The official currency of Morocco is the Moroccan dirham (MAD).
Moroccan banknotes are not only a means of transaction but also a canvas that captures the essence of the country’s vibrant culture, nature, and development. Featuring King Mohammed VI and the coat of arms of Morocco on the obverse side, each banknote carries its unique story on the reverse. The purple 20-dirham note displays a train crossing Hassan II Bridge in Rabat and Casablanca’s iconic Hassan II Mosque. The green 50-dirham note showcases the breathtaking Ouzoud Falls and the native Argan tree. The brown 100-dirham note highlights a Sahrawi tent, wind turbine farm, and camels traversing the desert. Lastly, the blue 200-dirham note pays tribute to Tangier’s bustling port and the picturesque Cape Spartel lighthouse. These beautiful designs make Moroccan banknotes a true reflection of the country’s diverse landscape and progress.
As for Moroccan coins, you’ll notice that their coins are not only functional but also tell a story of the country’s rich culture and natural beauty. On the obverse side, you’ll find the Arms of the Kingdom and the inscription “Kingdom of Morocco.” The reverse side showcases various designs: the 10 santimat coin features a saffron flower and bee, the 20 santimat coin has a lotus flower and a design representing Earth, while the 50 santimat coin displays fish in the ocean. The 1, 5, and 10 dirham coins feature King Mohammed VI, with earlier issues of the 10 dirham coin showing King Hassan II. Additionally, the 5 dirham coin depicts the magnificent Hassan II mosque, and the 10 dirham coin showcases the stunning Boumalne Dades, both boasting security features. These intricate designs make Moroccan coins a captivating reflection of the nation’s essence.
Morocco’s economy is relatively liberal and operates under the law of supply and demand, with certain sectors being privatised since 1993. It is the 5th largest African economy by GDP (PPP) and is considered the most competitive in North Africa. The services sector accounts for over half of the GDP, while mining, construction, and manufacturing comprise a quarter. The highest growth sectors include tourism, telecoms, and textiles. Despite this, agriculture still plays a major role in the economy, contributing around 14% of GDP and employing 40-45% of the population.
The Moroccan dirham has roots tracing back to the Byzantine Empire when the drachm was used as currency during the pre-Islamic era in what was known as Arabia and the Levant. The term Dirham originated from the word denarius, an ancient Roman silver coin. In Morocco’s history, gold, silver, and copper coins called benduqi, dirham, and falus were utilised.
In 1882, a modern system was introduced, where one rial was divided into ten dirhams, which were further subdivided into 50 Mazunas. Between 1921 and 1960, when Morocco was under French rule, the Franc was briefly adopted as the country’s currency.
Upon reintroducing the dirham, the Franc remained in circulation until 1974, with an exchange rate of one dirham, equating to 100 Francs. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that the National Bank assumed responsibility for printing banknotes, leading to the current form of the dirham being introduced for the first time.
If you’re travelling to Morocco, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollar (AUD) for Moroccan dirham (MAD). Get information on how to exchange your AUD to MAD.
If you’re headed to Morocco from Australia, the answer is clear – it’s better to exchange money in Australia. Why? You’ll have travel funds on hand prior to your departure, which can eliminate the stress of dealing with currency conversions from local money changers once you arrive. Additionally, by converting your Australian dollars for Moroccan dirhams ahead of time, you’ll be able to budget your travel funds more effectively, ensuring you have a worry-free trip.
There are no limitations on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into the country. So, whether you prefer to carry cash, traveller’s checks, or credit cards, you’re covered. However, if you’re carrying an amount in excess of MAD 100,000, make sure to declare it upon entering the country so you can re-export it when you leave. And remember, if you’re thinking of bringing dirhams into the country, you’re limited to an amount of MAD 2,000. Anything over that amount is considered a foreign exchange offence and can lead to legal trouble.
If you’re in Australia and need to exchange currency, look no further than Crown Currency Exchange. We offer great exchange rates for all major and minor currencies and have 50 convenient locations across the country. With nearly 20 years of experience under our belt, our friendly and professional team ensures a seamless service with no hidden fees or commissions. Come visit us for all your currency conversion needs!
While it’s not mandatory to leave a tip, it’s generally a good idea to do so as it’s considered standard practice. Whether you’re dining at a restaurant, enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe, or using a service like a taxi or a tour guide, rounding up the bill and leaving a small tip is a great way to show your appreciation for the service provided.
Here are a few general guidelines for tipping in Morocco:
Restaurant/Cafe servers: For quick purchases like coffee or tea, leave 2 to 3 dirhams. For a quick meal, tip around five dirhams or more. In more high-end restaurants, a usual tip is between 7-10% of the bill.
Taxi drivers: Short trips don’t have a meter, and 15-20 dirhams are enough. For longer trips, request the meter and round up to the nearest 10 dirhams for tipping.
Luggage porters: Tip 10 dirhams per piece of luggage, more if it’s cumbersome.
Photographs: Always ask first, then tip around 5 dirhams.
Housekeeping: Tip 10 dirhams per day in one lump sum at the end of your stay.
Tour guides & drivers: Tipping depends on how long you were guided and your experience. For a full day, we suggest tipping 100-150 dirhams.
While you can easily find ATMs in towns and major cities, if you venture off the beaten path, it becomes a much harder feat. Small merchants are unlikely to accept credit or debit card options, so keeping some cash on hand is always a good idea if you find yourself in a pinch. Also, if you plan on relying solely on ATMs, remember that they can sometimes run out of cash, especially if it’s been a busy period for the bank. However, if you’re in a commercial centre or a city, you’ll typically have no problem finding a bank.
Planning a backpacking trip but not sure how much to budget per day? We recommend budgeting around 333-433 MAD (AUD $50-65) per day if you want to stick to a backpacker’s budget. This amount assumes that you’ll stay in a hostel, eat at market stalls and cook some meals, limit your drinking (which is pretty easy to do here), use local transportation to get around and enjoy free or cheap activities like walking tours and public hammam visits.
If you’re looking for a more comfortable travel experience, a moderate budget of 533-646 MAD (AUD $80-97) can provide you with some fantastic experiences. With this budget, you can afford a private Airbnb to stay in, eat out for all your meals, take the train between different cities, and even do some paid tours and activities like visiting museums or camping in the Sahara. While this budget won’t allow for extravagances, it can provide you with comfortable and enjoyable experiences without breaking the bank.
Want to indulge in a bit of luxury during your travels? If so, a budget of 1,166 MAD (AUD $175) or more per day will give you the freedom to truly live like royalty. Whether you’re looking to stay in a lavish hotel, dine at the finest restaurants, or explore the city in style with a private driver, this budget has got you covered. And if you’re feeling extra extravagant, don’t be afraid to go even higher – the sky’s the limit when it comes to luxury travel. So, go ahead and treat yourself – you deserve it!
1/100 of a Dirham
20, 50, 100, 200 dirham
5, 10, 20, 50 santimat, 1, 2, 5 & 10 dirham
The heart of Marrakech is the Medina, a labyrinthine network of alleyways, souks, and courtyards that haven’t changed much since the 11th century. It’s a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and smells, where you’ll find everything from spices to leather goods, ceramics, and jewellery. Don’t be afraid to bargain – haggling is a way of life here – but always smile and be respectful.
Morocco’s Atlas Mountains offer some of the country’s best trekking and hiking opportunities. Ranging from gentle strolls to challenging multi-day hikes, there’s something for everyone. The towering peaks, lush valleys, and Berber villages make for spectacular scenery and an insight into rural Moroccan life. Consider hiring a local guide to show you the way and make the most of your experience.
No trip to Morocco is complete without a journey to the Sahara Desert. Trek by camel or 4×4 jeep to a Bedouin camp for a night under the stars. Watch the sunset over the dunes, sip mint tea, and listen to traditional music around a campfire. Wake up early for a sunrise hike, before heading back to civilisation.
Hidden away in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a strikingly beautiful town with bleached white buildings and blue-painted walls. It’s a perfect spot to relax, wander and explore at a slower pace. Absorb the culture of this unique town, which is also home to a vibrant arts and craft scene.
The hammam, or traditional Moroccan steam bath, is a ritual that dates back centuries. It’s a relaxing and rejuvenating experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and new. Start with a hot steam, followed by a scrub with black soap, and a soothing massage. Treat yourself to this luxurious experience and discover the serenity and peacefulness that is unique to Morocco.
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