Tips for Traveling to Morocco on a Budget
Morocco really has it all when looking for a country in North Africa to visit. A land of contrasts, from the vast Sahara Desert and the nomads, to the maze-like streets of Marrakech, Morocco has something for everyone.
Morocco has a rich past and present and a diverse population with a European influence. Some of the world’s most beautiful handicrafts and world-famous cuisines have come out of Morocco.
Looking to Visit Morocco, but on a tight budget? Here are my budget-traveling tips!
When to Visit
Morocco is vast and diverse and has many different regions that you may be thinking of visiting including the Sahara desert and the Atlas Mountains, and of course the capital Marrakech.
It is the diversity of the country that keeps bringing me back for more. If you wish to avoid the most expensive season, don’t visit in July or August. When you visit Morocco in the winter you will gain a much more authentic look at what life is like in North Africa without the hustle and bustle of the tourists. Flights from destinations around Europe to the major airports that serve Fes and Marrakech start for as little as $20.
For a more in-depth look at when to visit Morocco, I have compiled my very own guide “best time to visit Morocco”
Where to Stay
If you are visiting the major cities of Fes or Marrakech, you should budget for around 80-110 MAD per night’s stay. This works out at just $8 to $12 and is plenty for a basic hostel. If you want to save even more money, stay away from the center and you will find perfectly acceptable places to stay for just $5.
If you prefer a private room as opposed to a dorm, you should budget 150-250 MAD per night for city center accommodation. This works out at between $16 and $26, and of course, you always have the option to stay out of town if you are looking to save money.
In Morocco, public transport is not always that reliable. In Casablanca and Marrakech you will find bus services, but they can be a bit hit and miss, as well as hard to work out, old, and overcrowded. Don’t worry however; there are faster, yet still affordable methods of transport to choose from.
Worried about transportation in Morocco? Check out the “TBA Escapes Morocco Adventure Tour”
Taxis are a good form of transport in Morocco, but you should always negotiate the price before you get in. Prices aren’t metered or fixed, so ensure you know how much you are expected to pay first. There are few different options for taxis, petit taxis that hold up to3 people being a popular choice.
Petit taxis are incredibly small, but a great way to get around. A surcharge is normally charged after 8 pm, and like regular taxis, you will need to negotiate the price before you set off.
If your trip is longer, a grand taxi is a better choice, these large taxis carrying up to 6 people and only leaving when they are full. You will find them parked up at bus stations and taxi stands.
Once again, make sure you knew the price before you set off, and ask if there is a luggage surcharge.
Overnight trains in Morocco are awesome! Prices are reasonable too and start from DH370 for a four-bed compartment. This works out at around $38. If you prefer a single private compartment, this should still only cost you around $50, depending on the destination. As this price covers your accommodation for the night, it really is an excellent way to get around.
Book a Morocco Tour
Morocco is generally safe for solo travelers and for women, but as destinations are a long way apart, booking a tour might be the best option. To save both money and time, choose packages that include both accommodation and transportation.
If you want to try authentic cuisine in Morocco, simply head to the local market. Tagine is a staple meal that is a must-try, this being a spiced meat and veg meal that is slow-cooked. Wash this down with Moroccan mint tea for a really authentic experience.
To eat well and cheaply, try the street food. Stalls galore are found on every street, and just for a few dollars, you can choose from a roasted chicken, kebabs, barbecued corn, and much more. If you prefer to sit down and eat, you will find that the average price of your meal will still only be around $3 (30 MAD)
Souvenirs: Bargaining and Buying
Morocco really is a shopper’s paradise, most of all for lovers of pottery and rugs. Make sure you shop around to get the best price, as you will find lots of different vendors offering essentially the same items. Decide how much you are willing to pay, and try a spot of bargaining. Make sure you offer a price that is fair for both you and the seller, or you will find you won’t get the bargains you want after all.
So, before you head off to Morocco, read my guide on what to pack for your trip. Morocco is a conservative country, yet one where you will find steaming hot temperatures and snow-covered mountains. So, it’s essential to pack correctly for the occasion!