Marrakech Menara International Airport

You have to complete a green landing card so pack a pen in your hand luggage. Have the address of your hotel handy. Where it says date of delivery on the form it means date the passport was issued. Passport control can take a long time as they have to process all these cards and stamp each passport with a unique entry number


When you leave the country look around in the departure lounge for the police departure cards. This time they are white. Fill them in before you get to passport control. Otherwise you will be turned back and have to queue again once you have completed the form. You will need one for each person.

You cannot exchange Moroccan Dirham money outside the country. As soon as you pass customs you will see the queues for the Airport currency exchange banks. I was surprised at how good the rates were. There was also very little difference between the buying and selling rates. Ask for some small change rather than all notes as you will need it to tip the hotel porters. If you do not want to wait in the lines the Taxis will take Euros. You can then exchange your money at your hotel.

Tips on using a Taxi in Marrakech

Taxis are cheap. There are two types of taxis in Marrakech. The small tan coloured Peugeot hatchbacks that will take 3 people and the larger tan coloured Mercedes that can take four. The smaller cars are cheaper if there are just the two of you. They very rarely use the meter. Set the price before you get in. Most speak French and some English. Tell them the location you want to go to and then tell them how much you want to pay.

In 2015 30 Dirhams would get me most places within the city. Do not ask the price as they will start high and you have to haggle. Taxis do not operate inside the old city walls as the streets and alleys are too small. If you wanted to go to the Menara Pavillion flag down a taxi and say 'Menara Pavillion Twenty Van?' (Vingt is French for twenty pronounced VAN) At the Airport if you have more than one large suitcase hire a tan coloured Mercedes taxi. Tell the taxi driver the name of your hotel and say 'sixty soixante?' (pronounced SWA SONT) They may try for 'one hundred cent' (pronounced 'SONT' in French). The airport is very near the city.

During my trip I did have two problems with Taxis dropping me off at the wrong location normally near shops where the Taxi driver will get a backhand from the owner for bringing customers to his shop. Use your map to check where you are going. If the taxi driver starts talking to you and you do not quite understand do not say 'yes' as you maybe agreeing to a detour or employing him as a guide. Just say 'no' and repeat where you want to go.

At night if a taxi driver says the price has gone up due to the hour of the day and the same trip that cost you 20 dirham is now 40 dirham just walk away. Stop another taxi and say the location you want to go to and the amount you want to spend. You might find the taxi driver come after you as he has changed his mind and will take you for the normal rate.

General Travel Tips for Morocco

Be very careful crossing the road on pedestrian crossing areas. The cars and mopeds will not stop for you. Apart from the Taxis Morocco is not as cheap as I thought. When walking down the small congested shopping alleys of the Marrakech souks beware of the mopeds that zoom in and out of the pedestrian traffic. You are in a desert where temperature changes can be dramatic.

Pack warm clothing. You may want to consider returning to your hotel just before dusk to collect your warm clothing to save having to carry it around with you all day. The taxis are so cheap and you can also take the opportunity to have a beer by the pool as you watch the sunset and use the hotels clean toilets.

Do not bring back any animal skins (apart from Leather). Customs will take it from you, issue you with a fine and you could even go to jail. If you buy any of the skins it will only encourage them to go out and kill another rare endangered animal. If the demand is stopped the supply will hopefully end. Most people speak French and a bit of English.

If you are in a restaurant and you get a blank look when you ask for the bill say in French 'l'addition svp' (lur addition siv ooo play). Sometimes shop and restaurant staff are easily distracted and rudely start talking to someone else. You have to be forceful and demand attention. To them you are just another tourist. Although Morocco is a dry country non Muslims can still buy and drink alcohol.

The local Marrakech beer called Flag Special is good. If you like bigger not so strong cup of black coffee rather than the small strong espresso coffee ask for a cafeamericano. Use a polarised filter on your camera to bring out the deep blue in the sky. Ask your hotel reception desk what excursions they can organise.

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