Things to do in Marrakech

AIRPORT TRANSFERS:
Pre-book your Marrakech airport transfers.  Agreeing a price is usually a hassle and will cost you the same, if not more than the pre-booked version. It's also likely you'll only have big notes that the taxi driver will find 'impossible' to change.

TAXIS:
Always agree (haggle) a price for the journey before you get into the car as they do not use metres (if they have a metre - 'it does not work'). Riad staff can give you a good idea of a price you should expect to pay.  Your haggling skills will do little if you are taking a taxi from a tourist hotspot.

There are 2 types of taxis - PETIT, small yellow hatch-backs which can take a maximum of 3 passengers.  These are cheap and best hailed on the street for local journeys.  The second type is the GRAND taxi, usually a Mercedes which can take a maximum of 5 passengers.  These are more expensive, however they are best of you are travelling out of town on longer journeys.  Don't be surprised if your 'Grand Taxi' driver stops to collect other passengers hailing cabs enroute.

MONEY:
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted however be prepared to pay cash, especially in the Souk and main square.  Cash points (ATMs) are readily available in Djemaa El Fna and Gueliz.  You will also find an ATM within a 3-5 minute walk from Riad Chayma.  Remember that most UK banks have a daily maximum, so be prepared for this.  Its also a good idea to keep small notes and coins for Petit Taxis, drinks, tips etc. 

Note: You will find many beggars in Marrakech, usually the elderly or women with children, but, bear in mind that charity is considered a duty of Islam and acceptable culture.

HUSTLERS:
'Do you need directions'....... Beware of young men and boys who approach you offering directions.  Although most likely harmless, they will expect a fee for their service and quite often take you on a detour past their cousins shop in the process. If you do get lost, ask a shop keeper for directions or a local who was previously oblivious to your presence.

SCAMS:
The most recent we encountered was 'Hi I work at your hotel' ...... followed by a suggestion to follow them to a particular event, shop etc.  This guy certainly wasnt on the pay-roll at the Riad I own .. but I guess he didnt realise I wasnt an unsuspecting tourist!!!  Rule of thumb, dont go anywhere with someone who approaches you.  Again, most likely harmless, but will waste your time.



COVER UP:
Its best not to show too much skin if you are a women in Marrakech.  To respect the local Islamic culture and avoid unwanted attention its best to cover your shoulders and wear clothing down to your knees.

TAKING PHOTOS:
Some Moroccans do not like to have their pictures taken, especially women.  It's always best to ask first, many will be obliging and it's a common courtesy to pay them a small fee for the privilege.  This could pay their food for the day.            

On the other hand you will be encouraged to take photos of the Monkeys handlers, snake charmers, water carriers and anyone else who is making a spectacle in Djemaa El Fna.  Dont think you will get away without paying for this privilege unless you can run very fast.