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Best currency for Morocco?

edited June 2009 in - North Africa
hi can anyone tell me what is best money to take to morocco to exchange at a good rate us dollar uk pounds.


  • edited 10:11AM
    Well Louise, this depends on which country you are travellering from. I always advise people to bring the currency of the country from which they are travelling although a Bureau de Change will accept most global currencies (although not Australian dollars for some reason).

    Changing at a B de C will get you the official rate of exchange whichever currency you use, they are always found in airports and ports.

    As Morocco is a long way from home I take cash enough for about 10 days but use my ATM card when there. I keep the money safe and would only use this should a problem arise such as my ATM card being lost or stolen.

    Morocco has no shortage of ATM's in all the major cities so getting cash is never a problem although I advise you to notify your bank if you intend to use your card in an ATM.

    When out shopping or at a restaurant, always pay with local currency, not dollars or euros. They will take an age converting the rate and inevitably short change you.

    Some other points of note -
    Travellers Cheques are becoming less popular so don't bother taking these as it is difficult to find somewhere to change them, they also attract a high commission when changing.
    When taking paper money to Morocco, this MUST be in near perfect condition with no writing, ink marks, heavy creases, tears etc.
    Do not bring Scottish or Irish notes - impossible to cash.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi, What is the limit on how much cash currency in US Dollars can I take to Morroco?
  • edited 10:11AM
    If you bring in more than the equivalent of 100,000Dh (Moroccan Dirhams) in any currency you must declare this but the wording is vague as something must have been lost in translation.
    The official documentation states:
    "Obligation for all travellers to declare, to the customs, foreign banknotes if their exchange value is greater than or equal to 100,000Dh. Obligation for the residents to sell foreign banknotes imported, whatever is their amount, to the authorized financial establishments within 30 days from the date of their importation........." it goes on a bit.

    This means you must declare within 30 days of your intentions for the money but I haven't a clue what happens if you leave before 30 days!!!!!

    You can check the exchange rate on

    Currently 100,000Dh is equivalent to apporox. US$12,460.00 but of course this will vary weekly as Morocco sets its exchange rates (every Friday).

    As far as Morrocan currency is concerned, you are now allowed to take out of Morocco or bring into Morocco, no more than 1000Dh.
    Of course you are not searched but if found in posession of more you will have some explaining to do.

    Taking foreign currency into the country of several hundred Pounds, US Dollars or Euros is acceptable.
  • edited 10:11AM
    hi im going to marrakech for a week can anyone advice me how much cash will a need?? tnx:)
  • edited 10:11AM
    How long is a piece of string? Surley this depends on how long you are staying and other factors such as do you eat cheap Moroccan or european food.
    Take the currency of your country in cash sufficient to get through an emergency, say €200, but keep safe and do not use. Rely on ATM's (there are hundreds in Marrakech) but DO notify your bank that you are going to use card in Morocco.
    Only pay for goods and services in Moroccan currency.
  • edited 10:11AM
    hi john, thanks for an advice when travelling i always like to try local things food,accom..... not just becouse its cheap but most of all its different from what i have back home:)
    anyway do you know if its easy to exchange sterling in marrakech? or what is d best currency to take? tnx:)
  • edited 10:11AM
    Looks like I don't get notifications by e-mail to these posts.
    You are best advised to take Sterling, or the currency of your country (but NOT $Australian); most major world currencies are accepted.
    At Menara airport in Marrakech is an ATM and also Bureau de Change where you can exchange your currency. Euros and Sterling are accepted but be aware that notes must be in near-perfect condition with no tears, ink marks or heavy creases; Scottish banknotes are not accepted. You will get the correct exchange rate here although some places like hotels like to give less, charging commission and all that.
    Banks too will give the correct rate but I mostly use ATM's although there will no longer be the "free" service on zero cards such as Nationwide so you will be back to paying the two-rate system where the bank in Morocco makes a charge as does your bank which is a currency exchange charge of about 1.75%, overall the rate charged is about 4.5%.

    In Marrakech there are many sights to see and flavours to savour. In the main square know as Jemaa el Fna you will be amazed at the transformation from mayhem in the daytime to mayhem during the evening but with a difference.
    The square has many restaurants surrounding the central area which cater mainly for tourists so the food is not exceptional. Some have terraces on the rooftop where you can see the spectacle of the events unfolding. As dusk approaches, strange things happen beofre your eyes - scores of people walk to and fro with carts and scaffolding to erect dozens of open-air food stalls selling mainly fish, fried or grilled and also meat dishes. The whole area is illumanated with blinding lights and they don't charge much but you must always ask in advance what you are expected to pay. If you are quoted around 50Dh for fish, salad, bread, fiery chili sauce, grilled aubergine and a drink then this is reasonable; just sit and wait for the food to arrive and enjoy yourself.
    Elsewhere in Gueliz, also known as the New Town, there are many Moroccan restaurants where you can eat a filling meal cheaply. A typical rate may be 45Dh for three courses and the set menu may be quite varied. Wherever you eat it is customary to be served bread and olives as a starter but you are not charged for this. Some restaurants are owned by non-Moroccans, as such you will probably pay more.

    I could go on for hours here, perhaps we could have a section where we can post photo's and articles on subjects such as Money, Restaurants, What to wear, Weather and a host of other topics which could be brought up at any time rather than ask questions on these matters over and over.

  • edited 10:11AM
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  • edited 10:11AM
    Interestin comments and very usefull.
    we are going to Marrakech Monday, What the deal with alchol our hotel has no bar, do supermarkets sell beers and wine?
    Is it freely available?
    Were not drunks but we would like a drink whilst we are there.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Marjane is a large european style supermarket on the route to Essaouira and is roughly 3 Km from the centre so get a petit taxi and make sure the driver turns on the meter (should start at about 2Dh). Alcohol is sold to non Muslims even in Ramadan and in a city like Marrakech you won't have any difficulty.

    ACIMA is a large supermarket in Gueliz, just follow Bvd Mohammed V, after last trafic lights take the first turn left and it will be on your right some 50 metres away. The other option is to take a taxi if you get lost. You don't have much choice in local supermarkets though.

    If you fancy beer with your lunch, Cafe Arabe and Maison Arabe. Hotel Jardin de la Koutoubia, Narwama (Thai restaurant) and the Kozy Bar are places in the medina where you can get alcohol with meals even during Ramadan. The Grand Hotel Tazi is a very basic hotel but has a bar where you can pop in for a beer anytime without having to eat. Of course you can go into any tourist hotel bar for a drink, you don't have to be a guest.

    If you are going to a supermarket to buy alcohol remember to take your passport as they will not sell you alcohol. Taking the bottles into a hotel/riad won't be a problem if you simply tuck it into a bag.

    Tips - where you buy beer/alcohol dictates what price you pay; cafes/restaurants may be cheaper than hotels but nightclubs will rob you blind (£10 for G+T is not uncommon); local supermarkets are cheapest but not much choice. Flag beer is Moroccan, made in regular and premium which is smoother and very cheap in local places. Keep alcohol out of sight so as not to offend locals or taxi driver during Ramadan.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Thanks for the quick response John K,
    A lot of comments on other sites have mentioned that English is not widely spoken, with French being the main second language.
    How true is this?
  • edited September 2009
    Not all people have had the benefit of an education in Morocco so it goes that people in outlying areas (mountain regions for example) will only speak Arabic in some dialect or other.

    As Morocco was "occupied" to save itself many years ago, French became the second most popular language and many people do speak this although for the sake of tourism, English will replace this in years to come and is the chosen language for future tourism.

    My experience is that whilst Moroccans in hotels, restaurants, shops etc do speak English, they do not have the capacity to make it to a conversational level. they will understand and reply but only the minimum to get through.

    As visitors from all over the world come here, languages such as German, Spanish & Italian are spoken by waiters and others here but generally, most tourists will use English unless they are French of course.

    There are, however, some very well educated people who will amaze you with their fluency speaking far better English than some in UK! Fact not fiction and English is taught in colleges here although of course this is only generally available to those who can afford it.

    I speak more Arabic than French but even I would not attempt to engage in anything other than English.

    If you are in a city where tourists are more likely to visit (Tangier, Fes, Marrakech, Agadir, Essaouira......) then you will have no difficulty getting by and even when haggling, the trader will usually use a calculator to communicate the price.

    You may find even in the cities that some taxi drivers do not speak French or English but as long as you know where you are going you should get by.

    "Hypermarche Marjane Min Fadlack" said to the taxi driver will get you to the Marjane supermarket.
  • edited September 2009
    See the guide to currency in Morrocco.
  • edited 10:11AM
    My lonely planet on Morocco states that Canadian currency is not recognized by the banks but other people I have talked to have said that this is not true. Which is correct?
  • edited 10:11AM
    Canadian and Australian dollar currency is not accepted nor is the Scottish Pound.
  • edited 10:11AM
    I am from Singapore. I would like to visit Morocco. Few day in Morocco, i would like to visit Tunisia. Can i enter Tunisia with Visa on Arival ? What the best flight from Morocco (Casablanca) to Tunis ?
  • edited 10:11AM
    How good is main road surfaces?
    Let say if I go from Marrakech to Erfoud by bicycle what would be bike of choise - mountain bike or racer?
  • edited 10:11AM
    Sorry for grammar - I had tooo much beeeer tonight!
  • edited 10:11AM
    Roads to Erfoud are good, suitable for vehicles and also bike.
    If you intend to go off track, say on the sand, then you will most certainly need a mountain bike.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Thank you!
    Should I book all hotels at stop points (Ouarzazate, Zagora, Tazzarine, Erfoud, Tinghir) in advance? Is any bus or other transport going out of Erfoud? Is it possible to make domestic flight from Errashidia to Marrakech or Fez? Thanks again! Best regards!
  • edited 10:11AM
    Wherever you go you will find accommodation to suit all pockets, there is usually somewhere basic for 100Dh (maybe even less) or thereabouts if you just want to stay the night. Finding these is not difficult but you may be offered the services of a fixer who will negotiate on your behalf; you will probably end up paying far more this way for a room than if you were to ask around yourself.
    Errachidia has no airport but is roughly equidistant between Marrakech and Fes.
    If I am allowed to do so, perhaps you should register with Trip Advisor which is a very popular travel forum site for Morocco.
  • edited 10:11AM
    hi. going to marrakesh tomorrow! just read all this stuff about the currency. i have just exchanged £300 into moroccan money, yet some of this imples that taking currency in isnt allowed?
  • edited November 2009
    You should always wait until you get into Morocco to get your currency as you would then have got the official (and correct) rate of exchange.

    I wager you got less than 11Dh to £1 or about 3000Dh in total instead of the 3780Dh you should have got.

    The seller should have told you that the MAD (Moroccan Dirham) is a closed curency and not available outside of Morocco. So the seller probably wanted to off load their stash to someone who is none the wiser and give a very poor rate.

    Keep it concealed and DO NOT declare it on arrival; I know of no cases where people have ever been asked on arrival how much they have although people are usually (but not always) asked on departure; even then I keep quiet as I go back again and need some ready cash even though there are numerous ATM's around town and also at the airport.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi Everyone

    I am arriving Marrakech 9th Feb 19.15hrs. I am staying at Kenzi Club Oasis, can anyone tell me how much I should pay for taxi and will I have to barter price.

    Thanks Tom B
  • edited 10:11AM
    The address for Kenzi Club Oasis is Commune rurale Ouahat, Sudi, Marrakech which is about 45 minutes from the airport, near the new football stadium being built. The fare should be between 150 and 200Dh in the daytime but in the evening (after 8pm) this may go up to 300Dh. You may need to haggle hard if the driver quotes something ridiculous but ideally no more than 200Dh, try offering this as a last resort and see wat happens.

    It is usually possible to arrange a transfer with the hotel prior to arriving in Marrakech although you should expect this to be far higher, who knows, quite possibly 1000-2000Dh.
  • edited 10:11AM
    hi...i'm travelling to casablanca in a couple of weeks....what credit cards are generally accepted here in hotels/restaurants? plus which are the main international bankls in casablanca?
  • edited 10:11AM
    Casablanca has a reported 499 ATM's, of these none are international.
    There may be others in which case you should ask at your bank for a list of institutions which will accept your particular card.
    As mentioned above, notify your bank if you intend to use your card in an ATM and be aware that you should not use credit cards to acquire cash from an ATM as interest will be chargeable immediately.
    I suggest you use local currency when paying for minor services, including restaurants.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi John, I am so impressed with your extensive knowledge of Morocco, you clearly have a great understanding and respect for the country and its people. Do you live there? I live in London but also have a home in Tangier and have been visiting the city every year for the past 27 years, so have seen a lot of changes . Having read through many of the questions asked, another point I would add concerning taking currency in and out of the country is that certain shop keepers within the Petit Soco ( small market) in Tangier, will often exchange sterling and euros and american dollars at a much better rate than the banks, this 'black market' exchange is common place and quite normal practise. In addition many shops that cannot bank english pound coins will wait until they have collected a hundred pounds or more then sell them to english travellers for a good rate for Dirhams, plus extra for your troubles. Last year I bought £200 of pound coins at an excellent rate of exchange plus 10% commission for me on top. Its a good way of getting rid of unwanted dirhams and making some money in the process. The shop keepers are happy to sell their foreign coins which the bank wont exchange, so everyones a winner !
    Good luck to all those who are travelling to Morocco. Its a fascinating country and its people have great warmth and hospitality.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi. Thanks for all the above, so informative. I am off to Marrakech in 10 days time so now I know to take sterling, change it at the airport BdC and haggle for the taxi and everything else in English! We are staying at Dar Tuscia, can anybody tell me how much is a reasonable fare for the taxi transfer and how far it is to the big square Fna I think its called? thanks.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hello, all this currency info is so useful. Thankyou everyone. We go to Marrakech on Thursday 1st Apr. We arrive at airport 21.45. Will BdeC still be open to change our currency at that hour? Or should we just use ATM? Also next day will be Friday. Are all BdeC open on Fridays? Thanks again.
  • edited 10:11AM
    B de C should be open until the last flight in. There is an ATM at the airport but does not always work and they tend to empty at weekends and not be replenished unti the following week (applies to town centre also) but there are scores of ATM's all over town.
    I tend not to use B de C much and go mainly for ATM's as well as my left over Dh from last trip.
    In Marrakech things tend to wind down in some ways in the Gueliz district only, elsewhere is mainly unaffected; hotels too have money changing facilities so go into any although they may only offer the service as set times which will be indicated on their notice.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Dear all,

    I'm flying to Tangier next July for a couple of days in order to get some taste of Morocco. Can anyone tell me how safe that is specially because I'm travelling with 2 women.

    What should I do/see while there? How would it be better to get to the city centre? Any suggestions of good hotels?

    Finally, is Tangier a city worth visiting?

    Thanks a bunch
  • edited 10:11AM
    Morocco is well used to tourists but beware as there are robberies. How you are treated dependes largely on whether you go as a typical tourist, willing to stop for each and every hustler and happy to pay outrageous prices for tat or as a traveller who will take no nonsense from the locals who may be seen as quite unfriendly so insist on doing things your way.

    Tangier is described as a hellish place full of hustlers ready to rip you off. This is a typical experience of Morocco for all newbie visitors and many have vowed never to return, myself being one of those although I had subsequently returned many times as I enjoy the experience of shopping in souks and love the architecture with it's rooftops almost touching through centuries of leaning, and of course the virtual guarantee of sunshine all year round.

    Tanger has tourist sights such as the beach; Place de France; Grand Socco ("great market"); Mendoubia Gardens; Caves of Hercules (14Km from Tangier centre); the Kasbah; Teatro Cervantes; the American Legation/ Museum; Mus
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi John

    I would love your advice on Morocco. Im planning to go there from Spain in January next year, but have no idea where to go or what to do. I love anything adventurous and different. Any kind of insight as to the highlights of Morocco would be appreciated, thanks.
  • edited 10:11AM
    From Spain you can go to several parts of Morocco; from Algeciras ferries go to Tanger and Ceuta and from Tarifa one can go to Tanger which is the shortest crossing distance.
    There are numerous ferry companies and checking this link will show the possibilities:
    FRS is my preferred ferry (for no real rason) and you can check their new website at:
    Tanger is also a possibility from Gibraltar but this is not a relaible service as poor weather conditions can cause cancellation at short notice and the service only operates once a week, Friday going toTager and Sunday returning from Tanger.
    Chefchaouen is a great place to visit as it is up in the mountainous regions.
    If you have the time then a trip to manic Marrakech is doable but from Tanger the train journey takes ten hours so perhaps an overnight train is the best option.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi John,
    I'm going to marrakesh in 3 weeks I havnt been to Morocco before what tourist attractions is there that i should not miss?

    Thank you

  • edited 10:11AM
    The following are typical sights of Marrakech which all tourists are inevitably drawn to; all, except Jardin Majorelle & Jardin de Menara, are within the walls of the medina and easy to reach on foot:
    Jemma el Fna - world heritage site, snake charmers, dancing troupe, musicians, fruit juice stalls, performing monkeys, even a dentist here. Transforms into open air restaurants in the evening but still has all the entertainment.

    Palais la Bahia - Former palace and harem. Much to see, worth a visit but closed when Royal Family vivsit. 10Dh entry fee.

    Palais el Badii - Old ruins within the medina.

    Jardin Majorelle - world famous gardens owned by Yves Saint Laurent until his recent death. 30Dh entry fee.

    Koutoubia Mosque - major landmark viible for miles around, no entry to non-Muslims.

    Jardin de Menara - much neglected but the most photographed place in Marrakech. 10Dh entry fee.

    Tombeaux Saadian - ancient tombs in a walled area within the medina. Gets very crowded with tourist groups so go early. 10Dh entry fee.

    Dar Si Said - museum of Moroccan arts & crafts with tranquil gardens. 30Dh entry fee.

    The Mellah - old Jewish quarter at the south end of the medina.

    Medersa ben Youssef - splendid former Islamic school. 10Dh entry fee.

    The Ramparts of Marrakech - walk along the walls overlooking the medina.

    Souks - there are many branching off Jemma el Fna.

    The Tanneries - highly disappointing, very little activity and no “splash of colours” as claimed in some guide books.

    And strictly for the tourists is Chez Ali - Arabian nights theme with charging horses and a flying carpet. Marrakech Tour Bus - tour Marrakech via open top bus but this is expensive and not worth the trouble; use the money for petit taxis to get around to the sites mentioned above.

    Map available - [email protected]
  • edited 10:11AM
    Hi there, finally somwhere with accurate knowledge on the currency situation in Morocco.
    I am travelling there with my boyfriend in just over 3 weeks to Marrakech and I have no idea what to do regarding currency.
    We have booked at an all inclusive resort, however we plan to visit Marrakech centre and will require some local currency.

    Is it best for us to take some sterling cash and exchange in the aiport upon arrival? I understand we need a receipt to change this currency back which is no problem. I cannot find a website for this airport - is there facilities in there and are they open 24/7? (Our flight back departs at 23.30)

    Also, if we fancy leaving our resort one night, I understand taxis will only accept Dirhams? What about bars in Marrakech centre? Do they also only accept Dirhams also?
    My guide book said take plenty of £1 coins and tip generously. This is no problem for us, but do we tip taxi drivers in Dirhams or sterling??

    Any help on this is greatly appreciated, I had no idea about Morocco and it's closed currency!!

    Thank you
  • edited 10:11AM
    Don't worry about the receipt thingy, it's not a strict requirement. If you have some left over I may buy them from you if you forget to cash them.
    There are two ATM's at the airport plus the B de C but there will be a charge for acquiring
    cash through ATM's. No shortage of ATM's in town either, over 200 I think and most tourist hotels have them too. If changing Aterling, make sure the notes are in near perfect condition with no tears or writing.
    Taxi drivers in Marrakech are renowned for their bad attitude and blatant disregard for charging correct fares; I find the older ones a bit more honest but otherwise if it's late they will bark at you with the fare not bothering to use the meter as they should. You may also find the taxi occupied with other passengers which is a practice designed (in theory) to reduce your fare. Going for short trips of less than 10 minutes should not cost more than 12Dh but if they don't use the meter then give 15Dh and walk of. The meter should have a low initial fare of about 1.2Dh (may have changed) but they sometimes leave the previous fare showing to bump up the fare. If you get into difficulties, show you are serious ny writing down the number of the taxi even if you intend to do nothing afterwards. Only give a few Dh on top of the fare if you think the driver has not already fleeced you.
    When in Morocco, pay for all services with Dh as £ coins or even € coins are difficult for the locals o change, often offering these to foreigners to change. Tip only in Dh and only give up to 10Dh as your money will quickly run out. Never give money to small children as this encourages them to become beggars.
  • edited 10:11AM
    Excellent, thanks for your advice. What we might do is draw £100 out and if we need any more we can draw out as we go along.
    We'll get charged a fee but life could be worse!

    Our hotel has a shuttle bus which takes us into the centre so we'll probably use that when we feel like an adventure.

    Is there a nightlife in Marrakech centre? I'm not taking about going for a rave, maybe some cocktail bars and that sort of scene. I'm just thinking in case we get bored of hotel entertainment, which, let's face it, can sometimes be cheesy!

    What is the night market like? I've heard mixed reviews!
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