By Bus, Marrakesh
Now that the new airport is up and running the bus from the airport into the city has been able to run from just outside the terminal doors into the city from a clearly visible and signposted bus stop.
Its a bit of a dream ride into the city! Nice new buses with plenty of room to place travellers luggage and the seats are clean and comfortable (well they are still new buses!).
For only 20 dirham and without the hassle of having to haggle the price down from exorbitant ripoff taxi drivers these buses leave half hourly and go straight into the city in about 20 minutes.
Not long returned from another trip to Marrakech and used the bus again - this time had to get to the Gueliz/new town - and interesting to note that the bus goes from the main square up to the main bus station and on through the new town - and the drivers have been so helpful and caring about where you want or need to get off.
If theres more than 3 of you then I would recommend you do find a taxi - still with a bit of a haggle involved but should be cheaper than 3 of you on the bus and quicker.
If your traveling by a strickt budget , and you are tired
of hassling with taxidrivers over the use of the
TAKE THE BUS.
We took the bus a couple of times and didn't
see other tourist doing that often.
Often because of the warnings of pick pockets
etc. Just use your good sence.
A ticket will cost you 3 dirham.
Bus 11 brings you to the menara gardens.
It is also the bus for the airport , but it stops
about 800m from the airport.....
If you come from the Menara gardens , just jump
on any bus passing by and they will bring you
near the Jemaa-el-fna.
There are three types of inter-city buses to and from Marrakech. Firstly, at the bus station, opposite Bab Doukkala, there are the private bus companies, which operate to all major cities, including many every day to Tangier, Agadir, Essaouira, Goulimine and Casablanca. The buses look fine, but they don't use airconditioning and they stop frequently to pick up passengers and sometimes just to do a bit of shopping in local markets. Only use these buses, if there is no alternative. The passengers who use them are more than 95% locals.
Then there are the Supra Tours buses, which are run by the state rail company. They are fast, direct and use their airconditioning. More than 90% of their passengers are foreign tourists, but usually these buses are full. So, it is essential that you go to the Supra Tours office, next to the train station, and book your ticket the day before you plan to travel. They run to Agadir, Essaouira, Smara and Goulimine
Thirdly, there is the state-run CTM company, which operates from an office in the centre of Gueliz. The passengers on these are about a 70/30 split between locals and foreigners. They are fast, direct and use their airconditioning and, in my opinion, they are even better than Supra Tours. They run buses to many destinations, including Agadir, Casablanca, Fes, Rabat, Taroudannt, Ouarzazate, Zagora and Goulimine.
To give you some idea of times and prices, a CTM bus to Ouarzazate cost DH70 and took more than 4 hours; a Supra Tours bus to Essaouira cost DH65 and took just under 4 hours. On all of these buses, you will have to pay at least DH5 extra for each piece of heavy baggage.
Well I guess with the Government iniative to push tourism and the drive to increase the number of tourists up into the multi millions mark comes with the increase in commercialism (not just the freeing up of airspace and thus the end of the Government monopoly on airlines and prices) - so the Hop on Hop off bus around the sights of Marrakech had to happen eventually!
As with most cities I would usually recommend a Hop on Hop off bus as part of getting orientated to a place and its sights especially if you need to take it a little easy after all the effort and energy involved in arriving at the destination. A good way to see the lay out of a city and hear useful facts and historical information while the looking at the relevant sight and get a feel for the city.
The bus route wont enable you to see into the medina but you can get at a stop very close by - that has a few banks, ATMs and Western Union offices just there, also where you can pick up a horse and carriage ride from if you want to have a more romantic ride around the city walls or out to Majorelle gardens.
APRIL 2013 - saw the hop on hop off buses still in action when driving out from Marrakech airport...
It is a reasonable price for a choice of 24 hours (150 dhm) and 48 hours (195 dirham) as it includes the Majorelle gardens and the Palmoraie - but you might like to take the opportunity of a trip out to these places by romantic caleche - ie horse and buggy instead
- and here is the very helpful website:
CTM and Supratours are the most reliable bus companies in Morocco. We also tried SATAS but it's not to recommend.
The main bus station in Marrakesh is located outside the walls of the medina. You can walk (+/- 20 min.), take a local bus (3 Dh) or a little taxi (should be less than 10 Dh, check if the counter is on and ask the price before getting in).
CTM : 044 43 44 02
Supratours is located near the train station (avenue Hassan II) : 044 43 55 25
I like to walk in the cities, I think is the better way to know a city, but sometimes ... when I am tired ... I use to take public trasports ...
Taking the bus in Marrakech is a great experience!!! ... I do remember each travel I made in it ... :))) you can observe people very near ,... their costums ... :)))
I found curious how they push themselfs to get to an empty bus, how people reserve a place to you because you are a tourist ... how women carry few children with no help and carry also with food ... how men don't move to let you arrive to your seat .... how they are so diferent !!! ... I love to see that we are so diferent ... I love this people becuase I saw them very pure ...
Bus is very secur way to travel around ... you have many bus stops ... mainly at Mohamed V that its the most important streets that comunicate Koutoubita with the moderm Marrakech of Gueliz ....
If I where you ... I will take the buses better than the little taxi or taxies ... is a great experience ....:)))
3 Dirham .. you pay to the driver ...
many buses have their stop at the Koutoubia ... mine was L1 that took me from Koutoubia to Yacoub El Mansour
We boarded a hop on/hop off bus at JEF to get a feel for the city. The entire route took about 90 minutes and we went around both the old city and the new city. If you plan on doing/seeing anything outside the old city it's a good idea to use this bus for transportation (Menara Gardens, Le Meridien hotel, McDonalds!). The distance can be a little far.
There are two routes - one is the monumental route that stops at the main sights (palaces, msoque). Sorry didn't take the other route so not sure where it goes.
Your pass is good for 24 hours and costs less than $20. The buses run between 9:30 and 7 p.m.
The No. 19 bus DOES run on the hour and half hour from the airport.
Quarter past and quarter to each hour to the airport from roughly stance 8, next to the gardens at the 'bottom' of Jamaa El Fna, across the road from Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is just round the corner from the long line of horse drawn 'caleches' outside club Med. Sorry if this sounds like a long winded explanation but NO ONE wants to tell you where you get the bus from the town for the airport! I hope the map will reproduce big enough for you to see that the bus covers quite a bit of the new town on its way back to the airport on its circular route.
After a few days of walking around we decided to take a public bus to the outskirts of Marrakesh to visit a huge supermarket there. Our guide had told us that there was a bus going there from the vicinity of the main post building/McDonalds.
Ha, when we got there, we even saw something like a busstop, but there was no indication whether the bus went to our destination. We asked two young men, and both could tell us the bus number (which was 13) and one even walked us alround the corner to show us where the busstation for that bus was!
You pay the bus driver when entering the bus - the fare in 2006 was 3 DH (30 cent) one way.
The bus stops on the way were not always recognizable, but usually when we saw people on the way waving at the bus, most of the time the bus stopped and took them along!
Don't worry about bus schedules, we went from Marrakech to Quarzazote and back by bus:
Just show up at the bus terminal anytime, a guy will come up to you and ask where you want to go, I ignored him at first, thinking he was scamming, but these guys are actually there to make sure you get your ticket and get on the proper bus - in an efficient manner.
You will tip the guy who puts your bag under the bus, how much was it? I don't remember, but it was a small, set amount.
The buses themselves were dirty and bumpy and it's a bit unnerving when 20% of the occupants are vomiting into small plastic bags and throwing them out the windows (continuously), but you get to ride with the locals.
The most convenient way to travel from Marrakech to Ouarzazate is by CTM bus. Tickets cost 80 dirham (also for children) and can be purchased at the busstation or in advance. We bought our bustickets at an internetcafe at Rue Bab Agnaou street.
The bus will make a stop from 30 minutes halfway in the Atlas mountain village of Taddert.
The busstation is somewhat out of town, in the Menara (close to the airport), so you probably have to take a petit taxi.
Luggage is chequed in, and sometimes you have to pay 5 ot 10 dirhams for the baggage.
We wanted to go to Ait Ben Haddou, which is not a busstop.
We asked the busdriver to drop us at the roadjunction about 25 km before Ouarzazate.
From there you can take a grand taxi to Ait Ben Haddou.
Prebooking may be a problem unless you have the number for a taxi driver and can speak fluent French or Arabic.
When you arrive at Marrakech airport you can negotiate with a taxi driver but expect to pay around 800 - 1000Dh, about €70 - €90 or £55 - £70, to go to Agadir; that's for the taxi and luggage, not per person.
The taxi will be a battered old Mercedes with no air con so the only option is to have the window open and let all the dust in.
There is a Supratours coach service from Marrakech to Agadir, the journey is about 5 hours with a stop part way through the mountains for snack and toilet use. The cost of this option is about 80Dh per person and the service operates four times a day I think, times of departure are sometimes variable (trying to find the times for you).
If you go for this option you will have to make your way to the rail station at a cost of about 80Dh by taxi, if they ask for more go to another driver or haggle.
The bus station is just next to the train station and you need the Supratours bus which goes to Agadir.
When you arrive in Agadir you must then make your way from the Gare (bus station) to the tourist sector at a cost of about 30Dh, the meter should be turned on, if not give no more.
Unfortunately the train does not yet go to Agadir from Marrakech but one day............
CTM are a cheap, reliable and comfortable way to make your way around Morocco. Buses are air-conditioned. Seats are allocated so there's no over-crowding and timetables are accurate. The journey is broken up with cigarette / food / toilet stops. Perfect!
Before going to Morocco I tried to find information about bus timetables. It was not easy at all.
When I was there, I took some photos of CTM bus timetables (different from online) from Marrakesh to other places. You can see them below (as of 28th Nov 2010).
Dakhla 5:15; 14:30
Boujdour 5:15; 14:30
Laayoune 5:15; 14:30; 16:30; 18:30; 19:30
Tan tan 5:15; 14:30; 15:30; 16:30; 18:00; 19:30
Goulmime 5:15; 14:30; 15:30; 16:30; 18:00; 19:30; 23:45
Tiznit 2:15; 10:45; 15:30; 16:30; 18:00; 19:30; 23:45
Agadir 5:15; 8:00; 10:45; 12:00; 15:30; 16:30; 18:00; 19:30; 23:45
Ouarzazate 2:45; 7:00; 12:15; 16:30; 23:45
Agdez (Agdz?) 12:15; 23:45
Zagora 12:15; 23:45
Lamhamid (MHamid, M'Hamid) 12:15
Casablanca 1:30; 6:00; 10:15; 12:00; 15:30; 16:30
Rabat 1:30; 2:15; 6:00; 12:00; 15:30
Tanger (Tangier) 2:15; 6:00; 12:00; 16:30
Tetouane 2:15; 6:00; 16:30
Mekness (Meknes) 1:30; 6:00; 12:00
Nador 12:00; 15:30
Al Hoceima 15:30
Tinghir (Tinerhir?) 7:00
Fes (Fez) 7:00; 12:00; 15:30; 23:30
Ifrane 7:00; 23:30
Azrou 7:00; 23:30
Mrirt 7:00; 23:30
Khenifra 7:00; 23:30
Z.Echeikh 7:00; 23:30
K.Tadla (Kasba Tadla?) 7:00
B.Mellal (Beni Mellal) 7:00; 23:30
K.Sraghna (Kasba Sraghna?) 7:00; 23:30
Essaouira: Aller 8:00; 12:00; Retour 12:30; 17:00
We took bus 12:15 to Ouarzazate. Ticket cost 90MAD per person. The cashier charged us 10MAD per backpack, however, as we noticed later, only gave us 1 ticket for all bags for 5MAD (or probably 10). But I also read in some smallprint on their wall that all bags > size xyz, where one of them was 10cm are charged 5 (or 10)Dh
Bus was good. It stopped once before crossing Atlas mountains, but it didn't stop near Tizzi'n'Tichka as we expected.
There's also a good bus called Ahlan Wa Sahlan. It leaves Marrakesh every 2nd day normally and goes through Ouarzazate to M'Hamid. We took it on 30th November from Ouarzazate, tickets cost 80MAD/person +5Dh/bag
When we arrived at Menara Airport at Marrakech we wanted to take a taxi to downtown. As indicated in the Lonely Planet, and also on signs at the airport, it should cost no more than 60 dirham during daytime.
Well......forget about that !
There was no taxidriver that was even thinking about taking us to downtown Marrakech for that amount. Prices started at 150 dirham and up.
There was also something new; the airport shuttle.
It goes every 30 minutes and takes you from Menara Airport to Djemnaa el Fna square for the flat amount of 20 dirham.
It's also possible to buy a return ticket for 30 dirham, but it's only valid for 2 weeks. This way you can save some money if you stay less than 2 weeks.
This airport shuttle is a comfortable bus, that does the 6 kilometres in about 15 minutes.
The busstop is located just outside the Menara airport