Morocco budget travel guide will make exploring the fascinating African region easier for curious travellers. Planning a good trip requires methodical planning, a reasonable itinerary and most importantly, a doable budget.
I have spent a good amount of time exploring the enchanting cities of Morocco. My quests have taught me the utter significance of a decent budget. It helps travellers explore a large number of places without creating holes in their pockets.
So then, in my current blog on Morocco budget travel guide, I will let my experience do the talking. I’ll share all the necessary budget travel tips for a safe and fun vacation to this African wonder.
Morocco Budget Travel Guide – Cost per Expense
If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, it is important that you plan a budget travel guide to this country in advance. Consequently, you can avoid the ‘in the moment’ expenses that pop up during most trips.
The overall Budget for taking a trip to Morocco should be between 3500 – 5000 MAD. This should include accommodation, food, internal transport, external transport and sightseeing.
The currency of Morocco is Moroccan Dirham (MAD).
1 USD = 9.5 MAD; 1 EUR = 10.73 MAD; 1 INR = 0.14 MAD (as per the exchange rates at the time of my trip).
As per my Morocco budget travel guide, the following figures under a different type of expenses should suffice for travellers visiting Morocco on a 10-14-day-long trip.
Depending on the distance of your home city from Moroccan city you’re travelling, costs will vary. Most flights to Morocco are expensive unless you’re availing discounts.
Flights will comprise the bulkiest part of your budget. However, in order to save money here, please keep an eye on discounts. Also, book in advance and clear cookies before booking.
Riding 1 km in a cab will cost you 7 MAD. However, if you pool with somebody, it will cost you less. Generally, there is surge pricing after 8 pm.
The best way to see Morocco on a budget is through public transport. For more details on pricing and availability of seats, visit the ONCF site. There are 2 major companies that offer bus services – Supratours and CTM.
150 – 200 MAD for a riad per night.
Riads are traditional Moroccan houses and form good options for stay. As per my Morocco budget travel guide, do not book your stay online. Simply showing up might increase your chances of getting a discount. A number of hostels in Morocco cost as little as 50-70 MAD per person per night.
A luxury meal will cost you anything between 200 to 250 MAD. However, a decent meal can also be availed at anything between 70 to 150 MAD.
Likewise, if you love eggs, boil them by yourself and save some money. Usually, a dozen eggs will cost you 13 MAD.
A litre of drinking water will cost about 3 to 6 MAD. While in Morocco, always ensure you have enough water stocked up. This becomes even more important on desert safaris in Merzouga or other hot deserts.
As a traveller, it is important for you to save money on things that don’t matter as much and spend money on actual travel. This is where travel tips come in handy.
Morocco Budget Travel Guide for Saving Money – Top Tips
Morocco is not very expensive as a travel destination. As per my Morocco budget travel guide, I highly insist you follow the subsequent tips at all times.
Bunk in Hostels
Bunking in hostels is one of the best ways to save money. Most of your day will be spent out, exploring. Therefore, there’s no point wasting money on a luxury stay. All you would need is a clean and hygienic room to come back to at the end of the day.
Embrace Public Transport
Morocco has a host of shuttles, buses and trains to various cities and towns. Use them freely. I personally used the Souk to Surf services to book taxis and shuttles. They were professional, reliable, safe and on time.
Save on Flights
In order to save money on flights, book early. If you are not restricted by a time crunch, book flights with stopovers.
Try and keep your shopping impulses under control. Sure, buy a souvenir every now and then, but that should be about it.
Eat from the Streets
In Morocco, orange juice and eggs are nominally priced. So, for eggetarians (vegetarians that eat egg), maintaining a budget should not be an issue.
Sometimes, salads and bread come in as add-ons. Look out for those options. Also, breakfast in most hotels and riads will be free.
Although a number of restaurants in Morocco serve alcohol, drinking is not a key part of their culture. This leads to it being charged at hefty prices.
Walk away from Faux Guides
Morocco is known for confusing alleyways. Thus, many guides take advantage of this and fool travellers. As a practice, always ask your hotel to recommend a guide if you need one.
A little cautiousness will be more than enough to help you maintain a budget. Also, the next time someone asks you if a Morocco budget travel guide exists, Go ahead and say, ” yes.”
Morocco Travel Blog – 10 Affordable Places to Visit in Morocco
If you’re visiting Morocco for the first time, you simply cannot miss out on these beautiful and cheap destinations.
1) The Blue City of Chefchaouen
A hidden hippie spot for Instagrammers until a few years back, Chefchaouen is a sleepy, friendly and cheap town. Walls here are washed with vibrant blue paints, and pots of colourful flowers line its alleyways.
Chefchaouen is closest from the town of Fez. Although taxi services run between the two, they are extremely expensive for a backpacker. Instead, opt for a bus – you can either book a ticket online, or ask a local to guide to book it for you. It will roughly cost you 75 MAD (7.5 USD) If you are travelling with someone, you can opt for private transfers from Fes to Chefchaouen.
|Cheap Things to do|
Walk the blue streets of Chefchaouen
Photograph the town
Indulge in some cheap shopping – many stalls sell cute little magnets that are not all that touristy.
Head to the main square at night and hear the buskers play some great music. Or even better, be a busker yourself.
Hike up to the Spanish mosque and enjoy a quiet sunset.
Hostal la Joya (75 MAD per bed per night)
Travellers often omit Chefchaouen while in Morocco. But as per my Morocco budget travel guide, make your way here if you’re looking out for a cheap, and peaceful getaway.
Essaouira is a bright and breezy beach town on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. One can spend hours wandering around its picture-perfect medinas.
Also, Essaouira has had a long-term relationship with music. Lots of travelers are drawn to its music festival, in the month of June.
A number of (economical) buses from Marrakech and other major towns will take you to Essaouira. You wouldn’t be charged more than 100 MAD.
I found the cheapest way to travel to Essaouria was using bus shuttle service for as low as 8 USD. These services are available from Marrakech, Tamraght and Imsouane.
|Cheap Things to do|
Relax on the milky white beaches
Horse riding, camel riding, surfing
Explore the colourful port of Essaouira
Experience a hammam (a traditional Moroccan bath)
Head to Si Said’s shop for spice shopping
White and Blue (65 MAD per bed per night)
Fez is considered to be the cultural capital of Morocco. Although Fez is often seen as a mere alternative to the touristy Marrakech, it is much more than just that. It’s a major town and has both – a railway station and an airport.
While it is said that 24 hours in Fez are enough, its medieval lifestyle and ancient ways of living are going to make you stay for longer.
On foot in the car-free Fez Medina; by bus or taxi outside the medina.
Remember that taxis are of 2 types: red petits taxis (operating within the city), and grands taxis (for travelling to city outskirts).
|Cheap Things to Do|
Make your way to Fez Medina to experience true Moroccan culture.
Also, visit the oldest functioning university, the Chouara Tannery, a water clock, the Bou Inania Madrasa, etc.
|What to Eat|
Kebabs (2 skewers for 10-15 MAD)
Tagine – Meat, vegetables and spices slow-cooked in a clay pot for hours. (50 MAD for a serving)
Maakouda – Maakouda is made with mashed potatoes, eggs, parsley, coriander and some other spices. (10 MAD)
Paprika Aubergine Slices – These are deep-fried slices of aubergine to be eaten with garlic-based sauce. (10 slices for 1 MAD)
Tangier is a port town on the northern coast of Morocco, and Europe’s getaway into Africa. Furthermore, it has a literary and artistic past, that appeals to romanticists.
|Getting to and from Tangier|
A rather cool way of making your way into Morocco is by means of a ferry from Tarifa – the windsurfing capital of Spain. This ferry (roughly 400-450 MAD) will drop you at Tangier.
On the other hand, Tangier is a getaway into the rest of Morocco – it offers rail and bus connections to most major cities. Trains in Morocco are safe, convenient and cheap. Thus, make sure you experience it at least once.
|Cheap Things to do|
Take a camel ride on Tangier Beach
Dwell deeper into history at the Kasbah Museum (open on all days except Tuesdays, from 10am-6pm; entry fee is 20 MAD)
Laze around in Petit Socco – a little squared lined with cafes, eateries and shops.
Visit the American Legislation – it holds secrets of the relations between Morocco and the United States.
Baytalice (85 MAD)
Contrary to popular belief, Casablanca is not the capital of Morocco. It’s Rabat – a tourist-friendly, modern, and open-minded city. Likewise, Rabat makes for a great place for travellers to experience Moroccan culture on a budget.
Although buses can be opted for, trains are a cheaper and faster way of getting to Rabat (from Casablanca). Tickets can cost anywhere between 35-70 MAD.
Above all, Rabat also offers train and bus services to get to other Moroccan wonders.
|Cheap Things to Do|
Visit Chellah, an ancient fortified city on the outskirts of Rabat.
Spend a day with lions, elephants, and hippos at the Rabat Zoo.
Walk around every bustling medina.
Hop on to a boat and sail around the Bou Regreg river.
Visit one of the many beaches that line Rabat.
Enjoy music at the Mawazine Festival, that generally takes place in the month of June. Some of the concerts here are absolutely free of cost.
Although Rabat isn’t home to many cheap hostels, a number of smaller hotels and riads can be found here. This is because it caters to business travellers.
The worst earthquake that ever hit Morocco, destroyed the beach town of Agadir in 1960. The entire city was then reconstructed, due to which it has a brand-new feel to it, unlike most of Morocco. Seems like, locals from Marrakech flock to this coastal city for a relaxing weekend.
What’s best about Agadir is that you don’t have to spend big bucks to have a good time here. It’s a welcoming and hospitable city, attracting travellers and locals alike.
|Getting to Agadir|
Agadir is located about 250 kilometres from Marrakech. The 2 cities are connected by train as well as by bus.
If you are travelling in a group, you can also book taxis from Marrakech to Agadir. That way the cost can be divided equally amongst the passengers.
|Cheap Things to do|
Sunbathe at the Agadir Marina
Walk the Corniche Street and grab a few bites.
If you’re looking out for adventure, head to Paradise Valley. Hike through gorgeous mountain ranges and go cliff diving.
Hike up to Kasbah Hill for great views of the coastline.
Unfortunately, you won’t find many hostels in Agadir. However, you should be able to find Riads or hotels costing not more than 120 MAD a night.
Marrakech is an old medieval city and a major economic centre, thereby making it a popular travel destination in Africa. It caters to both backpackers and those desiring a luxury trip. From hostels to 5-star hotels, and from street-side vendors to sit-down restaurants, Marrakech has something for everybody.
While Marrakech can prove to be extremely heavy on the pocket, a little cautiousness and planning will help you stick to a conservative budget.
|What to see|
Jemaa-el-Fna, a market square which is also a world heritage site, Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Majorelle Garden, El Badi Palace, Medina of Marrakech, Saadian Tombs
(A lot of these attractions cost nothing or close to nothing. Make the most of it.)
|What to buy|
Leather merchandise, Moroccan musical instruments, carpets, teapots, tea glasses, jewellery, lamps, spices, etc.
Tip: Make sure you haggle your way through the purchases.
|What not to Miss|
Tea is rightly labelled as the Moroccans’ favourite beverage. Head to one of the cafes in the Jemaa el-Fna Square. Then, order a pot of mint tea. Sit back, relax, sip your tea and watch the market square from the comforts of your table. A pot can cost anywhere between 5-20 MAD.
8) Aït Ben Haddou
Aït Benhaddou is a small village popular for the centuries-old ksar, built by the Berbers ages ago. It was recently used as a set by the American television series ‘Game of Thrones’.
Consequently, this location has come into the limelight. Seems like, it’s much more than just a world heritage site now.
Book a ticket to Ouarzazate which is about 30 kilometres away. Once you’re on the bus, request the bus driver to drop you at the intersection leading to Aït Benhaddou.
From here, you’ll generally be charged 10 MAD in a shared cab. Furthermore, if you’re willing to compromise on comfort and give in to the adventure, try asking for a lift.
|Cheap Things to do|
Marvel at one of the sets of Game of Thrones
Look for fossils in the rocks
Go for a swim in the river
Visit The Movie Studios in Ouarzazate. It costs 50 MAD per person but is absolutely worth the money.
Finally, you can visit the Museum of Cinema, where works of art from historic films are displayed. (30 MAD per person).
Since Aït Benhaddou is a tourist spot, finding accommodation and food will not be tedious. Most of them are similarly priced, but it would be a good idea to do some comparison nevertheless.
Finally, you could request your host to arrange a car that will take you to Ouarzazate. Hereon, you can proceed to Tinghir.
Tinghir is a wonderful mix of different shades of green and brown. Consisting of 40,000 inhabitants, Tinghir is a beautiful town in Eastern Morocco.
Board a bus from Ouarzazate to Tinghir. It will roughly cost you about 170 MAD and takes 3 hours.
|Cheap Things to do|
The most popular travel attractions here are the Dades Gorge (53kms away) and the Todra Gorge (5kms away). There are no official entrance fees.
What you choose to visit is completely up to you. Do some asking around, and see what would float your boat best.
I visited the Todra Gorge. I must say, these deep rock cuts are a delight to watch. You will be dropped at the base of the gorge, after which you can walk around to explore the place. A few hours can be spent by the ice-cold stream of water flowing from the Atlas.
Maison d’Hotes Retour Au Calme (50 MAD per person per night)
Asilah is so off the beaten track, that most Morocco budget travel guides would make no mention of it. If you want to experience a little bit of Spain in this African country, there’d be no better place to go.
You can head to Asilah once you’re done exploring Tangier. If Tangier does not mark your itinerary, you could also board a bus or train from most major towns of Morocco.
|Cheap Things to do|
Ride a bicycle along the promenade
Enjoy some traditional Spanish drinks at Paradise Beach
Visit the Church of San Bartolome and enjoy a (free) guided tour by the resident nuns
Admire the artwork and pose against Asilah’s colourful backdrops.
Grazella Hostel (110 MAD per person per night)
Morocco has so much to offer, that I’ve left out a number of cities and towns in this list. This list is not exhaustive. But, it is a guide to some of the most affordable cities to see in Morocco.
Morocco Budget Travel Guide for Local Tours
Local tours are a reasonable way of exploring different places in Morocco. Whether you’re in a group or travelling solo, locally provided tours can be an excellent way of exploring different Moroccan locales without compromising on your budget. Most of these tours even have a guide. Having a guide in Morocco helps you connect with the region better.
Below are some of the most pocket-friendly tour that I would suggest:
- Marrakech Medina Walking Tour: Half-Day Guided Tour – It’s a 3 hour guided walking tour that you on an exploratory tour of the Marrakech medina.
Fes Guided Tour – In about 4 hours, a tour guide will take you through the best of Fes including the Chouara Tannery, Attarrin Islamic old School, Nejjarrin Museum, Seffarrin, Al- Batha Museum, Arms Museum, The Batha Palace.
Private City Tour Agadir – This half-day tour includes a professional guide who takes you through the city of Adagir.
- Day Trip To Atlas Mountains and Three Valleys & Berber Villages from Marrakech – This tour takes you to Atlas Mountains, Imlil Valley, Asni Valley, Amizmiz Valley, hike to the waterfalls and wonderful views. You also get to visit Argan women’s cooperative. The tour also includes the costs of camel ride, lunch and tea. I highly recommend this trip.
- Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech – This full-day trip from Marrakech will take you through the souks, the beautiful Moulay el Hassan square, and the old medina. I would recommend this tour if you’re looking for a quick day trip to Essaouira.
Paradise Valley Guided Day Trip from Agadir – This is a day trip to paradise valley. The valley is luscious with steep-sided canyons of the Oued Tamraght lined with palms, argan trees, oleanders and wild thyme.
(Note: The prices of the tours may vary from season to season and by the number of people. Compare carefully when picking one.)
Morocco Budget Travel Guide: Experiences that Cost Nothing
If you still think you need to spend a fortune to explore Morocco, read on. There’s always going to be thousands of things you can spend a fortune on, just to have fun. In contrast, there’s also experiences that you need to pay nothing for.
As per my Morocco budget travel guide, keep an eye out for the following treats. Try squeezing the most out of your trip to Morocco.
Enjoy a local Hammam
A hammam is a traditional Turkish bath, closely associated with the Islamic world. Now, while you’d get multiple opportunities to experience one, chances of them being expensive are very high. If you do not want to spend a lot, go for the local bath in Marrakech. You’d be charged an entrance fee of just 10-20 MAD (1-2 USD), as against 300-500 MAD.
Tip: Carry your own soap and towel to avoid extra costs. Furthermore, try visiting on a weekday for fewer crowds.
The souks (markets) of Morocco are most visited by travellers wanting to shop. However, there’s much more to make your way through a souk. Spend a day observing and learning about the process of manufacturing these goods. You’d be amazed to see how talented these artisans are and how hard they work just to pierce together a pair of shoe.
Tip: Ask for permission if you want to film or photograph them.
Free Cultural Performances
Morocco is a country rich in culture. People love their music, their dance, and their theatre. Lots of cities in Morocco feature cultural performances that can be enjoyed for free. You could witness Moroccan storytelling (in both English in Arabic), folk dances and live band performances to inch closer to their culture.
Tip: Ask around in your hostel for events of the sort. Alternatively, ask them about Facebook pages that could keep you updated.
Stay updated on happenings of cultural institutes, language schools, and English learning centres. Most of them host movie nights, talk shows, debates and open-minded discussions about topics to do solely with Morocco. It is also a great way to make a friend or two, and make further travels shared and cheaper.
While these are just a few suggestions, you will definitely stumble upon more experiences of the sort. After all, Morocco is pretty generous.
Morocco Budget Travel Guide: Couchsurfing your way through Morocco
Today, everybody wants to travel. Everybody wants to see the northern lights in Norway. Everybody wants to trek the mountains in Alaska. Fortunately, money is no longer as crucial a factor to define your travels.
If you’re looking for ways to make your trip cheaper, my Morocco budget travel guide recommends Couchsurfing. In simple words, ‘couch surfers’ ditch hotels and other forms of accommodation for a spare room or a couch in hosts’ homes.
This is kind of a win-win situation. Travellers get to travel cheap, and sometimes, be shown around by their hosts. Additionally, hosts are happy to expose themselves to people from countries and cultures around the world. Most importantly, however, it’s one of the best ways to meet like-minded individuals around the globe.
Tips to find a Couchsurfing Host while travelling to Morocco
Before you start looking for Couchsurfing options, read the following tips. These will be useful:
|It’s not free – Many assume that Couchsurfing equates free stay. While most hosts are considerate enough to not have you pay, paying small amounts for food, gas, electricity, etc would not harm.|
Hosting travellers on a daily basis add up to a decent amount of money. Hence, the last thing you want to come across as is a burden.
|Know their culture – Make it a point to read up on their cultures. For instance, in Morocco, eating with your hands is a tradition. Furthermore, you must only use your thumb and first two fingers.|
Knowing such things will not only aid your Couchsurfing experience but also your trip on a whole.
|Use more than one host – You might meet your host and realize that things are awkward, weird and uncomfortable. In such a scenario, having another host would help.|
Consequently, always try to split your stay between more than just one host.
|Know their schedule – Ask your host what their days look like before you get there.|
If they’re working a job, make sure you drop by at an hour that they’re going to be home. Do not make them adjust to your schedules.
|Keep your host up-to-date – Likewise, make sure your host is up-to-date with your plans. Well, at least roughly.|
If you’re not going to be back for dinner, let them know. If you’re going to be leaving before sunrise, inform them.
|Be considerate – Know that you’re not going to be staying at a hotel. They are not obliged to ‘serve you.’|
So, be clean. Be considerate. Use resources like water and electricity moderately.
If you manage to follow these simple tips, a memorable Couchsurfing experience will ensue. And, who knows. Maybe you could host them in your home country someday.
Morocco on a Budget – It’s Possible
No matter how expensive a destination is for a traveller, there are always ways to cut down all frivolous spending. I hope that this Morocco budget travel guide helps you plan a budget trip to this Arabic country. There are, of course, more cities to see, more dishes to try, and more stereotypes to be challenged. Head to this magical land, and share your stories.