How to get from the Tangier Airport to the City Center

By globedrifters Uncategorized

Getting from the Tangier airport to the city center is easy enough and you’ve got a few options. The most common mode of transportation is by taxi, but if you signed up for a Morocco tour with us, we’ve got you covered! See some of your options explained in more detail below.


Airport pick-up

Airport pick-up from Ibn Battouta International Airport in Tangier (TNG) is included in the trip cost if you signed up for a Globe Drifters Morocco tour. Your driver will be waiting for you in the Arrivals area just after the baggage claim area exit. All you need to do is look for the driver holding a sign with your name on it. Tangier is a small airport and you won’t have any troubles finding the driver. You’ll then be transferred to the tour accommodation and the adventure begins!

Tangier airport luggage claim

Collect your luggage in the baggage claim area first.

Tangier airport arrivals hall

Your driver will be waiting for you just through the glass doors after you’ve collected your luggage.

Tangier airport pick-up

Your driver will be waiting for you in this area with a sign with your name on it.

You must contact us if there are any delays or lost luggage so we can rearrange your airport pick-up. If you do not contact us, your airport pick-up will be forfeited. 

PRO TIP: Free wifi is available at the Tangier airport. You’ll need to enter your email address to connect. That way, if there are any delays or issues, you can connect with Globe Drifters and your tour leader.


Taxi

Morocco taxi tangierThe most common way to get from the Tangier airport to the city center or your hotel is by taxi. The cost of a taxi from the Tangier airport to the city center is about 250 – 300 dirhams (approximately $20 – $30 USD). It will take about 20 – 30 minutes depending on traffic. 

When you exit the airport, you’ll see a line of cream colored taxis lined up. These are called grand taxis and are a legal mode of transportation in Tangier. Show the driver your hotel address, but be aware that some locations in the medina are not accessible by car so you may be dropped off as far as the driver can go by car. If this happens, you’ll have to go the rest of the way on foot. 

PRO TIP: Before hopping in a cab, be sure to agree upon the fare with the driver!


Hotel shuttle

Some hotels in Tangier may offer a free or paid airport transfer. If you didn’t book a Globe Drifters Morocco tour or don’t feel comfortable taking a taxi from the Tangier airport to the city center; this may be the option for you depending on whether or not your accommodation offers the service. Contact your hotel/riad/Airbnb to see if this option is available to you.


Private transfer

Another option is to pre-book a private transfer from the Tangier airport to your accommodation in the city online. Personally, we do not recommend this option, but there are plenty of private transfer companies out there to choose from with just a quick Google search. Please be careful when selecting a private transfer company. We do not vouch for the reputability of any of the companies out there.

Ait Ben Haddou Morocco

Morocco is waiting for you!

PRO TIP: If you exchange money at the airport, be sure to ask the cashier for small bills that are easier for small, local vendors to break. Be sure to check out our Money in Morocco blog for more information on currency.


Getting from the Tangier airport to the city center is pretty easy and most travelers don’t have any issues. Happy travels!

 

Money in Morocco: Currency, Exchange & Card Usage

By globedrifters Uncategorized

Money in Morocco is a pretty straightforward, simple affair. It’s easy to obtain and as long as you stick to legal money changers or ATMs, you won’t have any problems getting Moroccan currency during your travels.


What is the currency in Morocco?

Morocco’s official currency is the Moroccan dirham (MAD). It is important to note that the dirham is a closed currency so you can’t buy, sell or trade it outside of Morocco. This means, you won’t be able to legally exchange currency for dirhams before your trip and will need to do so once in Morocco.

You can see the live mid-market rate for your preferred currency vs the Moroccan dirham online with a currency converter such as Wise’s.

For the sake of convenience when making purchases during your travels, it’s sometimes easiest to think of $1 USD as approximately 10 MAD.

PRO TIP: Australian and Canadian dollars aren’t accepted for exchange in Morocco so we suggest sticking with US dollars, euros or Great British pounds.

Moroccan currency dirhams MAD

Moroccan dirhams (MAD)


How can I exchange money in Morocco?

Exchanging money in Morocco can be done in two main ways: 1.) Currency exchange offices also known as bureaux de change and 2.) ATMs. Each one is explained in detail below.

Exchanging Money in Morocco: Exchange Offices

You can easily exchange money in Morocco upon arrival. The best and most recommended place to do this is at a bureau de change. These exchange offices are located in most tourist areas of Morocco and there is also one at the Tangier airport if you prefer to have cash upon arrival. Airport currency exchange offices often offer less than favorable rates so if you want to exchange at the airport, it’s best to get just a small amount and then seek a better deal elsewhere.

If you choose to exchange money in this way, it’s best to bring clean, crisp notes with limited to no creases, wrinkles, markings or tears.

PRO TIP: If exchanging cash at any Moroccan money exchange office, be sure to ask for smaller bills as making change for small, local vendors can be difficult. This is also handy when you need to leave a tip. Check out our Tipping in Morocco blog to learn more about this!

Morocco currency exchange office

An example of a currency exchange office in Morocco


Exchanging Money in Morocco: ATMs 

We recommend withdrawing money from ATMs as the best way of getting dirhams in Morocco. It is easy, fast and convenient. Like the above option, you can also withdraw from the Tangier airport ATM, but we suggest withdrawing just a small amount as airport ATMs tend to have less favorable exchange rates and higher transaction fees.

ATMs are easily found in larger cities and airports, but are less common in rural and remote areas. When traveling outside of the city, be prepared by having enough cash as ATMs aren’t always as readily available.

If you’ve signed up for a Globe Drifters Morocco trip, your Moroccan guide will advise you of safe, reputable places to exchange money and/or withdraw from an ATM and will plan stops before traveling into areas without ATMs.

PRO TIP: Try withdrawing odd numbered amounts from an ATM to get smaller bills (i.e. 480 dirhams instead of 500). This will be practical for tipping since smaller bills are easier for small, local vendors to break. Read more about Tipping in Morocco in our blog.


Can I use my debit/credit card in Morocco?

Credit and debit cards aren’t widely used outside of the cities and tourist areas in Morocco. However, in more upscale establishments, you may be able to pay with your card (Visa or MasterCard). Other than these high-end places, Morocco is a largely cash-based society and it’s advisable to carry cash with you most of the time for purchases.

If you do decide to use your debit or credit card in Morocco, make sure your bank knows that you’re planning a trip. If not, they may block your cards.

Many of the rosewater, argan oil, Berber rug, pottery and leather cooperatives will accept debit/credit cards. Many can also provide shipment to your home address for a reasonable fee.

Morocco Berber rug cooperative

Most Berber rug cooperatives will accept card payment


How much money will I need for my Morocco trip?

We recommend bringing around $400 – $700 USD for your trip to Morocco. This is based on past Globe Drifters’ Morocco travelers’ feedback.

We strongly advise having access to more money than you expect to spend in case of an emergency!

Moroccan ceramic plates

Morocco has lots of great souvenirs so plan your budget accordingly!


Again, money in Morocco is not a very complicated matter and knowing what to expect beforehand will help your trip there be a bit smoother. Remember that on our Globe Drifters Morocco tour, your guide will be there to help point you in the right direction. Happy travels!

 

What to Pack for Morocco in May

By globedrifters Uncategorized

Packing for a Morocco trip can be daunting because Morocco is a large country and the weather can vary depending on where and when you go. Typically, the northern parts of the country stay a bit cooler than the southern parts due to their topography and altitude. All in all, the weather in Morocco in the month of May is pretty much warm to hot with a couple of exceptions. 


How’s the weather in Morocco in May?

The weather in Morocco in May is generally warm to hot. You can expect temperatures from 73 – 87°F (22 – 30°C) during the day throughout most of the country. Note that it can get significantly cooler at night, especially in the Sahara Desert with temperatures there dropping as low as 55 – 60°F (12 – 15°C). 

Morocco weather in May

Weather in Morocco in May is ideal for travel. Not too hot with cooler evenings!


What are the outlets like in Morocco?

outlets in Morocco

The electrical outlets in Morocco are the European plug-type (see picture) with 220 – 240 volts (V) and 50 Hz frequency.

PRO TIP: Pack extras of all the necessary adapters and converters for your devices as these items are commonly left behind in hotel rooms.


What to pack for Morocco in May

Below is a list of items that we recommend our Globe Drifters Morocco trip travelers bring with them to make your trip more comfortable:

  • Sunglasses, Hat, Sunscreen, Lip balm (it’s dry in the desert!)
  • Sealable plastic bags for your electronic devices in the desert (in case of a sandstorm; rare, but possible!)
  • Light clothing that covers the knees and shoulders (Morocco is a Muslim country so please respect local customs)
  • Bathing suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes (with good ankle support and traction!)
  • Jacket/Coat (for cooler nights)
  • Warm pajamas & socks (for the night in the Sahara Desert)
  • Flashlight/Headlamp (for the Sahara Desert)
  • Umbrella (for shade & rare rainfall)
  • Daypack/Backpack (we recommend across the shoulder)
  • Diarrhea/Constipation medicine, Motion sickness medicine, Prescription medication (if needed)
  • First aid kit (travel size), Hand sanitizer
  • Adapters/Converters for electronics (2 or more of each just in case!)
  • Hair dryer (if needed; two hotels do not have*)

*All hotels except for the one in Midelt and the Sahara Desert camp will have a hair dryer and a small toiletry kit. Please bring your own if you think you’ll need them for the 2 nights in these places.

PRO TIP: Pack light! You’ll be on the move a great deal on our Morocco tour and while most hotels we stay at offer laundry services for a fee, we won’t stay at most of them for more than 1 night so packing light is important. No one will judge you for wearing the same clothes throughout your trip!

wrong shoes to bring to Morocco

These shoes are not ideal for walking around in Morocco. Ankle support and good traction are a must!


What to wear in Morocco

What to wear in MoroccoWe recommend dressing conservatively in Morocco in order to respect the local culture and to avoid unwanted attention. You’ll see many Moroccan women and men wearing Western clothing as well as traditional outfits while out doing their daily business. 

For men, jeans and t-shirts are generally fine. Long shorts and t-shirts are also fine in hotter regions, but shorts are sometimes viewed by the locals as similar to underwear depending on the area. Men in Morocco will most often wear long pants and a shirt, but you might encounter some wearing long, light gowns and a little cap on their head. Of course, no one expects you to wear clothes identical to the locals’.

For women, you’ll want to cover your shoulders and at least your knees most of the time. In general, you should expect to show a bit less skin than what you may be used to at home. Please try not to show cleavage and leave the strappy tops and shorts at home. Long dresses and skirts are perfect for the Moroccan heat. So are loose-fitting, long-sleeved tunics, shirts and pants. It’s all about the material you choose. Baggier and airy clothes will protect you from the aggressive Moroccan sun and from unwanted glances by the locals. 

In more rural areas, full length is even better and so is covering your head with a light scarf. You won’t always need to cover your head, but it’s best to bring a scarf for visits to holy sites. You can also purchase one while in Morocco at one of the many shops. 

Some Moroccan women wear long gowns with hoods and scarves while others show their hair. You might even come across a local female dressed in a European style. No matter what, it’s important to be conscious of the amount of skin you’re showing and to avoid showing too much.

what to wear in Morocco

The three L’s are key for what to wear in Morocco: Long, Light and Loose!


As long as you keep these things in mind while traveling in Morocco, you’ll have a wonderful adventure with memories that will last a lifetime! Happy travels!

 

Food & Drink in Morocco

By globedrifters Uncategorized

Moroccan food and drink are rich in flavor and culture and during our 12-day Morocco tour, you’ll get plenty of chances to taste the traditional flavors of some of Morocco’s most well-known dishes such as tagine and couscous.


What’s the food like in Morocco?

Fresh produce at a market in MoroccoFood in Morocco is pretty typical of the region. Various tagines, couscous, seasonal salads and breads are standard fare. The most common meats are chicken, goat, lamb and chicken. Common ingredients in Moroccan cuisine include lemon, olives, argan & olive oil and dried fruits. Moroccan food is rich in herbs and spices such as mint, parsley, coriander, oregano, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, saffron, fennel and the list goes on!

Moroccan food in a restaurant in Morocco

The most popular Moroccan dish is probably the savory tagine. This is a slow-cooked stew made with either meat, poultry or fish alongside seasonal vegetables and seasoned with spices such as ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and saffron.

Bread is a staple in Morocco and will be served with nearly every meal. It is a very simple, dense bread and it’s hard to find a Moroccan table without it!

Desserts are common in Morocco and absolutely delicious! You’ll find a variety of Moroccan cookies made with powdered sugar, almonds, coconut, dried fruits, etc. They’re perfect with a glass of Moroccan mint tea to wash them down. Our favorite dessert is probably one of the most simple:orange slices with cinnamon. It’s refreshing and the perfect way to end a meal.

Meal at a restaurant in Morocco

A delicious tagine with the obligatory Moroccan bread


Vegetarian and vegan food in Morocco

Finding vegetarian or vegan food in Morocco isn’t too big of a challenge, but most will agree that the variety is not as great as you may be used to back home. 

Vegetarians and vegans alike will enjoy Moroccan salads composed of zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, beans, etc. depending on the season. Salads are frequently dressed with Argan oil or orange blossom oil. Vegetarian and vegan tagines and couscous are also frequently offered in restaurants. 

All in all, finding vegetarian and vegan dishes isn’t too terribly difficult in Morocco, but you may find the food to be a bit repetitive after a while. For this reason, we do recommend bringing your own snacks along with you on your trip.

Vegan and vegetarian food in Morocco

Moroccan salad!


Can you drink alcohol in Morocco?

Alcohol in Morocco will generally not be that easy to find during your travels. Some restaurants and hotels will offer it, but mostly in bigger cities. The consumption of alcohol is legal in Morocco, but it’s not common to see due to the religious values prevalent across the majority of the country. You will only be able to purchase alcohol at the few restaurants, hotels and supermarkets that are licensed to sell it. 

On our 12-day Morocco tour, our guide will schedule stops along the way at stores that sell alcoholic beverages legally so if you would like to purchase wine, beer or spirits, you can do so during these stops. 

PRO TIP: Our hotel in Tangier does not serve alcohol so we suggest picking up a bottle of alcohol at a duty free shop on your way to Morocco if you like to enjoy a drink on arrival. Read more about what to bring with you to Morocco in our blog: What to Pack for Morocco.

Moroccan tea

Skip the beer. Go for a cool, refreshing mint tea!


No matter what your preferences and dietary restrictions are, there is something for everyone to enjoy  in Morocco. What’s your favorite thing to eat in Morocco? Happy travels!

 

Tipping in Morocco: How Much & Who to Tip

By globedrifters Uncategorized

Learn the ins and outs, dos and don’ts of tipping in Morocco. The tipping culture in Morocco is not as rigid as some countries you may have traveled to, but it is the norm. Read all about it in this blog!

Camel riding in Morocco Sahara Desert

Camel trekking in the Moroccan Sahara Desert


Should you tip in Morocco?

Tipping is customary in Morocco, but it is not mandatory. The best rule of thumb when it comes to tipping is to roundup the bill and leave spare change. If you received poor or inadequate service, you are not obligated to tip. Tips are generally not included in the bill in Morocco, though some more upscale restaurants have begun adding a 10 – 15% service charge to the bill. In this blog, we’ll explain how much and who to tip during your travels in Morocco. 

PRO TIP: For the sake of convenience, it’s sometimes easier to think of 10 dirhams as approximately 1 USD.


Who do I tip in Morocco?

Server at restaurant in MoroccoIt is standard practice to tip tour guides, tour bus drivers, restaurant & cafe servers, taxi drivers and hotel luggage porters in Morocco. If someone offers you exemplary service by going above and beyond, we recommend offering a tip as a gesture of appreciation.

Expect to be asked for a tip if you wish to take a picture of a market vendor, artisan products, a snake charmer, etc. They’ll generally ask for anything from 10 – 50 dirhams (≈ 1 – 5 USD). Remember that it is always good practice to ask permission before taking a photo!

Tipping your tour guide and tour bus driver at the end of your trip is also strongly recommended, especially if you are satisfied with the service they provided and they helped you have a great trip.

NOTE: We always suggest tipping your hotel maids as the majority are females. Morocco is a very male-dominated society with many women lacking access to education and decent job opportunities. Hotel maids are very hard working and deserving of a tip just as much as your luggage porter or restaurant waiter.


How much should I tip in Morocco?

Below is a list of who and how much to tip while traveling through Morocco:Waiters in a restaurant in Morocco

  • Restaurant/Cafe servers: Round up the bill & leave spare change. (i.e. If the bill is 137 dirhams, round up to 150)
  • Taxi drivers: Round up the fare & leave spare change. (i.e. If the fare is 25 dirhams, round up to 30)
  • Luggage porters: 10 dirhams per piece of luggage. More if your luggage is extremely heavy.
  • Housekeeping: 10 dirhams per day on the nightstand/desk at the end of your stay.
  • Photo of vendor, products, etc.: 10 – 50 dirhams depending if and how much they ask for.

PRO TIP: Try to pay with larger bills whenever possible in order to make small change for tipping at more upscale restaurants or when purchasing something that’s a bit more expensive. Making change for market vendors or small cafes and eateries can sometimes be very difficult!

Tangier hotel room

Hotel maids make sure your unique Moroccan accommodations are beautiful and comfortable!


Should I tip my tour guide in Morocco?

We always recommend tipping your Moroccan tour guide and tour bus driver, especially if you feel they did an exceptional job and enhanced your experience.

Below are suggested amounts for tipping your tour guide and bus driver based on our past travelers’ feedback from our 12-day Morocco trip

  • Tour guide: 500 – 1500 dirhams (≈ $40 – $125 USD per day)
  • Driver: 200 – 400 dirhams (≈ $15 – $35 per day)

PRO TIP: When withdrawing from an ATM in Morocco, try to take out an odd numbered amount (i.e. 490 instead of 500 dirhams) and you’ll get smaller bills that are easier for small, local vendors to break! For more information on exchanging currency in Morocco, check out our How to Exchange Money in Morocco blog.

Oranges in Chefchaouen, Morocco (The Blue City)

Chefchaouen, also known as The Blue City


Tipping in Morocco is pretty modest and straightforward. Just remember, tipping is not compulsory and tips should only be given when excellent service is received. Happy travels!