Writing a post about the cost of travel, or prices in Morocco is difficult.
Firstly, depending on your travel style and how long you're in the country for, prices can vary wildly on your own Morocco experience. There are a plethora of luxury resorts, riads and spas, which charge accordingly, whilst backpackers can spend less than £5 on a dorm bed in some places and eat pretty cheaply. Thankfully, it's quite easy to slot into a groove and find something which will suit your budget wherever you roam.
So, is Morocco expensive? For us, it was an affordable destination which allowed us to spend a little more on certain activities - like an unforgettable road trip to the Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains.
The most challenging aspect for planning your travel budget and establishing the standard cost of living in Morocco however, is that certain day-to-day expenses actually come in three unofficial tiers:
The price in the tourist area
The price for a tourist in a local area
The normal price
Sounds confusing and possible a little far-fetched, but trust us on this one. Fundamentally however, for many items, you'll find a wide range of prices being touted and, sometimes, it's up to you to determine how much something is really worth (and to play your part in that famous Moroccan haggle). If you can get somewhere between the last two, then you'll be doing well.
The costs below are the average we encountered in our time in the country (February - March 2017), and the individual items have been chosen for their popularity amongst travellers in Morocco. Note that prices may vary according to seasonality.
Currencies are Moroccan dirham (dh) / £GBP / $USD / €EUR, with conversion rate as at time of publication.
private double at a riad in Marrakech
A riad is such a qunitiseentially Moroccan experience that you can't visit without staying in one. In the major cities like Fez and Marrakech, there are an abundance to choose from and many are staggeringly beautiful whilst still not costing the earth.
600-900dh | £48-72 | $60-90 | €56-85
a budget double room
Costs vary wildly here depending if you opt for a private room in a backpacker hostel, a boutique hostel or a small hotel. On our road trip outside of Marrakech, we never paid more than 200dh for a basic private double with private bathroom and breakfast included.
If you're a solo traveller, then you really shouldn't expect to spend more than £10 for a dorm bed anywhere in the country.
Check out some of the best hostels in Morocco here.
180-380dh | £14-30 | $18-38 | €17-36
simple breakfast out
Expect bread, jams, coffee or tea, fresh juice, yoghurt and some cakes/pastires.
Breakfast is usually included at your riad or hotel.
20-25dh | £1.6-2.0 | $2-2.5 | €1.8-2.3
a pot of mint tea
Morrocans like their tea almost as much as us Brits. It may not be to everyone's immediate liking, but the ceremony and ritual attached to it is endearing.
In a number of riads, you will be greeted with tea upon arrival each day for free. However, out and about, a pot can cost anywhere from 5 to 20dh.
5-20dh | £0.4-1.6 | $0.5-1.9 | €0.47-1.87
a vegetarian tagine
We're both pretty much vegetarian now and so, inevitably, we ate an awful lot of vegetarian tagines. The quality and taste varied almost as dramatically as the prices on offer. Even in the touristy areas in Marrakech, you can find somewhere selling it cheap at 25dh, but for anywhere a little more upmarket or catering to Europeans, expect to pay over 50dh.
25-80dh | £2-4.6 | $2.5-8 | €2.3-7.5
one litre bottle of water
Unfortunately, you will go through a lot of plastic in Morocco as it isn't recommended to drink the tap water at all (unless you have a bottle with an in-built filter).
Try to stay at least a little green by buying large bottles of water, rather than lots and lots of small ones.
5-10dh | £0.4-0.8 | $0.5-1 | €0.5-1
cup of coffee
On our road trip, we had a lovely little daily routine of stopping off a couple of times in a random place to have coffee out on a roadside terrace. It often led to nice little conversations or interactions and, in the cities, it offered a cheap way to waste an hour in the sun, watching the daily life of Morocco unfold before you.
The French attitude towards cafe culture remains strong here - with pure, strong black stuff with sugar (no milk) the most popular way to consumer it.
7-20dh | £0.6-1.2 | $0.7-1.5 | €0.65-1.4
litre of petrol
Diesel is a dirham or so cheaper but, across the country, you'll find fuel prices remain pretty constant.
Bizarrely, a petrol station by the Sahara desert was one of the cheapest.
11dh | £0.88 | $1.10 | €1.10
Desert camp in the sahara
The first time we visited Morocco, we weren't able to make it to the Sahara.
We are so, so glad that we made the effort to reach it this time around on our own - even if it was for only one night. We stayed in a gorgeous and secluded camp, and this cost included sunset and sunrise camel rides and sumptuous meals.
Read about our experience here.
970dh | £77 | $96 | €90
day of car rental
There are many tour companies offering to take you from Marrakech to the Sahara for 2 nights, 3 days. Prices start at around £80 per person, however it involves a lot of driving in a short space of time. It is also possible to reach the Sahara with public transport, but this is really only an option for people with a lot of time to spare on 12+ hour bus rides.
So, we feel that we definitely made the right choice by renting a car.
It gave us more time to experience the country at our own pace, the chance to take roads less travelled and, importantly, it was pretty damn cheap. Cost listed was for our six-day rental of an economy car, including insurance, via Auto Europe (the only rental website we use)
239dh | £19 | $24 | €23.5
bus from marrakech to essaouira
If you're visiting Morocco, we definitely recommend spending at least one night in Essaouira. The easiest way to get there? A very comfortable and affordable bus.
70dh | £5.6 | $6.9 | €6.5
Thankfully, museums or sites of historical interest are very affordable throughout Morocco, so you shouldn't really have to miss out due to your budget.
The only exception however is the Jardin Majorelle entrance, which is a crazy 50dh (we didn't do it) and the Photography Gllaery in Marrakech at 40dh (which we did and 100% recommend).
10-20dh | £0.8-1.6 | $1-2 | €1-2
can of coke
3-7dh | £0.25-0.55 | $0.3-0.7 | €0.3-0.6
glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
Now, a wonderful surprise in Morocco is the ubiquity of freshly squeezed orange juice from colourful carts or stands.
Delicious and refreshing, you'll also find that the price fluctuates quite a lot.
5-20dh | £0.4-1.6 | $0.5-2 | €0.47-1.9
bowl of harina soup
Now, you remember how we said that Morocco has three price ranges? Well, nothing highlighted this more to us than our harina soup experience.
In touristy parts of Marrkech, it was around 20-30dh a bowl. In less touristy Essaouira, it was 10-20dh a bowl.
In a local ma n' pa restaurnt in a town in the middle of nowhere on the last night of our roadtrip, we paid 3.5dh for the biggest, most delicious bowl ever.
3.5-30dh | £0.3-2.4 | $0.35-3 | €0.3-2.8
bunch of bananas
Fruit and veg is plentiful, delicious and, usually, quite affordable across Morocco. However, the prices you'll be quoted for anything from a bunch of bananas to a kilo of tomatoes or a fistful of fresh olives from a huge bucket will vary quite dramatically from person to person and place to place. If you're travelling here for a while, try to ask around at your hostel to get an idea of fair prices.
5-20dh | £0.4-1.6 | $0.5-2 | €0.47-1.9
cooking class experience
We try to take a cooking class in every country we visit - they offer a unique multi-sensory insight into a country's identity and history (and, you know, you get to stuff your face).
We highly recommend the Marrakech cooking class we took.
540dh | £42 | $52 | €50
Um, yeah, basically this comes down to how much the taxi driver feels like ripping you off for that day. As Lahcen, our fantastic host in Marrakech told us, 10dh for him would probably be 50dh for us! In the middle of an afternoon downpour, he was proven to be absolutely right (although we did manage to get the man down to 20dh). From the bus station to the airport, we got from 150dh to 50dh!
Negotiation is therefore really key with taxis. Have a rough idea of price and don't be afraid to say no at least three times - never get in the cab without first fully agreeing what you'll pay.
Top tip: Flying in to Marrakech? Don't bother with a taxi negotiation, you're much better off taking a airport shuttle service like this one. (unless you're travelling in a group, in which case a taxi may be cheaper).
?dh | £? | $? | €?
luxury hammam experience
Now, it's worth noting that that a proper local place (without any frills whatsoever) can cost as little as 10-20dh.
However, at a more tourist-focussed luxury spa, you can expect to pay from an average of 200dh for a 30 minute hammam to 600dh if you pair it with an hour-long massage. As ever in Marrakech, you can also find very high-end spas which would make 600dh look cheap.
200-600dh | £16-48 | $20-60 | €19-56
Yep, good luck with that.
The Moroccan salesman knows his hustle and, after watching local men try to wholesale carpets to shops, even amongst eachother a hard-negotiated deal is part of the buying/selling process.
Our advice? Never ever take the first price if you're buying from a souvenir stall (or the second or the third) and, fundamentally, have an idea of what you are happy to pay and aim for that. The goal is to come to a price everyone is happy with, rather than drive the seller down to the lowest price possible.
?dh | £? | $? | €?
pack of local cigarettes
20dh | £1.6 | $2 | €1.87
If you're reading this and aren't already aware that Morocco is a strictly Islamic country, then get yourself ready for a shock. Although alcohol is available in the country (and beer and wine is actually brewed there), it is not commonly drunk by Moroccans, widely available or easily accessible.
In Essaouria, it was quite easy to find places selling it whilst our Desert Camp had plentiful stocks for guests. However, day to day, you are going to be drinking coca-cola, coffee or mint tea rather than an ice-cold beer (although non-alcoholic beer is available in some western-focused hangouts). The lower price above is for buying it in a shop, the higher prices are what you'd expect to pay in a cafe/restaurant.
Our tip if you like a tipple? Make sure you bring something from duty free and enjoy it in the privacy of your riad.
11-40dh | £0.9-3.2 | $1.1-4 | €1-3.75
A TUNA PANINI
Our go-to snack when buses made their lunch stops or we just needed something quick and cheap to keep us going was the ubiquitous tuna panini.
20-30dh | £2-3 | $0.1-0.5 | €1.9-2.8
From little carts you'll find a lovely array of fresh sticky pastries and cakes, whilst small shops sell local crisps and sweets pretty cheaply.
For imported goods, always expect to pay considerably more.
1-5dh | £0.1-0.4 | $0.1-0.5 | €0.1-0.5
We wouldn't recommend anyone tries to discovery the medinas of any Moroccan city by bicycle, but out on the coast it's a nice option to head out and explore.
80-150dh | £6.4-12 | $8-15 | €7.5-14
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