“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.” - Lewis Carroll
Be it Casablanca, Tangier, Agadir, Ouarzazate, or Marrakech (or Marrakesh), millions of tourists are discovering Moroccan culture each year. Tourism is an important contributor to the Moroccan economy. In 2017, 532,000 people worked in the tourism sector. Similarly, the transport sector is recruiting. To get travellers around the country, transport companies have also developed.
So how can you get around Marrakech, one of Morocco’s most popular cities?
From the airport to the souks in the city centre via the Palmeraie, there are plenty of ways to get around the city. Be it on a camel, in a bus, shuttles, etc. you’ll need to think about the best mode of transport for getting where you’re going.
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Taxis in Marrakech
Majorelle Garden, Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Jemaa el-Fna, The Palmeraie, etc. Marrakech has tonnes of things to impress visitors. But to get from A to B, taxis are the most recommended type of transport. From the new town to the Atlas Mountains, taxis provide a valuable service.
Unlike taxis in the UK, the taxis in Marrakech are cheap. You can get around town for just a couple of quid. But before you get in a taxi, make sure they have a meter and that it’s running when your journey begins. This is the best way to ensure that you’ll get a fair price. Similarly, make sure you ask how much it’ll cost for the journey and nicely ask the driver to start the meter.
There are two types of taxis in Marrakech. There are small or big taxis.
The small taxis are beige. Generally, a driver can accept two or three passengers. Any more than that and you’ll need to look for a bigger cab. A typical trip will cost between 10 and 20 Dirhams (around £1 or £2) but the minimum price will never be less than 6 Dirhams. You also need to know that the cost of the trip is increased by around £1 in the evenings. These small taxis are a practical way of getting around Marrakech.
To get out of the city and visit the Majorelle Gardens or the Palmeraie, you’ll need to opt for bigger taxis. You can often find these bigger taxis waiting for passengers at the airport or outside hotels and they’re looking to pick up tourists. They don’t have a meter so you’ll need to negotiate your price before getting in. Similarly, the drivers are immediately going to have an idea of your budget based on whether you give them directions to luxury hotels, boutique hotels, hostels, or a guesthouse so you might want to check rates and the lowest prices to get into the city before telling them exactly which hotel in Marrakech you want to go to.
Before you know it, you can be enjoying mint tea and some Moroccan cuisine on a roof terrace with a view of a beautiful minaret but keep in mind that you can’t expect the same rates as with the small taxis. However, the bigger taxis can take you outside of the city to places like the Agafay Desert and the Ouzoud Falls or another city like Essaouira, for example. Since these taxis can take up to six people, they’re good for taking larger groups out of the city. For example, a trip from the airport to the city centre will cost around £10. If the driver suggests more, refuse and try to negotiate.
If you have any problems with a taxi driver while in Marrakech, you can always get in touch with the Tourist Police and in some cases, the mere mention of them will sort out any conflicts.
Find out more about visiting Marrakech.
Buses in Marrakech
The buses in Marrakech aren’t great for tourists since taking the bus is quite complicated. While there are bus stops, they’re not very well indicated and it’s very easy to get lost. This is why most tourists opt for taxis or walking around Medina.
If you want to take the bus, it’s cheap. There are around 30 different routes and a ticket will cost you around 30p. Most of the stops can be found near Jemma el-Fna. Lines 1, 3, and 8 go to the bus station and train station.
The Ikhlass Card is a good idea for those spending a few days in Marrakech. It costs around £5 and can be topped up with a balance to be used for bus journeys. These trips cost less and paying for individual bus tickets.
Just like most other touristy cities, there’s also the bus tour. This bus can be used to see all of Marrakech’s tourist sites for around £10 a ticket. You can get on and off the bus as you please throughout the day.
Find out more about the cost of visiting Marrakech.
Renting Cars in Marrakech
When travelling in a small group, renting a car is often a good idea for getting around. The freedom of being able to go wherever you want without having to wait for public transport is the biggest advantage.
Renting a car from a local company tends to be the cheapest and you can pay between £10 and £25 a day, not including insurance. With insurance, this can add up to around £30 to £40. If you decide to go with an international care rental company, you’ll find the prices are more expensive and you’ll be paying closer to £60 a day for a comfortable car.
However, driving in Marrakech is no picnic. You can’t drive in Medina, which is why most tourists walk around the neighbourhood and driving in Morocco isn’t like driving in the UK. If you’re not used to it, you can quickly have problems with scooters nipping all over the place.
On the other hand, renting a car could be a great way to visit outside of Marrakech. However, you can always do a day trip to other cities like Agdal or Rabat or trips to the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert with a travel guide rather than driving around yourself.
Check for the best Arabic courses here.
Getting Around Marrakech in a Carriage
Carriages are an unusual way to get around Marrakech. You'll see them in front of a lot of big hotels and they’re an interesting way to see the city.
Unlike the small taxis with their meters, you can negotiate a price for a ride around in these carriages. You can get a short trip to Medina for around £2 or £3. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay between £7 and £10 an hour. If you plan to ride around in a carriage for a few hours, it’s easier to negotiate a lower rate. Carriages are a good way to travel around the Palmeraie or the city walls. This way, your feet won’t get tired and you can get the most out of the countryside.
Walking Around Marrakech
Travelling by taxi to your destination and then walking around is one of the best ways to discover Marrakech, the hustle and bustle, the Berber and Moorish influence and architecture, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since cars aren’t allowed in the historic centre of Marrakech, you need to walk around Medina.
However, there are always 2-wheeled vehicles driving around. Walking around is a great way to find new places and interesting side streets which will probably happen because it’s almost impossible to find an accurate map of Medina.
If you get lost, you’ll have to ask the local merchants where you need to go. You can also ask passers-by but they won’t necessarily be from there and some people will probably ask you for money in exchange for help.
Enjoy a souk, kasbah, terraces, tombs, palaces, Moroccan style architecture, some nice couscous, while walking around the city. It's the best way to get the most of the city. There are apps and maps you can use to get around the city without too many problems. The app Maps.me is useful because you can use it offline.
If you're looking for accommodation and hotels in Marrakech, be it a luxury hotel, boutique hotel, rooms and suites in the Four Seasons Resort, find out more about places to stay in the city.
Other Transportation in Marrakech
Walking or taking a taxi aren’t the only ways to get around Marrakech. Here are a few other ways you can effectively travel around the city.
To discover Medina, there are bikes you can use to easily cycle around the old city. There are cycle lanes in certain parts of the city. To rent a bike, you’ll need to pay between £8 and £10 for the day. Avoid cycling too far out of the city centre.
This Asian style of transport is quite common in Medina. A driver will take you from one end of the neighbourhood to the other if you’re sick of walking.
So are you ready for a little tour of the city?