Morocco: What to know before you go.
This is one of the most colorful and photogenic Arab countries. It is a great place to walk through the narrow blue streets, bargain in the bustling markets, see the ancient mosques and fortresses, swim in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
We’ve compiled the essentials of a trip to Morocco in one article. If you’re going on a trip, take it with you. Details and nuances are in the full article.
What you’ll learn
Where is the location : in the northwest of Africa. How long is the flight : 7 hours on average. When is the season : May to October. Where to swim : in the west in the Atlantic Ocean, in the north in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea. Average summer temperatures: +28 ° C in the north, +40 ° C in the south. Currency : Moroccan Dirham (MAD, Dh, د.م), equal to 6.87 P . Time difference with Moscow : -2 hours.
✈️ Visa and travel
Russians in Morocco do not need a visa: on arrival at the border they put a stamp in your passport.
Flight tickets with a connection cost from 12 000 R . Connections in Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam.
Sightseeing in Morocco
People go to Marrakech for the atmosphere of the oriental bazaar and the old city. A popular attraction in the city are the Majorelle Gardens, which were once restored by Yves Saint Laurent.
Chefchaouen is famous for the old part of town: all the houses there are painted blue. Tourists wander through the narrow streets and admire the view of the city by the Spanish Mosque.
Fez is known for its tanneries. There they dress, process and dye leather by hand to make handbags, slippers, wallets and bracelets. The visit is free.
In Tangier you can wander through the old town, check out the big bazaar and go to the Kasbah. It is an ancient fortress in the center of the city with a beautiful view of the Strait of Gibraltar. A visit is free.
The fortress contains the royal palace of Dar Al Mahze which works as a museum. Admission costs 10 dirhams (69 R ). The museum displays a variety of ancient archeological finds from the Neolithic Age.
Rabat. The main attraction of Rabat is Kasbah Uday. This is an ancient fortress on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Inside it is a museum and Andalusian gardens. Admission to the fortress and garden is free, the museum is 10 dirhams (69 P ).
Most places only accept payment in cash. You’ll need it to buy train and bus tickets, pay for cabs, buy fruit and eat at cafes. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs. There are many in every city. There are exchange offices at the airport and bank branches in town.
Cards are only accepted in a few hotels and restaurants, like Clock Cafe in Fez and Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca.
In addition to Arabic, French and Spanish are spoken in Morocco. Casablanca, Rabat and Fez have more French. In Tetouan and Tangier, Spanish is mostly spoken and French is hardly understood. In Chefchaouen, both languages are spoken.
English is poorly understood in Morocco. Language problems do not arise only in restaurants and hotels.
Restaurants An average dinner for two costs 200 dirhams (1374 P ). Fish and seafood are delicious in seaside towns. One meal will cost 150 dirhams (1,030 P ). Tajin is a traditional steamed meat and vegetable dish. Costs range from 120 to 160 dirhams (824 to 1099 P ). Couscous is served only on Fridays: this is the custom. Along with it, they bring a huge plate with meat or chicken, stewed vegetables, nuts and spices.
Outdoor cafe It’s cheaper and tastier there, but the dishes come with dirty forks, wasps and cats that get on the table. Payment is cash only.
Markets Fruits and vegetables are sold in the markets in the old town. Everything there is fresh and delicious. There are no price tags anywhere, you have to haggle. A kilo of peaches costs 10-25 dirhams (68-171 R ). Two kilos of figs and half a kilo of cactus fruits will cost 20 dirhams (137 P ).
The hotels are clean and the staff speaks English. It is similar to Europe.
A room for two costs 35-45 € (2625-3375 P ). You can book on Bookings.
Dar is a traditional Moroccan house. It usually has three floors, several bedrooms, a kitchen and a roof terrace. Tourists book a room with a shared bathroom and breakfast. In fact, it is a hostel. It costs about 25 € (1875 P ) per night to stay in the dar.
The Riad is the same dar, but much larger in size. It can be booked through the A&B. A room with private bathroom and breakfast will cost 40 € (3000 P ) for two people per night.
“Grand Taxi” Drives between cities and to the airports. The cab departs as soon as a full car is built up. It usually takes 15 minutes. Prices for “Grand Taxi” are fixed. A cab from Casablanca airport to the center costs 250-300 dirhams (1717-2610 P ). The price does not change depending on the number of passengers in the car. Negotiate the fare before you get in the car. Drivers often start to inflate the price at the sight of tourists.
The “Petit-taxi” It only goes through the cities. It is caught anywhere on the street. Every car has a meter. If the driver refuses to turn it on, negotiate the price of the trip in advance. The cost should not be more than 20-30 dirhams (138-206 R ) for a 5-10 km trip around the city.
Bus There are two bus companies in Morocco: CTM and Supratours. All buses are modern and comfortable, with air conditioning inside. CTM has more departure stations and more flights. A bus ride from Fez to Shefshawen costs 80 dirhams (549 P ) per person.
Trains Every car has air conditioning and the prices are close to Russian. Tickets can be bought in advance on the Moroccan railroads ONCF website or directly at the station. They only accept cash. Every train has first and second class. Second class tickets are sold to everyone – there is a chance you may have to ride standing up. A first class ticket from Casablanca to Fez costs AED 174 (1195 P ) , and a second class ticket costs AED 116 (796 P ). Trains are often delayed by 1-3 hours.
What to bring from Morocco
Argan oil comes in culinary and cosmetic forms. Good oil costs on average 500-600 dirhams (3435-4122 P ).
Tagine is a pot for stewing meat. It is not always easy to take it home: some tagines weigh up to 5 kilos. But the meat in them turns out very tender. Such dishes usually cost 45 dirhams (R 300 ).
Amlu is a sweet on the basis of argan oil with nuts. A pack will cost 25-300 dirhams (171-2055 R ) depending on the volume and composition. It is cheaper in the markets.
Saffron. Spices in Morocco are cheaper than in Europe and Russia, and the quality is better. One gram of saffron costs 50-70 dirhams (343-480 P ).
There is wifi in hotels, private homes, cafes and restaurants. Often you have to ask the waiter for the password.
Morocco is a poor country. Locals often try to make money on tourists. Cab drivers and vendors slap prices, and passersby offer to show you the city or take you to a landmark. It looks like a desire to help, but at the end of the way the “guide” is sure to ask for money. That’s why it’s better to ask the peddlers for directions: they usually don’t ask for a fee.
Here’s something to keep in mind while vacationing in Morocco:
- Do not buy ready-made food at the market: they do not respect sanitary conditions there.
- Do not drink tap water and water fountains: you can be poisoned.
- Do not walk around the city at night.
- Keep track of your belongings in crowded places.
- It is not advisable for girls to wear short skirts and shorts. Dresses, skirts below the knee, pants and tunics with long sleeves are suitable.
If something happens.
Russian Embassy in Morocco: Rabat, Suissi, Avenue Mohammed VI, Kilometer 4.
Phones: +212 537 75-35-09, +212 537 75-36-09.
24-hour emergency phone number: +212 662 07-61-56.
We are looking for people who travel independently. If you have organized a vacation in Russia, near abroad, popular resorts or more exotic places – share your experience with us.
Food prices in Morocco
Morocco is a very tasty country. Plus the food prices there are not too high! Find out how much it costs to eat in Morocco in 2022 in cafes and restaurants, what the prices of alcohol and groceries are in the stores and what to try from the national dishes.
– Find tours in Morocco. – cheap accommodation in Morocco.
Exchange rate: 1 Moroccan dirham (MAD) ≈ 5.5 RUB.
Food Prices in Morocco – 2022
Morocco is a country of inexpensive food. Prices in different cities are about the same. In establishments for locals food is cheaper than in cafes and restaurants where tourists eat.
The average bill per person in a cheap restaurant for Moroccans – 40 MAD, for tourists – 60-100 MAD. For that money you will be served a light appetizer, a main course and dessert. At the expensive restaurant for 400 MAD visitors are offered national appetizers and a few exclusive dishes of meat and seafood.
Food prices in Moroccan cafes and restaurants in 2022:
- Moroccan cucumber, tomato and onion salad – 15 MAD
- sandwiches – 15-30 MAD
- harira soup – 10 MAD
- kebab – 40 MAD
- couscous – 50 MAD
- vegetarian pastille – 40 MAD
- chicken, lamb, beef or vegetable tagine – 40-50 MAD
- fish tagine – 120 MAD
- deep-fried seafood – 80-150 MAD
- omelette with cheese or mushrooms – 15-20 MAD
- a glass of mineral water – 10 MAD
- peppermint tea or coffee – 10 MAD
- orange juice – 15 MAD
- banana or pomegranate juice – 20 MAD.
Alcohol prices in Morocco
In a Muslim country there are religious restrictions on alcohol consumption, but the bans are not the harshest. Foreigners are sold alcohol without restrictions. In bars, visitors are poured wine, alcoholic cocktails and beer.
If you want to buy alcohol, look for specialized stores. They are hidden in inconspicuous places and often do not have signs. There are liquor departments in Carrefour supermarkets.
Moroccans make the best wines in North Africa. The Meknes region is especially famous for wine making. The price for a bottle of good wine starts at 70 MAD. Popular is the “gray” wine, which is drunk young – from 32 MAD per bottle. It can easily be distinguished by the label vin gris.
Imported alcohol is sold in stores, but it is considered a luxury item. Imported wines are so heavily taxed that they cost 2 to 3 times more than in the producing countries.
Liquor prices in stores in Morocco in 2022:
- Casillero del Diablo wine – 182 MAD
- Chateau la Croix Montlabert wine – 353 MAD
- JP Chanet wine – 142 MAD
- Coronas (Torres) – 125 MAD
- local vodka pastis, 0,75 l – 80-110 MAD
- Imported vodka, 0.75 l – from 180 MAD
- Casablanca light beer, 0.33 l – 19 MAD
- scotch, 0,75 l – 200 MAD.
The wine shelf in the store. Gris – gray and rouge – red (Photo: Marianne Casamance / flickr.com)
Prices of products in stores in Morocco
According to tourists, a good range of products in the supermarket chains – Carrefour, Acima and Marjane.
Food prices in stores in Morocco in 2022:
- bread – 37 MAD
- yogurt – 2 MAD
- milk, 1 l – 10 MAD
- turkey fillet – 45-55 MAD
- poultry sausages – 17 MAD
- sausage, 1 kg – 177 MAD
- cheese, 250g – 26 MAD
- ground Moroccan coffee, 200g – 15 MAD
- tea, 400g – 95 MAD
- Moroccan sweets, 1 kg – 120 MAD
- Snickers bar, 50gr – 4,8 MAD
- pomegranates, 1 kg – 5 MAD
- melons, 1 kg – 6-30 MAD
- citrus fruits, 1 kg – 3-10 MAD.
What to try in Morocco
The cuisine of Morocco is a mixture of culinary traditions of the Arabs, Berbers, Jews and inhabitants of the Mediterranean. Dishes of meat, vegetables and seafood are lavishly spiced here. On the table you can always see the traditional bread, Xra, which is usually dipped in bowls with sauces or in a mixture of cumin and salt. Strong coffee with cardamom, orange juice and sweet green tea with fresh mint are popular drinks.
- Harira – soup made of lamb with beans and spices.
- Ebaba – bread soup.
- Meshua – roasted or baked lamb meat.
- Couscous – a dish of coarse wheat groats.
- Shergi – salad with boiled rice, greens, and citrus fruits.
- Tajin – a hearty dish of meat, vegetables, or fish in a clay pot with a high cone-shaped lid.
- Pastilla – a pie with chicken or pigeon meat.
- Tehina – sesame paste, which is used to make halva.
Harira of lamb with chickpeas (Photo: rofi / flickr.com)
What you should know
In Morocco, it is customary to leave a tip for good service – baksheesh . It is usually 10% of the bill.
Many places offer lunch sets for 50-80 MAD. The set of dishes includes a salad, soup or tajine and tea. Portions are large in Morocco. One set can be quite full for two.
Take into account the attitude of the locals to alcohol! It is advisable not to go out into the street when drunk. Even slight intoxication causes Moroccans disrespect, and sometimes even aggression. During Ramadan the religious prohibitions are particularly noticeable. Most bars and specialty stores that sell alcohol are closed.
In tourist areas, stores have a special schedule. They open at 10 a.m., have a long siesta from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then continue trading until midnight.
Only touch the food with your right hand. The left hand is considered unclean by the Muslims.
Street tables in Essaouira (Photo: @louishansel / unsplash.com)