Taking a bus or a grand taxi to Tangier is quite simple; getting there by train is a little more complex. But train is the preferred method, for it provides a little more comfort than the alternatives.
When I went to Morocco earlier this year (April 2017), I was unable to buy tickets online. Your card couldn’t be used if it wasn’t Moroccan, despite the universal MasterCard and Visa logos on the ONCF website. I’m not sure whether this is still the case, so let’s give it a go to see if it works.
If you are unable to purchase tickets online, simply keep reading. I’ll attach instructions on buying your tickets in-person. Don’t worry, I won’t abandon you!
Since the website is in French, I’ll do some translating. Let’s hop to it! 🐰
I. PURCHASING TICKETS ONLINE
#1 – Open the ONCF online booking portal
|Gare de départ,
|1ière Classe (First Class)*** / 2ième Classe (Second Class) /|
|Tanger**||Type de tarif,
Type of fare
|Plein Tarif (full fare)|
|Type de voyage,
Type of journey
|Aller simple (One-way) / Aller/Retour (Roundtrip)|
Number of travellers
|Adultes (Adults), Enfants (Children, 4-12 years old)|
Date of Departure
|Choose accordingly||À partir de,
|Choose 00:00 for the day’s complete schedule|
|Rechercher, Search||Effacer, Clear|
* There are two options listed: Casa Port and Casa Voyageurs. You must choose Voyageurs, as Casa Port is not on the North-South line to Tangier. If you accidentally select Casa Port, your query will return an empty timetable.
** There are two options listed: Tanger Morora and Tanger. You may choose either one, as Tanger Morora is on the same line. It is simply the stop before Tanger (aka Tanger Ville), the terminal station. Tanger Ville, however, is most likely the station you’ll need, as it brings you the closest to city centre. I should also note that Tangier=Tanger. Don’t worry, they’re the same thing.
***Choose first class to guarantee yourself a seat (one-way costs 195 MAD). Second class is only slightly cheaper (132 MAD), but you will be fighting for a smaller seat with other travellers. The single bed is not a viable option for this route.
#2 – Click “Rechercher” (Search)
#3 – Select your desired trip, then click “Suivant” (Next)
#4 – Conditions générales de vente et d’utilisation du site marchand de l’ONCF (General Conditions of Sale and Conditions of Use)
Some points that were important for me:
- After paying, ONCF will email you (1) a confirmation of receipt, and (2) your electronic ticket in the form of a PDF
- You may print and present this ticket to board the train, or present the ticket loaded on your phone, so long as the barcode is visible.
- To board, you must present the e-ticket and the same ID with which you bought the tickets.
- Travelling with children: children aged 4 years or less travel for free, as long as they sit on the accompanying adult’s knees; children aged 4-12 pay the reduced child fare
- You have a right to access all personal information you provide on the ONCF website, pursuant to law 09-08, by royal decree 1-09-15 (18 Feb 2009)
CANCEL/REFUNDS: For this route,
- First Class: cancel more than 24 hours prior to departure: refunded full price less management/transaction fees (unspecified)
- First Class: cancel less than 24 hours and more than 30 minutes prior to departure: refunded 80% of full price, less management/transaction fees (unspecified)
- Second Class: cancel more than 30 minutes prior to departure: refunded full price less management/transaction fees (unspecified)
- Should you cancel your ticket within 30 minutes of departure, you forfeit your claims to a refund
Okie dokies at this point I will say it is totally up to you whether you decide to Google Translate the Conditions of Sale essay, or whether you decide to just go ahead and tick,
“J’ai lu et j’accepte les conditions générales de vente et d’utilisation, notamment la mention relative à la protection des données personnelles” / “I have read and I accept the General Conditions of Sale and Conditions of Use, particularly the portion regarding protection of personal data”
I’m also gonna throw a personal disclaimer in here saying I am not responsible if you choose not the read the Conditions, and something hits the fan. 😊
After you do whatever you choose, click “Suivant”.
#5 – Double-check the trip details are correct at the top of the page, then fill out the personal information
|Civilité, Title||Monsieur (Mr) / Madame (Mrs)|
|Prénom, First Name*|
|Nom, Last Name*|
|Tranche d’âge, Age Group||Choose accordingly|
|CIN/Passeport, CIN/Passport*||CIN (if you’re Moroccan), or Passport Number (everyone else)|
|Téléphone, Phone number|
|Confirmer l’e-mail, Confirm Email*|
|Les information du voyageur 1 seront celles de l’acheteur, Traveller 1 is the purchaser||Tick this box to avoid filling out the Acheteur du billet (Ticket Purchaser) box, if Traveller 1 is the purchaser of tickets|
Double-check your name and passport number, as they will be checking your ticket and passport together at the train station.
If you fancy promotional emails in your inbox, go ahead and tick that. Otherwise, go straight to clicking “Valider” (validate).
#6 – Confirm the details of your trip, then click “Paiement” (can you guess what this means?)
#7 – Do your thing (fill out your credit card info, etc.), then select “Valider le paiement” (Validate the payment), NOT Annuler (Cancel)
#8 – Let me know if this works, or if you return an error page!
If your card works, AWESOME! Proceed to Step #2 below.
If your card doesn’t go through, proceed to Step #1 below.
II. PURCHASING TICKETS IN-PERSON BECAUSE SADLY, PLANS DIDN’T WORK OUT
#1 – Pop by any train station to buy your tickets in advance
This should be a priority for you, if you are travelling during busy tourist seasons! Seats fill up fast so pop over to any train station to grab your tickets. The newer train stations will have self-serve kiosks in addition to ticket counters; older ones will only have ticket counters.
Remember, you are departing from Casa Voyageurs to Tanger Ville, and you most likely want a one-way First-Class ticket.
You can select “English” on the self-serve kiosks, and there are kind, multi-lingual staff members who assist travellers with the machines.
Counter staff in general are quite nice too, unless you’re in one of the smaller stations. In which case, a smile is not guaranteed.
#2 – Prepare to arrive at Casa Voyageurs
There are no bathrooms in Casa Voyageurs, but there is one in the adjoining restaurant. I’d pop by the loo before boarding, as the facilities on board leave much to be desired.
Make sure you bring snacks for the train ride. There are no places to buy snacks nearby; a trolley that comes along every so often on the train, but it’s quite expensive.
Check out my post on transport in Morocco if you haven’t already. There are some helpful tips on the bottom about travelling with ONCF.
#3 – Arrive at Casa Voyageurs for your adventure!!!
Big smiles, everyone! Tangier was my favourite part of Morocco. It even topped the desert, which I absolutely loved. Wishing you all the best for your trip!
P.S. Pardon me, my lovelies, for neglecting to post these past few days! I hurt my thumb and typing is a bit of a challenge. 😣 If you’re planning on heading up north to Spain after Tangier, I’ll do another post to help out. The ferry from Tangier-Algeciras can be a bit tricky, as well.
Check out my other logistics posts to make your trip planning as easy as pie:
Until next time! ✌️