For cost of living, Morocco is ranked 99th of 122 countries and we definitely made use of that! It was one of the cheapest countries we’ve travelled to, averaging $15 USD a day for food, accommodation and fun. We kept track of all of our expenditures and so that after reading this you’ll be able to plan your daily Morocco backpacking budget.
As we’ve spoken about, Morocco is a land of scam artists trying to loosen your purse strings. One of the biggest annoyances for us was price gouging for tourists. The price of goods will be double or triple just because you’re a foreigner. Only big European shops have prices on display, so your BS meter will be in full gear most of the time while shopping. We’ve thrown together a few numbers so that you can keep that daily Morocco backpacking budget under control before they rob you blind!
All prices are per person.
At the time of writing $1 USD = 10 Dh
Related Post: Backpacking Morocco Guide
Daily Morocco Backpacking Budget
Finding Cheap Accommodation
The infrastructure for budget backpacking is present throughout Morocco. You just need to look beyond the normal hostel and find the locals’ alternative.
Most places also offer the room with breakfast and/or dinner. If you ask for that not to be included, you could save 50 -75% on the room.
You won’t be jumping from town to town and dorm bed to dorm bed. Morocco has a lot of cheap accommodation, but not many hostels. You’ll only find them in the main tourist spots of Marrakesh, Fes, Chefchaouen and the coast. They are everything you would expect from a normal hostel. Nothing special, but they do the job.
- Dorms (10 + people): 60 Dh
- Smaller dorms and privates : 150 Dh
In most smaller towns you can usually find unmarked “hotels” above cafes that are dirt cheap. These can range from terrible to not so bad. We stayed in one in Sidi Ifni for only 35 Dh, but the use of the shower was an extra 10 Dh. If you don’t mind a little dirty and nothing special, these are a great option.
- Double room (shared bath): 50 Dh
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Hotels and Riads
Normal rooms in hotels are nothing special. Lower-end hotels can be pretty bad at a high price in the bigger cities. During low or shoulder seasons don’t be afraid to barter. We were able to get a hotel room in Tiznit that should have been 150 Dh and ended up only paying 75 Dh each for the night.
On the other end of the scales there are some nice riads around. They can be quite expensive though. We stepped into a high-end one in Marrakesh and couldn’t believe how nice it was.
- Normal hotel or riad: 100 – 200 Dh
- Luxury hotel or riad: 400 Dh
What is a riad you might be asking? By definition, a riad is “a traditional house built around a central courtyard, often converted into a hotel”. Basically they are just fancy boutique hotels.
Daily Food Costs
Beware, in Morocco most food will not be served with a knife and fork. Get used to eating with your hands and lots of bread. Best bet for the many tagines you’ll be eating is to use the bread to smoosh the food and then scoop it up! It takes practice, but once you get it down you’ll wonder why you ever used cutlery.
Related post: How Morocco ruined my love for Moroccan food
Your options will be limited unless you are in a major city. Most towns will only have local produce, home made bread and some other canned goods. On the coast, fresh fish from the market can be a cheap and delicious option. Morocco can be cheap if you don’t mind eating canned tuna, couscous, bananas, bread and oranges on a daily basis.
- Water (1.5 l): 6 Dh
- Bananas: 1 Dh per banana
- Bread: 1 Dh per piece
- Tuna can: 6 Dh
- Couscous (1 kg bag): 12 Dh
As always, stay away from the tourist areas and there will be cheap options with decent serving sizes. Our favourite was the pot stews. Just try and find out what you’re eating as some have innards as the protein.
- Hirara (soup): 5 Dh
- Savory pancake things: 5 Dh
- Baguettes (with fries): 15 Dh
- Tagines (with bread): 25 Dh
- Pot stews (with bread): 10 Dh
- Mint tea (pot): 10 Dh
Options for restaurants are plentiful ranging from cheap to expensive. Most restaurants have a cheaper meal of the deal offer which has a starter and main, just keep an eye out for the signs. Be careful at night as most places don’t have much since lunch is the main eating time for Moroccans. The main items you’ll see on the menu are;
- Tagines and other western food: 40 – 75 Dh
- Meal of the day: 45 Dh
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Overall, bus travel is the easiest and cheapest way to get around in Morocco. Watch out for all of the vomit flying around on mountain roads. We may have had some land on us on more than one occasion. Moroccans seem to have very weak stomaches and will barf on the slightest curve.
Picture a goat entering a lion’s den. This is you entering the bus terminal for a local bus. People will come at you ranting and raving to see where you need to go. They are usually helpful, but don’t forget to haggle. We were able to get the price down by 30% most times.
The buses are a little more rough, with Sahara Voyager a notable exception. You can’t buy tickets in advance, but there are a lot of companies so it’s not necessary. We never had any safety concern and didn’t hear of any either.
- Average price per hour: 15 Dh + 5 Dh luggage handling fee
CTM or Supratours
These are a bit more sophisticated buses that can have seats pre-bought days in advance. Comfy enough and very good on hotter days with AC on board. A downside is that they normally have their own terminal a cab fare away from the main bus terminal.
- Average price per hour: 25 Dh + 5Dh luggage handling fee
The train network in the north of Morocco is quite good, but doesn’t exist below Marrakesh. There is everyday service between big cities. Most of those big city stations make you feel like you’re back in Europe, very grandiose. This extravagance is passed on through the hefty ticket prices. Overall it’s worth a ride as a gimmick, but other transport between the major cities is cheaper and just as easy.
- Average price per hour: 35 Dh
Basically the step up from local buses, except think more clown car. There are normally 6 passengers in a normal sized car. They go between big cities and any smaller town in the region. A little more expensive than the bus, but a lot faster. You can also take them in big cities between predetermined stops. Great fun if you want to really feel like a local. They were pretty good at keeping a flat local’s rate if you found out the price beforehand.
- Average price per hour: 20-30 Dh
- Average within the city: 10 Dh
Once you get into the cities, the taxis turn petite and basically into a normal cab. They will stop for other passengers if they are going in the same direction. As always, negotiate prices upfront or get the meter turned on in the big cities (the only place cabs actually have meters).
- Average around the big cities: 25 Dh
Great way to see Morocco (especially on the coast) and fairly cheap if you can fill it up with friends. The roads and traffic are easy as pie and fuel is cheap.
- Average price per day: 150 – 250 Dh
Cheap Sahara Tour
As we’ve spoken about in our post M’hamid and cheap desert tours, there are cheap options for tours to the Sahara. We strongly advise not taking a tour from Marrakesh as they involve 20+ hours of driving on a 3 day tour. Most of these tours also don’t go to the big dunes (Erg Chigaga or Erg Chebbi) that are even deeper into the desert. We loved our camel trekking tour with the boys at Bivouac Leguioura and suggest doing something similar. If you go to the door step of the desert, these are the prices we found:
- 4×4 tour (1 night): 1000 Dh
- Trekking with a camel (1 night): 400 Dh
Non-exsistent apart from the big cities and tourist towns. Best bet if you can’t go without for a few weeks is to stock up in the big supermarkets.
- Supermarket: 10 Dh/can
- Bar: 25 Dh/can
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