Money and Costs
Moroccan dirham (Dh)
Budget: Less than Dh750
- Budget double room: Dh250–350
- Cheap museum entrance fees: Dh10–50
- Tajine at a canteen: Dh35–50
- Evening entertainment at Djemaa El Fna: free, plus tip
- Riad double room: Dh550–750
- Three-course set-lunch menu: Dh120–170
- Glass of wine: Dh50–60
- Half-day cycling tour: Dh350
Top end: More than Dh1400
- Boutique-riad double room: from Dh800
- Dinner in palace-style restaurant: Dh300–600
- Cocktail at bar: Dh80–100
- Private hammam soak and scrub: from Dh250
Haggling can be great fun as long as you go into it with the right attitude. The most important note to remember is that both you and the seller are trying to reach a satisfactory agreement. The vendor is not going to sell an object for a loss; if you can’t reach a mutually beneficial price, simply walk away.
Do's and Don'ts
- Don’t try out your bargaining skills when you’re tired and grumpy. You’re not likely to make a great deal, and it will be a thoroughly unenjoyable experience.
- Do exchange pleasantries first with the shopkeeper. Don’t even think about kicking off negotiations without saying hello and asking how they are.
- Do work out what you'd be willing to pay for something you like, before you ask the price.
- Do always accept the mint tea if it's offered.
The Haggling Process
The initial price the vendor quotes may have nothing to do with the item’s actual value, so don’t rely on that figure for your counter offer. Depending on the vendor (and their perception of how much money you may have) their first quote may be exceedingly high or not far off the value of the item. This is why it’s important that you’ve already worked out what your maximum offering will be.
Counter with an offer that's about one-third of your maximum limit and let the negotiations begin. Keep it friendly. Bargaining should never get nasty. If you’re starting to feel pressured or you get a bad vibe from the seller, walk away.
Walking away when you can’t reach an agreement is fine. Offering a price you’re not willing to pay and then walking away is considered the height of bad manners. Make sure you actually want the item before starting to haggle.
- You don’t haggle for groceries. If you’re buying fruit at the produce market, you’re being quoted the actual price.
- Spend time perusing prices at fixed-price stores such as Ensemble Artisanal beforehand, to get an idea of costs.
- Never shop with a guide if you want the best price. The shopkeeper has to add their commission onto your bill.
ATMs can be found around Djemaa El Fna in the medina and along Ave Mohammed V in the Ville Nouvelle.
Virtually all ATMs (guichets automatiques) accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank cards.
Most ATMs will dispense no more than Dh2000 at a time.
On Sundays, ATMs on Rue Bab Agnaou (near Djemaa El Fna) and in Rahba Kedima often run out of cash. Try ATMs on Rue Fatima Zohra near Bab Ksour, or in the Ville Nouvelle.
The medina souqs are still very much a cash society. Only larger shops will accept credit and debit cards.
Many midrange and top-end accommodations accept payment in euros.
Most banks change cash. Private bureaux de change offer official exchange rates and are open longer hours. Hotel Ali, near Djemaa El Fna, nearly always offers fractionally better rates than anywhere else.
Euros, US dollars and British pounds are the most easily exchanged currencies.
Major credit cards are usually accepted at midrange and top-end accommodation, as well as large tourist-oriented restaurants and shops, though they often incur a surcharge of around 5%.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com
Tipping is an integral part of Moroccan life; almost any service can warrant a tip. Although you shouldn't feel railroaded, the judicious distribution of a few dirham for a service willingly rendered can make your life a lot easier.
- Restaurants 10% is standard.
- Cafes Leave Dh2.
- Museum guides Dh10; more for great service.
- Bag porters Dh3 to Dh5 is standard.
- Public toilet attendants Leave Dh1 to Dh2.
- Car park attendants Dh3 to Dh5; Dh10 for overnight.