What $100 of Travel Money Gets You in Morocco
CURRENTLY, $1 is worth 9.85 Moroccan dirham. That would barely buy me a chocolate bar where I’m from, but I can feed myself twice with that amount of money in Morocco. For those planning a trip soon, here’s a heads up as to what $100 (985 dh) gets you in Morocco:
Museums and culture
$100 will give you access to some of the most unique aspects of Berber, Arab, and European culture. Break up your trip with:
2 tickets to every major site in Marrakech, including the Maison de la Photographie ($4 each) to see the Morocco history and culture history in photos, the Majorelle Gardens ($5 each) and adjoining Islamic Art Museum ($2.50 each), the Saadian Tombs ($1 each), the Ben Youssef Medersa and Marrakech Museum ($6 each), and the Bahia Palace ($1 each).
A guide for 3 days ($30 per day) to show you around any city.
One visit to a local hammam ($1.50) for a hot bath and a scrub every day for 65 days, or to a luxury hammam with a massage ($25) for 4 days.
3 day trips to the Ourika Valley ($28 each) from Marrakech with a tour company.
2 tickets to the brand new Mohammed VI Modern Art Museum ($2 each) and to the Archeology Museum ($1) in Rabat.
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Don’t expect much by way of fresh vegetables, but $100 will feed you with the following:
10 lamb tagines ($50), 10 Moroccan salads ($15), 10 sides of fries ($7), and 4 glasses of local wine ($24). You still have change for pastries and street food, which usually costs about $0.25 to $.50 if you’re looking to try some sfenj, or pommes frites.
Breakfast every morning for 39 days, including toast with jam and cheese, an omelette, freshly squeezed orange juice, and tea or coffee ($2.50 per day).
Dinner for two at a fancier Moroccan restaurant, including a bottle of wine ($15), pastilla (local pigeon pie with sugar, cinnamon, and almonds; $6), two chicken and lemon couscous dishes ($24), Moroccan tapas ($8), four desserts to share ($20), and a generous tip ($14).
Morocco, being a Muslim country, makes indulging in booze a bit harder than in other places, but you can still get sloshed if you want to:
35 pints of imported beer at a bar (usually around $3 a bottle) or 65 bottles of local beer purchased from a supermarket ($1.50).
6 bottles of local wine from a restaurant ($15 each).
For $100, you can really see a lot of Morocco:
Make a return trip from Tangier to Marrakech (10 hours) in a sleeper cabin on the train ($70) and eat plenty of snacks on the way.
Rent a car for 3 days ($30 per day).
Have a calèche (horse-drawn carriage) show you around Marrakech, Meknes, and Fes for half a day in each city ($80).
Take 143 return trips on the bus between the airport in Marrakech and Djemaa el-Fna Square ($0.80).
Take a bus from Agadir to Essaouira ($6), on to Marrakech($7), followed by a train to Tangier ($20), buses to Chefchaouen ($4.50) and Fes ($6), a train to Meknes ($2), rounded out by a final bus to Rabat ($5.50).
If you’re looking to do some half-day or longer experiential tours, for $100 or less you can get:
1 trip to the Marrakech desert and palm grove on a quad bike ($73) or a food tour around Marrakech ($60).
2 visits to a Berber village in the mountains ($40).
2 food and art walking tours around Essaouira ($47).
1 day trip to Ouzoud Falls ($90).
If you only have $100 to budget for accommodation, there are options for all kinds of travelers:
14 nights in a private hostel room in Chefchaouen, hot shower included ($7 per night).
4 nights in a hotel room in the center of the medina in Tangier ($25 per night).
Two and a half nights in a swanky riad in Marrakech ($40 per night).