Train travel in Morocco is one of the best and most comfortable ways to get around even though it is not the most extensive rail network in the world. With trains running between many of the important hot spots, including Oujda, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier, Fes and the international airport, train excursions can still leave you able to get around.
Complete with three classes of train cars, we recommend the first class train cars when visiting Morocco, featuring spacious legroom room, decent service and air-conditioning, all the more important when you are looking at a 10.5 hour ride from Marrakesh to Tangier, for example.
On the shorter rides, like a day trip from Marrakech or multiple-day trips in Morrocco, it may very well be worth the cultural experience sitting back in the second or third class seating cars. Fitting between six to eight people per car, they may get a little warm without the air conditioning, but they provide a lively atmosphere as you can more easily engage with the locals as outside food vendors push their wares during stops. With a $15 difference in price between the classes, the savings are nothing to scoff at either.
One of the nice things about the train is that there is a reasonably priced refreshment cart offering one of several sandwiches, drinks and other snacks on most days of the year.
Unfortunately for many visitors though, the trains do not get you into the desert, to the coast at Essaouira or to Agadir or the Atlas Mountains, so renting a car or catching the bus would be your best options depending on budget and time.
In terms of making reservations, you can make them at the train stations themselves. Because the first-class carts do tend to book solid, it is strongly advised that you get to the station more than a day before you travel and book all of your trips at once. If you are really lucky, some hotels would even send somebody out to do that for you.
- Contributed by John Reality