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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Marrakech

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Marrakech. Below are the main dates for these festivities:

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

For the New Year, Marrakech offers many lively evening entertainments. Local gastronomy, spices, and music and dance colour the splendour of the Oriental night, which is celebrated in restaurants and nightclubs throughout the Moroccan city, making for an unforgettable New Year's Eve.

January 11: Manifesto of Indépendance (national)

Morocco celebrates the signing of the Manifesto, which symbolises the end of colonisation and the birth of independence.

Third month of the Islamic calendar (date changes each year): Eid Al Mawlid Annabawi (national)

The birth of the Prophet Muhammad is celebrated every year in Morocco. During this day, families show their devotion to their faith through prayers and gather to share traditional meals in a festive atmosphere.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

Each year, Morocco celebrates Labour Day with a public holiday.

Ninth month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Ramadan (celebrated nationwide)

Morocco celebrates the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset. For the entire month, Marrakech operates at a slower pace during the day and stirs into action at nightfall.

First day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar (dates change each year): Eid al-Fitr (national holiday)

In Islamic tradition, this day marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and is a time for family celebrations and great feasts bringing together all family members.

July 30: Throne Day (national)

National celebration commemorating the enthronement of King Mohammed VI. Major festivities mark this holiday: parades, ceremonies, and official speeches and fireworks… The Moroccan metropolis is jubilant.

August 14: Feast of Oued Ed-Dahab (national)

This holiday marks the return of the Saharan provinces to Morocco in 1949.

August 20: Revolution of the King and the people (national)

A symbolic day recalling the deportation of King Mohammed V after his dismissal by the French authorities in 1953. Military parades, fireworks, and flags flying from the windows: Moroccans show the attachment they have for their King in a festive celebration.

August 21: Festival of Youth (national)

Moroccan youth are celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of Mohammed VI. Shows, dances, happenings: the children of Marrakech play joyfully in the streets of the city.

Tenth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar (date changes each year): Eid al-Adha (national holiday)

It is considered the most important of the yearly Muslim holidays and honours Ibrahim as a model for all believers. This is also an occasion for sumptuous family gatherings, for which it is recommended to multiply offerings and gifts.

November 6: Green March (national)

National Day inaugurated by Hassan II, commemorating the march of 350,000 Moroccans to the Spanish Sahara to which Morocco claimed possession.

November 18: Independence Day (national)

On this day of national celebration, Morocco celebrates the end of the French protectorate, which occurred in 1955.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Marrakech

Located in the centre of Morocco, Marrakech enjoys a semiarid climate: mild winters and mild summers especially. The ideal time to visit Marrakech is from May to October when the area is sunny and warm, and the ocean breezes make the heat bearable.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 12/53.6 18/64.4 32/1.3 Not the best period to go
February 13/55.4 19/66.2 38/1.5 Not the best period to go
March 16/60.8 22/71.6 38/1.5 Good period to go Good period to go
April 17/62.6 23/73.4 39/1.5 Good period to go Good period to go
May 20/68 27/80.6 24/0.94 Good period to go Good period to go
June 24/75.2 31/87.8 4/0.16 Not the best period to go
July 28/82.4 37/98.6 1/0.04 Not the best period to go
August 28/82.4 36/96.8 3/0.12 Not the best period to go
September 25/77 32/89.6 6/0.23 Good period to go Good period to go
October 21/69.8 27/80.6 24/0.94 Good period to go Good period to go
November 16/60.8 22/71.6 40/1.6 Good period to go Good period to go
December 12/53.6 19/66.2 31/1.22 Not the best period to go
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MARRAKECH-MENARA AIRPORT

The Marrakech-Menara International Airport is located approximately five kilometres (three miles) southwest of Marrakech's city centre.

  • The airport has 3 terminals:
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3

Travelling between Marrakech and the airport:
  • By car
    • The airport is accessible by car via the Guemassa Avenue. Allow approximately between 15 to 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
    • A parking with a 363 capacity is located near the terminal 1. Count MAD 5 for the first 4 hours, MAD 10 for up to 12 hours, and MAD 20 per day.
    • Several car rental companies are located in the arrivals area of Terminal 1, 2 and 3.
  • By bus
    • The Bus line #19 runs from the airport every 20 to 30 minutes, and serves the major areas of the city (Jemaa el-Fna, Hivernage, Bab Doukkala, Guéliz, Marrakech railway station). The fare is MAD 30.
  • By taxi
    • Taxi ranks are located at the exit of terminal 1. Taxis are available 24/7.The trip takes about 15 minutes and costs MAD 70.
  • Services: shops, bars, restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi), currency exchange, banks, ATMs, and a post office are all to be found in the airport.
  • Website: www.aeroport-de-marrakech-menara.com
  • Telephone: +212 (0) 524 44 79 10

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GETTING AROUND Marrakech

Traffic in Marrakech is often chaotic. The ideal way to explore the city's tourist attractions is on foot, especially inside the medina, where vehicles are almost forbidden.

Bus

Visitors hardly take the bus since it is easy to get around on foot, and also because the taxi fares are affordable.
However, some bus lines going to “La ville nouvelle”, from Place Foucauld at almost regular intervals could be useful, especially line #1 (Mohammed V-Guéliz Avenue), lines #3 and #10 (medina-bus station), lines #11 and #18 (Medina-jardins de la Ménara), and lines #4 and #12 (jardin Majorelle-medina).
You can buy your tickets directly in the bus for MAD 4.

Caleche

Caleches (horse drawn carriages) are located on the place de Foucauld (nearby Jemaa el-Fna square), or in the Hivernage district (on the outskirts of the main hotels, all along the el-Qadissia avenue and Echouhada road).
The fare is MAD 100 per hour (except for short rides in the medina which cost only MAD 20).
Count 1 hour and a half to go around the ramparts and 3 hours for the Palmeraie tour.

Taxi

Taxis are useful for certain rides, particularly in the « Ville Nouvelle », around the Majorelle and the Menara gardens.
The beige “petits taxis” in the city are easy to get and are equipped with a meter. The drivers usually charge between MAD 10 to 20 for a ride during the day and add an extra fee of MAD 10 at night. For your safety, never get in a taxi that does not show or use a meter.

As for the "grands taxis", (Mercedes cars that you can see nearby the "petit taxi" station and the famous hotels), they do not use a meter and even after driving a hard bargain, the fare will still be more expensive than the "petit taxi", but they are allowed to pick up a maximum of 6 passengers, and drive you outside the city.
You can rent a "grand taxi" to visit Essaouira (around MAD 1000 round trip) or the Ourika Valley (around MAD 700 for one day).

Car rental

Using a car in the city centre is not recommended. If you really need one, ask your hotel to recommend specific car rental agencies.

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Marrakech, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Tourist Office of Marrakech

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Regional Tourism Board (CRT)

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: 42 rue Cadi Ayad, appartement 4, Guéliz, Marrakech
  • Telephone: +212 (0) 524 43 34 07

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation. Marrakech counts several hospitals and medical institutions as well as medical practitioners.

Vaccinations

No vaccine is mandatory to stay in Marrakech. However, it is recommended you protect yourself against hepatitis A and B, and typhoid.
For more information, contact your Air France International Vaccination Centre:

WATER

Tap water is safe to drink in Marrakech.

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Administrative procedures

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR MOROCCO

Most nationalities visiting Morocco do not require a visa and are allowed to stay in the country for 90 days, provided the individual has a valid passport

However, some foreign nationals are subject to visa formalities before entering Morocco.

For more information, visit the website of Morocco’s Consular and Social Affairs:

www.service-public.ma/web/guest/home

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Adresses utiles

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Morocco, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few useful phrases in Moroccan Arabic that may be useful for your stay in Marrakech:

Hello: As-salam alaykom

Good evening: Msa l'khir

Goodbye: Bislama

Yes: Naâm

No: La

No, thank you: La, choukran

Thank you: Choukran

I don't understand: Ma fhemtch

Can you repeat that ?: Hal tastatieun al'iieada

Please: Min fadlek

What time is it: Chahèle raha saha ?

Excuse me: Asif

Airport: Matâr

Train station: Mahatt

Taxi: Sayarat ojra

Hotel: Funduq

Hospital: Mustashfaa

Bank: Banka

Telephone: Hatif

I am (…): Ana

I'm looking for (…): Abhath

What is the price of (…): Chhal el-tamane

Do you have(…): Hal

Where can I find (…): Ayn Tajid

Where can I buy (…): Hayth lishira

I would like (…): Awadd

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Good to know

00 212
+ phone number (without the 0)
-3 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow
Daylight Savings Time start date: last Sunday in March
Daylight Savings Time end date: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. (from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. during Ramadan)
GOVERMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. (short operating time on Friday (prayer) and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during Ramadan)
220 V/50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Morocco, the tip is not included in the bill. It is therefore considered polite to leave a percentage for the service from 10 to 15% of the total bill. A tip to the housekeeping staff (maids, porters…) in hotels is appreciated.