Taxis are a common and inexpensive mode of transportation in Morocco, both inside and between towns. Taxis are inexpensive, and they are more handy than overloaded public buses, which sometimes run without a timetable and without air conditioning. However, if you are unfamiliar with the basic norms of dealing with taxi drivers, the journey might be quite expensive.
TAXI TYPES IN MOROCCO
In Morocco, there are two sorts of taxis: petite taxis, which are little, and grand taxis, which are larger. Petite taxis may accommodate up to three passengers. If you take a tiny cab by yourself, the driver may pick up additional customers traveling in the same route. Petite taxis are only available for local city traffic; they cannot transport you beyond of the city limits.
Grand taxis may go both within and outside of the city. It has seating for up to six passengers, four in the rear and two in front close to the driver. You simply pay for your seat in a shared car. If you observe a large cab with an empty seat, pull over and ask the driver where he is headed. Each large cab driver follows a predefined path to a certain destination. Regardless the distance inside Marrakech, it is frequently just 5 DH each seat.
Of course, if the large cab is unoccupied, the driver can also transport you to your destination. However, you will have to spend considerably more than a tiny cab fare. So, if you need to get somewhere, make sure the cab you stop in isn’t the huge one.
LARGE TAXI FOR LARGE CITIES
Outside of the municipal borders, grand taxis are authorized to travel. You may take a large cab from Marrakech to Agadir, for example. These taxis can only be located in specified parking areas.
For example, in Marrakech, cabs are waiting in the Medina, at the Kasbah entrance, for sites nearby to the city, such as Ourika Valley and Agafay. For direction, look for the hotel “Villa Verde,” which has taxis in front of it. I updated the big cab parking coordinates to this link.
To go to other Moroccan cities, proceed to the large taxi parking lot near the Bab Doukalla bus station. This location is well-known among taxi drivers. How does it function? When you arrive at the taxi stand, someone will inquire as to your destination. Then it will direct you to the appropriate taxi driver. You can leave after the driver has collected at least four people. You simply need to pay for your seat. Prices are set.
Taxis in Morocco, like everywhere else, are priced by kilometer, and you pay by the meter. Taxi drivers in Morocco, on the other hand, frequently fail to switch on the meter or complain that it is broken. You must also pay the taxi driver in cash, not with a credit card.
Not in every city, but if the taxi driver notices tourists, he will almost certainly try to rip you off. It never occurred to me in Casablanca or Rabat, but it happens all the time in Marrakech. Inside Essaouira, taxi costs are regulated at 7 DH regardless of where you need to travel.
All Moroccan airports have regulated taxi costs to city centers. However, getting from Marrakech airport to the city center is a different story, as I discuss in my piece How to travel from Marrakech airport to the city center.
DIFFERENT RULES FOR MARRAKECH TAXIS
Taxi drivers in Marrakech are unlike those in other cities. They dislike using the meter or charging a reasonable charge. The minimum fare for the ride is 7 MAD, regardless of distance. The rate is greater at night.
The most crucial guideline when hailing a cab in Marrakech is to ensure that the meter is turned on. If not, haggle the price beforehand. It costs around 25 MAD to go from Marrakech’s railway station to the Jemaa el-Fnaa plaza (2 euros). Around 10 MAD from Carre Eden shopping mall to Jemaa el-Fnaa.
Some taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter until you demand; in such case, take another cab that will utilize the meter. Refuse to pay if the taxi driver is defrauding you. Taxi drivers are unable to show you took a journey since the meter was not turned on.
In my experience, 70% of taxi drivers in Marrakech do not use the meter. I’m always asking and bargaining. What actually helped me learn how to express “I am not a tourist” in Darija (local dialect).
If you learn these words, you will be able to receive either the taximeter or the local pricing. In Morocco, the taximeter (counter for a cab) is called Compteur; if you don’t know how to pronounce it, say Counter.
Important Moroccan words to know before you travel to Morocco
- Khdam, wash l’Compteur? Is the meter operational?
- Shhal? How much is it?
- Khou-ya, Bzef! Costly, brother!
- Khou-ya, Ana mashi tourist, sakna f Marrakech!
- My brother, I’m not a tourist; I live in Marrakech!
p.s. “Khou-ya” in Darija means “My brother,” and it’s virtually always used to refer to any (younger) male, even if you’re meeting him for the first time. You can say “Khou-ya” to a cab driver, a waiter, or anybody in a casual setting.
Ride-sharing applications are not widely used in Morocco. The most usual method is to hail a cab on the street. Uber had to suspend its services in 2018 due to demonstrations. The Careem app is only available in Rabat and Casablanca. Try the Roby or Heetch apps in Marrakech.
VERT TAXIS IN MOROCCO
To be honest, I never use ride-sharing apps and instead prefer to use taxi cab services. In Marrakech, dial 0524 40 94 99, and the dispatcher will send you a cab. There is a set service cost of 15 MAD (higher at night) in addition to the meter fee. Check the window for an unique taxi vert sticker before going into the summoned cab. The taxi driver must have the meter turned on.
Calèches are horse-drawn carriages that can be used instead of taxis. The brief city trip cost around 150 MAD. Alternatively, you may take an old-fashioned tuk-tuk. It costs around 40 MAD within the Medina and 60 MAD outside the Medina.