With its captivating culture shaped by African, Arab and European influences and its endless mountain ranges, deserts, coastlines, markets, ancient medinas and mysterious towns (the blue-tinged town of Chefchaouen comes to mind), Morocco has all the makings of an epic exotic holiday. Whilst it is certainly a cheaper destination than Europe, travellers may still be tempted to head further afield, lured in by South-east Asia’s backpacker-budget prices. However, it’d be a mistake to miss out on all that Morocco has to offer. With a little savvy planning, you can do it on a budget. Start by finding the cheapest flight on Cheapflights.co.uk, and then take a look at these six ways to save while you are there.Search for flights to Morocco
Take advantage of different accommodation options
There are tonnes of choices for accommodation in Morocco, from luxury hotels and homestays to unique accommodation like tents and hostels. The country is also known for its charming riads (or the smaller version, dars), which are beautiful traditional Moroccan homes within the medinas, that are available for rent. People on a budget may typically shy away from these guesthouses thinking they’re expensive, but you can actually find affordable ones that offer discounts for longer stays. As an added bonus, you’ll get to experience Moroccan hospitality first-hand.
If you’ve got your heart set on a hotel stay, then you can search for great deals on Cheapflights.co.uk – yep, don’t be mistaken, we’re just as good at helping you to find hotel deals as we are at finding flights.
Relax at a hammam
Visiting a Moroccan hammam (or bathhouse) is probably the best way to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of exploring. Hammams are pretty much everywhere in Morocco, but there are two kinds: the luxury hammams and the cheaper local hammams. Offered by hotels and riads, the former provides a more private pampering experience, while the latter is more of a public bathhouse where you’ll need to bring your own towel, body scrub and swimsuit. Some public hammams also sell soaps and shampoos, but you can, of course, save more if you just bring your own.
Learn to haggle
The ability to bargain is one of the most useful skills any traveller can have, no matter what the destination. But it’s even more valuable in a country like Morocco, where some of the biggest attractions are open-air marketplaces called souks. Selling everything from clothes to spices, the biggest and most colourful souks can be found in more popular cities such as Marrakech and Fez and often, the prices at these locations aren’t fixed. If you want to put your negotiating skills to the test, here are some tips to get you started: Haggle in the local language (whenever possible) and try not to look too eager. If you are lucky, you might just get that item at a huge discount. Never accept a salesman’s first offer. Instead, offer about half as much as the salesman’s initial suggested price with the hopes of getting to a final price somewhere in the middle of the two. Finally, be prepared to walk away from a deal if the price is too high, especially for bigger ticket items.
Consider alternative modes of transportation
Morocco offers plenty of transportation options. The country has trains, which are probably the most cost-efficient way of travelling between cities, while taxis are a more comfortable way of getting from one point to another within a town. Aside from using the Uber app, which recently launched in parts of Morocco, taxis are available in two types — Grand Taxi and Petit Taxi. The former is shared with other passengers, while the latter are smaller vehicles that can fit a maximum of three people. If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, there is also the cheaper option of public buses. They’re usually not air-conditioned and they make a lot of stops, but they’re a great way of getting a glimpse into the local culture while also saving some money.
Eat like a local
If you’re in Morocco on a budget, skip the restaurants and go for street food stalls in souks where you’ll find authentic and reasonably priced local food. Given the number of street food stalls you’ll find, narrowing down your options will be your biggest issue. A good rule of thumb is to go where there are more local families than tourists. If you’re in Marrakech’s Jemaa el-Fna, look for Stall 32 (Chez Hassan), which is particularly popular for having the best Merguez sausages on the square. Meanwhile, if there is one restaurant you should try in Marrakech, it is Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping disadvantaged women in addition to serving great food.
Enjoy free things to do
While activities such as camel trekking, desert tours, sightseeing at famous attractions such as the Atlas Mountains and film/TV show shooting locations (the Skala du Port in Essaouira, one of the locations for HBO series “Game of Thrones,” charges DH10 per adult) aren’t free, there are numerous other activities you can do without charge to balance out your spending. Walking around the medinas, souks, tanneries and squares such as Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech offers a fascinating insight into the country’s culture.
Have you thought about visiting Morocco? Let us know in the comments, and search for flights here.