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Morocco Basics & Must-Sees

Local Currency

When I was in Morocco, US$1=9.5MAD (Moroccan Dirham). This was pretty easy if you round up to 10… For example, 80 Dirham = ~ $8


Hostels will run you about $8 per night, but most all of them include breakfast in the morning.

A meal is anywhere from $2-$8 …. So figure about $9 per day for food (because breakfast is included with the hostel stay, and then two more meals).

Where to Stay

When you get to Morocco, look for a “Riad”.
A “riad” is a hostel, but open in the middle (like a courtyard).

As previously mentioned, hostels will run you about $8 per night and most all of them include breakfast in the morning (privately served to you, whenever you wake up). To find these hostels, I use Hostel World. You can reserve a hostel and hold your spot for just 10% down, so for hostels that are less than $10 per night, you’re just spending under $1 to hold your bed! This is a great option, especially in touristy areas where you might be scared beds running out! Plus, if your plans change last minute (you find an even better place, you make friends that are headed to a different city, etc.) then you’re only out about 80 cents, yet you had that peace-of-mind knowing you always had a place to stay.

Tip: Try your best to plan at least one day ahead of time and let the hostel know about what time you’ll arrive (they ask this when booking on Hostel World). This is because some hostels close their front door/gate at a certain time, or the night watchman isn’t there after a certain time. If you let them know that you’ll be arriving at 2am, they’ll make necessary arrangements so you can get in and check in easily.

I didn’t do this once when I was in Mexico and I literally broke into the hostel because I had no where else to stay (I jumped the fence and slept in the hammock). This was due to the confusion of 2am is technically the “next day” as if I was checking in bright and early in the morning – not very late the night before…. Be aware of this!

Money Demands / Aggression

Be aware that in Morocco, EVERYONE is trying to make money off of you. If you even stop for a second and think about where you should walk, 5 men come running over to help you with directions. Their helpfulness in showing you the way starts to turn into a “tour” because they’ll show this interesting door, and then this old church and then, by  the time you get to your destination, they demand money – not a suggestion, but a real demand. You honestly have to be rude to them and say right away “No! I do not need or want help! And I am not going to give ANY money at all for directions!” I don’t like being rude, but you honestly have to do this in Morocco (especially in Marrakech).

Desert Tours

While in Marrakesh, ask around about desert tours (they’re all pretty similar, it’s just about finding a good price). I paid 700MAD for the 3 day desert tour, which went to a few stops along the way to the edge of the Sahara Desert, including Ait Ben Haddou (but if you don’t have 3 days, there are other options as well).

Once at the edge of the Sahara, you ride a camel farther in, and then arrive at camp where there are tents and dinner waiting for you.

May = Ramadan

If you go in the month of May (which I did), you should for sure be aware (which I was not) that the entire month of May is Ramadan. Since the entire country is Muslim, everyone participates in Ramadan. What this means is that EVERYONE fasts until 7:30pm and 99% of food places are closed. It was very difficult (nearly impossible) to find food before Morocco’s “breakfast” at 7:30pm. The only thing that saved me was the included breakfasts at the hostels and buying snacks the night before.

Buses / Transportation

★ CTM (long distance, between cities, stays to schedule and safer for tourists)
★ Super Tours (more local, not as nice)

Gas Prices

(MAD per liter)
Regular = 9.95, 10.07, 9.98, 9.89
Super = 11.25, 11.39, 11.31, 11.25

SIM Cards

$20 ~5-7GB data
but good luck finding a signal

Marrakesh Airport

★ All flights out of Marrakesh, MUST print boarding pass to enter the airport
★ Once in airport, you MUST check in to get a stamp EVEN FOR CARRY-ON BAGGAGE ONLY

Top 6 Places to See

06 | Marrakech

One of Morocco’s biggest cities – Maybe the most well known.

05 | Essaouira
By the coast. Local market, nice “Medina,” and a beach. And people surf here.

04  | Fes
Known for its leather tanneries – very smelly, but interesting.

03 | Ait Ben Haddou
Home to a lot of movies you’ve probably seen.

02 | Sahara Desert
The biggest desert in the world. You can reach the beginning of this monster!

01 | Chefchaouen
A city that is entirely blue! You’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale.





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