Changing money in Marrakesh
If you are planning to take a route through Morocco and you are due to start from Marrakech, then it goes without saying that you will need to get hold of the local currency – the Dirham. Although it may be true that today, numerous shops and even some restaurants are happy to be paid in dollars, pounds or Euro, everywhere accepts the local coin and you won’t have to worry about whether you need to find an exchange booth or if you have to split a big bill and then get short changed.
Most experienced travellers rarely change all their money in one go – after all, the Dirham can’t be changed back into your currency – or better said, cannot be taken out of the country in amounts over 200DH or $20, which basically adds up to the same thing.
At Dromedario Volador we generally advise a number of alternatives for changing your cash when you get to Morocco.
- Change your dollars, pounds or Euro upon arrival at the Marrakech airport, where there are several exchange offices after passing through immigration. If you arrive in the middle of the night, they are not likely to be open. Perhaps the rate is not brilliant either, but there is not an appreciable difference and this guarantees you arrive in the city with local coin.
- A popular alternative is to pop in to one of the many offices of Wafacash – there are many in Marrakesh, so they are difficult to miss. Here you can not only exchange money, but also send and receive. They also give about as good an exchange rate as you are likely to find anywhere in the country.
- If you are near the Jemaa El Fna Square, the heart of downtown Marrakech, and the most usual entrance to the souk, you can always nip into the Hotel Ali to change money. It is located on Rue Moulay Ismaïl (at the entrance to the Medina). It is a small hotel that has a change office at street level, and can be found on the right hand side of the area where the horse carriages wait, if you are with your back to the Koutoubia. It is very easy to find and comfortable, as you are already in the heart of Marrakech – an ideal place to be with fresh cash to spend on having a great time enjoying the views on any of the roof top terraces with grand views, watching the snake charmers, listening to the groups of Berber musicians and later soak up the atmosphere of all the food stalls in the evening.
- Last, but not least is the Hotel Farouk, where you get a good rate for your dollars, pounds and Euro. Located in the modern area of Gueliz - on Avenue Hassan II, 66, it is a good alternative for getting money. This is a more modern neighbourhood, well worth a visit to see another side of Morocco and to treat yourself to a more international evening, where you can find the usual western food delights such as McDonalds – always handy if traveling with kids – however big!