Is Morocco expensive?

This is a very difficult question to answer, as it depends on your travel style.  Generally speaking, Morocco is quite an affordable destination for those travelling in a camper, as petrol is cheaper than in most European countries, campsites are reasonably priced and, as long as you stick to local food, it is very inexpensive.

The costs below are some examples of what we encountered in our time in the country (March 2018).  Prices may vary according to seasonality and location.

Bread (round bread loaf): 3 – 5 Dirham (0,27 – 0,46€)

Fruit and vegetables purchased at local markets are very inexpensive (a kilo of tomatoes can cost as little as a few cents, a kilo of bananas costs less than 1€).   Prices in supermarkets are higher, but still cheaper than in most European countries.

Eggs are cheap: we paid 6 Dirham for 6 eggs at a local market.

On the contrary, imported food (cheese, cured meats, etc.) is quite expensive.

Coffee at McDonald’s (more precisely, at McCafé) along the motorway: 9 Dirham (0,83€) per cup.

Mint tea in a rooftop bar in Marrakesh: 25 Dirham (2,30€) per glass.

Lunch for two in Marrakesh: 145 Dirham (13,30€).  Lunch consisted of two tagines (one with meat, one with vegetables, one beer and one soft drink).

Alcoholic drinks are also rather pricey and they might not be available in all local restaurants.  A beer can cost from 12 Dirham to 40 Dirham, depending on where you buy it and whether it is a local or imported brand.  Depending on your country of origin, it might not seem a high price, but if you compare it to the price of a can of coke (3 to 7 Dirham) or to a freshly squeezed orange juice (5 to 20 Dirham), it is certainly not cheap.
A bottle of mid-range wine costs around 75 Dirham in a supermarket.

Prices of personal care products purchased in a supermarket are not dissimilar to prices in Germany or Italy.  We paid 28 Dirham (around 2,5€) for a deodorant (roll-on) and 20 Dirham (less than 2€) for a bottle of shampoo.

Petrol/Diesel:  11 Dirham (1€)/ 10 Dirham (0,92€) per litre.  Note that fuel prices remain relatively constant across the country.

Motorways in Morocco are on pay-per-use basis, with toll stations.  From Tanger Med to Marrakesh we paid 345 Dirham (32€).

Taxi prices depend on your haggling skills and on how much the taxi driver feels like ripping you off.  We paid 100 Dirham (9,20€) to go from our campsite to downtown Marrakesh, however we were asked to pay 145 Dirham (13,40€) on the way back.

Campsites:  50 – 100 Dirham (4,60€ – 9,20€) for a 6 metre long truck camper and two people.  Please note that standards and amenities vary considerably from campsite to campsite, but a higher price does not necessarily mean higher standards / better amenities.

Another important factor when planning your budget for Morocco is the cost of the ferry.  We paid 200€ for an open return ticket for the route Algaciras – Tanger Med.

I cannot talk about costs in Morocco without talking about haggling.   HAGGLING is the name of the game in Morocco, whether you are shopping in a market or taking a taxi.  If haggling is not part of your culture, you might find it daunting.  It is however common practice in Morocco, and unless you want to pay over the odds, you will have to get used to it.

The first rule of haggling is to have a rough idea of the price of the item or service you are interested in.  You can do some research in advance, ask some locals (e.g. the campsite staff) or other travelers.

The second rule is NEVER act too interested in something!  If you want to buy a bag, pick up a different item at first, and then come back to the bag later.

NEVER accept the first price.  As a rule of thumb, even the most inexperience tourists should be able to lower the initial price of at least 25-30%.

NEVER lose your nerves and always remain calm and polite.

An alternative to negotiating prices down is the “bundle deal”: if the price of the bag is still too high but you do not seem to be able to negotiate it down, tell the shopkeeper you’ll pay it but you also want a pair of earrings or a small souvenier thrown in.

Be prepared to walk away if you think you are not getting a fair price.

During our trip in Morocco we also noticed that BARTERING is quiet common, especially in rural areas.   On several occasions we were asked if we wanted to exchange cigarettes or beer for local products or souveniers.

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Local market

Some ideas of inexpensive and very appreciated presents I have purchased in Morocco:

  • Spices: the most common are cayenne, cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cumin and paprika.
  • Moroccan tea
  • Argan oil: is has become one of the hottest beauty products on the market in the past few years, but the local Amazigh people of Morocco have been using it for centuries.  Expect to pay up to 200 Dirhams (roughly 18€) for a 150ml bottle of quality argan oil (it might sound expensive but it is cheaper than in most European countries).
  • Rose water
  • Ghassoul: a clay which can be used to wash hair or for face masks.
  • Green clay

I purchased the beauty products in the image below in a supermarket, and I paid less than 8€ for the four of them: a bargain!

20190407_140515

Of course you can also buy rugs, lanterns, tea sets, pottery and leather products such as slippers, bags, wallets, belts and poofs.  If you are good at haggling, they will surely be cheaper than in most European countries.

If you are interested in the itinerary of our 14 day trip in Morocco, click here.
If you are interested in our tips for first time visitors in Marrakesh, click here.

Time of trip: March 2018

 

 

 

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