Posted by: yourmoroccotour | November 19, 2014

City Guides

Djema El Fna Square“The rate for official guides (hired at the tourist office or your hotel) is around 120Dh for a half day” – quoted from Insight Guides, 2012 edition.

Official guided book should provide helpful and correct information, but hiring guide for 120Dh for half day tour will lead you to just stressful half day guided trip of Marrakech. Guides take on commission from purchases you might make while on the tour with him and therefore if you pay for your guide 120 Dh for half day it will guarantee that you will be taken from store to store and instead of sightseeing tour you will end up doing shopping tour of Marrakech. You might end up buying things that you don’t even want or need.

Not all guides are like this and hiring guide can be very fruitful experience. Excellent guides that are interested only in promoting the city sights will cost you around 600 Dh for half day and 1000DH for a full day trip. Price might seem high but if it guarantees that you learn about the history and the facts of the city and will be visiting only the actual sights then it is very good deal. It might be bit of challenge finding excellent guide for half day only as they are interested in full day excursions.

Please be also aware of so called “faux – pas” guides. There are many young man in the medina (the old city) trying to make extra bug any possible way. They might come right to you and offer you their guided services. Please ignore these false guides. They have absolutely no interest in guiding you. They will be taking you to stores to make commission. I even heard of horror stories where they make you purposely lost, demanding money to get you back to the main path of the old city.

Government is trying to clamped down on these false guides in recent years, and if there are caught by the police, they are liable to be thrown in prison.  Many of the cities in Morocco like Marrakech has tourist police so sometimes even frightening these false guides by the though of calling them might scare them away.

I like to point that Marrakech, in spite being it maze of streets, is ok to visit on your own. There are sightseeing buses or just having some draw map from your hotel/riad will help you to navigate the streets and sightsee the old palaces, madrasas, gardens on your own. The urgency of having guide in Marrakech is not as must as in other cities.


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