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'''Marrakech''' (مراكش), also known as ''Marrakesh'', is one of the imperial cities of [[Morocco]].
The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words '''mur (n) akush''', which means "Land of God." It is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat, and lies near the foothills of the snow capped Atlas Mountains and a few hours away from the foot of the Sahara Desert. Its location and contrasting landscape has made it
The city is divided into two distinct parts: the Medina, the historical city, and the new European modern district called Gueliz or Ville Nouvelle. The Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways and local shops full of character. In contrast, Gueliz plays host to modern restaurants, fast food chains and big brand stores.
From the UK, Easyjet [http://www.easyjet.com] flies to Marrakech from Manchester and Gatwick Airport (and also from [[Madrid]] and from [[Lyon]]). '''Ryanair''' has direct flights from [[Oporto]] (Portugal), [[London]] Luton, and [[London]] Stansted to Marrakech. They also fly from from Frankfurt-Hahn (Germany), Alicante (Spain), Girona (Spain) and Reus (Spain) to Marrakech. '''Thomson Airways''' travels from London Gatwick and [[Manchester]]. British Airways [http://www.ba.com] are to begin flying from London Gatwick in 2011. BMI British Midland International fly 3 times per week from London Heathrow starting April 1, 2011. TUIfly no longer fly to Marrakech, Atlas Blue[http://www.atlas-blue.com], was an offshoot of Royal Air Maroc very low cost fares but is no more a separate brand for Royal Air Maroc neither a low cost rates that flies in from several European cities. Transavia.com is a new Low cost airline from Air France-KLM group coming to Marrakech from several cities in Europe like Paris. Norwegian [http://www.norwegian.no/] offers direct flights from [[Copenhagen]], [[Oslo]] and [[Stockholm]]. Iberia offers two non stop flights from Madrid. '''TAP Portugal''' offers direct flights from [[Lisbon]].
From inside the country, you can take '''Royal Air Morocco''' [http://www.royalairmaroc.com], with flights from [[Agadir]], [[Casablanca]] (daily), [[Fez]] (daily), [[Ouarzazate]], [[Al Hoceima]], and [[Tangier]].
Terminal 1 has two money changing outlets in the Arrivals hall and one in Departures. Terminal 2 had ATMs, but (as of March 2012) is currently being re-built from the ground up. On ATMs, check for the Maestro, Cirrus or Plus logos to be sure that the machine accepts foreign credit cards. Beware as some of the ATMs work only in French. If your card is taken at the ATM, tell airport security and they can help you get it back.
The airport is located about 9km (6 miles) from the city. The best option, if you don't have too much luggage, is by '''bus''' (line 19). Otherwise it's easier to take a taxi which takes about 15 minutes to get to the center of the Medina.
If you don't have too much luggage then it's possible to walk from the airport to the Medina even though it would take you from an hour and half to two hours. There is a footpath alongside the road all the way and the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque provides an excellent landmark to head towards. If you have enough time you can break the trip with a visit to the Menara gardens, which are between the airport and the city.
The No 19 Airport express bus is Dh
You can also catch No 11 city bus which runs from M'Hamid district to the long distance bus station at Bab Doukkala, stopping also at Jeema El Fna. It stops on Avenue Gnassa - main road near airport, 500 meters from terminal. This is an option only for people without large, heavy luggage, but it is the cheapest one - the bus costs Dh 3.5
- They will hustle you to charge for everything such as bags. But you don't need to pay for extras.<br>
- For petit taxi, the maximum number of passengers is three (plus the driver). Sometimes you need to share with other passengers. If you are a group of two or three people, you just pay the one price and share with others (example, 10Dh for three passengers).<br>
- The meter starts from 1.
- Dh 20 is a good price for a 10 min ride.<br>
- For Grand Taxis (Regular Mercedes Taxis) there are no meters. Typically the set rate from Marrakech Airport to the Medina or Jemaa el fna (Main square) is 150Dh. There also appears to be no limit to the amount of people they'll attempt to squeeze in! Outside of the airport if you are a group of more than three, the maximum for a Petit Taxi, then do negotiate you fee before you enter the Grand Taxi. <br>
* '''Majorelle Gardens''' [http://www.jardinmajorelle.com/en/], in [[Gueliz]] has an entrance fee of Dh
* '''Dar Si Saïd Museum''', on Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid, is a museum 5 mins away from Djemaa El-Fna. Set in an old palace, it houses many different artifacts from Morocco through the ages, such as wood carvings, musical instruments, and weapons. It is dedicated to the Moroccan craft industry of wood, gathering a very beautiful collection of popular art: carpets, clothing, pottery and ceramics. All these objects are regional, coming from Marrakech and all the south, especially from Tensift, High Atlas, Soussthe, Anti Atlas, Bani, and Tafilal.
* '''Ben Youssef Madrassa''' is one of the largest Madrassas in the North Africa. It is a school attached to the Ben Youssef Mosque and is home to beautiful art and architecture.
The main square in the Medina is Djemaa El-Fna. It is surrounded by endless labyrinths of souks (bazaars) and alley ways covering all of the Medina. Djemma El-Fna is a must as there is always something to see there day and night whether it be snake charmers, acrobats, sooth-sayers,or the musicians and food stalls. At night the square really comes to life as people navigate toward the exotic aromas and the entertaining sights. As the evening darkens, the hustle & bustle of activity rages on. The exotic music appears louder and more hypnotic.
The Medina is also the place to stay in a Riad, a Moroccan house with an internal courtyard. Most windows are inward facing towards the central atrium. This design of property suits Islamic tradition as there is no obvious wealth statement being made externally, no windows to peer through. Entering a Riad is like discovering an Aladdin’s Cave in comparison to
Directly south of the Djemaa El-Fna is Rue Bab Agnaou. A five-min walk takes you straight to the famous Bab Agnaou entrance to the Kasbah district of the Medina. The Bab Agnaou entrance, through the ramparts, is by far the most impressive entrance of all medina rampart entrances.
* <sleep name="Riad Abaka" alt="" address="21 Derb Roukni Laksour" directions="" phone="+212 6 6697 8703" url="http://www.riadabaka.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]">A spacious riad with seven beautifully furnished bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms. Located in the heart of the Medina, less than two minutes walk from Jemaa El Fna.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad Basma" alt="" address="Marrakech-Medina, 22 Derb Jamaa, Riad Basma" directions="From square Jamaa el Fnaa walk up to derb Dabachi and count 3 small streets (derbs) on the right turn right and keep on until nr. 22." phone="+212 6 5051 7223" url="" checkin="12PM" checkout="12 midday" price="" lat="31.625691" long="-7.984995" email="[email protected]">5 double rooms with bathroom.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad Chennaoui" alt="" address="Riad Zitoune Jdid, Derb Sidi Fares N°01" directions="" phone="+212 5 2437 6140" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm beds around 100 drm">Simple and basic riad in the Medina. The staff are friendly and happy to discuss Moroccan life and culture over a shisha in the evening. This place can be difficult to find - you may have to pay a local to take you there (10-20 drm should do it, although they will ask for more).</sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad Cinnamon" alt="" address="9 Derb El Hadjra" directions="Will pick guests up at the airport, otherwise head for the Museum of Marrakech then, with the Kouba on your left and the medersa Ben Yousef on your right go straight ahead until you come to a sharp bend in the road to the right. Then take the first street on your left. Riad Cinnamon is nestled at the end of this street on the left." phone="00 44 (0)7584 327625" email="[email protected]" url="http://www.marrakech-riad.co.uk" checkout="Usually offers late checkout, otherwise 11AM" checkin="" checkout="checkout" price="Room prices range from £100-160 depending on the season. But prices per person can be cheaper than a hostel as rooms can be shared by up to 5 people. Ask about special offers and last minute discounts." lat="" long="">Designed and rebuilt to a very high standard by Mike and Lucie Wood with amazing attention to detail and lots of unexpected extras such as the loan of a local mobile phone and ipad loan. Perfect for romantic escapes, hen parties, groups of women wanting to experience Marrakech's shopping, hammams and food. Amazing dinners served on roof terrace with incredible views. Dipping pools on patio and roof garden terrace. Most rooms can accomodate up to 4 people in single beds. All rooms can be either twin or doubles/ triples.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad Dar Eliane" alt="" address="39 Derb Maada,Azbezt,Medina" directions="" phone="+212 5 2437 5710" url="http://www.dareliane.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]">Four spacious double bedrooms and bathrooms with A/C. Accommodation is on two floors of a restored 300 year old riad in an older and authentic quarter of Marrakesh. Ten minute walk to Jamaa el Fna.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad Dar Mimouna" alt="" address="Sidi M'Barek n°151, Sidi Mimoun" directions="" phone="+212 4438 4078" email="" fax="+212 4438 4079" url="http://www.riadmimouna.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A few mins walk from the Koutoubia Mosque. Breakfast is included and is served at the terrace. There is also a hammam at the terrace, free for use by guests. You need to tell them in advance when you would like to use it. This riad also sells alcohol. It is kept in the fridge behind the counter.</sleep>
Moroccans are not permitted to be guides for foreigners without a license. Usually Police officers (under cover) are patrolling to catch Moroccans who are bothering tourists or try to make some money.
There are often people in Djemaa El-Fna offering '''henna tattoos''', which are popular with locals and tourists alike. But among the many genuine traders are one or two scam artists. They appear very charming and trustworthy while you choose a design, but will then cleverly divert your attention. Before you know it, you have the beginnings of a rather poor henna tattoo. Even if you do not want a design, be sure to keep your hands away from them as they will grab your hand and begin a design anyway. The scam artist later demands massive payments, in whatever currency you have (dirhams or not). After emptying your pockets, if they consider you can afford more, they will demand that you visit a nearby ATM. Always agree on a firm price before work starts. If you can't do this, insist that the operator stops immediately - then go to another (hopefully more reliable) operator to get your design completed. If they say it is free before they start or while they are doing it, they will always ask for a price later on. If this happens to you, you can walk away without paying; however, they will harass you for a little before giving up and moving on to another tourist. Also, there have been stories of these scam artists using henna mixed with dangerous chemicals, such as PPD, which can cause skin damage or severe allergic reactions. Some tourists encounter an elderly lady
There is a small nameless restaurant inside the markets catering to tourists. It looks like a budget restaurant but has extremely inflated prices. It has an awning with painted faces and offers grilled brochettes for Dh 40 each, which is much higher than the regular price.