Morocco delights even on a small budget. The cost of food, hotels and transport in Morocco are low by Singaporean standards. Tourists can travel with just SGD 50 (that’s 340 Moroccan dirhams) a day in this wonderful country. With SGD 700 you can spend 2 weeks in Morocco. If you plan to spend one week there, it’ll cost just SGD 350!
Cheap Flights to Morocco
Disclaimer: this doesn’t include flights. Tourism in Morocco is well-established and there’s a lot of flights and ferries to choose from. When I visited Morocco, I flew from the UK as I was studying there and spent £90 (SGD 180). That’s too much really, I booked late and my dates weren’t flexible. Presently, the cheapest flight I can find from Singapore to Casablanca costs SGD 750 with a stopover in Jeddah (Saudi). If you’re planning a Eurotrip, you most definitely should add Morocco in your itinerary. It’s crazy cheap to get from Europe to Morocco with European budget airlines.
From London you can fly to Rabat, Fez or Marrakech, two-way from EUR 50 (SGD 80). From Spain, it costs even less! You can fly from EUR 30 (SGD 50), or take the ferry from southern Spain to Tangier in Morocco from EUR 38 (SGD 60). That’s the prices for a two-way flight or ferry, mind you!
Average Budget & Expenses in Morocco (in SGD)
Ideally, spend two weeks in Morocco, that is more than sufficient to visit the main attractions.
I travelled solo so I stayed in hostels most of the time. I also stayed in a few hotels when I couldn’t find a hostel. A decent hostel costs around SGD 10 to SGD 15 a night for a bed and it’s similar to what you get in Europe, definitely good value. You can get twin private rooms with ensuite bathrooms for SGD 30, that’s just SGD 15 per person for a night in a hotel. That’s even cheaper than a hotel in Johor Bahru! You can also haggle hotel room prices if you didn’t book something online but just show up. I didn’t book anything prior to the trip – not even my first night of accommodation. No problems getting a place to stay even though it was peak season (March).
A clean and simple hotel room with a lovely bathroom that’s very well decorated.
Food & Drinks
Most hotels offer free breakfast. For lunch and dinner, most restaurants offer set menus from SGD 7 and you get free olives, bread and sometimes a salad. Load up on the free starters if you’re hungry and on a budget! A sandwich with soup costs about SGD 4 in Morocco. Be sure to try Harira, it’s the national soup of Morocco and comprises of lentils, chickpeas, spices and coriander. I had a lot of french fries in Morocco too, it was cheap! Skip alcohol, it’s hard to find and is the one thing in Morocco that can be quite expensive.
The medinas of Marrakech and Fez are a shopper’s paradise! Handicrafts, leather bags, rugs and jewellery are of outstanding value. An A5-sized leather handbag costs about $20 and a simple wallet just $5. Be sure to haggle, shopkeepers most definitely expect you to haggle. They seem to enjoy it so much and would even offer you mint tea while negotiating prices. Their asking price is usually very high, a rough guide is to pay 50% of the starting price.
Use the local trains, buses and shared taxis, they’re usually on-time and gets you around efficiently. An overnight train is a great idea should you wish to save time as well as money on a hotel stay. As a rule of thumb, it costs about 20 Moroccan Dirhams (SGD 3) for every hour of bus travel in Morocco. Hence, it costs just $9 to get from Marrakech to Essaouira!
There’s real poverty in Morocco and youth unemployment is a huge problem. Small tips can make some difference. In the medina, boys around the ages of 12 to 18 will approach you and ask where are you going. They want to help you navigate the labyrinth of winding alleyways in exchange for tips. So keep some small charge! You will most definitely be lost at some point when navigating a medina, even with a map.
Things to do in Morocco & Points of Interest
Marrakech is one of the four former imperial cities of Morocco and it might’ve even been the most important one. Wander the huge maze of souks in the medina and do some shopping. Visit Djeema El Fna at dusk, the great square of Marrakesh for dinner and be sure to check out the snake charmers too.
Saharan Morocco is hot, dry but picturesque. A lot of tour operators and hotels in Marrakech offer tours that bring you to the Saharan desert. You can camp under the stars with Berber tribes and ride camels on one of these tours. It is possible to arrange a trip independently too, but it isn’t cheap – you’ll have to hire a guide, driver and four-wheel drive.
This pretty sea-side town is dressed in white and blue. Essaouira is an ancient town that is Moroccan hippie. This is the place Jim Hendrix lived in for some time. Good music and very friendly people locals. There isn’t much to do here, a day or two is sufficient.
Fez is the former capital of Morocco. The capital now is Rabat but Fez is still widely regarded as the cultural capital of Morocco. It’s an ancient city – one of the oldest and biggest medieval cities in the world. Visit the tanneries, souks and Bab Bou Jeloud (The Blue Gate), a beautiful Moorish-style monumental gate built in 1913.
As you travel north to the mountain town of Chefchaouen, the temperature gets colder. Also, the locals look more mediterranean and European. This town is painted in blue and looks postcard perfect. Explore the winding alleys and kasbah. This town is perfect for relaxing and getting away from the hustle and bustle of Moroccan cities.
Morocco Map – Where should I visit then?
Morocco is kind of big, the country occupies 710,850 square kilometres of the African continent. Be sure to take into account distances between destinations in Morocco when planning your itinerary. As a guide, it takes up to 11 hours to travel from Marrakesh (the middle of Morocco) to Chefchaouen (north of Morocco).
1 week in Morocco
If you’re in Morocco for just a week, visit Marrakech, arrange a tour to Ouarzazate and the sahara, and visit Essaouira which is 3 hours away.
2 weeks in Morocco
If you’re there for 2 weeks, start from Marrakech and head north to Chefchaouen, stopping at Fez. Alternatively if you’re coming in by ferry, start at Tangier, visit Chefchaouen then head to Marrakech via Fez.
Morocco is a fantastic place to travel, there’s so much culture and amazing sights. Can’t get enough of Morocco and Africa? Here’s 10 reasons to visit southern Africa. Extend your stay on this amazing continent by visiting Victoria Falls and go on a safari in Botswana, Africa!
Hopefully this guide gives you a good idea of how easy and affordable it is to visit Morocco. It’s probably cheaper than a trip to Japan or Korea. Let me know if you’ve any questions about travelling in Morocco, I’ll definitely respond.
This article was also published on Tripzilla Magazine.