Morocco uses the Moroccan Dirham as its national currency. 1 US $ converts to 10 Dirhams. Euro is also accepted as a form of payment by much of the souk owners at the markets and accommodation such as Moroccan Riads and Dars.
Excluding accommodation, daily budget comes in at around the US $30-50 per day or 300 to 500 dirhams for the average backpacker. Prices were comparable to the Western world particularly in the larger cities of Marrakech and Fez and definitely more expensive overall than traveling in South East Asian countries.
Moroccan restaurants and cuisine are easy to find. Traditional dishes include Moroccan soups, Tajine or Tagine (a stew containing meat and veg) and couscous with vegetables or meat. You will get a bowl of bread with every meal that you order and fresh fruit such as watermelon is popular after meals. Alternatively, if Moroccan cuisine is not your thing, many restaurants will offer western dishes such as burgers, spaghetti bolognese, and pizza.
Note: please consult a doctor about your own needs for travel vaccinations for Morocco.
It is recommended that you get the standard vaccines such as Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid before traveling to Morocco. You can find more information on the necessary vaccinations per destination on the Tropical Medical Bureau website here.
As a tourist, you do not require to apply for a visa in advance of entering Morocco nor are you required to pay a fee upon entering for a stay of up to 90 days. You may enter Morocco for a stay of 90 days visa free on a valid passport with at least one blank page. Please consult the embassy website on Morocco visa requirements for more up to date details.
Many people may not think about their clothing options while planning a trip to Morocco however, it is important to remember that Morocco is a conservative country and your usual summer wear of shorts, skirts and string tops may not be the most acceptable in many areas of Morocco, no matter how hot it may be outside. It will be necessary to respect their culture by covering up. Most locals and women especially wear clothing which is high around the chest, covering the shoulders and below the knee. For your own safety and to not draw attention to yourself, dress conservatively like the locals. Pack plenty of light cotton pants, long skirts, and sleeved tops. In more relaxed areas like Chefchaouen in the North, you may get away with your usual summer dress.
Traveling by bus is one of the most inexpensive ways to travel through Morocco. The CTM bus service provides a large number of routes to and from many cities with reasonably priced fares and air conditioning. For example, a single ticket from Fez to Chefchaouen is $7.50 or 750 dirhams. It is possible to book tickets online for CTM services on the CTM website here or directly from the CTM bus station in each city. Often your hostel can help you book tickets also.
Public City bus:
There are also public city buses that operate around the cities. For example, Bus #19 runs from right outside Marrakech airport into the city centre for 30 Dirhams.
There are many taxis/cabs available around the cities. Generally, drivers will try to charge you a sky-high price as a tourist, so it is important to negotiate the price of your journey before hipping in. With a little haggling, you will be able to get them down to a more reasonable price. For example, a 15 to 20-minute journey should cost no more than 50 Dirham or $5.
Note: there is a taxi law across Morocco that only allows 3 passengers per journey.
The weather varies per region across the year in Morocco. The more coastal towns are milder while cities like Marrakech and Fez experience the most humidity and higher temperatures.
Hot Season: From early June to late August, temperatures soar and reach around 40 degrees Celsius. It can become unbearably hot and humid in the cities and the desert during this period, so please be aware before traveling. Despite the heat during the day, temperatures tend to plummet in the evening so it is necessary to pack a jacket.
Winter season: The winter months are from November to February, where temperatures are coldest and the Atlas Mountains experience snowfall.
Best time to visit: March to May are the spring months in Morocco when the weather is more pleasant and bearable and temperatures are in the 20s. The Autumn season of September to October is also a great time to visit.
This is an annual Muslim holiday that takes place in Morocco for the entire month of May. The opening hours of shops, restaurants, and cafes may vary during this period as locals must fast from sunrise to sunset, however, the access to food is still widely available for non-muslims. As Muslims are not permitted to drink during this period, the availability of alcohol is limited. Many restaurants offer alcohol to non-muslims but they must show their passport as proof before being served. Despite this holiday, it is still a peak season for tourists to visit so do not let this put you off visiting Morocco during this period as it will be a culturally enriching experience.
Please click here to read my post about safety advice for Morocco where I go into a lot of detail about do’s and don’t’s for traveling through the country.