Marrakech is one of the ancient capitals of Morocco, located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Casablanca is about 3.5-4 hours away from here, Agadir is the same. Although the city is not located on the coast, tourists from all over the world come here for the purpose of recreation. Russians prefer to visit Marrakech for sightseeing purposes or stay here for two or three nights.
The old city, the medina, is surrounded by a wall for many kilometers. Its heart – Jemaa-El-Fna Square – is included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List.
How to get to Marrakech
You can get to Marrakech from Russia only by air and with only one or two transfers. The best option is from Moscow Domodedovo with the Portuguese TAP via Lisbon in 8.5 hours. The fastest is from Sheremetyevo by Aeroflot to Zurich and further with Swiss Air. This option will save 20 minutes but will cost an order of magnitude more expensive. The cheapest way is from Vnukovo with Visa Air to Budapest, and then to Ryanair with a transfer in Rome. It is 15% cheaper but takes 22 hours.
From St. Petersburg to Marrakech, at least 10 hours of flight – first by Aeroflot to Milan, then to Easyjet. The most budgetary way is by Visa Air and Ryanair with two transfers in Budapest (waiting for the next flight 18.5 hours) and Brussels. Not satisfied? try this agency, “Travelling in Morocco“
From Marrakesh airport to the city
From 06:40 to 23:30 from the terminal building there is a regular bus number L19 to Djemaa el Fna (3 flights per hour, 30 minutes on the way). The taxi rank is located next to the exit. The trip to the medina takes 15-20 minutes and costs 70 MAD.
Via Casablanca Airport
An alternative option to get from Moscow to Marrakesh is to fly by direct flight of the Royal Air Maroc from Domodedovo to Casablanca (6 hours), but the tickets are very expensive. The rest of the way is cheapest to do by rail. First, from Casablanca Airport to Casablanca Voyageurs Central Station (2 times per hour, 30 minutes), and from there by train Casablanca – Marrakesh (every 2 hours, from 3 hours 20 minutes). A taxi from Casablanca airport to Marrakech costs from 1200 MAD, the journey will take 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The bus is the cheapest type of public transport, intended mainly for locals. Routes are not indicated anywhere, stops are often unmarked. Buses are overcrowded during peak hours and many do not have air conditioning. Entrance through the front door, paying the fare to the driver upon landing. It is much more convenient to ride around Marrakesh on an open Hop-On Hop-Off tourist bus, the route of which covers the main city attractions. An unlimited number of landings tickets is valid for 24 hours.
Rail passenger traffic on the line Marrakech – Casablanca – Rabat – Meknes – Fez is operated by ONCF ( off. site in English). The interval of train traffic is 2 hours. Travel time to Rabat is 4 hours 15 minutes, to Fes is 7 hours 10 minutes. 2nd class carriages with separate compartments for 8 seats are equipped with air conditioning and are quite comfortable for long trips. Tickets are bought at the box office or directly in the car, however, at a higher price.
Comfortable buses of transport companies CTM ( off. site in French) and Soupratours (off. site in English) connect Marrakech with many cities of the country – Casablanca (3.5 hours), Agadir (3.5 hours), Essaouira ( 2.5 hours), Ouarzazate (4 hours), Fez (8 hours) and others. Tickets are sold on the websites of companies and at the box office at bus stations, a round-trip ticket is cheaper.
There are two types of taxis in Marrakech – petit-taxi for trips within the city and long-distance gran-taxi. The first, taking up to 3 passengers, is the most popular and comfortable, very inexpensive by European standards. As a rule, these are small economy cars painted in beige (Renault Logan or Peugeot 206), which can be stopped on the street with a wave of the hand or taken from parking lots near hotels and attractions. Cars are equipped with meters, but the driver usually “forgets” to turn it on or reset it before starting the trip. Therefore, it is best to agree on a price in advance – 20-40 MAD for a trip around the city.
Up to 6 people, Grand taxis, mostly old Mercedes, are convenient for out-of-town trips. The fare is negotiable, taking into account the distance and duration of the trip.
Bicycles for rent
Bicycles for rent are offered by every third hotel and several specialized companies. One of the most reliable is Morocco tours, which also organizes themed bike tours around the city.
The account of hotels, apartments and other accommodations in Marrakech go into the thousands. The most colorful are located in riads – traditional Maghreb houses, the premises of which open onto a courtyard with a garden or fountain. It can be a budget guesthouse, a luxurious palace, or a sophisticated boutique hotel.
Among the “five” there are many hotels in the national style, such as La Sultana or La Maison Arabe. There are also representatives of global hotel chains – Sofitel Marrakech Louge & Spa, Le Meridien N’fis, and others. Everything here is at the highest level, but only for those who are willing to pay at least 1800 MAD per day for a double room. For those who are accustomed to comfort, but do not want to overspend, there are “fours” Riad Mogador Kasbah, Golden Tulip Rawabi, and the like. Budget accommodation – 3 * hotels from 400 MAD per night. A restaurant is guaranteed, but you will have to pay a little more for having a pool or a hammam