Topics include Transportation, Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!
Morocco is a wonderful destination if you are on a budget as your money can go a lot further when compared to Europe.
With lots of airlines flying to Marrakech, Agadir, Casablanca and Tangiers you can easily pick up a great deal on flights if you are prepared to be flexible. Both Easyjet and Ryanair fly from the UK and bargains can be had if you avoid school holidays and book in advance. Check out Royal Air Maroc, British Airways and Air Arabia, who often have special deals. You could buy one way with one airline another one way with a different one, if you are that flexible you will get to Morocco for a steal! Don't rule out package holidays it is worth doing some online research, ice-lolly have had some very competitive deals. One week (October 2013) London to Agadir flights with Easyjet, B&B in a 2* star hotel and taxes for just £149
Unless you speak the language you will never be able to get the deals that locals receive but transport, accommodation and food will all be considerably cheaper than back home. Learn a few words of Arabic before you go and read the pages on culture and dress. You will gain the respect of locals and will always get a better price if you respect the culture and can say a few words in Arabic. Moroccans are generally very warm and strangers will strike up conversations, often the motive is to try and sell you something or to guide you somewhere. A smile and a no thank you is usually enough.
Be mindful that in one transaction you can save a fortune only in the next to lose everything and more on top. Remember if you want any international brand names, with the exception of cigarettes imported goods cost a lot more, often three or fours times what you would pay at home! If you get a taxi, check the meter is working or agree a price beforehand. Buses and trains are cheap as are shared taxi's.
There are hundreds of cheap places to stay and good standard accommodation doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are cheap hostel and hotels around the medina in Marrakech If you are looking to hang out on the beach in the glorious sunshine but also want some culture head towards Auorir, Tamraght and Tagazhout, which are north of Agadir. There is lots of budget accommodation, surf lodges and cheap apartments and rooms in an amazing ocean setting. Auorir is famous for its bananas and is known as banana village, Tamraght is a hillside traditional Berber fishing village and Tagazhout a chilled out village popular with hippies and surfers.
Food is cheap if you know where to go. In Marrakech you must try the food stalls in Jemaa el-Fna. Here you can get a meal for under 50 Dirhams (just over £3) It is popular with locals and there is a great atmosphere.
If you are really on a tight budget you won't go hungry! Get a bowl of harira soup and as much bread as you can eat for 5 Dirhams (40p). Harira is delicious a blend of chickpeas, onion, lamb or beef stock, tomatoes and a special blend of spices, it is often served with a wedge of lime and makes a tasty filling meal.
Bread is baked fresh twice a day and is just over 1 dirham for a loaf, so you will never go hungry.
If you are staying in an apartment and have kitchen facilities you can buy fruit and vegetables cheaply at the local souk. The travelling souk at Auorir on a Wednesday is great for every type of organic fruit and vegetable at very cheap prices. A week supply of fruit and vegetables for under 50 dirhams. Argan and olive oil as well as honey are also excellent buys. If you want a whole chicken for a tagine this can be purchased alive, slaughtered and prepared for you for 40 dirhams.
Alcohol is expensive so bring your duty free allowance. Moroccan wine is excellent and very well priced. Flag and Casablanca are the domestic beers and can be purchased in various size cans and bottles 10 dirhams at the Marjane supermarket.
Many Moroccans earn as little as 50 Dirhams a day. (Just over £3) It is worth remembering that you maybe on a budget, but don't forget that for many people tipping makes up a big part of their salary. There is no welfare state and families support extended families and less fortunate neighbours. Always remember to leave a few dirhams when in cafes and 10% when eating out. Remember to budget a tip for your maid/housekeeper.
If you are planning on clubbing in Marrakech and heading for the trendy hang-outs you are going to near a very large budget, vodka is 100 Euros a bottle and yes you are expected to buy a bottle.
If you want to chill out on the beach and explore the surrounding countryside you can easily do it and do it well for 200 Dirhams a day.