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Guide to Taking the CTM Bus in Morocco

Guide to Taking the CTM Bus in Morocco

If you want to travel between the cities of Morocco, there are many different options. Some cities can be reached by train, others only by local bus or shared taxi. If you want comfort and are willing to pay a little bit more than the locals, then going by bus might be your best course of action.

Buses in Morocco

Of course, there are local buses, old, without air conditioning, breaking down often and sometimes even dirty. They are the cheapest buses in Morocco, but not the ones I recommend you take.

There are two Morocco bus companies you should travel with if you want reliable service and comfort: Supratours and CTM. They are a great way to explore Morocco by bus and are recommended in forums and facebook groups, and everyone who uses them has good experiences.

Supratours Bus Morocco

If you want to find out more about Supratours have a look at their website (they do have an English one) which also has the bus routes and other information. Or you can head over to the Supratours bus station in Marrakech or anywhere else to find out more and buy your tickets.

CTM Bus Stations in Major Cities

CTM FES BUS STATION

The CTM bus station in Fes is located in the new part of the city, not the Medina. From the Medina, you have to take a taxi to get there. It will take about 20 minutes, and they might ask for 20 dirhams per person. If you find a taxi with a meter in Fes, you are fortunate, even though taxi drivers are compelled by law to turn their meters on.

You are advised to arrive at your station at least 30 minutes before your bus departure. In Fes, the CTM bus station is very modern, and they will not give you a printed ticket if you have the ticket on your phone. Thirty minutes before departure it is possible to check in your big luggage. You will have to pay about 5 to 10 dirhams (I paid a different amount each time I rode and feel like they are very random about this).

I remember at the CTM station in Fes there was a toilet but you had to pay for it and there was no toilet paper. Worst combination ever.

The CTM bus from Fes to Chefchaouen takes about 4 hours. The ride is quite comfortable, and the views out of the bus window are amazing. The bus ticket costs about 75 dirhams (I suggest you check the time and prices for yourself using the CTM App; if you want to know how to do that find the information in the Buying a CTM Ticket Yourself section of this post).

Multiple buses are leaving for Chefchaouen every day, but I recommend to take one early in the morning, so you still have a lot of time to explore Chefchaouen on your first day.

CTM CHEFCHAOUEN BUS STATION

Chefchaouen is a small city, and it doesn’t have a separate CTM bus station. All buses arrive and leave from the central bus station, a little bit outside the beautiful Chefchaouen Medina. To get from the station to the Medina, it is best to take a taxi because the way is quite steep. I was lazy and also took a taxi back down.

As you enter the central bus station the building on the left side has a CTM office, where you can buy your tickets and check in your luggage. After you checked in your luggage, it gets a tag, but you will keep it with you and are responsible for placing it and yourself on the correct bus.

The CTM bus from Chefchaouen to Tangier costs 45 dirhams and takes a bit over 2 hours (depending on which route the coaches take it can take more than 3 hours to arrive, so check the time carefully when you book).

CTM TANGIER BUS STATION

The CTM bus station in Tangier is in the new part of town. But it is easy to access all other areas of Tangier with a petit taxi or by walking. There are hills so you may want to check where you’re staying and distances before deciding to go by foot.

The bus from Tanger to Rabat costs 75 dirhams and takes between 3.5 and 4.5 hours.

CTM RABAT BUS STATION

Rabat is the capital of Morocco and a real hub. But the old parts of the city are beautiful and worth a visit. The buses that connect here go all over the country but may be a bit more limited as you are now on the train line as well.

The bus from Rabat to Marrakech costs between 135 and 190 dirhams. This is a more expensive route. The price difference is due to the different comfort level of the buses making this route. There are CONFORT, PREMIUM and CONFORT PLUS buses. I think you can look up the exact differences between the buses online (but only in Arabic or French).

It takes between 3 hours and 45 minutes and 6 hours to get to Marrakech.

CTM MARRAKECH BUS STATION

The CTM Bus Station in Marrakech is right next to the imposing train station. Very convenient if you want to transfer from one to the other. You can walk to the medina however if you’re carrying luggage it’s not advisable. There are plenty of taxis nearby.

The bus from Marrakech to Casablanca runs multiple times a day and costs between 90 and 130 dirhams. The fastest bus takes 3 hours. If you are thinking about going the other direction from Casablanca to Marrakech, the time and cost are the same in both directions.

CTM CASABLANCA BUS STATION

The CTM bus station in Casablanca is located within walking distance of Casa Port train station, which is the first stop of the train headed to the airport.

This is a centrally located bus station and you can access taxis as well as the Casablanca tram system.

BUY CTM TICKETS YOURSELF

There is one slight problem if you want to take a CTM bus, if possible you should book your ticket at least 2 or 3 days in advance because even though on most routes there are multiple daily departures they are often booked to capacity. If you are already in the city, you want to ride from, great, just head over to the CTM bus station and purchase your ticket there.

But if you aren’t you have a problem. Now you might ask, can’t I buy a ticket online? You can; some agencies will support you in purchasing your ticket. But they take ridiculously high commissions, and I advise you not to do it.

Unfortunately, the CTM website, as well as the CTM App, are only in Arabic or French. And if you don’t speak either of these languages, you might simply give up buying a ticket in advance and just hope for the best on your chosen travel day.

What if I told you, you don’t have to be able to speak Arabic or French to buy a ticket online? I don’t speak French either, but I managed to book all my tickets through the App in advance. The first time I guessed a lot, but English, German and French have a lot in common, and so I figured it out. To make it easier for you, I put together step by step instructions on how to buy CTM tickets yourself using the CTM App.

STEP 1: DOWNLOAD THE CTM APP

Here are the links to the App Store and the Play Store. Download the CTM App to your phone to get started.

STEP 2: OPEN THE CTM APP

This is the easiest step.

STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE

You only have options between French and Arabic. I chose French, even though I don’t know any French, but it is still easier to look up than Arabic words.

STEP 4: INPUT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

You can either use Facebook to login or input your name and other information in manually. You only need to do this once and the app will remember you.

STEP 5: CHOOSE TO BUY A CTM TICKET

Now you want to click the big red button on the left-hand side saying ‘Acheter un billet’ which means ‘buy a ticket’.

STEP 6: CHOOSE YOUR JOURNEY

On the next screen input the following information to book your CTM ticket.

  1. If you plan on traveling within Morocco, choose ‘Voyage national’.
  2. If you want to go one way only choose ‘Aller simple’ or return then ‘Aller + Retour’.
  3. You are looking for a bus, so you want to choose ‘Tous les bus’ which means ‘all buses’, I don’t know what will come up if you choose ‘Autres catégories’ which means ‘other categories’.
  4. Choose your DÉPART (departure destination) and ARRIVÉE (arrival destination). In my case, I want to go from Fes to Chefchauen, a very popular destination.
  5. Enter the DATE ALLER (the date you want to go) and DATE RETOUR (date to go back) if you want to return.
  6. At ‘Nombre de places’ you enter the ‘number of places’ meaning the number of passengers you want to reserve for.
  7. And lastly, choose ‘Carte Internationale’ meaning you don’t have a Moroccan credit card.
  8. Now you can click the big red RECHERCHER button.

STEP 7: CHOOSE A BUS FROM THE LIST

On this screen all possible departuring buses are listed. From earliest to latest.

Note how they have different durations as indicated below the arrow and prices as you can see above the arrow.

If instead of a price the word COMPLET is displayed it means the bus is already fully booked.

STEP 8: CONFIRM THE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

Since you already input your personal information in step 4, all the fields on the next screen should be filled in already.

You have to click the green dot to accept the conditions of service. This will take you to a new site.

STEP 9: ACCEPT THE CONDITIONS DISPLAYED

Click the red button saying ACCEPTER.

STEP 10: CONTINUE WITH YOUR BOOKING

When you are back on the previous screen press the red button saying SUIVANT.

STEP 11: CHOOSE YOUR SEAT OR SEATS

The seats marked in red are already reserved, the green ones are free for you to choose.

Click on the seat or seats you want; they will turn orange meaning you have selected them.

To continue your booking click the red SUIVANT button at the bottom.

STEP 12: CHECK DETAILS AND PROCEED TO PAY

Re-check your booking information. Departure and destination, date, time and price.

If you are satisfied press the red PAYER button.

STEP 13: INPUT YOUR PAYMENT DETAILS

You have to pay for your ticket right away using a credit card (only Visa, Maestro, Master Card or cmi are accepted).

  1. At ‘Nom de votre banque’ choose the very last option called ‘AUTRES’ meaning others.
  2. For ‘Méthode de paiement’ choose between ‘Visa’, ‘Maestro’, ‘Master Card’ or ‘cmi’.
  3. For ‘Numéro de la carte’ enter your credit card number.
  4. ‘Date de validité’ is your month and year the card will expire.
  5. For ‘Code de vérification’ is your code on the back of your credit card.
  6. Check the box to accept the terms of service
  7. Click ‘Payer’ meaning ‘pay’

STEP 14: YOU ARE DONE

After you are done, you will get an email with your boarding passes. You can also save them directly in the app to your photos.

Below you can see the confirmation that is displayed after payment was successful. If it wasn’t the message looks different.

IN CONCLUSION

That is all you need to know about buses in Morocco and the CTM bus company in particular. I hope you have a pleasant trip around Morocco. It is such a colorful and fascinating country with so many beautiful things to discover.

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