Morocco is one of those countries that doesn’t get talked about much on the global stage despite being highly populated and pulling in many tourists each year. Morocco is just within the top 40 countries in terms of population with around 37 million and is right at the top of most-visited African countries alongside Egypt with around 13 million tourists per year.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Morocco, with the country’s architecture and history being massive draws. Morocco also happens to be one of the cheaper major countries to visit, which is another reason why there are so many that flock to the country. While Morocco is already a great option for budget travelers, you can make it even cheaper. Here are five essential tips for visiting Morocco on a budget.
There are plenty of international airports in Morocco, all of which have varying prices. Casablanca and Tangier are probably the first two that come to mind for international travelers, but those aren’t going to be the cheapest. Marrakesh is the cheapest airport in the country despite not being the busiest, bucking the trend for most countries. While Casablanca gets more than 10.3 million passengers per year compared to Marrakesh’s 6.4 million, the latter is much cheaper.
In terms of the cheapest time of year to fly into Morocco, going toward the end of the calendar year is going to be your best bet. November, on average, is the cheapest month of the year for flights to Morocco while December and January also boast low prices. You’ll want to avoid March, April, August, and September, as those months are typically much higher than average.
There are plenty of lodging options throughout Morocco and it depends on how tight your budget is. Cities like Marrakesh offer a lot of hostels, some of which can be as cheap as $5 per night. If you want a private room, it can end up costing around $15 per night, but at that point, you may be better off renting a hotel room. When using USD to account for hotel prices in Morocco, they’re going to be much cheaper than you expect.
Two and three-star hotels can be as cheap as $13 to $17 per night in Morocco. While they won’t be in the heart of Marrakesh, these hotels are still in tourist-centric parts of the country, especially if you focus on coastal cities like Essaouira. For the major cities, though, you can’t go wrong with a cheap hostel option that will allow you a safe spot to lay your head for the night.
Morocco does offer a lot of public transportation options that are typically cheap, but many tourists have said that they can get too cramped and aren’t as reliable as they’d like them to be. With that in mind, there are taxi options, but taxis function differently in Morocco than they do in the United States. For starters, individual taxes don’t have fixed prices, so get ready to negotiate for the cheapest deal with your location already in mind.
If you don’t feel like haggling too much in a one-on-one situation, though, there are the options of grand taxis. These taxis tend to go longer distances and are incredibly cheap, especially if you aren’t bringing luggage with you. The only caveat with grand taxis, though, is that they won’t leave unless the taxi is filled (which is around six passengers). Your best bet is to set one up at the airport or a train station.
Eating in Morocco
One of the big reasons that people make their way to Morocco is to try out the local cuisine and for good reason. The good news for foodies is that dining out in Morocco is incredibly cheap. If you’re a fan of lamb and beef, you’re going to be in heaven throughout Morocco. You’ll be able to get full meals that include pizza and packed plates for about $5 from street vendors and even local restaurants.
While alcohol, on average, is going to be more expensive than it is in places like the United States or the United Kingdom, the dining options are a fraction of the cost. Even the most luxurious meals in Morocco will cost under $40. If you plan on staying for a week, you’re looking at only spending around $100 to $110 the entire time for cheaper food options while still eating well.
Saving on Attractions
The other big reason that people want to visit Morocco is because of the country’s rich history. Places like the Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, and Majorelle Garden are popular destinations, but they do cost money to visit. Make sure that you’re planning ahead and you can get tickets, with most of them costing only around $7, with the more expensive destinations being around $12.
Of course, there are plenty of cities throughout Morocco that offer plenty of natural beauty that you can explore for free. Backpacking through places like Erg Chebbi and Plage Sauvage are free to trek through and will provide a lifetime of memories for travelers.