Wondering what a reasonable travel budget is for your Morocco trip? I’ve got you covered! Read on for all the details of exactly how much our Morocco trip costs were in a variety of categories!
This was our first time in Africa and was the makeup from our trip that was cancelled in March 2020, so the whole experience felt absolutely surreal.
The sights, tastes, smells, and sounds of Morocco were all so different from anything I’ve experienced before and I absolutely loved it!
If you’re considering a trip to Morocco, you’re probably wondering what your Morocco travel budget should be. Is it more expensive – like European prices – or is Morocco cheap, more like what you would pay in southeast Asia?
I’ve got you covered! In this article, I’ll go over exactly what we spent in our 10 day trip to Morocco, where we splurged and where we saved, and what you can generally expect prices to be for a variety of categories. Knowing ahead of time what is a good price is particularly helpful in some categories, as you will need to haggle for some types of purchases!
We spent time in many locations in Morocco – Casablanca, Marrakech, Ait Ben Haddou, the Dades Gorge, the Sahara, Fes, and Chefchaouen. So this cost breakdown will cover a lot of different places and experiences you could have in Morocco.
I would call our Morocco travel budget a very mid-range budget. We stayed in cheaper accommodations some nights and somewhat nicer ones other nights. We ate out a lot, but also chose restaurants that were on the less expensive side. And we definitely dropped some money on cool experiences!
All costs are for two people and while we paid in Moroccan dirhams, I’ll give the cost here in dollars.
Let’s dive in to our Morocco travel budget!
Total Cost for 10 Days: $483
In Marrakech, we stayed 4 nights in this charming little riad, paying $35 per night. In Morocco, riads are traditional guesthouses. They usually are very small, with 5-8 rooms, have an open-air courtyard in the middle and a rooftop terrace you can relax on, and have breakfast included.
Our riad was located squarely in the medina, very close to the Koutoubia mosque, the Saadian tombs, and the Jemma el-Fnaa market square, and not far from other attractions. The room was cozy, but clean, the courtyard was so peaceful, and breakfast was delicious!
I would call this riad “budget accommodations” for Morocco, but as you can see, it was still very nice! Check availabilty for Riad dar Palmyra here!
Read all about our top 16 things to do in Marrakech
On the way to Merzouga and the Sahara Desert, we stayed in a colorful guesthouse in Tamellalt, close to the Dades Gorge. This guesthouse was surrounded by the mountains and eating breakfast and dinner on the rooftop was absolutely divine.
The location was perfect for hiking the Dades Gorge (you HAVE to do the monkey fingers hike!) and the owners were super welcoming, going out of their way to help us with several things. This guesthouse was $40/night. Check availabilty for TAFSUT here!
We did a desert glamping experience in the Sahara, staying two nights in the most beautiful tents I have ever seen. This was a TOP highlight of the entire trip – riding camels in the dunes, going to sleep watching the stars, waking up for sunrise, and hanging out in the dunes.
It’s a long drive from Marrakech, but if you are going to Morocco, you just can’t miss the Sahara.
The men running our camp were so welcoming and friendly, going above and beyond to help, chatting with us about the geography and history of the region, and sharing parts of their culture with us. The cost for this was $100/night, which included both breakfast and dinner. Check current prices for Desert Heart Luxury Camp here!
Finally, in Fes we stayed in this jaw-droppingly gorgeous riad. I honestly kind of wish we had another day in Fes just so I could hang out in the riad all day, it was that stunning.
The best part is it was only $50/night! We almost booked a different, nice looking place for $20/night, but it was absolutely worth the extra 30 bucks to stay in what basically felt like a palace. Check availability for Riad Sara here!
Read about our favorite 12 things to do in Fes here!
Ok, so how much does a meal cost in Morocco? That $297 got us 13 restaurant meals in Morocco, which included main dishes and non-alcoholic drinks for two people, plus a small tip. There was no tax added. That averages out to about $20 total per meal, which I think is pretty typical.
Our most expensive meal was $35, in the café at the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, and our cheapest meal was $12, at Maison de Sable in Ait Ben Haddou.
The drinks in this category are in addition to anything we ordered at a restaurant.
Morocco is HOT. Even in October, we had highs most days in the 90’s (thankfully, it was dry heat!). While water is supposedly okay in most places, we wanted to play it safe and bought bottled water around the city.
Although this is not the most ecological choice, I do think it was the safer choice health-wise. I also think it would have been hard if we had tried to rely on our filtered water bottles – there aren’t lots of places to refill your water bottles, and we went through A TON of water.
The $23 in this category covered 22+ occasions of buying drinks, and we usually bought several different items on each occasion.
Water bottles are very inexpensive – most were 30 cents, and even juice or soda are still very cheap – between 30 and 60 cents for a bottle. Little snack and drink stands are everywhere in the city, so it is extremely easy to find water wherever you are. And sometimes the refrigerated drinks will even be cold!
Big purchases in this category were fresh squeezed pomegranate juice ($3 and delicious) and way overpaying our first day for drinks ($2.50 instead of the usual 60 cents).
Since we bought drinks 3-4 times a day, I was very happy that the total cost for this category in our Morocco travel budget was so low.
This $13 includes 16 instances of buying treats, pastries, bread, or snacks on the street. Pastries are crazy cheap – we only paid 10 to 30 cents for some really great treats. Candy is similarly priced – and we brought back a bunch for just a few dollars. Finally, we bought bread a few times and again, only paid 10 cents for a loaf or a baguette.
Half of the money in this category actually all came from the train station in Casablanca where we bought a sandwich, pastry, and some fries for $7 total – extremely expensive for Morocco “snacks”!
Cooking Class: $75
While the cost of this class was double our most expensive meal, it also was one of my TOP favorite things we did the whole trip and was absolutely worth including that expense in our Morocco travel budget.
This cooking class was run by Najlae, a 30 year-old Moroccan woman. She took us to the market where we bought ingredients for our meal, brought us to her home, made mint tea and took us through the whole process of how to brew it.
After chatting over tea and cookies, she taught us about Moroccan herbs and ingredients, walked us through how to prepare foods as we chopped and mixed up our meal. We had interesting discussions and asked questions about Moroccan culture, her life and experiences, and learned so much.
And the meal we made – lamb tagine with prunes and apricots, with 4 different Moroccan salads – was EASILY the best meal I had in Morocco! I’m drooling just thinking about that lamb tagine again: so flavorful and so tender! Learn more about this cooking class here.
Entrance Fees: $145
This included entrance fees to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, six attractions in Marrakech, the Madrassa Al-Attarine in Fes, Ait Ben Haddou kasbah, and taking pictures on particularly cute streets in Chefchaouen (there was a donation basket out for taking pictures where shop owners had set up decorations).
Most entrance fees were $6-7 per person, with the mosque and the Jardin Majorelle being $12/pp.
We’ve only done this a few times so far, but it is quickly becoming one of my favorite travel souvenirs! We booked a local photographer for a one hour photoshoot, chose a beautiful location with lots of tiles and mosaics (the Musee Dar El Bacha), and took a lot of cute couples photos with him!
Now we have 60 gorgeous shots of us together in Morocco – I love it!
Riding Camels: $40
The cost to ride camels in the Sahara was not included in the cost of accommodations, but you can’t go to the Sahara and not ride a camel!
ATVing in the Sahara: $80
Again, this was an extra activity, but was so fun!
We did a one hour guided ATV tour through the sand dunes, going up and down some pretty high dunes! The guide was definitely needed – some dunes are really too steep to go up or down, and you want to hit sand at the right angle to be safe.
While this was an extra cost, I’m glad we did it! You don’t need to book this ahead of time, just tell the guys at camp you want to do ATVing and they’ll get it arranged!
There is also the option to do a two-person buggy instead of the ATV’s.
Okay, so in general, you do NOT need “guides” in Morocco – in the cities, if people offer their services as guides, say no.
However, we did decide to pay for a guided tour of Ait Ben Haddou – the old fortified city out in the desert, because I wanted to hear the history and details about the city.
The guide initially said the cost was 200 dirham ($20) and we countered with 100, which he immediately accepted, which made it obvious to us that we were way overpaying. Honestly, the more fair price for the service was like 30 dirham, but whatever. You live, you learn.
We also tipped a guy we were hiking with in the Dades Gorge – he ended up hiking with us for a while, showed us some different routes, and was really chatty and friendly.
At first, we tried to not stay with him because again, don’t go with any guides!, but we actually really liked hanging with him and showing us the alternate routes was really cool. At the end of the hike he just started walking away – I truly don’t think he was doing it just for the money.
We still gave him 30 dirham ($3), though, because we were appreciative and that seemed like the right thing to do in Morocco.
Flights: $1600, we paid $1000
Flights to Morocco can be fairly expensive (regular price is ~$1000) and unlike Europe, they rarely go on sale. We booked the flights with our Capital One Venture card, though, and used our points to offset some of the cost of the flights.
One other really good option to bring down the cost of flights is to book tickets to a nearby country, such as Spain, or even France. If you buy during a sale (which happen regularly), you could get tickets in the $400-500 range, and then book a separate flight (usually $50-70 one way) from Europe down to Morocco.
Just double check the itineraries between your arrival city in Europe and your destination in Morocco to make sure there is an itinerary that works!
Taxis overall were extremely cheap. Taxis going to or from the airport in many cities are a fixed price (300 ($30) dirham in Casablanca for a 45 minute drive, 70 dirham ($7) in Marrakech for a 15 minute drive).
We also took 6 taxis within the city, which cost us between $1.50 and $4.
The first day we paid $4 for a couple of rides, and then quickly learned that that was too much money. A fair price for a taxi from one side of the medina in Marrakech to the opposite side is 25 dirham ($2.50) for about a 10 minute ride, and halfway through would be 15-20 dirham.
Always haggle and agree on the price of the taxi before you get in the car. If the driver won’t come down to what I want, I start walking away. Every time, they’ve called out and agreed to my price.
I felt confident this was fair pricing because this was based on some guidance our riad owner gave us in Marrakech.
We took a train from Casablanca to Marrakech our first day. First class tickets cost us $17 each and the ride took us about 2.5 hours.
Car Rental: $230 plus a $70 one way fee
From Marrakech, we picked up our Europcar rental car that we drove through the rest of our trip in Morocco. The cost is for five days, and included a $70 one way fee that we paid at pickup, since we were dropping the car off in Tangier. That one way fee was definitely worth not having to backtrack to Marrakech just for a car rental drop off.
We drove 1400 km/885 miles on our road trip through Morocco. It’s hard to believe it, but that distance took a full 22 hours!
We found that the estimated time on Google Maps was pretty accurate, it just takes a long time to get places in Morocco because A. the roads are very winding B. The speed limit is lower and C. Most roads are 2 lanes and you can get stuck behind slow cars and trucks really frequently. Because the roads are so winding, it can take a while to be able to pass them!
At gas stations, an attendant will pump your gas, and we had to pay cash 2 of the 3 times we filled up.
While the car was very convenient for hitting the out of the way destinations we visited, it was a bit hair-raising to drive in some parts of Morocco and if we were only going between the major cities we would have just done trains, taxis, or buses. With the itinerary we wanted though, a rental was a necessity. Look for a guide coming soon on everything to know about driving in Morocco!
If you want to visit the Sahara, or other locations in the Atlas mountains, but don’t want to drive yourself, you can also book a tour or a private driver as well.
We paid $6 for two nights in a parking garage in Fes, and another $1 for a few hours in Chefchaouen.
Oof! This was a surprisingly large category for us in our Morocco travel budget. We did have a lot of people we were bringing things back for (my mom watched our four girls while we were gone, so of course we got her aallllll the presents), but we also got tempted by the many beautiful goods in Morocco for ourselves!
Here’s a brief run-down of the types of things we bought in Morocco and what we paid for some of them – after looking at a lot of different shops, I think these are pretty average prices in Morocco for these types of goods.
Outfits: We bought two turban scarves for the desert ($5 each), another $5 for a bangle-headscarf, plus a kaftan for Matthew ($20) and pants for me ($10), and another traditional kaftan dress for my mom ($20).
Ceramics: I loved loved loved all the ceramic painted plates and bowls, and we brought back a few for us, plus four others as gifts for other people. A miniature bowl was $2, plates with engravings were between $6 and $8, and a large platter with metal was $32.
(The platters with metal were very common only in Fes, and drove the price up a lot. If you are getting a large bowl or plate without the metal, a fair price would be around $10-12, depending on size and quality.)
We also bought a teapot ($16), a lamp ($15), a leather wallet ($10) and a leather purse ($10). The biggest purchase of the trip was a buttery soft, perfectly fitting leather jacket for Matthew, which came in at $170.
Spices were cheap – for example, we paid $3 for 1.5 grams of saffron, and other spices cost around 10 cents per gram.
A Few Extras:
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Securing some travel insurance is an important part of prepping for any international trip – you never know when something might happen, and your regular insurance generally won’t cover you overseas. Costs for a medical emergency on vacation can add up extremely fast, so it’s just better to be safe than sorry.
I like booking insurance at Insure My Trip, as they offer a variety of plans with different coverages to choose from, so you can find the right option for you. Plus, they have great customer support if you need help before, during, or after your trip.
MOROCCO TRAVEL BUDGET TOTALS:
Total in-country costs (without flights)
Total in-country costs without flights or souvenirs
The overall cost is a bit more than we normally would spend on a 10 day trip. This was driven by the higher airline cost – I wish we could’ve made a cheaper itinerary through Europe work – and also by the amount we spent on items to bring home. We felt, though, that the actual in-country costs were very reasonably priced!
Other Things to Know:
The currency in Morocco is the dirham.
1 dirham is equal to 11 cents (USD) or 9 euro cents. We found it easiest to estimate 1 dirham is 10 cents, and then move the decimal place over one spot (e.g. 200 dirham = 20 dollars). It wasn’t exactly accurate, but it was way easier when trying to convert the exact exchange rate in your head.
When considering how much money to bring to Morocco, you should know that Morocco has a closed currency, so you cannot buy dirhams outside of the country.
This means you cannot get money beforehand – you must pull out at ATMs or in the airport on arrival. ATMS are easy to find in the cities. The maximum withdrawal amount is 2000 dirhams from an ATM.
Additionally, I would not bring cash dollars with you to exchange – we tried to do that a few places and they would only exchange cash euros. I would rely on withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Cash is King
Very few establishments accepted credit cards in Morocco. We actually had to pay cash at almost every museum, every restaurant, just about every shop, most gas stations, and even at one of the riads we stayed at. Basically, have plenty of cash in your bank account so you can pull out money and pay in cash wherever you go!
Tips are usually small and not 100% necessary. We usually gave an extra 5-10 dirhams on a bill of 150-200 dirhams.
Haggle Haggle Haggle!
Taxis to and from the airport are fixed prices (300 dirham in Casablanca, 70 dirham in Marrakech). Restaurant prices are fixed, and street food vendors are usually fixed price (occasionally we haggled for drinks at little stands, but the small bodega-like shops you’ll see on almost every street were fixed price).
Taxis within the city and shops are where you haggle! My top tips for haggling are:
- Do not act too interested. Always seem mildly interested, but like you could take it or leave it.
- Whatever their opening offer is, counter with 1/4 to 1/3 that price. Your goal is to end up between 1/3 to 1/2 their opening offer.
- Be friendly and playful while bargaining hard
- Be willing to walk away. In fact, haggling for a while, then saying “I don’t know, I have to think about it, I’ll come back later,” as you start to walk out is going to get you the lowest price and is a good bargaining tactic.
- Be willing to ACTUALLY walk away if they won’t budge or if their opening offer is waaaaay overpriced (e.g. they’re asking 5-10 times what you know is a fair price).
Final Thoughts on a Travel Budget for Morocco
All right! That should give you a good idea of what you could expect a mid-range Morocco travel budget to be! I am very happy with the in-country purchases we made and experiences we spent money on – we had a phenomenal time exploring and experiencing this vibrant country!
Read more of my Morocco articles:
- 16 Unique Things to Do in Marrakech
- 12 Great Things to Do in Fes
- Moroccan Scams: How to Spot Them and What to Avoid
- Driving in Morocco: How to Navigate Your Morocco Road Trip
- 24 Traditional Moroccan Foods and Drinks to Try
- How to Do the Monkey Fingers Trail in the Dades Valley of Morocco