homeMoroccoMarrakech travel guide > Marrakech getting around
Marrakech guide
Regions
Traveler café 
Travel directory
 
Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Marrakech Getting Around
Getting Around Marrackech - TravelPuppy.com
Public Transport

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 and Jemaa-el-Fna.

Grands 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.

Rail

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 Guéliz.

Rail services

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 in Morocco.

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.

Car Hire

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:

Avis, 137 Avenue Mohammed V (telephone number: (044) 432 525 or 433 169 (airport office)

• Budget, boulevard Zerktouni (telephone number: (044) 431 180 or 438 875 (airport office) or 440 720 (La Mamounia Hotel office)

 Europcar, 63 boulevard Zerktouni (telephone number: (044) 431 228 or 437 718 (airport office)

 Hertz, 154 avenue Mohammed V (telephone number: (044) 439 984 or 447 230 (airport office).

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 car.

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) 432 238) o
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.