Marrakesh is the most-visited of Morocco’s historic and culturally rich Imperial Cities, while Casablanca is the biggest city in the country. It’s also the gateway to Morocco for many international visitors, who fly in and out of Mohammed V International Airport (CMN). Casablanca is located 147 miles due north of Marrakesh on the Atlantic Coast. Whether you choose to save money by taking the bus or to cut your travel time dramatically by booking a domestic flight, we have options to suit every kind of traveler. However you travel, remember that summer is peak tourist season in Morocco and transportation should be booked in advance to ensure a seat.
|Train||2 hours 40 minutes||From 121 dirhams||Combining speed and cost-effectiveness|
|Bus||3 hours 45 minutes||From 80 dirhams||Saving money|
|Plane||50 minutes||From 914 dirhams||Getting there quickly|
|Car||2 hours 40 minutes||From 200 dirhams in fuel||Keeping your own schedule|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Marrakesh to Casablanca?
The cheapest way to get from Marrakesh to Casablanca is by bus. Buses are operated by CTM and depart from the CTM bus station on Rue Abou Bakr Seddiq in Hivernage, Marrakesh, which is located near the main train station. You will arrive at the CTM bus station on Rue Léon l’Africain in central Casablanca approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes later. Although they provide the slowest form of transport between the two cities, CTM buses are comfortable with toilets, Wi-Fi, USB charge points, and onboard entertainment. There are five departures daily. Tickets can be booked online via the CTM website or at the station itself, although advance booking is recommended during the peak summer and December seasons, and during Ramadan. Prices start from 80 dirhams (approximately $9).
What Is the Fastest Way to Get from Marrakesh to Casablanca?
The fastest way to get from Marrakesh to Casablanca is to fly. You will spend just 50 minutes in the air, although it’s important to remember that it takes approximately 20 minutes to travel by taxi from central Marrakesh to Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) and around 30 minutes to reach the city center from Casablanca’s airport. Nevertheless, this is an especially convenient way to travel if you’re heading back to Casablanca to fly home. Flights are operated by Morocco’s national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, and can be booked directly through their website or through any flight comparison site. Tickets for economy class start from 913.28 dirhams (approximately $100) and there are six daily departures to choose from with the earliest leaving at 5:35 a.m. and the latest arriving in Casablanca at 7:10 p.m.
How Long Does it Take to Drive?
Depending on when you leave and the traffic at that time of day, it takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes to drive from Marrakesh to Casablanca. The journey time is comparable to traveling by train; but you have the added convenience of being able to depart and arrive according to your own schedule, and to drive directly to your address in Casablanca.
You’ll cover a distance of around 150 miles, or 242 kilometers, and can expect to spend 200 dirhams in fuel. The route is pretty straightforward: simply take the N9 out of the city, merging onto the Marrakech Highway and eventually onto the A7. Follow the A7 until it becomes the N11 and takes you directly into Casablanca’s city center. Be aware that parking is limited in Casablanca, so it’s a good idea to choose a hotel with parking if you’re planning on staying the night.
How Long Is the Train Ride?
Taking the train from Marrakesh to Casablanca is a great way to get good value for money while still getting there faster than you would by bus. The train ride between the two cities takes roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes. Trains are operated by Morocco’s national rail network, ONCF, and can be booked in advance online or purchased on the day at the train station. In Marrakesh, trains depart from the main station, located in between Gueliz and Hivernage to the west of the medina. There are three stations in Casablanca: Casa Port, Casa Oasis, and Casa Voyageurs. Casa Voyageurs is the main station. Fares for a second-class ticket cost 121 dirhams however first-class tickets are only 150 dirhams and are well worth the extra money because they allow you to reserve a specific seat. ONCF currently offers five departures per day.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Casablanca?
Casablanca has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. It’s much cooler on the coast in summer than it is in the Moroccan interior, and many people (both residents and visitors alike) head to Casablanca at this time of year for a respite from the heat of inland cities like Marrakesh and Ouarzazate. June to September is therefore considered the best time to travel to Casablanca in terms of weather.
It’s also not as busy at this time as some of Morocco’s more popular tourist destinations, so you don’t have to worry too much about booked out hotels and inflated prices for dining and tours. Additionally, some of the city’s best annual festivals coincide with the summer months, including the Festival de Casablanca (typically held in July or August) and the Feast of the Throne (held on July 30 to celebrate the king’s coronation).
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
Casablanca’s airport is quite far from the city center: 20 miles (33 kilometers), and at least 30 minutes by car. If you’re not picking up a rental car, you can hop in a taxi. However, the quickest and easiest way is often to take the train, which avoids rush hour traffic and takes just 33 minutes to reach Casa Voyageurs station in the city center. These trains are also operated by ONCF and cost 50 dirhams (circa $5) for a second-class ticket.
What Is There to Do in Casablanca?
Casablanca is Morocco’s commercial center and biggest city. It offers a clearer insight into modern Moroccan life than the four Imperial Cities. Casablanca is known for its Mauresque architecture, which blends elements of the traditional Moorish/Islamic style with Art Deco inspirations introduced during French colonial rule. This unique architecture is most evident in the Quartier Habous, or New Medina, where you will find cobbled streets lined with shops selling everything from stacks of spices to hand-crafted leather and silver goods.
The Old Medina is the city’s historic heart, with buildings that date back to the 1800s. At its northern end, the old Portuguese bastion known as La Sqala separates the medina from the port. Don’t miss the oceanfront boardwalk known as La Corniche, or the breathtakingly beautiful Hassan II Mosque (one of the largest in the world and open to non-Muslims). Casablanca also spoils with a cosmopolitan offering of international restaurants and bars, including Rick’s Café—modeled after the gin joint in the legendary 1940s film "Casablanca."