Shall you use local city bus in Marrakech? Or rather trust taxies? I believe the following example will give you the right answer. Some of my Moroccan friends have never used any public transport in their lives. Not because they are rich, but because taxies are almost as cheap to travel as buses.
In Marrakech, taxis are the most comfortable public transport, their prices are low. Taxies are more convenient than overcrowded public buses, that often go without a schedule, and don’t have air conditioning.
For example, one-way bus ticket from Carre Eden shopping mall to the Koutoubia Mosque costs 4 MAD. If the taxi meter is on, for the same distance you will pay around 10 MAD. Therefore, if you are travelling not alone, it is cheaper to take a taxi. More about taxis in Morocco, please read my post Taking taxi in Morocco: a survival guide.
Where to find bus stops? At the Jemaa el-Fnaa square, the nearest bus stop is where the horse-drawn carriages are standing. This stop is called Terminus Arset El Bilk, and there also stops the bus No. 19 on his way from the airport.
Bus No. 1 connects Medina with the Gueliz district. It stops near my recommended Ensemble Artisanal crafts centre, then follows “Carre Eden” shopping centre, where you should get off the bus to go sightseeing of Gueliz.
If you want to visit the Majorelle Garden, take the bus No. 12 or No. 15 at the Koutoubia stop (walk a few mins further from the Jemaa el-Fnaa bus stop ). Get off at Ben Tbib stop and walk for about 5 min till you reach the Majorelle Garden. The names of the bus stops are not announced aloud, that is why you will have to ask for the right place to get off.
A one-way bus ticket costs 4 MAD and can be only bought on board; it is advisable to pay in coins. The city bus routes are available on ALSA page.
The ALSA city buses can also take you until about 30km beyond Marrakech city. Search for busses with letter L (L45 etc.). Most of these buses start from the bus stop area called “Sidi Mimoun”, around 10-minute walk from Jemaa el-Fnaa. If you search on Google for “Sidi Mimoun Region”, it should show you the exact bus stop place.
With bus No. L45, you will go to a Lala Takerkoust Dam (read my post A paradise next to Marrakech, Lake Lalla Takerkoust). Bus No. L25 you will take you to the Ourika valley; not to the famous Setti Fatma Falls, but 25km to them; further, you will have to go by taxi. The bus No. L 33 will take you to the Agafay desert. You will find the maps of the ALSA public buses routes here. The price of a one-way ticket is 7 MAD.
To sum up, while in Marrakech, I would advise using taxis instead of local city buses. However, if you are an adventurous person and have time to explore, definitely hop on one of the local buses and immerse yourself into local life. I did it many times!
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