Given the efficiency of the public transport system and the ease with which many sights can be reached on foot, a car is not necessary to visit Marrakech's attractions. However, a car is recommended for visiting other areas outside Medina, the city’s central quarter. Keep in mind that roads are often congested, street parking can be difficult to find and public parking lots can be expensive.
Most international flights arrive in Marrakech and plenty of low cost airlines also operate in Marrakech's airspace. Some flights touch down at Casablanca and require a plane change for the 45-minute flight to Marrakech. The Menara International Airport is a fairly short drive from town and taxis are plentiful.
The national coach company CTM offers access to Marrakech at a leisurely pace. Overall, fares are lower than other forms of public transportation. Some travellers may find long-distance bus travel uncomfortable due to the lack of sleeping accommodation. All bus services leave from Marrakech’s central bus station at Place El Mouarabitène, just outside Bab Doukkala on the north-western edge of the old city. Many private coaches also operate routes throughout the city from the central bus station.
CTM services are reliable and operate from dawn to dusk, with night buses running on the more popular routes. However, buses get very crowded during peak hours. Fares are charged per passenger and should be paid direct to the conductor. As an alternative, bus tickets can be purchased in advance from the main bus station. It is more costly but it will guarantee you a seat, which is particularly advisable on routes that run a limited daily service.
The Moroccan railway runs along two lines: from Casablanca on the west coast to Oujda in the north-east and from Tangier in the north to Marrakech. Although services are limited, the Moroccan state railway, ONCF, is reliable, inexpensive and comfortable, and by far the best option for travelling between Morocco’s major cities. Marrakech’s railway station, a handsome, colonial-era building, is located on Avenue Hassan II at the western edge of Guéliz.
Two classes of seats are available - first and second. First-class usually ensures the luxury of an air-conditioned carriage; second-class travel is also quite comfortable for most journeys. Tickets can be booked in advance. Inter-rail cards (For those under 26 years of age) can be used in Morocco.
Marrakech is an urban walker's paradise; take in the Arabian architecture and ambience by foot, stroll along the little markets, wander around the riverbanks. When you're tired of walking, Marrakech also has some of the loveliest parks in Africa to sit in. Another good option is to take a caleche, a horse-drawn carriage. There is a stop near the Koutoubia tower, not far from the Jma-el-Fna. The calèche can carry up to five persons. Again, prices should be agreed in advance. Calèches can be found in the garden square between the Koutoubia Mosque and Djemma El Fna, El Badi Palace and the more expensive Marrakech hotels.
Marrakech is Morocco’s bicycle capital. Renting one at the main square is easy. Cyclists should be extra vigilant when riding, as drivers along the road can be reckless. It is sensible to test the brakes and tyres before hiring a bike.
You can hail them from the main road or get one at a taxi stand, overall taxis are easily found. Some drivers try and get away with not turning on the metre - insist they do. It is better to order one from a Marrakech hotel.
More comfortable than buses, grand taxis are old Mercedes cars that can carry up to six passengers for a fixed fare. Generally they keep to specific routes and the taxis leave only when full from the bus station, from Djemma El Fna and from the post office in Guéliz.
Petit taxis are small hatchback cars, normally blue Fiat Unos, which can be hailed from the street. It is suggested to first bargain the price prior to travelling. Cab drivers charge a different fee during the day and a fairly higher rate for night journeys. Petit taxis are ever-present on Marrakech’s streets so there is no need to telephone one. Marrakech hotels can arrange pick-ups upon request. For specified trips, grand taxis and calèches are required by law to display prices.
Main car hire companies can be found at the airport and in Guéliz's Place Abdel Moumen ben Ali, which links Avenue Mohammed V with Boulevard Mohammed Zerktouni. Hire fees are subject to 20% government tax; visitors should make sure this has been added to the agreed price.
Rental cars are available for persons at least 21 years old and should be in possession of a full national driving licence. Most European driving licenses are recognised in Morocco, however, an International Driving Permit is recommended. The agency has the right to check driving records for violations before approving the rental. Third-party insurance is automatically included when renting a car. Roadside police officers are well-trained to spot drunk driving and will not hesitate to pull cars over. AXA Insurance Company offers nationwide emergency breakdown cover for foreign motorists.
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403, Rue de la Kasbah, Marrakech, Morocco
Description Two years' work with historic monuments, outstanding decor, as befits the birth of an unique ultra luxury hotel: La Medina. Elegance and a sense of well-being in perfect harmony in each "riad" of this timeless palace-palais....
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On the edge of the city of thousands and one nights, at the foot of the High Atlas and within easy reach of the Medina and the famous Jamma El Fna square. 258 rooms with terrace or balcony and views of the nearby mountains, swimming pool and gardens. 2restaurants with international...
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Avenue du President Kennedy
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