Casablanca to Marrakech: Decoding the Train
Since we only had 5 full days to spare in Morocco, it was important that we went to THE place and make the most of it. After googling and asking around, it became clear that Marrakech was the spot. Of course, while that was easy to figure out, figuring out how to most efficiently get there was not. There is an airport in Marrakech but for all the dates I was looking for, it was significantly more expensive than flying into Casablanca, which was a pretty distance away. With airfare literally selling out before my eyes I snagged some flights and a hotel in Marrakech before thorough research, so I was pretty stressed about it.
Surprisingly there wasn’t that much information out there on the interwebs about transportation in Morocco. I finally found the train website, which wasn’t very user friendly. It turns out, you have to make a train change between the airport and Marrakech. Most likely, you will take the airport station (CASA PORT) to CASA VOYAGEURS station or L’OASIS station to transfer over to the train to MARRAKECH station. You can use the website to double check the times on the date of your arrival/departure to ensure that the trains will be running at that time and the approximate length of travel for time budgeting purposes, but you cannot purchase your train tickets here. I was surprised how long the trains took, and there were some delays, so definitely over estimate the time it will take to travel.
When in the airport, go to the ground floor and follow the signs for the train. Once you get to the train station, you might as well go straight to the manned customer service desk to buy because the kiosks didn’t work well, especially with credit card. They will give you your tickets for both trains to Marrakech, it cost me about $44 USD total for first class (definitely worth it but if you are traveling on the cheap, you will be fine in second- also, seat numbers are assigned!). Then wait for your train, departures seemed to be every hour or so. PS, the bathrooms, even in first class, were not very nice. Definitely use the restroom at the station.
The same goes for the way back, from the train station buy your two tickets back to the airport station. Be sure to check each way which station you are directed to transfer at (it will be printed on your ticket). Either way, you can technically get off at either station and make it to the airport. On the way there we transferred at VOYAGEURS and on the way back we were directed to transfer at L’OASIS and we had no idea, it caused a lot of confusion and momentary panic, but all was fine in the end. Happy traveling!!