Morocco is a fantastic country for solo travel. I recently wrote an article about how Morocco is a safe place for solo travel, and also suitable for solo female travel, provided that you take certain precautions in large cities, such as Marrakesh. This blog outlines my top Morocco Travel Tips including advice about money and travelling around the country.
Morocco Travel Tips on Transport
If you are travelling on a budget, the Supratours buses are safe and cheap. I have not used them myself, because I tend to get a little travel sick on buses, but I met people who used them successfully.
If you are arriving in Marrakesh and you want help getting your travel tickets, my friend Hassan at Marrakesh Tickets can help you out. Hassan buys tickets on behalf of tourists and hand delivers them to your hotel or Riad on his moped! Perfect! This really takes the hassle out of Morocco travel. The time saved is really worth the money, as you can spend a day site seeing instead of finding out where to buy your tickets and waiting to get them.
Personally, I prefer a private driver. I’m not in my 20’s anymore! I don’t want to get travel sick, or get stuck on buses needing the loo! The fantastic thing about Morocco is that you can hire a private driver very cheaply, for around £20 a day, plus the cost of petrol, of course.
When I was in Morocco, my driver was Abdullah. He is an excellent driver and has a nice air conditioned vehicle. Abdullah is experienced in driving important people and Westerners. He has even driven Richard Branson! I loved travelling with Abdullah, because he would help us out by making sure we stopped for food or toilets when we needed to. He would always phone our next Riad or hostel in advance to make sure that he could find it, and there was someone to meet us at the taxi. That’s what I call stress free travel!
(You can call Abdellah Hamouch on +212668215861)
Morocco Travel Tips on Health
One of my top Morocco travel tips is to always drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It can get very hot in Marrakesh. If you don’t drink plenty, you are putting yourself at risk of heat exhaustion, or even worse, heatstroke. Read my article about avoiding heatstroke in the Sahara.
You should be paying 5 or 6 Dirhams for a large water. However, if it has been in the fridge, don’t be surprised if the cost goes up to 10 Dirham – electricity costs money! Also, you could find a slightly higher price, depending on brand, such as the ever popular Moroccan mineral water brand Sidi Ali.
You can easily find a Pharmacy in most towns and cities. Look for he red crescent, which is lit up at night time. We managed to get basic medical supplied from a Pharmacy in the Essaouira Medina, including Rennie!
Morocco Travel Tips on Money
The exchange rate is just under 15 Dirhams to the pound (at the time of writing – August 2015). For ease of working out, 150 Dirhams is about £10 and 300 Dirhams is about £20. It is a closed currency, so you can’t order it in advance and then take it into the country – you have to take pounds or Euros and change it when you get there.
When you change your money look for a rate of around 14.7 Dirhams to the £1. Anything about 14 is good. Over 13 is just about acceptable, although not great value. Anything less than 13 to the pound is a rip off! Also, ask if there is a standard fee – there shouldn’t be.
Some hotels will accept payment in Euros or GBP. They may tell you that you can shop with Euros or Pounds in big cities such as Marrakesh. However, we generally didn’t find this to be true. If places were accepting pounds or Euros, it was at rip off prices.
Magic Cash Machines of Morocco
I needed to exchange money at a bank, and they sent me outside to the cash point. I was really confused, and, of course I was arguing my case – I did not want to use my card! A girl came out of the bank with me. To my surprise, she put my £100 into the ATM which swallowed and counted it. It then released the correct amount of money back to me in Moroccan Dirhams! Literally priceless!
Safety in Morocco
Morocco is a very safe place to travel. Violent attacks against individual tourists are extremely rare. Just be vigilant and keep money on your person. I recommend a discrete money belt or even sewn internal pocket on your trousers for Africa travel.
Also, remember to check the Foreign Office or government website before you travel, for advice on personal safety or any terrorist threats that may crop up.
Morocco Travel Tips – What Should I pay?
Most prices are negotiable in Morocco! Make sure that you bargain hard. When someone offers you a price, you should reply with roughly a third, and then they will probably laugh and meet you somewhere in the middle.
Is Morocco Cheap?
Many people ask me ‘is Morocco cheap?’ You can live much cheaper in Morocco than in the US or UK, even if you are staying in a hostel or hotel.
As a general rule, here is what you should be paying..
Taxi within Marrakesh Medina – 20 or 30 Dirhams *about £2
Taxi from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate via Tichka Pass 1200 Dirhams. *about £80
Large bottle of water – 5 for cold or 10 Dirhams for hot. *about 70p
Pizza six or eight slices 30 to 60 Dirhams *about £2 to £4
2 course meal for 2 with water in an expat style restauran around 300 Dirhams. *about £20
One small round bread around 1 or 1.5 Dirham. *about 7p!
Harira Moroccan soup from a street vendor or small cafe around 8 Dirham. *about 50p
Dorm room in a hostel around 100 Dirham. *about £7
Nice hotel room around 250-300 Dirhams. *about £20
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