Marrakech Menara Airport has just had a magnificent revamp and the addition of a brand new terminal. The building was created by E2A Architecture and is full of light and air. It couldn’t be more different from the rather dingy old arrival area and gives a great first impression for visitors to the city. It also makes getting through the airport system a lot easier and quicker.
Navigating through an airport and into a new city is always tricky though, so here are our top tips for arriving in Menara Airport.
1. When you arrive (and depart) you will need to fill out a landing card in order to get through passport control. The airline may hand these out to you on the plane, if not, they are available in the arrival hall. Fill it out while you are in the queue if you haven’t had time to do it before. You WILL need the address of where you are staying for the card. You don’t need to pay anything.
2. Don’t waste time getting off the plane. Sometimes three or four flights will arrive at the same time, so it is a good idea to get as far forward in the queue as possible.
3. Once you have passed through the passport control desk into the baggage area, your flight will be clearly marked. If your bag is not on the belt, it is worth just checking that someone hasn’t taken it off, and also looking behind the rubber curtain at the entrance to the conveyor belt. Sometimes hold luggage drops off just behind there.
4. If your baggage hasn’t arrived, don’t despair, you need to report it to the baggage reclaim office and they will let you know when to collect it.
5. There is a no-commission currency exchange counter in arrivals. The rate is a bit lower than you will get in exchange kiosks/banks in town. However, it can be useful if you just want to have a bit of ready cash. ATMs often give you a better rate, but you need to balance that against bank charges for withdrawing foreign currency.
6. Pick up a free Moroccan Sim card (if your phone is unlocked), there are always people offering them in arrivals. Inwi, Maroc Telecom and Meditel all offer pay as you go options, with top ups available everywhere. This could potentially save you quite a lot of money – particularly on data.
7. If you want to buy alcohol for your stay in Morocco, or any other duty free items, there is a last-chance shop in the baggage claim area.
8. If you are being met, your Travel Company Rep/Hotel or Riad Rep will be waiting outside the entrance to the terminal.
BUS AND TAXIS
9. There is an airport bus which is very good value and goes to Jema El Fna and also to Gueliz. It stops just outside the terminal.
10. Taxis should operate at a fixed price: 70 MAD during the day and 105 MAD after nightfall. Make sure you are clear about what you are paying before you get in the taxi.
The airport is around a 15-20 trip from Marrakech. We hope these tips ease your arrival and that you go on to have a great stay.