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How to get from Marrakech airport to the city center

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Marrakech Street MarketPhoto by jonl1973

Arrival in Marrakech, Morocco, especially the first arrival, can be a mad assault upon all the senses. For many this begins before they have even left the airport. Marrakech’s Menara airport is located only ten kilometres from the city centre but has limited transport options for arriving passengers and this, coupled with boisterous taxi drivers, can make for a short but interesting journey. Cash machines and exchange offices are available in the arrivals hall although it is a good idea to ensure that you arrive with some local currency in your wallet already.

By far the simplest way of making the transfer is to pre-book a hotel room which has an airport pick-up included in the price. Many, including most of the high end hotels, will be happy to provide this service provided there is a minimum stay. Others may charge a fee for the pick-up although this is usually a reasonable amount, check before travelling. The internet has made pre-booking a hotel very easy and you can arrange to stay for one night if you then wish to explore other options after arrival.

For those without someone to meet them at the airport there are two main options for the transfer into the city, a bus or a taxi. There is a special airport bus that takes passengers into town and can be asked to stop at the main hotels. This is cheap, convenient, and probably the best option unless you have a large amount of luggage. The bus only makes the journey during the day so passengers arriving or departing late at night or very early in the morning will need to make alternative arrangements. The bus is numbered 19 and departs from just outside the arrival hall.

In Marrakech all the usual rules about caution when hiring a taxi at the airport apply, but with extra emphasis on them all. Touts will approach newly arrived visitors from all directions and can be very forceful, physical and loud. Never get into a taxi without agreeing a price to the destination first or ensuring that the metre is running. Bear in mind that the journey to the city centre, depending on the traffic, shouldn’t take much more than fifteen or twenty minutes. Drivers will happily quote prices ten times what they should be and they collude so that it can seem impossible to find a fair offer. Barter, bargain and beat them down, never be afraid of walking away. Visitors can almost always get a better price by walking out of the terminal area towards the main road. Taxis here are cheaper and less hassle. Some visitors even continue walking all the way into the city.

Guest House Riad Amira Victoria Room MarrakechGuest House Riad Amira Victoria
Average Price: 39
Average Rating: 8.5

Moroccan House Hotel Marrakech RoomMoroccan House Hotel Marrakech
Average Price: € 44
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Average Price: € 60
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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer will joce

Will Joce is a recent graduate from the London School of Economics who has a morbid fear of working in an office. As well as travelling and writing he has worked in the UK Parliament and as a press monitor. Refusing to follow advice and get a real job he will soon be beginning a Masters degree at St Petersburg State University

3 responses to “How to get from Marrakech airport to the city center”

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  1. Ryan says:
    October 21st, 2012 at 08:13

    Thank you for the post Will, very helpful. May I ask where you buy the tickets for shuttle bus 19? Is it on the bus or inside the airport?

  2. Hayley Williams says:
    April 27th, 2014 at 13:44

    We arrive at Marrakech airport at 19.55, after collecting bags etc we’ll probably be exiting the airport at 20.45. Will the Airport Bus still be running?
    Many Thanks

  3. Savio says:
    August 14th, 2014 at 13:25

    Do you know when the last bus (19) leaves from the airport to the city center?

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