Getting around Morocco by train is a great option for all types of travelers. They’re fast, cheap, and a great way to see some of the incredible landscape between cities.
While there isn’t an extensive network of trains, you’ll find that the majority of tourist destinations in Morocco are well connected. If you want to do some city hopping and explore places like Marrakech, Fes, Casablanca, Rabat, Oujda, Tangier, or Meknes, just hop on board!
Here are is my ultimate guide for traveling by train in Morocco.
Where to Buy Train Tickets
In Morocco, it’s easiest to buy your train tickets in person. You can get information on timetables and prices on the ONCF website, then just head to the nearest train station to book your tickets. Be sure to bring cash! You might be able to use your credit cards, but don’t count on it.
Most train routes run regularly so it’s rare to have every seat sold out, but it’s good to book in advance if you want to guarantee your spot. The stations are always centrally located and you can buy tickets a few weeks in advance, so just grab ‘em whenever it’s handy.
Train Ticket Prices in Morocco
You can get all of the details on pricing and ticket options at the ONCF website. While the site is only in Arabic or French, the options are pretty straight forward (just open it in your web browser and Google translate will get it into English). You’ll also find that many ONCF staff speak English so they can usually help you out at the station.
For every journey, you will have the option of first or second class seats. Prices vary per route but you’ll rarely see first class costing $15+ more than second class.
For night trains, you’ve got a choice of sleeper cars. A four-bed couchette costs Dh370 ($38), a single compartment is Dh480 ($50), and a double compartment is /690 ($70). Considering it covers your travel and accommodation for the night, it’s super cheap.
Travel Times for Popular Train Routes in Morocco
On some routes, you’ll see an option for “rapide” trains and “ordinaire” trains. Generally, speaking, the rapide trains are around 30% more expensive but much faster.
|Marrakech to Casablanca||3 hours 10 minutes|
|Marrakech to Fes||7 hours 10 minutes|
|Marrakech to Rabat||4 hours 15 minutes|
|Tangier to Marrakech (Overnight train)||10 hours|
|Tangier to Casablanca||6 hours|
|Casablanca to Fes||4 hours|
|Casablanca to Casablanca Airport||32 minutes|
|Rabat to Fes||2 hours 30 minutes|
Helpful Tip: If your cities aren’t connected by train, check out Supratours buses. They’re operated by ONCF and it’s a reliable way to get around. And, after July 2018, there’s going to be a new high-speed (TGV) line to link Tangier, Rabat, and Casablanca.
First Class vs Second Class
You’ll find every train in Morocco divided up into compartments, with six people in a first class compartment and eight people in a second class compartment. When you book for first class, you will get a particular seat reserved for you. When you book second class, you’ll just find whatever seat is empty.
Since the prices are very reasonable, I’d recommend always opting for first class. You can get travel fare for $20 here. In fact, you can get a seven-day pass for under $100 (with extra discounts available if you’re under 26) that will take you anywhere in the country.
If you’re only traveling for two or three hours, the class isn’t really a big deal. When you’re going overnight, first class is essential. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination tired, sweaty, and hangry.
What to Expect on a Night Train in Morocco
I’ll be honest, I was really nervous about the safety of an overnight train in Morocco (traveling as two girls) because there was very little information about it online. But, when I went to purchase my ticket, I realized women traveling solo, with children, or essentially without a male companion, are assigned to women-only cabins. We had a mom with her young child and another single woman in our cabin, and it made for a very relaxed atmosphere.
If you decide to take a night train, get the first class sleeper tickets.
Generally speaking, the trains are comfy. They provide you with a pillow, blanket, and a bottle of water. Expect them to be quite hot though, especially in summer. Make sure that you stay hydrated and wear lightweight clothing.