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Morocco is Not as Cheap as You Think

Morocco is Not as Cheap as You Think

“Wow, Morocco is more expensive than I thought, I must be getting ripped off!” 

“I always thought Morocco was way cheaper than Europe.” 

“This costs way too much for Morocco.”

Every combination of these phrases plus many, many more are things that I have repeatedly heard since moving to Morocco. They’re also commonly heard in the tourism industry. I decided to write this post in hopes that people who are visiting might understand what is the actual cost of things in Morocco.

Nine out of ten times there is a huge discrepancy between what things cost and what people think they cost. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are still deals to be had however Morocco today is not how it was ten years ago – or even five years ago. Many people have told me they expected Morocco to be priced similar to southeast Asia – this is very far from the truth. Prices in Morocco are very similar to what you would pay in many parts of Europe (especially southern Europe). In fact I’ve found eastern Europe is actually quite a bit less expensive than Morocco. The price of living here has gone up and the price of doing business has gone up in a huge way. Note these are in Marrakech, other cities may vary slightly. Rural areas will likely be considerably less.

I am giving prices in US dollars as it is an easy to understand measure.

Food and Drink

  • 1 kilogram of lamb raw: $10+ (prepared $15+)
  • 1 kilogram of apples in season: $1
  • Dinner for a family of four at a mid-range restaurant: $40
  • 1 bottle of Moroccan wine: $25
  • 1 liter of soda: $1.25
  • Dinner for 2 at a luxury restaurant: $75-$150

Accommodation and Transportation

  • Hostel Room: $15
  • Mid Range Riad/Hotel: $40-75
  • Luxury Riad/Hotel: $125-200
  • Apartment Rental: $50-80
  • Daily Car Rental: $30 compact up to $150+ for an SUV daily
  • Daily Price for Car with Driver: $40

Attractions and Excursions

  • Museum Admission: $2-6
  • Full day guided tour: $35
  • Full day guided tour: $60+
  • Full day excursion outside city: $100-$250 total
  • Cooking Class: $25-75 per person

Why you’re asking do I give two prices for guided tours. If you would like to take the cheaper option I can’t almost guarantee you will spend a large chunk of your time shopping – whether you want to or not. Guides make their money through commission. There’s nothing wrong with this per say but if you’d rather do something else, pay for a better guide who will respect your wishes. It’s worth it – trust me.

Monthly Salaries

  • Average salary public school teacher: $400
  • Average salary police officer: $400-$500
  • Average salary doctor: $1000
  • Average salary tour guide: $600
  • Average salary laborer: $200

Just as a general figure the average salary for Moroccans in Morocco is about $10,000 A YEAR. I estimated the other salaries as they depend on level of service, time in position, and any additional work done outside the regular office job. For many expats living in Morocco salary can vary drastically.

Does this mean you shouldn’t come? No, you absolutely should come and visit – but be prepared for the reality of what things cost. Don’t expect a 5 star experience for a 2 star price tag. I’ve found it’s really helpful when people have a realistic understanding before arriving.

This is also good to keep in mind when you find yourself negotiating the price of things. For example that $50 handmade leather backpack? A leather craftsmen can make 3 or 4 a day tops. His costs are immediately used up when he purchases the materials to make the bag. While a few dollars won’t make a big deal to you, it will to him. A few dollars can pay for a meal, or pay the school fees for his kids. Really consider this when you’re purchasing things.

There are still deals to be found in Morocco!

Check out my guide to seeing Marrakech on a budget and cheap meals to eat in Morocco for some ideas.

Did any of these prices surprise you?

Morocco Isn't as Cheap as You Think.1

 

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Nick Crispin

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Hi Amanda

How are you?

First of all thanks for this informative post. We live on the south coast of Spain, just outside Malaga & we are kitting out 2 large dome tents. We were lead to believe travelling by van to Morocco & buying furnishings, furniture etc would save us a load of cash. Now I’m not so sure so just wanted to ask your opinion to see if it’s worth the hiring of the van, the drive & boat costs? Albeit even if it’s similar it would be an adventure.

Thanks

Nick

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Hey Nick - the only thing I would think might be cheaper is the actual tents since they are quite used to building them here but no I don't think for the rest you'd save much money at all - it would probably cost more. I think you'd have better luck buying 2nd hand in Europe and better quality as well.

Mona

Monday 6th of July 2020

Thank you so much for the valuable information. I want to ask, what is a good salary for two persons no children in Marrakesh? I read your article about the daily living costs and I got a general idea but still need a monthly salary range. Thank you

Amanda Mouttaki

Thursday 9th of July 2020

Honestly that's so subjective it really depends on your standards and what kind of lifestyle you want to have. We could have lived fairly comfortably as 2 people on 15,000MAD a month but others make it work on 5-8,000 and others look for 30,000+.

Verena Valck

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

Hi Amanda My bff and will be traveling to Morocco in 3 weeks. We are going in a private tour and we will be visiting Rabat, Fez and Marrakesh. We are really interested in buying a good quality rug and I wanted to know if you know of any reputable stores that sell quality rugs. I have looked at different posts any all they say is to shop at the Medinas. Do you have any more specific suggestions? I also wanted to know if it is advisable to ship the rug home? If not how would you suggest we can take it with us? We want to get a large rug like 10 x 13 feet. Thanks

Verena

Amanda Mouttaki

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

Hi - most shops don't have really visible names nor addresses which I get makes little sense right now but I think once you're here you'll understand better. I think the best advice is really do your research, bargain hard, and don't settle if you're not happy. I would say shipping home is the best idea especially as they can be heavy. When you negotiate make sure that the price includes shipping and also take a photo of the rug, your sales receipt, and the contact information of the seller before you leave. That way if something does happen you have recourse. It might be advisable to pay with a credit card as well so that you have recourse if the rug gets lost in shipping etc.

Amanda

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

When was this article written... how upto date are the prices you describe? Many thanks, Amanda

Kristine

Monday 3rd of June 2019

HI there, thank you so much for this information. I was just offered a contract to teach in Fes. The salary offered comes to about 860 USD per month. 125USD for rent is my responsibility as well as all utilities. (rent is reduced for teachers so my personal amount is 125USD per month) I do have experience teaching in middle east and am not fearful. My only concern is will I be able to live comfortably on this salary and still be able to travel around on holidays? I realize its tough to give this answer, but any input would be greatly appreciated!

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 4th of June 2019

It really depends how frugally you can live and any additional expenses you may have back home. When we first moved here we lived on about $1500US for a family of 4 but it was tight. So just something to keep in mind.

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