Money, Currency & Exchange in Morocco
Although all your major local costs are covered in the tour price, you will still need to take some funds to cover local expenses whilst in Morocco. Your main local expenses are likely to be on meals not included in your holiday price plus beverages, local shopping (carpets, paintings, brass, copper, silver and Moroccan lamps are very tempting) and other personal expenses such as laundry and tips.
The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). There are 200, 100, 50, 25 and 20 dirham notes and 10, 5, 2, 1 dirham and 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c coins. Major international currencies such as Euro, US Dollars and UK Sterling are widely interchangeable at banks. There are many ATM machines located in major towns and cities providing a fast and generally reliable means of obtaining local currency.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and bureau de change desks in major towns and cities. The process can be slow and tedious. Banks normally close mid-afternoon.
ATM machines are located in all major towns and this is the easiest way to obtain local currency. Although generally reliable, like anywhere in the world, they can be very temperamental - especially on weekends and national holidays. Where possible, use machines that are located inside a bank, supermarket or building. For more information check the Visa ATM locator, the MasterCard ATM locator or the American Express ATM locator for the addresses of ATMs around the world.
Credit cards are accepted in most large stores, larger restaurants and hotels in urban areas. Remember to keep all receipts and before signing check that the amount is correct. Credit cards and debit cards should always be used with caution due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity.
In Morocco tipping is part of everyday life. A gesture in recognition of efficient and polite service is always appreciated by local staff, hotel porters, drivers and waiters. 10% of the bill is best practice for good service. 15-20 dirhams per person per day for a tour guide or leader will be welcomed.
Moroccan dirham cannot be exchanged outside the country, although some stores in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla may accept it. Any unused dirhams can be reconverted to hard currency at the airport exchange counter upon departure (provided the exchange desks are open and you have kept the receipts for the dirhams you purchased). It is therefore recommended to exchange only as much money as is required.