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Trip to Morocco

I would like current information about how to access money in Morocco. We will be on a tour, so a lot will be paid for in advance, but we will still have several meals on our own, as well as some gifts we might want to purchase. When I go to Europe, I usually bring a small amount of euros with me, use my debit card at banks to get cash and use my credit card for store purchases. That has always worked out really well.Someone recently told me that you can't buy Moroccan currency outside the country and that using debit cards is unsafe.

I would appreciate advice about the best way to deal with this issue.

One other question I have is whether there are laundromats in the main cities and whether tour hotels usually offer laundry services. We will be there 3 weeks and I prefer to travel as light as possible. Thanks

Posted by
6391 posts

using debit cards is unsafe.

Nonsense. Suggest that anything else you hear from that person should be viewed with some skepticism.

Getting money in Morocco is no different from getting money in Paris, Rome, London, Athens, Orlando or anywhere else -- only difference is the currency that the ATM will spit out (and the unreadable-to-most of us Arabic script that will be displayed on the screen...but there will be options for French and English, too, so no need to freak out over the script). The risks of using a debit card are exactly the same -- that is, very minimal, as long as you have any common sense ("skimmers", someone peeking over your shoulder for the PIN then mugging you, etc.). There are ATMs at the airport and at banks all over the place, just like at home. Use the same common sense as you would anywhere, and the results will be exactly the same.

It's easy to be spooked by the idea of Morocco: Islamic, African, exotic. Yes, it is all of those things, but there's nothing spooky or particularly dangerous about it (well, driving in Marrakech is a challenge...). You will be surprised at how familiar and "normal" it feels. Worth noting: Morocco is a major mass tourism destination (think Cancun, not Kabul). Visiting and being in Morocco is easy, not really significantly more difficult than say, Sicily or Cabo San Lucas. Anyone who ever deals with tourists will speak French and English (if you can only manage a few words in bad, long-forgotten high school French, you will be fine). English is widely spoken by most people you will ever have to deal with. You will be surprised at how easy it all is.

Have fun, it's a great place to visit.

Posted by
510 posts

Toured Morocco in March 2020 just as the pandemic was exploding in North America. It was quite easy to access cash via atm/debit card. I arrived without the country currency but quickly obtained some once in the city. Credit card use was simple also.

Additionally I had my clothes washed, dried and folded at a fixed rate by the hotel. Drop off and pick up options at laundromats were also available.

Posted by
2 posts

In addition to ATMs, there are exchange bureaus everywhere. If you plan to exchange money, I would suggest doing it outside of the airport as you will get a better rate. Moroccan Dirham is a closed currency which means that you won’t be able to “buy” any before you go. And once you get money there, keep the receipt in case you have leftover money that you want to change back as they may ask to see it.

Outside of the cities, cash is still king, but in the cities (especially Marrakech) a lot of the upscale restaurants will take credit cards… as do most of the cooperatives around the country (mosaic house in Fes, rug coops in small Amazigh cities, medincinal pharmacies in Marrakech, etc.).

You can get laundry done at the local “pressing” - that is the sign you’ll see - shop. Normally, you pay by the kg and it is normally ready the next day, but be sure to ask ahead of time. Last time I was in Agadir, a lot of the places were charging by piece.

Have fun! It is a beautiful country with rich culture and warm, friendly people!

Posted by
811 posts

If you stay in the old city area probably wont' find a laundromat, better just ask the hotel or riad to do it for you, should be inexpensive.