The national coach company CTM
(telephone number: (022) 438 282) is the main provider of urban
bus services within the city. All local bus services leave from
Marrakech’s central bus station, place el Mouarabitène,
outside Bab Doukkala on the northwestern edge of the old city. Also
there are many private lines that operate throughout Marrakech from
the central bus station. CTM
services are trustworthy and operate from early morning until late
at night, with the night buses running on the popular routes. However,
buses can be very crowded at the peak hours. Single fares are paid
to the driver. Bus 1 runs the route between Guéliz
Taxis, Petits Taxis and Calèches
Quicker than the buses, grands taxis are old Mercedes
cars that carry up to 6 people for a fixed fare. Generally keeping
to specific routes, the taxis leave, when they are full, from the
bus station, from Jemaa-el-Fna and from the Post Office in Guéliz.
Petits taxis are standard taxis – small
hatchback cars, normally blue Fiat Unos, which can be hailed around
Marrakech. Prices are best agreed before the journey, expect to
pay more at night. It is not customary to tip, although foreign
visitors do. Petits taxis are ubiquitous on Marrakech’s streets
so there should be no need to telephone for one. Hotels can arrange
pick-ups if requested.
In addition, the calèche is a horse-drawn
carriage carrying up to 5 people. Again, prices should be agreed
in advance of the trip. For 5 people this should not cost much more
than a petit taxi. Calèches line up in the
garden square between the Jemaa-el-Fna and Koutoubia Mosque, el
Badi Palace and the expensive hotels.
For specified trips, grands taxis and calèches are required
by law to display prices and all 3 can be hired for tours of Marrakech.
Grands taxis and petits taxis can also be hired for day trips outside
of the city.
The Moroccan state railway, ONCF
(telephone number: (090) 203 040) is a legacy from French colonial
times and although services are limited they are reliable, comfortable
and cheap, and by far the best option for travelling between Morocco’s
major cities. Marrakech’s railway station
(telephone number: (044) 447 703/768), a handsome, colonial-era
building, is situated on avenue Hassan II at the western edge of
The Moroccan rail system runs along 2 branches: from Casablanca
on the west coast to Oujda in the northeast, and
Tangier in the north to Marrakech.
There are 2 classes of seats – first and second. First class
usually ensures an air-conditioned carriage, although second-class
travel is quite comfortable. All tickets can be booked in advance
and Inter-rail cards (for those under 26 years of age) can be used
The most used direct services to Marrakech are
from, Rabat, Fez and the direct overnight service
from Tangier, which has some sleeping carriages.
Driving in the City
Some of the roads in the Marrakech medina are basically too narrow
for cars and only small cars can negotiate the rest. It is advisable
to park the car and use taxis while visiting the city. Furthermore,
accident rates are very high, especially around the medina, where
cyclists and people hurry to pull out suddenly in front of traffic.
After dark, the dangers increase since it is legal to ride bicycles
and drive cars without any lights at up to 20 kilometres per hour
(12 miles per hour). Parking in Guéliz can be found at any
of the large hotels or off the avenue Mohammed V. In the medina,
security-patrolled spaces are available at Jemaa-el-Fna outside
the Foucauld Hôtel and in the car park next to the CTM Hôtel.
The car hire companies can almost all be found at the airport and
in Guéliz in the area around place Abdel Moumen ben Ali,
which links avenue Mohammed V with boulevard Mohammed Zerktouni
and these include:
137 Avenue Mohammed V (telephone number: (044) 432 525 or 433 169
boulevard Zerktouni (telephone number: (044) 431 180 or 438 875
(airport office) or 440 720 (La Mamounia Hotel office)
63 boulevard Zerktouni (telephone number: (044) 431 228 or 437 718
154 avenue Mohammed V (telephone number: (044) 439 984 or 447 230
Hire fees are subject to 20 per cent government tax and visitors
should make sure that this has been added to the agreed price. Although
smaller local companies can be much cheaper, this is often reflected
in the condition of the cars on offer. However, one more reputable
outfit is Concorde
Cars, 154 avenue Mohammed V (telephone number: (044) 431 116).
Drivers must be over 21 years of age to hire a car
and to own a full national driving licence. Most
European driving licenses are legally accepted in Morocco, however,
an International Driving Permit is recommended
and 3rd-party insurance is automatically included when hiring a
Bicycle & Scooter Hire
A popular alternative to the car is a bicycle or moped. Both can
be rented from:
Adoul Abdellah, 14 avenue
Abdelkarim el Khattabi, Guéliz (telephone number: (044) 432
Marrakech Motos, 31 avenue Abdelkarim
el Khattabi, Guéliz (telephone number: (044) 448 359).
Bicycle traffic travels at quite a sedate speed but traffic congestion
around the medina and disregard for road etiquette can make it quite
dangerous. It is sensible to test the brakes and tyres. Bicycles
can also be hired from Hotel Ali, rue Moulay Ismail,
Medina (telephone number: (044) 444 979) and from small operators
around Place 16 Novembre in Guéliz.