Marrakesh in detail

Getting Around

  • Bus Join the locals with your sardine impersonation on the city buses. Cheap and frequent but hot and overcrowded; useful for hops between Gueliz and the medina if you have high discomfort levels.
  • Calèche Horse-drawn carriage rides are a scenic option for trips between Djemaa El Fna and sites such as Jardin Majorelle.
  • Taxi Creamy-beige petits taxis (local taxis) are abundant and the quickest way to nip around town. Trips between the medina and central Gueliz shouldn't cost more than Dh20 on the meter but good luck trying to get drivers to use them.
  • Walk Marrakesh is flat, and the central area is small, making it easy for walking – when it's not too hot. You'll need to get strolling for the medina as most of it is a car-free zone.

Bicycle

This pancake-flat city is good for keen cyclists. You'll need to keep your wits about you though when out on the main roads. If you want to join the locals navigating the crowds, motorcycles and donkey-carts in the medina by bike, do as the Marrakshi cyclists do and make good use of your bell in the alleys, to let pedestrians know you're behind them.

Good quality bicycles and helmets can be hired from AXS and Marrakech Roues.

Bus

Local buses are run by Alsa. There's a semi-helpful route map on Alsa's website. Buses heading for the Ville Nouvelle stop at Place de Foucauld in front of Djemaa El Fna. Services start around 6am and finish between 9.30pm and 10pm with buses on most routes running every 15 to 20 minutes.

Key bus lines include the following:

Bus 1 Kasbah–Gueliz–Bab Doukkala (via Djemaa El Fna and Ave Mohammed V)

Bus 8 & 10 Djemaa El Fna–train station

Bus 11 Bab Doukkala–Djemaa El Fna–Menara Gardens

Bus 12 Jardin Majorelle–Bab Doukkala–Hivernage

Bus 16 Djemaa El Fna–Bab Doukkala–Gueliz–northwest suburbs

Calèches

These green horse-drawn carriages congregate at Place de Foucauld next to Djemaa El Fna. They’re a pleasant way to get around, if you avoid the rush hours (8am, noon and 5.30pm to 7.30pm). State-fixed rates of Dh120 per hour apply (rates are posted inside the carriage). Expect a tour of the ramparts to take 1½ hours.

Animal welfare charity SPANA (www.spana.org) works with Marrakesh's calèche drivers, monitoring horse welfare and maintaining water troughs along popular carriage routes.

Car & Motorcycle

If your accommodation is in the medina, there are guarded car parks on Rue Fatima Zohra (near Djemaa El Fna), Rue Riad Zitoun El Jedid (near Bahia Palace) and Rue Abbes Sebti (behind the Koutoubia Mosque). In Gueliz there's a secure underground car park on Ave Mohammed V, opposite the post office. Expect to pay Dh20/40 during the day/24 hours.

In Gueliz some roads have parking meters (Dh2 per hour). If you find street parking without a meter, a guardian will expect a Dh10 tip for keeping an eye on your car; look for the person in the blue coat and pay your tip afterwards.

Taxi

Metered rates for the city's beige petits taxis around town are between Dh8 and Dh20 with a Dh10 surcharge at night. Many drivers will insist their meter is 'broken' and will quote higher prices, particularly taxis waiting at stands that get a lot of tourist business (the airport, train station, Djemaa El Fna and Jardin Majorelle are notorious for this). You can usually get a metered rate – or at least, a better quoted price – by flagging a taxi down from the street.

If your party numbers more than three, you must take a grand taxi, which requires negotiation.

Train

There is no city train network within Marrakesh.

Walking

Compact and flat, Marrakesh was made for walking. The medina's skinny maze of souqs and alleys can only be explored on foot and central Gueliz is only a 20- to 25-minute stroll from Djemaa El Fna.