Intercity buses and trains in Morocco are a great alternative for those traveling independently in Morocco. The intercity transport network in the country is well-developed – you can easily get from one city to another by bus or train. Buses of larger companies are comfortable and modern, most of them have free wi-fi and are rarely late.
Buses in Morocco
In Morocco, you can either travel with the cheaper local bus companies or with the bigger and more expensive Supratours or CTM. I advise you not to skimp on the prices and to choose the more expensive ones, as the difference in price is only a couple of euros. Local buses rarely leave on time, and I have had to sit on a bus for almost an hour waiting for it to be full. Also annoying are the constant hawkers who come on the bus and try to sell everything from napkins to nuts. However, not all Moroccan cities are served by Supratours or CTM, especially not the smaller ones. So if you have the time and the patience, try the local buses and immerse yourself in real Moroccan life.
I mostly use Supratours buses, owned by the Moroccan train company ONCF. You can find the Supratours bus timetables on Supratours.ma website, which is available in English. You can buy tickets both online and at the station. If you buy online, you will be taken to the train company website – which is fine, that’s how it is supposed to be. As I said, they are both owned by the same company. My advice is that if you are going on the weekend, buying your tickets in the evening or arriving a few hours earlier on the morning of your journey is better. Supratours buses are very popular and often fill up quickly, especially those going to Essaouira, Agadir, or Marrakech.
If you are traveling with large luggage, you must buy a separate sticker for 5 dirhams. As for Supratours in Marrakech, they put the stickers at a nearby counter which is not where they sell tickets. Without this sticker, you cannot put your suitcase in the luggage compartment of the bus, so it’s better to take care of it before you get on board.
The Supratours bus station in Marrakech is right next to the train station, and the CTM is just 10 minutes from Supratours. The CTM has similar fares to Supratours, the buses are just as comfortable, and you can find their timetables on Ctm.ma. In Essaouira, their station is further away from the old town (the Medina), so I tend to go to Essaouira with Supratours, whose station is just outside the Medina walls. You can also buy bus tickets online. A little tip – if you take Supratours or CTM buses from Marrakech, make sure your taxi driver takes you to the right station. I have heard several stories of travelers not specifying their destination to the taxi drivers and being taken to the local bus station at the Bab Doukkala gate.
In Agadir, all buses leave from one station. Once inside, you’ll be offered a variety of bus companies, but don’t give in and look for the CTM or Supratours window. The Supratours and CTM windows at Agadir station are located at the bottom, at the entrance to the bus parking area.
Bus timetable Agadir-Marrakech and back, the price is 110 DH (€10). By the way, check before you go that the timetable has not changed:
When you arrive at the Marrakech Supratours bus or train station from other cities, you will be surrounded by taxi drivers and offered a ride to the old town at a high price (around 100 DH), saying that the center is very far. You won’t pay more than 30 DH if you take a taxi with an officially activated taxi meter, so try to negotiate down to at least 50 DH, or just go to the street and stop a taxi there.
Trains in Morocco
Train travel in Morocco is very convenient and inexpensive. Train timetables for trains operated by ONCF can be found on Oncf.ma (English is also available). Tickets can now be bought online on the updated website. There are no trains to the resort cities of Agadir or Essaouira, the most popular routes are from Marrakech to Fez, Casablanca, Tangier, etc.
I advise you to choose 1st class when buying your ticket, as second class does not guarantee a seat, and tickets are sold regardless of the number of seats. If you want to reach Tangier, you can take the night train from Marrakech.
If you want to travel to the north of Morocco – Chefchouen or Tangier – I highly recommend taking the Marrakech-Tangier night train. You will save a full day’s travel time (it takes about 8 hours to cover this distance) and you will sleep in a comfortable 1st class compartment with bedding. Be sure to buy your 1st class train ticket at least one day in advance to make sure you get a bed in the compartment. There is also a high-speed train between Casablanca and Tangier, launched a few years ago, making it possible to cover this 330 km distance in just 2 hours (price €22 | 220 DH).
How long does it take to get from one city to another? Here I have listed the most popular routes and their duration:
- Marrakech/Casablanca – 3 hours
- Marrakech/Rabat – 4 hours
- Marrakech/Fez – 7 hours
- Marrakech/Meknes – 6 hours
- Tangier/Marrakech – 11 hours (night train)
- Tangier/Fez – 5 hours
- Casablanca/Fez – 4 hours