Marrakesh

2007-06-17

in Daily updates, Travel

Morocco map

The decision about where to take my last trip has been made. I will be going to Morocco after all (albeit not hitchhiking, as once considered). I will be leaving early in the morning on Wednesday the 20th and returning on the morning of the 27th. That will have me back in Oxford in time for Antonia’s party and my possible viva exam, and with a few days available in which to say goodbye to friends here.

Given that this is my last opportunity to travel on this side of the Atlantic for at least a year, it seemed sensible to go with the bolder option. Going to Amsterdam, Prague, or Berlin wouldn’t have involved thirty degree temperatures and a reasonable chance of getting ill, but they would also have been much less of an adventure.

Suggestions for things to see and do would be appreciated. Likewise, if anyone in Oxford has a travel book I might borrow.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon @ Wadh June 17, 2007 at 6:33 pm

I was confused about why the name of the city is spelled in differing ways. According to Wikipedia:

The city is called “Marrakech” in French, “Marrakesh” in English, and “Marrakesch” in German.

Where will you stay?

Milan June 17, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Where will you stay?

I don’t know yet. Suggestions for low cost accommodation would be especially appreciated.

Milan June 17, 2007 at 6:58 pm
Milan June 17, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Suggestions for Marrakesh, including vegetarian options.

Another blog

Milan June 17, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Al Menara airport is quite close to the city. A local bus, number 11, has a stop a short walk outside the airport. It will take you straight to Djemma El Fnaa, the central square in Marrakech. The bus travels along the Avenue de la Menara, where the swank four-star hotels are located.

There is a bus every 20 minutes on weekdays, less frequently during weekends and on national holidays. Tickets cost 3 dirham (US$0.30) and are available from the bus driver.

Tanja June 17, 2007 at 7:48 pm
Tanja June 17, 2007 at 7:51 pm

OK, that last post comment of mine was screwy. Here is the real link. Sorry!

Milan June 17, 2007 at 7:54 pm

£116 a night is way more than I can afford. I am looking for something much more like a hostel with 16 people to a room and a price of about £10 a night.

R.K. June 17, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Given your fondness for wikis, give wikitravel a look.

R.K. June 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Trains run regularly between Marrakech and Casablanca. The trip takes about 4 hours. If you want to go to Fez, Tangier or Meknes then you can take the train through Rabat (5 hours from Marrakech). For all train times and prices see the ONCF web site. It’s best to take a taxi to the train station in Marrakech, it is quite far from the old town (if that’s where you’re staying).

Lee June 18, 2007 at 8:42 am

I’ve got a travel guide from my housemate that you can borrow, if you’re still looking for one. Drop me an email.

Ben June 18, 2007 at 9:40 am

I know a couple who went over Easter, I’ll ask if they have any recommendations.

Milan June 18, 2007 at 10:38 am

Lee,

It would be excellent if I could borrow your book. I can meet you anywhere in Oxford later today or tomorrow.

Ben,

Suggestions regarding accommodation and vegetarian food are especially welcome. I am also curious about whether it would be worthwhile to take the coach or train (my preference) to Fez.

Thanks

Mike Kushnir June 18, 2007 at 10:41 am

morocco is a beautiful, beautiful country. marrakech in particular.

my budget in morocco was about 200 dh – about 20 euro at the time – per day, excluding intercity transport. i remember someone cutting it down to 150 dh per day, but that was a bit too slim for my taste.

the hostel situation in morocco is not that great. the two times i did it, i was thoroughly unimpressed. very stale, something which is unnecessary in morocco. what i did was take the night train from tanger, which is full of young, western travellers, and split a room with some of the people i met. since you’re not coming in on the train (which is unfortunate), it might be a bit different for you.

the place that i stayed at was called the hotel essaouira (not too often that you get an a, e, i, o and u in a single word). the address is #3, Sidi Bouloukate (from what i dug up on the internet). i can’t remember what the price was, but i recall it being quite good. i’ll try to get someone at home to look in my journal and see the address that i recorded there within.

imagine a place like mine, but done in beautiful white and blue tile with a rooftop patio that grants you a very surreal view of the city. if you have a chance, actually, sleep a night on the roof. it’s a special experience.

good luck, and enjoy your last adventure.

Mike Kushnir June 19, 2007 at 9:54 am

ps. i would highly recommend taking the train to fès. it’s not (too) far. definitely spend a night or two. maybe even three. it’s the largest intact medieval city on earth, from what i gather.

the two cities are about 7 hours apart. info is at http://www.oncf.ma/

Mark June 19, 2007 at 4:47 pm

In Fez, I recommend staying near Bab Bou Jeloud. It’s a good place to explore the city from.
I stayed at a hostel just inside the gate. It was quite a decent place. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact address, but I think there is plenty of accommodation around the area.

Tom June 19, 2007 at 6:03 pm

I hear the night market is amazing.

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