Banks & Currency Exchanges Banks and ATMs are quite prominent throughout the city. In Guéliz, there's a concentration around place Abdelmoumen Ben Ali, including the BMCI branch at 35 bd. Zerktouni (tel. 0524/448109), which offers both a bureau de change (Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat-Sun 9:30-11:30am and 4-7pm) and a 24-hour exchange ATM. WAFA's bureau de change and ATM, on the corner of avenue Mohammed V and rue Mauritania, is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm, and Sunday 10am to 4pm. Global Cash foreign exchange booth at 15 rue de la Liberté is open daily from 9am to 8pm.
In the medina, the main banking area is off the south side of Jemaa el Fna, where on rue Moulay Ismail is a WAFA bureau de change (Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 9am-1pm and 2-6pm, Sun 9am-4pm), and on rue Prince Moulay Rachid (formerly rue Bab Agnaou) is an SGMB 24-hour exchange ATM. If all else fails, try any of the more expensive hotels.
Car Rentals The major international firms can be found on or near avenue Mohammed V, including Avis, 137 av. Mohammed V (tel. 0524/433727); Budget, 68 bd. Zerktouni (tel. 0524/431180); Europcar, 63 bd. Zerktouni (tel. 0524/431228); Hertz, 154 av. Mohammed V (tel. 0524/449984); and National/Alamo, 1 rue de la Liberté (tel. 0524/430683). All of these have desks in the arrivals hall at the airport as well, which are usually open from 8am to 10pm. Reputable local companies include Medloc, 75 rue ibn Aïcha, first floor (tel. 0524/435757 or 0661/181389), and Loc Auto, Galerie Commercial Liberté, corner of avenue Mohammed V and rue de la Liberté (tel. 0524/436051 or 0661/242394).
Dentists & Doctors Dr. Gailleres, 112 av. Mohammed V (tel. 0524/449136), and Dr. Hamid Laraqui, 203 av. Mohammed V (tel. 0524/433216), are both recommended dentists who speak good English. Dr. G. Michaelis Agoumi, 7 rue Ibn Sina, Guéliz (tel. 0524/448343), speaks fluent English and comes highly recommended. Dr. Taarj Bel Abbass, in the Polyclinique de Sud, 2 rue de Yougoslavie, Guéliz (tel. 0524/447999 or 0524/448372), speaks reasonably good English and also comes recommended. Other recommended doctors are Dr. Samir Bellmezouar (tel. 0661/243227) and Dr. Frédéric Reitzer (tel. 0524/439562 or 0661/173803).
Drugstores Pharmacies are very prevalent in the city. There are several along avenue Mohammed V between place Abdelmoumen Ben Ali and place de la Liberté. On Jemaa el Fna, at the beginning of rue Prince Moulay Rachid, is Pharmacie de la Place. Most pharmacies are open 8:30am to 12:30pm, 4 to 8pm, and 8:30pm to 1am Monday to Saturday. Most will post a list of after-hours pharmacies on their front door. An all-night pharmacy operates on the western edge of Jemaa el Fna, beside the Commissariat de Police, but there is usually a line. Instead, try Pharmacie de Nuit, outside the medina on rue Khalid ben Oualid, just off place de la Liberté (tel. 0524/430415), where a doctor is usually available.
Emergency For general emergencies and the police, call tel. 19. For the Brigade Touristique, call tel. 0524/384601. To report a fire, call tel. 16. In a medical emergency, call tel. 0524/404040 for a doctor on call (and public ambulance service); the voice on the other end may only speak Arabic or French. Call tel. 0524/443724 for a private ambulance service.
Hospitals Polyclinique du Sud, 2 rue de Yougoslavie, Guéliz (tel. 0524/446399 or 0524/447999), and Clinique al Koutoubia, rue de Paris, Hivernage (tel. 0524/438585), are both private clinics with high standards and usually have staff on hand who can speak some English.
Internet Access In the medina there's a fair smattering of cybercafes located on or near the pedestrian-only rue Prince Moulay Rachid. In Guéliz, try Cyberland, 61 rue de Yougoslavie, and Téléboutique, 36 bd. Zerktouni, opposite the BMCI bank. Many riads and high-end hotels offer Wi-Fi, as do Café des Epices and Café du Livre.
Laundry & Dry Cleaning There are no self-service laundries in Marrakech, but pressings (dry cleaners) are widespread in the ville nouvelle. A shirt or pair of pants costs around 15dh. Pressing Imilchil, 17 rue Tarik ben Ziad in Guéliz, is open daily from 8am to 9pm. Otherwise you can ask at your hotel reception desk, though this can prove expensive as they usually charge per item. Often your hotel's cleaning staff will do your laundry privately to earn some money on the side, a practice usually accepted by the management. A plastic shopping bag of laundry shouldn't cost you more than 30dh, but I wouldn't trust them with your favorite dress or white shirt.
Maps Tourist maps of Marrakech are fairly easy to obtain once you arrive. Different versions of essentially the same map plan are readily available for free from most hotels, tourist shops, or the ONMT office in Guéliz. The easiest to read, though it usually costs around 10dh, is the Marrakech Evasions version. This particular map marks all of the city's sights as well as a fair number of its accommodations and eating establishments. The most detailed city map, including the medina, is the Plan Guide de Marrakech, one of a series printed by the Librairie DSM (tel. 0522/310281) in Casablanca. This small booklet costs 85dh and even has a street directory, but can be hard to find. I found it at the airport in the small shop in the Terminal 2 departures hall, but also try bookshops.
Newspapers Some shops down rue Prince Moulay Rachid, off Jemaa el Fna, sometimes stock international weekly editions of the Guardian and International Herald Tribune. There are also newsstands outside the ONMT office and along avenue Mohammed V in Guéliz, which sell various U.S. and British dailies and magazines.
Photographic Needs Labo Photo Mondial, on rue Prince Moulay Rachid, is open daily from 9am to 8pm and sells a range of film, memory cards and USB sticks, and battery chargers and batteries for both cameras and camcorders. Labo Photo Felix, 133 av. Mohammed V, in Guéliz is open daily from 9am to 12:30pm and 3 to 6pm. In addition to stocking most digital accessories, they can burn your images onto a CD the same day. Diagone (tel. 0524/431200; www.diagone.com), at the northern end of boulevard Mohammed VI in Résidence Tassaouate, is the local Apple Mac store, open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 1pm and 3 to 7pm.
Police The Brigade Touristique (tel. 0524/384601) has a station at the north end of rue Sidi Mimoun. They generally have English-speaking staff and are specifically trained to deal with instances of hassle or theft involving tourists. There's also a regular Commissariat de Police on the west side of Jemaa el Fna.
Post Office & Mail Marrakech's main post office, which receives all poste restante mail, is on place du 16 Novembre on avenue Mohammed V in Guéliz, and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4:30pm. There is a separate office on the side for sending parcels (which must be inspected first) and Western Union services. The medina post office is on Jemaa el Fna, next to the Bank al Maghrib. You'll also find many shops within the medina, as well as most expensive hotels, that sell postcard stamps. A DHL office is located at 113 av. Abdelkarim el Khattabi, Guéliz (tel. 0524/437647). It's open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm and on Saturdays 8:30am to 12:30pm. FedEx (tel. 0524/448257) is in the same building and has the same hours.
Restrooms There is a public toilet, or WC, among the plant nurseries in the western corner of Jemaa el Fna. Alternatively, your best bet is to politely ask for the toilette in any reasonable-looking restaurant. Sometimes there might be a small fee or, if there is an attendant keeping them clean, 2dh to 3dh is expected. If you're close to place du 16 Novembre in Guéliz, try the McDonald's or KFC.
Safety While you'll be hassled for business by unofficial guides and shopkeepers in the medina, your personal safety never feels threatened. Female travelers may also encounter unwanted attention while wandering around Jemaa el Fna at night. In both cases, the best approach is to keep your sense of humor and initially ignore the unwanted attention entirely, followed by a polite, but direct, rebuke if necessary. If the irritant persists, walk into the closest shop or restaurant and ask them to contact the tourist police. If you are in the company of a male friend, it will be presumed that you are a couple, which can sometimes work in the female's favor with regard to any sexual harassment. However, be prepared for a barrage of questions as to why you don't have any children yet.
Telephone Marrakech's city code has recently changed from 024 to 0524.