How to get from Tangiers to Fes by train!

There are many trains to choose from, and it is easy to choose from the scheduled trains. they are clean, and the train I was on was crowded.  It is about 180 miles (300 kilometers) by train, and took 4 and ½ hours. Below is a map showing the train that I took today circled inside the dotted red line.

The train from Tangier that I took is inside the area circled in red.
The train from Tangier that I took is inside the area circled in red.  This was the first of the 5 train rides I had planned.

The tour guide that I had, Mohamed, took me from Hotel Chella to the Tangier train station.  The ride took about 15 minutes, and I think that I gave Mohamed 60 Dirhams (about $7.00 US) for the ride.  Mohamed was actually not going to charge for the ride, but I paid him the money anyway.  Below is a picture of me standing in front of the train station.

The Pope standing in front to the Tangier Train Station on the way to Fez.
The Pope standing in front to the Tangier Train Station on the way to Fez.

A porter got my bags, and I followed him into the station to the ticket counter.  The ticket lines were not crowded.  I don’t know what all the prices were, but I purchased a first class ticket for 155 Dirhams (about $18.50 US).  I was actually surprised, and quite happy with the price.  After purchasing my ticket, the porter took me to a waiting area that appeared to be for people who would be riding in first class.  I could be wrong on this point, but it was obvious that only certain people went into the waiting room.  At this point, the porter had not asked for any money.

The train was scheduled to leave about 10:30.  The porter came and got me and my bags, and took me outside to the train as it pulled into the station, and then took me to my seat in a first class compartment.  All seats in first class are assigned.  The porter put my bags and jacket in the overhead, and I paid him 20 Dirhams (about $2.50 US) if I remember correctly.  You know that I am an old fart, so I may not have remembered the exact amount that I gave the porter.  Below are pictures showing the arrival of the train I was taking to Fez, the first class train car, and the assigned seat I had been given.

The train backed into the station about 20 minutes prior to departure.  The first class car was on the back of the train.  I cannot say for sure, but I believe that the first class car was on the back of the train so that it was the shortest walking distance for the passengers in first class.
The train backed into the station about 20 minutes before departure. The first class car was on the back of the train.   That it was the shortest walking distance for the passengers in first class.
Inside the first class car looking towards the back of the passer car.
Inside the first class car looking towards the back of the passer car.
My assigned seat on the left next to the window.
My assigned seat on the left next to the window.

As you eave Tangier the you pass by the Atlantic Ocean headed south, and then the train heads to the southeast eventually going east to arrive in Fez.  Some pictures of the ride to Fez are shown below.  Most of the landscape you see between Tangier and Fez is agricultural.  The most surprising aspect of the landscape is how green everything is.  Most of us would be expecting to see desert country in Morocco.  It turns our that the landscape in like California that is usually green in the winter.  In the summer this area would be dry like Southern California.

Heading south from Tangier the train passes by the Atlantic Ocean for a short distance.
Heading south from Tangier the train passes by the Atlantic Ocean for a short distance.

Lots of different agriculture can be seen from the train.

Many different types of agriculture can be seen from the train.

This year has brought an abundance of rain to the farm lands in Morocco.

This year, 2012, brought an abundance of rain to the farm lands in Morocco.
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Many short time winter ponds can be seen from the train in winter.  During the summer, most of these ponds will be dry.
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Herds of sheep are often seen from the train.
Abdul sat across from me.  While I could not speak Arabic or French, he could speak English.  He provided me with lots of details on the landscape, and later invited me for dinner in his home.  I when for dinner, and met his wife and children later.
Abdul sat across from me. While I could not speak Arabic or French, he could speak English. He provided me with lots of details on the landscape, and later invited me for dinner in his home. I went for dinner, and met his wife and children the next day.

After 4 and 1/2 hours we arrived in Fez.  I started to get tired of sitting after 4 hours, and was glad to arrive in Fez.  The experience of the train ride was very interesting, but one can see an endless piles of trash and plastic bottles along the way, but the train was safe, very reasonably priced, and for the most part quite comfortable in first class.  In Fez, a friend of Abdul that spoke English also met us at the train, and he helped me get to my hotel.

Arriving in Fez, Morocco by train from Tangier.
Arriving in Fez, Morocco by train from Tangier.
The track side of the train station in Fez, Morocco.
The track side of the train station in Fez, Morocco.
The front of the Fez, Morocco train station.
The front of the Fez, Morocco train station (Gare de Fes).
I stayed at the Hotel Perla in Fez.  It was an easy 10 minute walk to the hotel from the train station.
I stayed at the Hotel Perla in Fez. It was an easy 10 minute walk to the hotel from the train station.

I hope that you are enjoying my trip through Morocco, and will come back to read about other parts of the trip.

18 thoughts on “How to get from Tangiers to Fes by train!”

    1. Thanks Rob.

      Always great to hear from you.

      A lot of the train route actually had a lot of trash Rob.

      Train was inexpensive, safe, and reasonably fast from Tangier.

      Will be out again in SB 06-10 to 06/11 for physical again. Maybe out paths will cross then Rob.

      The Pope

  1. Hey the Pope,
    Morocco looks pretty nice. We hope to make it out there someday. It makes me happy to see that you are older and still travelling lots. I hope we’ll be doing the same when we’re your age. Just so you know, we put a link to your site from ours. Thanks for linking to us.
  2. I am planning to make a trip from Tangier to Fes as you have done. How much was the cost of the Hotel by the train station in Fes? I just want to get some idea. Do you know if I have to make a reservation in advance? I’m planning to get the room as I go to the different towns. I don’t have a pacific dates.

    Thanks,
    Blu

    1. I stayed at the Perla hotel in Fes. It take about 5 – 8 minutes to walk from the Gare de Fes.

      Right now, it looks like the rates are $55 / $60 per night.

      I have included below the booking.com link to the Perla Hotel in Fez. For the most part the hotel was clean and quite. If is also close to downtown. Breakfast is served in the morning and was OK. I normally like low cost hotels that are safe, but hate to spend a lot of money on hotels. Perla Hotel met these requirements. Wifi worked in the lobby OK. The staff could also speak english if that is your native tong.

      I hope this gave you the information you needed, and I hope that you have found my blog helpful.

      Rolfe Pope

  3. Great post & pictures! Headed to Tangier and Fez on Monday.. do you happen to recall how often the trains from from Tangier to Fez?
    1. Hi Samantha:

      The trains follow my map as posted. Just as any taxi driver in Tangier and they will take you to the train station (Gare de Tangier). Make sure you ride first class as seats will be comfortable, and car will be air conditioned. I think there is a link for the train schedule. I suggest you be there at least an hour before the train. Signs at the station say they take credit cards, but I found most stations will only take cash.

      I hope you enjoy your trip Samantha.

      Rolfe Pope

    2. I forgot to answer your question. The trains run every couple hours if I remember correctly. Be sure to check the schedule on the Interner.

      Rolfe Pope

  4. Mr. Pope, this is such an excellent site, thank you. We (me and my male partner) are going to Spain on 12/25, touring Spain, then making our way to Fez after New Years for a few days. We plan to take the ferry from Tariffa, Spain to Tangiers, then immediately take a train to Fez. I’m wondering if you could advise us how to get to the Train station in Tangiers, then how long it takes to get to Fez. Finally, would you advise staying at the Hotel Perla or a homestay with Air B & B. Was the hotel close to the main sites? What would you advise seeing, we only have 2.5 days there with travel time. Thank you, Lissa (505) 577-4949, my email address is lissasantafe@yahoo.com. I live in Santa Fe, NM, USA.
    1. This would be my advice:

      1. You cannot make reservations outside of Morocco for the train (at least you could not when I visited).

      2. Check the train schedule to see how it fits with the arrival of the ferry in Tangier.

      3. The train from Tangier to FEZ can be very crowded. So you want to get to the train at least one hour before, and better 90 minutes in advance.

      4. By a First Class ticket. Your trip will be so much more comfortable. Prices for train travel in Morocco are really cheap.

      5. I am not sure exactly what you want to see, but I would recommend the following:

      a. Tour around the city – 1/2 day
      b. Roman ruins at Volubilis (spelling?). Allow a day – hire a limo for the day. If there are several, it will be cheaper than a guided trip, and you can get a guide at the ruins really cheap to show you ruins that speaks English / French / Spanish. Also allow time for a mean at the Holy city about the runis.
      c. Oldest university in the world is in Fez. I did not see it, and wish that I had.
      d. Visit the market place, but DO NOT purchase any carpets. This is a big ripoff.
      e. Hotel Perla is only a 10 minutes walk from the train station. It is clean and safe. I am a budget traveler. If you like a hotel with a good restaurant, you might want to stay in the Medina. There are several hotels and great restaurants in the Medina. It is only a few minutes by Taxi from the train station. I think you will have much for fun in Fez if you stay in the Medina.
      f. I would allow 3 days for FEZ. Just my opinion.

      I also have a post about seeing the Roman Ruins at Volubilli (spelling ?). This is a must see.

      Thank you for your feedback on my blog and my postings on Morocco. I do have several other postings on Morocco.

      Enjoy your Trip. Morocco is one of the friendliest places that I have ever visited.

      Rolfe Pope

      ps; It can be quite cold in FEZ and Morocco in December / January. Make sure you have warm clothes.

  5. Thank you so much Rolfe, appreciate the information. I’m sorry this reply is so late. I thought the reply would go back to my email address, yet I see how it goes to the blog. Got it. We will be arriving in Fes (via the train) on January 3rd, then touring the 4th & 5th, then leaving the night of the 6th to Barcelona. So, we’ll have almost 3 full days to see Fez.

    How did you get from the Ferry (upon arrival in Tangiers) to the train station to depart to Fez?

  6. BTW: I’ve been to Ephesus in Turkey, the ruins at Volubilis look amazing. Thanks for the information, hadn’t even crossed my mind to go there. Appreciate your suggestions.

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