Morocco: Transportation Station

Getting around Morocco can either be a pleasant journey or a laughably horrible disaster-adventure.

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First of all, don’t overexert yourself expecting the unexpected. Just relax and accept whatever is happening. It might take a couple extra hours to reach your destination, but that’s never really a problem.

Second, always budget for extra time and money. A cushion helps when delays and exchanges throw curveballs at plans.

Finally, for any mode of transportation pay at the very last possible minute and always pay as close as possible to exact change. Taxi drivers have a tendency to “forget” how much they owe you.

Petite Taxis

Petite taxis are a staple of every town in Morocco, and each major city has its own color. For example, Meknes is blue, Fez is red, and Marrakesh is a sandy yellow. These cars can’t go beyond the city limits and take a maximum of three people. They’re a great option for quick rides around the city. Their minimum cost is 7 dirham and that alone can take you about 10 minutes away, but the later at night the more they charge. Most rides end up costing about 12 dirham. Make sure that they turn the meter on and don’t leave anything behind. If there’s a seatbelt, wear it!

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Big Taxis

These cars are notorious for their reckless driving and cheap prices. Although they only cost 3 or 4 dirham per person, the whole car must be full before it starts moving. They aren’t worth the time or the cramped conditions for transportation within the city. However, if you want to get somewhere that the train doesn’t reach, they’re the best option. Most big taxi stands have a head man who hands out the assignments to other drivers. Sometimes the prices are fixed, but barter with him if they are not. Don’t pay him though—save your money until you reach your destination.

Trains

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Morocco’s train system is one of the best I’ve ever experienced. The trains arrive fairly regularly, are clean, and reach cities all across the country. If you are traveling over two hours, go first class for the air conditioning, extra leg room, and a bit of quiet. It usually only costs a few dollars more. Make sure to hold on to your train ticket and don’t be afraid to ask the conductors where you ought to stand and sit.

Buses

Buses are a last resort option in Morocco. Although they are cheap, they are the least comfortable option. City buses are packed and lead to altercations between its passengers. National buses are larger and more comfortable but feel dangerous on windy mountain roads. They sometimes charge for luggage as well. On one bus we took, the air conditioning broke, it took an hour longer than it was supposed to and a couple of kids got sick midway through the drive. It’s definitely an experience though!

Feet

Walking around the city has helped me gain my bearings the most. It’s also helped reduce the impact of bread and Moroccan mint tea on my health. Walking is pretty safe, even though it’s best to travel in groups and avoid being out late at night.

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