About Marrakesh

Steeped in history, culture, and architecture—Marrakesh, also known as Marrakech, is a city of the Kingdom of Morocco. It is the fourth-largest city in the country and is the capital city of the mid-southwestern region of Marrakesh-Safi. The city is located at the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Marrakech was founded in 1062 by Yusuf ibn Tashfin, leader of the Moroccan Almoravid Empire. Today the modern and the ancient worlds coexist comfortably with each other. The city has labyrinthine streets, huge courtyards, well-maintained gardens, and exquisite mosaics. The city is best navigated with a guide, particularly someone who knows the city well. Marrakech plays an important part in the economy of Morocco. Improvements in infrastructure have led to a dramatic rise in the number of visitors to the ancient city—over two million tourists annually. The French especially have taken a liking to Marrakech and many French celebrities have bought property in the city. 

Despite the global recession of 2007, people invested heavily in Marrakech's real estate. The city saw substantial developments in tourism, including hotels and leisure centers, golf courses, and health spas. In 2012, 19 new hotels were scheduled to open and have since made a significant contribution to the local and national economy. Avenue Mohammed VI boasts of Africa's largest nightclub, Pacha Marrakech, and also has two large cinema complexes, Le Colisée à Gueliz and Cinéma Rif, and a new shopping precinct, Al Mazar.

Public Transport System

Local buses:The local buses in the city are usually packed to the rafters by locals and other people. If you don't enjoy being stuck in this, it is best to check out the taxis or even travel on foot.Taxi:Marrakech has two types of taxis. The smaller 'petit taxi' and the bigger 'grand taxi'. The small ones are best used for inter-city travel while the bigger taxis can be hired for excursions outside the city.All taxis have a taximeter, but most taxi drivers don't use it. A good tip is to ensure that the drivers don't forget to turn it on and it is always best to negotiate the price before starting the journey.Horse-drawn carriages:This is one of the traditional ways to get around the ancient city of Marrakech. This is a must-do at least once.

Cleanliness and Efficiency

Cleanliness: Moderate, Efficiency: Moderate

Mode & Cost of Transports

The distance from the airport to the city is about 3 miles or 5 km. The air-conditioned airport bus that leaves every 20 minutes costs MAD 30, one-way or round-trip (within two weeks). A taxi from the airport to the city costs MAD 60. Another cheap option is to try the grand-taxi at the roundabout already traveling in the direction of the city which will cost 5 MAD per seat.

Trains run between Marrakech and Casablanca, including the International Airport, cost  Dh 84 for 2nd class and Dh150 for 1st class.

Marrakech also has horse-drawn carriages that usually congregate at Pl de Foucauld. It is not only a convenient but also a fun-filled way of exploring the city and is quite inexpensive. The rates are fixed at Dh120 per hour.

Basic Items & Cost

Name Price
Water Bottle MAD 5.00
Cup of Coffee MAD 12.00
Milk Carton Pack MAD 7.00
Rice/Kg MAD 11.00
White Bread MAD 6.00
Eggs (12) MAD 12.00
Combo Meal MAD 52.00
Fine Dining MAD 350.00
Bottle of Coke or Pepsi MAD 5.00
Domestic Beer MAD 30.00
Imported Beer MAD 30.00
Bottle of Wine MAD 49.00
Cigarettes (20 Pack) MAD 30.00
Taxi ( 1 km ) MAD 7.00
Ticket in local transport (Single way). MAD 4.00
Rent ( One Bed Room) MAD 3472.00

Do(s):

  • Enjoy dinner at the night market or explore the many markets or souks that the city is famous for.
  • Another invigorating experience is enjoying a hot Moroccan mint tea while watching the glorious sunset from a rooftop or visiting the photography museum tucked away in the old city.

Don’t(s):

  • It is worth your while to explore the must-visit sights but try and avoid the many tourist traps.
  • Marrakech has its share of crime, hence it is best to be safe rather than sorry.
  • Try to travel in groups and be mindful of your surroundings.
  • When on a tour of the market, captive animals are a fairly common sight. Avoid taking pictures with these animals as it amounts to abuse.
  • While you are exploring the city, avoid unofficial tour guides and aggressive salesmen who can be more than a little persistent.
  • While tap water is filtered and safe, it is best to drink bottled water, which is easily available and affordable.

Night Life

The nightlife in Marrakesh is at best throbbing, vibrant, and has a youthful vibe to it. Some of the most hip-and-happening hotspots of town are:

L’EPICURIEN

L’Epicurien is a glamorous bar with resident DJs. A night here is always fun whether you dance or enjoy a drink with friends.

NIKKI BEACH

Enjoy a relaxing night by the beach at Nikki Beach, a complex of bars, restaurants, and swimming pools situated at the Palmeraies area of Marrakech.

SO LOUNGE

The Sofitel Hotel hosts this hotspot with its live music and dance floors. Enjoy the separate shisha area and gorge on a delicious spread of traditional Moroccan cuisine.

MAMA AFRIKA

This African-themed bar is just the hip place to hang out with friends. Serving a wide array of food, it is a popular place for socializing. For your entertainment, several live bands keep the party going.

MARIINSKI

Head to Mariinski for a Russian flavor in the heart of Marrakech. The happening spot has cabaret dancers with pulsating music. Open to late hours in the night, the unique spot promises glimpses of the erotica.

Must See

  • Visit the markets—the souks.
  • The city of Marrakech is home to several traditional markets that sell everything from Morrocon artifacts to spices and pottery.
  • There are plenty of parks and open spaces that have been preserved with a rich variety of flora.
  • A hammam or a sauna is a local bathhouse that helps travelers get a luxurious exfoliating bath.
  • Marrakech has plenty of architectural marvels, right from ancient mosques to exquisite buildings, to ancient schools and museums.
  • The ancient city has well-preserved archeological sites that are worth a visit.

Experiences

Jemaa el-Fnaa

The Jemaa el-Fnaa market is the most happening place in Marrakech. During the daytime, the market is abuzz with henna-tattoo artists, snake charmers, and other entertainers. At night, the many stalls sell traditional dishes that attract tourists to this heart of the city.

Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle, a garden created by French painter Jacques Majorelle, is one of the best places to have a relaxing evening in its quaint little trails and peaceful streams with over 300 species of plants.

Koutoubia Mosque

The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the many architectural marvels of the city with its 12th-century architecture replete with ornate interiors and arches.

Traditional Riad

No trip to Marrakech is complete without a stay at a traditional Riad, a house of tranquility and relaxation. These offer bedrooms and roof terraces that give a birds-eye view of the city.

Tombs

The city is home to tombs of the rulers of the Saadi Dynasty. They were discovered in 1917 and are decorated with bright tiles and intricate carvings.  

Tanneries

The northeast of the city is home to the city's famed tanneries. It boasts of several items from bags to dresses and it is fascinating to see how they are made.

Museums

Marrakech has several museums, including the Dar si Said, which displays Moroccan architecture and objects. The Marrakech Museum exhibits embroidery and contemporary art. In the new part of town, contemporary art galleries display works of local talent.

Souks

A trip to Marrakech is enhanced by visiting its many enchanting markets. The city boasts of several traditional souks where you can find rare literature and handicrafts.

Activities

Shopping

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Argan Oil: Produced nowhere else in the world, this is always a great buy.

Ceramics: Marrakesh is known for its exquisite ceramic pottery.

Clothes: From dresses to djellabas, many items are handmade and yet affordable.

Leather Goods: Moroccan leather is still produced in an old-fashioned way.

Lanterns: A handmade lantern is a great souvenir to take home.

Spices: High-quality spices are inexpensive and also easy to transport.

Carpets: Moroccan rugs are exquisite with plenty of options and price ranges.

Official Language

Arabic

Other Language

Berber, French, English, Tamaz... Read more

Spoken Language

Arabic is the official languag... Read more

Currency

Moroccan Dirham (MAD)

Population

0.93 (Millions)

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Weather

Scattered Clouds 28.98°C

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TimeZone

13:33 PM (GMT +01:00)

 

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Ambulance

150

 

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Police

190

 

Electric socket

Type C
Type C ( 220 V 50 Hz)
Type E
Type E ( 230 V 50 Hz)
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Airport Name / IATA Code

Marrakesh Menara Airport - RAK

Best time to visit

The best time to explore Marrakesh is during the pleasant spring months from March to May. Also, from December to February when it is relatively mild.

Moderate time to visit

The next best time to visit is autumn from September to November after the summer heat has subsided.

Worst time to visit

Avoid visiting the city during the summer months from May to September.

Taxi

Start Tariff: MAD 7.00

1 Km. Tariff: MAD 7.00

1 Hour Waiting Tariff: MAD 55.00

Available service

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Monthly Average Temperature & Rainfall

Local Services in Marrakesh (Contact directly)

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