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Backpacking to Morocco: Budget Travel Guide

Morocco budget travel guide will make exploring the fascinating African region easier for curious travelers. 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 travelers 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

Almost no other country compares to the vivid landscapes that the land of Morocco will treat you as a traveler. Beaches, deserts, snow-clad mountains, you’ll find it all in this wonderland. There wasn’t a day on my trip, that I was not left breathless by its beauty.

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 travelers visiting Morocco on a 10-14-day-long trip.

Flights Depending on the distance of your home city from the Moroccan city you’re traveling, 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.

Cabs

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.

Public Transport

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.

Accommodation

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.

Food

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.

Water

A liter 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 safaris in hot deserts.




As a traveler, 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 buses and trains to various cities and towns. Use them freely.

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.

Shop Moderately

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.

Avoid Drinking

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 travelers. As a practice, always ask your hotel to recommend a guide if you need one.

Morocco budget travel guide

While in Morocco, please try to avoid frivolous shopping. If at all, go for unique souvenirs and native utensils. Check out these tagines.

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.”

Here’s why

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

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 colorful flowers line its alleyways.

Getting there
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 you. It will roughly cost you 75 MAD (7.5 USD)
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.

Cheap Accommodation

Hostal la Joya (75 MAD per bed per night)

Travelers 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.

morocco budget travel guide

Chefchaouen is a sleepy, friendly and cheap town. Walls here are washed with vibrant blue paints, and pots of colorful flower pots.

2) Essaouira

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.

Getting there

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.

Cheap Things to do

Relax on the milky white beaches

Horse riding, camel riding, surfing

Explore the colorful port of Essaouira

Experience a hammam (a traditional Moroccan bath)

Head to Si Said’s shop for spice shopping

Cheap Accommodation

White and Blue (65 MAD per bed per night)

 

morocco budget travel guide

You can try out one of Moroccan’s delicacies in Essaouira – snail soup. It might seem weird to you but is actually a delicacy here.

3) Fes

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.

Getting Around

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.

Cheap Accommodation

Funky Fes and Hostel Amir (Roughly 75 MAD per person per night.)

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)

 

morocco budget travel guide

This is the Chouara Tannery in Fez. Although tourists are not allowed inside the tannery, its view from nearby shops is beautiful.

4) Tangier

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.

Cheap Accommodation

Baytalice (85 MAD)

 

morocco budget travel guide

Tangier is a port town on the northern coast of Morocco, and Europe’s getaway into Africa. What a beautiful place to explore. 

5) Rabat

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 travelers to experience Moroccan culture on a budget.

Getting there

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.

Cheap Accommodation

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 travelers.

 

morocco budget travel guide

This is one of the Medinas in Morocco. There’s something happening in every nook and corner of these by lanes. So fun and colourful.

6) Agadir

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 travelers and locals alike.



Getting to Agadir

Agadir is located about 250 kilometers from Marrakech. The 2 cities are connected by train as well as by bus.

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.

Cheap Accommodation

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.

 

Morocco budget travel guide

Even though Agadir was hit by an earthquake a few years ago, its up and running now. Rent a pair of binoculars and enjoy the view.

7) Marrakech

Marrakech is an old medieval city and a major economic center, 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, jewelry, lamps, spices, etc.

Tip: Make sure you haggle your way through the purchases.

What not to Miss

Tea is rightly labeled as the Moroccans’ favorite 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.

 

morocco budget travel guide

This is my herbal tea at a cafe in Marrakech. Jemaa el Fna – the crowded market square can be seen at a distance from here. 

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.

Getting there

Book a ticket to Ouarzazate which is about 30 kilometers 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.

morocco budget travel guide

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this exact location is where the kingdom of Qarth was shot. Aït Benhaddou is just spectacular.

Finally, you could request your host to arrange a car that will take you to Ouarzazate. Hereon, you can proceed to Tinghir.

9) 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.

Getting there

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.

Cheap Accommodation

Maison d’Hotes Retour Au Calme (50 MAD per person per night)

 

morocco budget travel guide

The Todra Gorge attracts travelers from all across the world. It is one of the most beautiful natural wonders that Morocco has to offer.

10) Asilah

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.

Getting there

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.

Cheap Accommodation

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

Even though most travelers forget to add Asilah to their itinerary for Morocco, I suggest you visit it. It offers you a Spain like experience.

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 traveling 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.

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.

Appreciate Craftsmanship

The souks (markets) of Morocco are most visited by travelers 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 theater. 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.

Exhibitions

Stay updated on happenings of cultural institutes, language schools, and English learning centers. 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, ‘couchsurfers’ 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. Travelers 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

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 travelers 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 traveler, 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.

Happy wayfaring.

About the Author

Morocco budget travel guide

Supriya A.N. hails from the garden city of Bangalore in southern India. She is always on the lookout for fun experiences across the globe. After scuba diving in the Mediterranean, counted shooting stars in the Sahara, flying in a helicopter over Barcelona, she now aims at horse riding in the Mongolian steppe, pet whales off the coast of Baja California and many more adventures. She loves salad over pizza, non-fiction over fantasy, movies over sitcoms. Constantly flipping pages of travel books, she is hugely inspired by Michael Palin and Pico Iyer. She’s also keen on the arduous journey the snow geese make every year from the Canadian Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico every winter.

morocco budget travel guide