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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!