arrived.

Bus

Airport bus 19 runs a circular route, every 30 minutes, between the airport and central Marrakesh. From the airport, it stops at Place de Foucauld (a one-minute walk to Djemaa El Fna) and then runs along Ave Mohammed V via Bab Nkob (alight for Bab Doukkala) to Gueliz (passing Place du 16 Novembre and the train station) before heading back to the airport.

Taxi

A petit taxi to central Marrakesh from the airport (6km) should be no more than Dh70, but you will most likely have extreme difficulty convincing the driver of this. Late at night, with no other options available, drivers will typically quote between Dh120 and Dh150.

Riad Airport Transfers

If it's your first time in Marrakesh, and particularly if you're staying in a medina riad or out in the Palmeraie, it makes sense to organise a private airport transfer to your accommodation. Most riads charge around Dh150 to Dh170 for the service, which, if you're heading into the medina, includes being met at the taxi drop-off point (usually Djemaa El Fna) and being walked to the door.

Bus

If you're heading to a more far-flung destination in the south or east, check bus schedules the day before, as there's usually only a couple of services daily at most. For all bus early-morning departures, get tickets the day before, as morning buses fill quickly on holidays and weekends.

To popular destinations such as Agadir and Essaouira, CTM and Supratours offer a more expensive 'comfort plus/premium' service on slightly smaller, nicer buses.

CTM

The CTM bus station is located southwest of the train station (about 15 minutes on foot). There’s not much at the station in the way of facilities, beyond a smoky 24-hour cafe with stuttering wi-fi.

A taxi from the station to Djemaa El Fna shouldn't cost more than Dh30 (drivers will often quote Dh50).

DestinationPriceDurationFrequency (daily)
Agadirregular/premium Dh115/1203½-4 hr17
Casablancaregular/premium Dh90/1303½ hr15
ErrachidiaDh17510 hr1
EssaouiraDh803½ hr2
FezDh185-1908-9 hr6
LaayouneDh36514-15½ hr7
Ouarzazateregular/premium Dh90/1004½hr5
Tan TanDh2259 hr8
Tiznitregular/premium Dh145/1555½ hr8
ZagoraDh1607½ hr2

Supratours

Supratours is located west of the train station, in the old station building. The station has a cafe and a room where you can check baggage (Dh10 per day, open 6am to 10pm). Bus services connect to train departure and arrival times.

The car park in front of the Supratours office is the arrival and departure point for most international buses, including CTM buses to/from Paris (adult/child Dh2730/2060, 48 hours, Tuesday and Friday).

Taxis wait in the Supratours parking lot.

DestinationPriceDurationFrequency (daily)
Agadirregular/comfort plus Dh110/1304 hr11
DakhlaDh49023 hr2
Essaouiraregular/comfort plus Dh80/1103½ hr6
LaayouneDh36015 hr6
OuarzazateDh904½ hr3
Tan TanDh21010 hr7
ZagoraDh1407¾ hr1

Gare Routière (Main Bus Station)

Marrakesh's Gare Routière is just outside the city walls next to Bab Doukkala, a 15-minute walk northeast of Place du 16 Novembre or a 20-minute walk from Djemaa El Fna.

Inside, a variety of private local bus companies have their ticket booths for regular services from here to Agadir, Casablanca, Fez and Meknes; a couple of services daily to Errachidia and Zagora; and at least one bus daily to Telouet.

Some CTM buses also pick-up and drop-off here.

There are plans afoot to move the station out of the central city.

Car & Motorcycle

If you're coming into town with your own wheels, try to arrive during daylight hours. Driving through the busy, chaotic traffic at night is stressful for first-time visitors. At all times be alert for scooters, horse carriages, donkeys, pedestrians, and other drivers who rarely obey road rules.

Hiring a Car

Local car-hire companies often offer more competitive deals than international operators, with quoted rates starting at around Dh350 per day with air-con and unlimited mileage. For 4WD hire, count on Dh950 to Dh1300 per day with minimal insurance; the top end of the range reflects the largest vehicles, which can carry up to seven people. You should be able to negotiate a 10% to 20% discount in low season (late October to mid-December and mid-January to the end of February).

A car with a driver starts at an additional Dh150 per day within Marrakesh and Dh200 per day for excursions outside Marrakesh.

International agencies Avis, Hertz, Europcar and Budget all have desks at the airport. Recommended English-speaking local agencies include KAT, La Plaza Car and Lhasnaoui Rent.

Hiring a Motorbike

If you’re feeling brave and/or foolhardy, you might join the fray on a scooter or motorcycle. Rentals are available from Marrakech Roues.

Taxi

Grands taxis and minibuses to destinations in the High Atlas, including Asni (Dh30), Ouirgane (Dh40) and Setti Fatma (Dh40), depart from Rue Uqba Bin Nafaa, alongside the medina wall, a short walk from Djemaa El Fna.

Grands taxis serving destinations further afield, including those bound for Agadir (Dh150), Azilal (Dh75), Beni Mellal (Dh110), Demnate (Dh70), Essaouira (Dh90), Ouarzazate (Dh120) and Taroudant (Dh110), gather on a parking lot just outside Bab Doukkala. Prices can fluctuate by Dh10 to Dh20 depending on demand.

Train

Marrakesh’s train station is big, organised and convenient, with ATMs, cafes and fast-food outlets.

Taxis wait just outside. To Djemaa El Fna it's no more than Dh20 on the meter (Dh30 at night), but drivers are notorious for not putting the meter on. Dh50 is the usual quoted price. City buses 8 and 10 (Dh4) head down Ave Hassan II and Ave Mohammed V to Djemaa El Fna roughly every 20 minutes between 6am and 10pm.

Train Services

The last Tangier train travels overnight. Sleeping-car compartment tickets cost Dh370; book at least two days in advance.

DestinationPrice 2nd/1st classDurationFrequency (daily)
CasablancaDh95/1483¼ hr9
FezDh206/3117½ hr8
MeknesDh184/2806¾ hr8
RabatDh127/1954¼ hr9
SafiDh69/1033¼ hr2
TangierDh216/3279¾ hr7