I have lived for a year in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2010. That was a fun year and I love that country, for its diversity, vibrant culture, delicious food and lovely people. Moving on… here are some of my money tips to get more Bang for your hard earned cash!
Cheap flights to Morocco
You should consider flying to Morocco from Europe. Get a cheap flight to Europe, and then to Morocco with Ryanair, Easyjet, Air Europa, or AirArabia to name a few of the low cost companies flying from Europe.
Easyjet has flights from Paris, Milan, Geneva and Madrid. Usually Madrid is the cheapest one.
Ryanair is flying really cheap too, if you can book long in advance. Tickets to Fes are the cheapest. I was flying from Casablanca to Europe about every 6 weeks, and mostly using Easyjet since they didn’t charge me a credit card fee, and were more relax about carry on luggage.
Fees can really add up and if the airfare isn’t particularly cheap because of high demand, you should check Royal Air Maroc and Air France who may be competitive.
Cheap travel around Morocco
When you arrive at the airport, in Casablanca there is a 4 euros train to reach the town center. In Marrakesh there is a 2 euros bus. Taxis are really expensive and not really necessary unless you arrive really late at night.
Once you reach the town center, you can use a “petit taxi”, the small cabs, ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE METER IS ON. It is really hard in Marrakesh to get a taxi driver to put it on, but stop taxis until one agrees to do so. A 10 minutes ride is usually under 1 euro when without meter they’d ask for a minimum of 5 euros, wherever you go.
For long distance, you can use “grands taxis“, or big taxi, they fit 6 people inside a run down Mercedes, and off you go. Fares are a bit higher than the bus and it’s not really comfy inside but unlike the bus they don’t stop on the way so you go faster. If you want you can pay double price and ride alone in the passenger seat.
Buses company go almost everywhere, how long they take to make it is another story. CTM is the most expensive and reliable.
You can also use the train, which is also late and slow, but very cheap and comfortable. A Casablanca to Marrakech ticket is about 8 euros.
Cheap hotels around Morocco
Try to find small hotels in the old parts of town. In Casablanca, that is around the central market, where a double room is 10 to 15 euros. In Marrakech, try the old medina. Around the bus stations there are small hotels for local travelers too, that are usually cheaper. Buses and taxi will get you to the town center.
Other travel money tips in Morocco
Food: hit the local market, to find fruits ready to eat and sweet pastries, a quick and healthy snack for under 1 euro. At night, bakeries serve shorba, a moroccan soup for less than $0.50, with a glass of mint tea for $0.30, a bargain and great way to mix with the locals.
Hammam is the local public bath. It costs about $1, you can stay for hours, get a massage, exfoliate and see the other women gossip and laugh around. It is a place for them to come and relax.
Pickpockets abound in Marrakech, make sure your money is safe by wearing a money belt or having it in a zipped pocket.
In case of an emergency, you will be better off with Euros than Dollars.