Money: The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan dirham (MAD). At the start of 2010, one euro was approx. 11,11 dirham. For the latest conversion rates, look at www.oanda.com. The dirham is made up of 100 centimes. There are coins worth 5, 10, 20 centimes, and 1/2, 1, 5 and 10 dirham, and notes worth 20, 50, 100 and 200 dirham. In the major cities, using the bigger notes is no problem, but it is not wise to bring only 200 dirham notes when visiting oases or small villages. Always have coins at hand.
Banking: We advise you to withdraw the larger part of your budget from one of the many cash machines now in Morocco. Do take care that the symbol on the cash machine matches the one on your card. Make sure you have enough dirham on you for when you will not be in a larger city for a few days. You can also take traveller’s cheques or cash. Traveller’s cheques are protected against theft but can sometimes be difficult to change, particularly outside major city centres. Hefty commission for changing travellers cheques can also be applied, so always have some hard currency as back-up.. Of course you can also change pound or euro notes in the larger tourist places. It is also possible to withdraw money with a credit card, but is relatively expensive. They can be useful in the more upmarket hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. NB: American Express cards are not widely accepted in Morocco.
Please note – Scottish Pound notes, Canadian Dollars and Australian Dollars are often not recognised in Morocco and can be difficult to change. Pounds Sterling, Euro or US Dollars are the best currencies to carry.
To arrive at a reasonable price, you will generally have to bargain – in shops, markets but also for taxis. (However, taxis are obliged to have a meter with night rates.) In particular when buying more expensive souvenirs, you will have to allow time (preferably a few days, for half an hour a day). Your opening bid will typically be one third of what the salesman asks. However, this does not apply to gold, silver and gemstones, as here the margins are much smaller. It is important to understand that the salesman will first try to estimate how much he can ask. Sometimes, salesmen ask a ridiculously high figure. In that case, it is best not to start bargaining but just to walk away. It is also good to note that until you have mentioned a price, it is easier to step out of the bargaining process than after you have done a bid. You can feel tremendously pressurized to buy, but remember that the salesmen are among the best actors in the country, so whichever emotions they come up with, make sure you come out with your best result. Two other hints to boost your bargaining success: when you really like something, do not show it but express a mere casual interest, almost lack of it. Also, it makes things easier to first ask yourself what value you attach to the object in question and go for that price, rather than wanting to pull off the lowest possible price.
The pocket money we recommend is the minimum to pay for your meals, drinks, optional excursions, entry fees, local airport taxes and tips. Clearly, the amount that you spend depends on your personal purchasing behaviour, and for this reason expenditure on souvenirs is not included in the recommended pocket money. We suggest an amount of €200-250 per week.