Best Ways to Get Around Marrakesh
No one likes getting lost, being stranded when they are traveling. The good news is that there are plenty of reliable transportation options in Marrakesh. Even the Segway has made its way here (but just a few). That said, transportation is far more possible (and necessary) in the Marrakesh new city, than in the old city, known as the medina. You’ll spend most of your time exploring the winding alleyways and souks of the medina by foot (the streets are too narrow and too crowded to do otherwise). However, in the new city, you can hail a cab, hop on a bus or even take a leisurely trot around the city’s ramparts in a horse driven carriage. When it comes to travel to other cities, buses, trains and planes are best. Here are my top five ways for travel in Marrakesh and tips for getting in and out of the city.
Marrakesh has a new modern airport and it is doubling in size as this is written. Unless you’re travelling to the very southern parts, Moroccan trains and buses will suffice but if time is important, there are many internal flights linking the country. Planes are particularly helpful for getting to Fes in a pinch.
Reliable, frequent and clean, trains are great way to get from city to city, but they don’t go further south than Safi and do not cross the mountains. They do connect the most visited cities of Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Meknes and of course Marrakesh. Marrakesh’s station is grand and modern with restaurants and shops.
There are city buses, inter-city buses and private bus lines. As taxi travel is only marginally more expensive for travel within Marrakesh, look to buses for travel to the beach town of Essaouira or to Casablanca. Try the privately run CTM buses and the government sponsored Supratours. Bus stations are in downtown Marrakesh.
There are two types of taxis in Morocco: the petite taxi and the grand taxi. The petite taxi charges by meter, is limited to the urban zone and can carry only three passengers. Grand taxis are a fixed price to be negotiated with the cabbie, can travel outside the urban zone and can take six passengers.
Not in a hurry and want travel in style? Then experience transport by horse drawn carriage, known in French as caleche. They operate on the outskirts of the old city medina, as well as in the new city. Outside of the Jemma el Fnaa square, you will find them all lined up and waiting.