“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.
- 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!
Did any of these prices surprise you?