If you’re in search of a unique travel experience, Morocco is a thrilling and diverse destination offering fabulous beaches, colourful souks and the magical lanes and archways of Marrakech to explore.
The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD) and they’re not available outside of the country, so you’ll need to take British pounds with you and exchange once you arrive. You can do this at the airport, but may get a better rate at your hotel or bureau de change. You can of course withdraw Moroccan currency directly from an ATM with credit cards which are also accepted in large towns and cities, sometimes with a surcharge.
Dining out in Morocco
Moroccan dining is a feast for the senses, with tajines a must-try. These stew-like dishes contain a tempting mix of lamb or chicken plus vegetables and come served in their earthenware dish with conical lid. You’ll also find fruits in the tajines such as sultanas and apricots, too.
Other dishes include pastilla, a popular street food which consists of chicken or pigeon layered with lemon sauce in pastry. Prices vary in Morocco greatly and in Marrakesh you can expect to eat a three-course meal for around £16.50 per person, whereas in tourist-focussed Agadir, expect to pay about £10 per head.
Morocco caters for a mixed tourist clientele so you can also expect to find a variety of international dishes, especially in seaside resorts of Agadir and Essaouira. In terms of desserts, meals are often finished with some fruit sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, accompanied by a refreshing mint tea.
The price of drinks
Although Morocco is a Muslim country, alcohol is widely available and served in restaurants and hotels. There are three local brands of beer: Casablanca, Spéciale Flag and Stork, with Heineken a favourite import. Expect to pay around £2.30 for domestic beer in Agadir, with prices rising to £3.65 in cities such as Marrakech.
If you’re after a bottle of wine, supermarkets sell bottles for around £5-£7, with a decent restaurant charging between £6-£10.
Visitors generally drink bottled water in Morocco and again prices vary considerably depending on the location – and if buying from a street vendor, it’s worth checking to make sure the seal isn’t broken. Prices vary from 30p per bottle. If you’re after a soft drink such as a Coke or Pepsi you’ll pay around 40p-50p for a small bottle. If you’re after cappuccino or mint tea you’ll pay between 40p-90p.
Out and about
Aside from watersports and sunbathing at the beach resorts, many of Morocco’s attractions are to be found in the bustling streets of Old Marrakesh, known at the Red City because of its beaten-clay walls and ramparts. Haggle for a bargain in the souks surrounding Jemaa el-Fna, where you’ll find everything from leather goods to crafts and ceramics. They expect you to barter, so go in low and see what deals you can get. Rugs are a popular buy and you can probably get a good one for around £35 depending on your negotiating skills.
The Majorelle Gardens, also sometimes referred to as the Yves San Lauren Gardens as this was once his home, are another top attraction. These pretty gardens with their dramatic blue buildings, cacti and fabulous displays of exotic blooms are a delightful spot to escape the Marrakesh mayhem for an hour or two. Admission prices for tourists are around £8.30 for adult entry to the gardens and an extra £2.10 for entrance to museum.
Bahia Palace, one of the most imposing buildings in Marrakesh, is also worth a look and costs around 10 Dirham to enter (less than £1). However, as the palace is empty it’s advisable to pay a guide to explain the history of the building – this will cost you a bit more.
How much spending money should I take to Morocco?
Depending on what you plan to do, you should probably aim to take around £40-£50 per person per day (£280-£300 per week) in Morocco. You can always head to the ATM if you need more cash for extra activities, plus most places accept credit cards.
Tipping in Morocco
There is no hard-and-fast rule to tipping in Morocco, but locals will probably leave a few Dirhams at the end of a meal, so if you’re happy with the service, then you should, too. Aim to give a 10%-15% tip depending on the type of restaurant you’re in and your location. If you go to a spa or hammam, you should consider leaving a tip of around 25 Dirhams (around £5). If you’re staying in a hotel be sure to tip the bell boy between £2-£5. In terms of taking a taxi, it’s advisable to agree on a set price before you go; alternatively, rounding up the price at the end is usually acceptable.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.