Marrakech, also spelled Marrakesh, is located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, with a population of more than one and a half million. It’s recognized as one of the most important cities in Morocco and the one that attracts the most tourists.
It’s divided into four distinct areas: the medina (the oldest area), the Gueliz quarter or new city (which includes most commercial and financial activity), the Hivernage neighborhood (where most nice hotels are located) and residential areas that extend to the south and west.
Marrakech is an endless city of great variety and contrast; So much so, that if you walk through the new and old areas they look like different cities.
You can get lost in its grand medina weaving around its citizens on motorcycles, the city’s main means of transport, strolling through its souk or discovering its many places and monuments, with the Koutoubia mosque minaret as a constant backdrop and the Jemaa El Fna square as the nerve center where everything connects.
But you can also enjoy the many museums, restaurants and places to go out that the modern area offers. It’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Morocco.
In addition, it’s an excellent starting point to explore the surrounding areas: Essaouira, the Ourika valley, Ouarzazate, etc.
In short, Marrakech is a seductive city, full of details and capable of offering anything to those lucky enough to discover it. Every time you go, you will discover a new face of one of the most fascinating and different cities in the world.
Marrakesh enjoys mild temperatures most of the year, although in Summer temperatures can exceed 100ºF (40ºC) during the day. So, try not to expose yourself too much to the sun and wear sunglasses and/or a hat.
In wintertime it can be somewhat cold, so it’s a good idea to have a jacket for the day and a coat for the night. As a general rule, you don’t have to worry about rain.
Marrakech has an airport, with flights from many parts of the world, making it easy to get to.
It’s located very close to the city, about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away. The best way to get to you accommodations from the airport are taxis or shuttle buses. In addition, if there is any problem about the price, at the airport exit there is a panel with all prices clearly laid out.
By road there are two options: car or bus.
You can take a taxi, which is the most common option, or you can drive. The highway and motorway network has changed a lot in recent years, making getting to an important city like Marrakech quite easy from anywhere in the country. In fact, you can easily drive from Tangier to Marrakech and there are many service stations where you can stop to refuel or have a drink. There are many places to rent a car near the marine ports or airports.
Opting for the bus is much cheaper, but against the times buses can be very unpredictable; so only take buses if you’re not in a hurry, since you might arrive 2 hours later than you planned.
The largest Moroccan bus company is CTM, and you can take their buses to Marrakech from many points in the country. Normally you buy your tickets at the bus station, but it’s best to buy on their website (in French) to avoid running out of seats in busy seasons.
Marrakech also has a train station in the center of the city. It’s connected by train to a large part of the country; From the north of the country (Tangier) there are two types of trains: one during the day (with first and second class options) or at night in a sleeper car.
The train company is called ONCF and it also has a website in French, where in addition to informing about timetables and prices, you can buy tickets, although online booking is only possible if you have a Moroccan credit card.