People disembark from a train at Gare Fez, the train station in Fez, Morocco.

From Meknès to Fez

From Meknès to Fez by Train

I had been in Meknès seeing its kasbah and medina, visiting the mausoleum of Moulay Isma'il and the wonderful music museum, and making a day trip to Volubilis.

Now it was time to continue on to Fez, a short train ride to the east across north-central Morocco.

TPC G-1D

Portion of Tactical Pilotage Chart G-1D from the Perry Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas.

I packed my things, paid the small city tax added to accommodations throughout Morocco, had a late breakfast at a cafe on Place el-Hedim, and took a petit taxi to Gare al Amir Abdul Kader, the train station closer to the medina in Meknès.

Once there I bought my ticket to Fez. There was a train every hour. I had checked that in advance on www.oncf-voyages.ma.

Meknès Gare al Amir Abdul Kader train station with ticket windows to buy my ticket to Fez in Morocco.

At the time:
1 Dirham = 0.093 US$
10.75 Dirham = 1 US$
or, close enough:
10 Dirham ≈ 1 US$

The ticket was just 30 dirham or US$ 2.79 for a 45-minute trip to Fez in First Class seating. Compartments of three seats facing three seats with broad armrests and headrests, versus more crowded four-facing-four in Second Class. Once again the Man in Seat 61 had provided excellent advice regarding train travel.

Train ticket from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.

Once I had my ticket I needed to hustle down the stairs, through the underground passageway, and up to the east-bound platform.

Station and platform at Gare al Amir Abdul Kader in Meknès.

My train arrived soon after I got to the platform.

Train arriving at Gare al Amir Abdul Kader in Meknès.

The First Class car was, as usual, at the rear.

First Class car at Gare al Amir Abdul Kader in Meknès.

People have gotten off the train coming from Kenitra via Sidi Slimane and Sidi Kassem. Now those of us going to Fez can board.

First Class car at Gare al Amir Abdul Kader in Meknès.

The First Class car, no smoking, with air conditioning. Nice.

First Class car at Gare al Amir Abdul Kader in Meknès.

Soon we were rolling east from Meknès to Fez, past olive orchards and other agricultural land.

Man standing on a road beside an olive orchard seen from the train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Plowed farm field seen from the train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Orchards and farm fields seen from the train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Corridor of passenger train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Corridor of passenger train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Olive orchard seen from a train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Orchards and farm fields seen from a train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Orchards and farm fields seen from a train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Orchards and farm fields seen from a train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.
Orchards and farm fields seen from a train from Meknès to Fez in Morocco.

Arrival in Fez

We soon arrived at Gare de Fès.

Train from Meknès in the Fez station in Morocco.

This was the last stop for this train. Some trains continue eastward to Oujda, near the Algerian border.

Train from Meknès in the Fez station in Morocco.
Train from Meknès in the Fez station in Morocco.

Gare de Fès is in the ville nouvelle, the "new town" area established during the French Protectorate of 1912–1956. Just as I had seen in Tangier and Meknès, and as I would later see in Marrakech, there is an extreme contrast between the medina and the ville nouvelle in any Moroccan city.

Gare de Fès, the train station in Fez in Morocco.

There was a swarm of taxis and taxi touts beside the station and out by the main street. I worked to ignore everyone until things had settled down somewhat.

One driver already had one rider sitting in the front. I said that I wanted to go to Place Boujloud, where the gateway Bab Boujloud leads you into the medina.

The driver spoke something close to John Lee Hooker French, a dialect seldom heard outside the Francophone districts of Chicago and the hill country of northern Mississippi. He said he could take me to Place Boujloud, and seemed ready to break into a verse of Boom Boom when he asked where I was from and I said that I lived near Chicago. Montez! Allons-y! Off we went!

Taxi driver leaving Gare de Fez, the train station in Fez in Morocco.

Now I would need to walk from Place Boujloud into the medina and find my guesthouse.

🚧 Next❯ 🚧 Into Fez Medina