Marrakech Airport Transfers

Forget about negotiating, chaos and uncertainty on your arrival in Marrakech. Here's how to get from the airport to your hotel: fast, comfortable and cheap.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Marrakech Airport Transfers

Royal Air Maroc aircraft landing at Marrakech airport | ©Dylan Agbagni (CC0)

If there's one airport where it's worth hiring a pick-up service in advance, it's Marrakech airport (Menara). On arrival you'll find taxis, unofficial (and not very safe) vehicles and hardly anyone accepts card payments.

How to get from Marrakech airport to the city centre

Inside the Marrakech Airport Terminal| ©Klim Levene
Inside the Marrakech Airport Terminal| ©Klim Levene

The distance from Menara Airport to the city centre is only 6km. This does not mean that the airport is well connected to the city centre by public transport. Here are the best ways to get around:

  • Private transfer from the airport to the centre of Marrakech.
  • Private transfer from the centre of Marrakech to the airport

Shared transfer from the airport to your hotel

The centre of Marrakech| ©puffin11k
The centre of Marrakech| ©puffin11k

If you are travelling with someone else, this is the best option. At a price starting from 6 euros per person, a professional and reliable driver will pick you up on arrival and take you to your hotel. If you need to hire this service to transfer you from your hotel to the airport, it is also available on your return trip for the same price. Booking this shared transfer from the airport to the centre of Marrakech can be done in advance and is very simple.

When you book online you will receive an email asking for your flight and hotel details. This is necessary for the driver to meet you on arrival (even if your flight is delayed). You will be informed by email of the meeting point, but normally the driver will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it, so you won't get lost. This booking guarantees you, in addition to a fair price, a safe arrival at your hotel.

Private transfer from the airport to your hotel

Private transfer| ©Mark Cruz
Private transfer| ©Mark Cruz

This private transfer service from the airport to the centre of Marrakech is similar to the previous one, but with the great difference that you will not have to share the vehicle with other travellers. The driver will be waiting exclusively for you and your group and will drop you off at the door of your hotel without any intermediate stops.

The procedure is the same as when booking a shared transfer: provide your flight details online and arrange a pick-up point with a reliable driver upon arrival at Marrakech airport. The difference is that the service is slightly better value and you don't need to travel in a group to use this service as it is available on an individual basis for as little as ten euros.

Another advantage of this option is that you will be able to understand your driver in English, Spanish or French, which is quite convenient in a country where the predominant language is Arabic. All in all, a premium option for transport to your hotel for a quarter of the price it would cost at many other airports.

Private transfer from your hotel to the airport

Entrance to the Terminal| ©Klim Levene
Entrance to the Terminal| ©Klim Levene

You can also hire this service in reverse: private transfer from the centre of Marrakech to the airport, the driver will pick you up from your hotel in good time for you to arrive at the airport in time for your flight departure. Remember to provide the address of your hotel or riad correctly so that he/she can arrange a meeting point nearby in case he/she cannot get the car to the door.

Ana's Traveller Tip:

Don't be lured by drivers who approach you on arrival at the airport; the prices they offer to take you are inflated and it's not safe.

Transfer between the airport and Marrakech by bus

Taxi rank at Marrakech Airport Terminal| ©travelwayoflife
Taxi rank at Marrakech Airport Terminal| ©travelwayoflife

There are two types of buses from the airport. The ALSA bus (line 19) stops at key points such as Jamaa el-Fna square, Gueliz, Hivernage, the bus station or the train station. From 6:15am to 11:30pm, the bus service is non-stop, runs every 20 to 45 minutes, takes about 20 minutes (if there is no traffic... in Marrakech the journey time is always approximate) and costs about 3 euros.

At a slightly more secluded stop outside the airport (you'll have to exit the terminal across the car park and walk along the road leading out of the airport) is the bus on line 11. It's the cheapest way to get to the centre, so for only 50 cents, you'll have stops at the Yamaa el-Fna square or the Menara Gardens. Be patient, though, as bus timetables can vary in Marrakech.

Transfer between the airport and Marrakech by taxi

There are always taxis. If you haven't booked your transport in advance and don't want to use the bus, you're sure to find several taxis waiting for you when you arrive at the airport; it's really hard to distinguish them from the thousands of drivers offering their services "on the road". Official taxis are beige in colour and have a nameplate on the top.

The most controversial issue with taxis in Marrakesh is the taximeter: not everyone is willing to put one in and not all taxis work. This means that the most common way is to fix the price of the transfer by the bargaining method in which drivers will always go for the high end of the fare. Their first offer may be as low as 50 euros, and then, depending on your reaction, they will lower the price to start negotiating more realistically.

Always agree on the fare in advance or urge the driver to put the meter on and be aware of the price that pre-arranged private drivers charge for the journey from the airport to the city. Bear in mind that after nine o'clock in the evening, the night-time rate is applied and prices are increased by 50%. In any case, for safety's sake, an official taxi is better than one of the independent drivers offered to you when you arrive at the airport.

Remember to always carry cash because virtually none of them accept credit cards. If you try to pay them in Euros, they won't refuse, but you will be charged a surcharge.

Getting from Marrakesh airport to other locations

The Sahara Desert| ©Savvas Kalimeris
The Sahara Desert| ©Savvas Kalimeris

Most travellers arriving at Menara Airport have Marrakesh city centre as their final destination, particularly inside the Medina. However, on arrival you may consider (or need) to go to another destination. The transport options are similar, but there are some distance and price differences to consider.

To the Sahara Desert

I'm heading the list with the most famous desert, not because it's a viable option for getting there from the airport, but so that you can consider the distances between different parts of the country or, more accurately, the state of transport and roads. If your main destination in Morocco is the Sahara Desert, you'll have to pass through Marrakech first.

This desert is quite a distance from the city and is most often visited with organised transfers and excursions. No transport is going to take you from the airport to the desert; your only possibility to avoid passing through Marrakech would be to arrange with an organised excursion, in exchange for a supplement, to pick you up there if the arrival of your flight coincides with the departure time of an excursion. I leave you here an article I have written about 10 Day Trips and Excursions from Marrakech so that you can plan your visit.

To Essaouira

Essaouira is one of the most common excursions from Marrakech, but it's similar to the Sahara Desert: unless the company organising your excursion is willing to pick you up from the airport instead of your hotel, it's better to visit Marrakech first and book an organised excursion. Read more here: Essaouira Day Trips from Marrakech.

To the train or bus station

If your final destination is the city's train or bus station, it won't be difficult to get to. Both are centrally located (north of the Menara Gardens) before you reach the interior of the Medina. Both pre-booked shuttles and taxis should have no problem getting you there for the same price. However, make sure you don't get a higher price by being led to believe that the station is further away than it actually is.

Ana's Traveller Tip

If you are hiring an airport transfer or vice versa outside an official website, remember that the custom in Morocco for fixing prices is to haggle.

Tips for your arrival at Marrakech Airport

Strolling through the Medina of Marrakech| ©Francisco Restivo
Strolling through the Medina of Marrakech| ©Francisco Restivo

Arriving at Menara Airport is, after all, your arrival in Marrakesh, so you may have some questions about how to get around the city, apart from transport. Some of the most common questions are:

Is the city safe?

The city is fairly safe, but you probably won't get that feeling on arrival if you've never visited Morocco before. The flood of drivers offering to give you a lift on arrival or the narrow, lonely streets in some parts of the Medina may make you think you are not safe, but this is far from the truth. It never hurts to be cautious - after all, it's a city with a different culture that you're not familiar with - but there's no need to be afraid in Marrakech. To find out more about safety in Marrakech, read this post.

Where do I change money?

Avoid changing money at the airport. The rates won't be as good as in any money exchange office in the city centre and you don't need it either, as many places will accept euros on arrival (for example, in a taxi). A good tip is to exchange it before you travel by asking your bank in advance.

About traffic

Traffic in Marrakech is unpredictable and not at all fluid; although Google says you should be in the city centre in about 15 minutes, the journey can take up to an hour. So it's important to find out how to get around Marrakech before you travel.

Even so, theory is one thing and practice is another. If you don't have transport booked in advance, you will find that dozens of drivers will be swarming you on arrival at the airport offering you a lift and will even try to take your luggage directly to their car without negotiating a price.

About prices

If you've never been to Morocco before, an offer of 20 euros each way might seem reasonable to you; it would be if it weren't for the fact that the trip to the city might cost less than half that... My advice is not to be seduced by the insistence of these drivers: they will inflate the prices a lot (since in Marrakech the custom to fix the prices of products or services is to haggle) "just in case" and it is not safe to get into a vehicle that is not official or that doesn't have the corresponding warranties.