Marrakech Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane
Marrakech-Menara AirportPhone: +212 4444 7910Marrakech has an international airport with direct scheduled flights from many major European centres, including flights operated by a number of low cost carriers. Connections via Casablanca (45 min flight) are also possible.
Easyjetflies to Marrakech from Manchester and Gatwick Airport (and also from Madrid, from Lyon and from Basel)
RyanairDirect flights from Oporto (Portugal), London Luton, and London Stansted to Marrakech. They also fly from from Frankfurt-Hahn (Germany), Alicante (Spain), Girona (Spain), Madrid and Reus (Spain) to Marrakech.
Thomson Airwaystravels from London Gatwick and Manchester.
British Airwaysfly from London Gatwick.
TUIflyfly from Cologne and several other European destinations.
Transavia.com is a new Low cost airline from Air France-KLM group coming to Marrakech from several cities in Europe like Paris.
Norwegianoffers direct flights from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.
Iberiaoffers two non stop flights from Madrid.
TAP Portugaloffers direct flights from Lisbon

From inside the country, you can take Royal Air Morocco, with flights from Agadir, Casablanca (daily), Fez (daily), Ouarzazate, Al Hoceima, and Tangier.

Money exchange and ATMs in the airport

Terminal 1 has two money changing outlets in the arrivals hall and three ATMs. There is one money changer in departures and another air side. There are no ATMs airside . Terminal 2 had ATMs, but (as of March 2012) is currently being re-built from the ground up. On ATMs, check for the Maestro, Cirrus or Plus logos to be sure that the machine accepts foreign credit cards. Beware as some of the ATMs work only in French. If your card is taken at the ATM, tell airport security and they can help you get it back.

Airport transfers

The airport is located about 9km (6 miles) south-west of the city center (medina).

The No 19 Airport express bus is Dh 30 for a single trip or Dh 50 for round trip (if the return trip is within 2 weeks of initial purchase). It serves all the major hotels and is a great way to go from the airport to the hotels. You can easily find its departure stop, to the left of the road immediately outside of the Arrivals Hall at terminal 2, after the taxis. The bus leaves the airport every half an hour between 7 AM and 9:30 PM. The bus has no particular stops except Jeema El Fna and can stop anywhere on the route. The driver has a small map to hand out and you can tell the driver your hotel you're heading to.

You can also catch No 11 city bus which runs from M'Hamid district to the long distance bus station at Bab Doukkala, stopping also at Jeema El Fna. It stops on Avenue Gnassa - main road near airport, 500 meters from terminal. This is an option only for people without large, heavy luggage, but it is the cheapest one - the bus costs Dh 3.5

The airport is about a 10-15 min ride by "petit taxi" from the city center. Petit taxis are hatchbacks that go to destinations within the city and charge a lower price than the larger "grand taxis," which go between cities. If you leave from the airport by petit taxi, make sure to agree on the price beforehand, or—better yet—have the driver use his meter (a taxi ride to Ville Nouvelle or to the Medina from the airport should be Dh 40-70, more at night). In practice, most petit taxi drivers have agreed among themselves to an artificially high rate to or from the airport—most will quote you Dh 80 each way, and half again that much at night. As of late 2011, taxis appear now to be quoting a very over-inflated Dh 200 at night, and Dh 150 by day; trying to bargain a lower price is very difficult. They will try to charge even more (Dh 250-300) for groups. They can be very pushy and like to get you locked inside the vehicle before they reveal the price and will always demand the fare up front. Ideally you should try to pay no more than Dh 100 from the airport to the center of the city for a petit taxi, depending on the time of day and number of passengers. While it is possible to bargain with the airport taxis, in some cases they may agree a lower price (i.e. Dh 100) then stop mid journey and demand another Dh 100. Call the police if this happens. If you catch a petit taxi outside of airport, the petit taxi will use the meter instead of negotiated price.

If you are heading to the airport from the city, grand taxis are a very cheap option. Instead of taking taxi heading for the airport however, you should take one with the direction M'Hamid and ask to be dropped of at the airport exit on its route, from which it is only a 200-300 metre walk to the terminal. This option costs only Dh 5 per person, although you should make sure you agree on the price before you get in. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use this method from the airport to the city.

If you are traveling from the airport to somewhere further afield (such as Essaouira), your hotel or guest house may be able to arrange a grand taxi to pick you up at the airport and charge a fixed price for the journey. Grands taxis are generally more expensive than petit taxis, but more comfortable especially when you have luggage. It also avoids hassle, as it's not always easy to haggle with a taxi driver after staggering off a long plane ride half-asleep.

Several international rental car companies are based at the airport as well.

If you don't have too much luggage then it's possible to walk from the airport to the Medina even though it would take you from an hour and half to two hours. There is a footpath alongside the road all the way and the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque provides an excellent landmark to head towards. If you have enough time you can break the trip with a visit to the Menara gardens, which are between the airport and the city.

By train

The train station is in the recently developed Guéliz district at Avenue Hassan II, ☎ +212 447768. For train times and schedules, check out the Moroccan Railway website.

Trains from Casablanca (2nd class Dh84/ 1st class Dh150, 3 hours), Rabat and Tangier connect with most domestic rail destinations in the country, with Marrakech as the southernmost stop. Trains run regularly between Marrakech and Casablanca (including the International Airport). They arrive around every two hours and regularly from other destinations like Rabat. Every day there are 8 direct 7 hour trains to Fez via Casablanca Voyageurs station and another two direct connections to Tangier.

From Tangier it's about a 10 hour journey. You can travel either by day train or night train. During the daytime, you will need to change trains for a connection halfway through the journey creating a welcome break for about 30 mins. The night trains which leaves for Marrakech from Tangier travels straight through to Marrakech without the need for a connection. The night trains do have sleeper cars on board, though you will need to pay extra for these if you want a bed (around Dh 350). If you're planning to go cheap and take the night train on the regular seats in second class (and planning to sleep...), you'll be interrupted by movement of te passengers and a few times by the ticket conductors throughout the night. It's a great way to travel but don't plan on sleeping on the train, especially if you are travelling alone.

There is currently no train line further south than Marrakech in Morocco; if you want to head south, to the desert, Atlas Mountains, Agadir or Essaouira on the coast, you'll have to get a bus, rental car or grand taxi.

Moroccan trains do not have restaurant cars. A snack trolley makes the rounds with sandwiches, soft drinks and coffee, but bringing some food for the journey isn't a bad idea. Stops in Casablanca and Rabat usually are long enough to grab a bite in the station en route.

By bus

There are many long distance bus companies operating within Morocco which serve Marrakech and other cities.

The recommended bus companies for tourists are CTM, Pullman du sud and Supratours. Other companies do exist, though these three companies are usually your safest options.

Most ALSA (local destination bus company) and private bus lines depart and arrive at the long distance bus station (gare routière) near Bab Doukkala, a 20 min walk (Dh 15 - 20 by petit taxi) from Djemaa El-Fna. Supratours and Eurolines buses operate from here. It's the place to take the buses from the small companies, that go directly to small destinations.

The long distance bus station, CTM and private bus companies travel to destinations such as Agadir, Safi, Casablanca, El Jadida, Essaouira, Fez, Meknes, Ouarzazate, Rabat, and Taroudant. Taxi touts will often gather in the bus station to convince you that a bus to your destination is 'full' and to steer you into a grand taxi, and will attempt to sell you goods as your taxi is prepared. This can be difficult if there is nobody manning the ticket desks, and the best option is to walk out of the station to the coaches - a ticket can usually be purchased from a conductor on board.

For trips to Meknes (6h, ~120 Dh) be advised, that while seemingly shorter on the map, the mountain route via Beni Millal takes at least 2 hours more than on the highway via Rabat and Casa, going there by train (6½h, 174 Dh) is the most comfortable option, although busses might be slightly quicker.

CTM operates a brand new bus station "Gare Voyageurs" one block south from the Supratour station next to the train station. It's better to take the buses there, because you can buy the tickets in advance. Besides, the CTM's offices there are better and there's no people trying to push you to their bus company. The office and station on Zerktouni street does not exist anymore. CTM has also an office at the long distance bus station (see above) if you just want to buy your tickets in advance or check the schedule.

source: Wikivoyage

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