Living in Morocco, especially in Marrakech, has become a serious option for a European. Apart from a few cultural constraints, the kingdom offers attractive living conditions. Here is some info on the cost of living in Marrakech, which will help you prepare for your expatriation if you ever decide to take the plunge!
Living in Marrakech
Standard of living and purchasing power
The standard of living of Moroccans is much lower than that of the French. The minimum wage is around 220 euros per month. It can vary by sector. The average salary is around 300 euros, that of civil servants is a little more than double.
Moroccan culinary traditions constitute an opulent and varied cultural heritage, making this cuisine one of the most appreciated in the world. There are supermarkets and hypermarkets as in France with the same products and the same brands, the prices remain the same. It is best to shop in small grocery stores or in markets for fruits and vegetables. Here no problem to eat our 10 fruits and vegetables a day, and without breaking the bank! An average meal in a restaurant costs around 10 euros, but you can also have a feast for 3 euros!
Where to live ?
Marrakech is a clever mix of tradition and modernity, so the city is divided into 5 more or less recent districts.
The most famous, but also the most expensive is the Medina district, the old town. It is surrounded by ramparts and encloses the historic heart, the oldest part of the city. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and protects the most beautiful riads in North Africa. Guéliz, the new town outside the ramparts, extends around the main axis of Avenue Mohammed-V. Large hotels, cafes, modern shops, and car rental companies come together. Please note the area is very lively, so noisy at night! The Agdal district is organized around avenue Mohammed-VI. There are many high-end residential and hotel complexes. L’Hivernage is a quiet and residential cultural place, bordered by beautiful mansions. This is also where the main train station and the Hassan II high school are located. The palm grove to the north-east of the city brings together magnificent villas and numerous hotel complexes.
For those who wish to acquire real estate in Morocco, there are officially no restrictions for a French person. Above all, it is imperative to visit yourself to have a precise idea of the places before taking action. The best thing is to entrust a real estate agency with the responsibility of organizing the purchase: its commission should be around 2.5%, plus VAT at 20%.
How to get around?
- By car: Anarchic is the word to define traffic in Marrakech. The whole problem lies in paying attention to horse-drawn carriages, taxis, buses, cars, mules, cyclists, pedestrians … So you have to be patient and be extra careful. To make long journeys the best is to take the highway which connects all the big cities; Agadir, Marrakech, El Jadida, Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, and along the coast to Tangier. The traffic is very fluid and the toll costs almost nothing, from a few cents to € 3. The liter of petrol is € 1.11, and that of diesel € 0.82.
- By bus: Thirty bus lines share the network. Price: 3.50 DH for a trip to the city center.
- By taxi: Taxi is also a very good economic solution when shared with other people. Around € 0.70 for a city trip with a small taxi.
- By plane: The country is studded from north to south with international airports which allow it to be connected to all major European cities. Paris is only 3 hours by plane from Marrakech! You will find all kinds of prices, from 10 € on low-cost airlines to 200/400 € on regular airlines.
- By train: ONCF is the railway company of Morocco, it serves more than a hundred stations distributed throughout the territory. For example, a one-way trip to Marrakech / Casablanca lasts 3 hours and costs 90DH, or € 9 full price. Marrakech / Agadir, 4:30 a.m., 100DH, i.e. € 10. Whatever the destination is chosen, it is possible to make the round trip during the day by direct trains or via connections.
How to stay in touch
Despite some white areas in mountainous and desert regions, coverage in Morocco is increasingly better. In Morocco, two operators share mobile telephony; Maroc Telecom is the incumbent Moroccan operator, providing subscriptions to fixed, mobile, and internet telephony. A classic package is 150 DH or 15 €, the cheapest is 99DH or 10 €. Orange and Inwi cover the same sectors as Maroc Telecom. Internet cafes, present in all major Moroccan cities are very popular, the price varies from 5 to 10 Dh an hour.
Where to have fun
The nightlife of Marrakech is very active and enjoys a great reputation which is undeniable. Here is an example of the essentials of the night in Marrakech; There is Pacha, the largest nightclub in Africa. A place that has enabled the city to definitively acquire its status as a meeting place for trendy youth and clubbers. The Jad Mahal Palace, a very classy restaurant-bar with evening concerts. Le Bô-Zin, a fashionable place to have a drink and listen to music. There are a lovely exotic garden and a summer lounge.
With a large choice of monuments and museums, Marrakech is a little paradise for addicts of cultural outings, and especially the entrance costs almost nothing! Visit the El Badi Palace for € 1, the Dar Sidi Said for € 2, the entrance to the Medersa Ali Ben Youssef, a jewel of Arabo-Andalusian architecture, costs € 3.60, and the Museum of Marrakech is at the same price.
Marrakech has an impressive number of sports clubs of all kinds: dance, fitness, combat sport, swimming, you have the choice. For more unusual activities you can do the first flight in a paraglider, discovery flight from 70 €. But also a quad tour in the palm grove, or take horse riding lessons in one of the many equestrian centers in the city. For those who want to escape the bustling life of Marrakech, embark on a hike, horseback, or mountain bike ride in the Atlas just 1-hour drive.
For more classic outings, go at least once to the hammam, a real institution in Morocco! It’s also a good way to meet other people of the same sex as you, men and women are never together in a hammam. Cinema screening costs between 3 and 4.5 € depending on the screening times.
In Morocco, Saturdays and Sundays are unemployed. Friday is the day of great prayer, administrations, public services, and some shops that have staggered hours.
January 11: manifesto of independence, May 1: Labor Day, July 30: Feast of the Throne. The biggest national holiday, August 14: commemoration of the allegiance of Oued Eddahab, August 20: the anniversary of the revolution of the king and the people, August 21: Youth Day, the date of the birth of King Mohammed VI, November 6: the anniversary of the Green March, November 18: Independence Day
In addition to these secular festivals, that of the Muslim calendar. Dates vary from year to year. Here are the most important;
Eid al-Kebir, administrations, and restaurants are closed. Ras el-Am is the first day of the first month of the Hegira calendar. Eid al-Mouled is the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. Ramadan, for a period of one month Eid es-Seghir, corresponds to the breaking of the fast, the day after the end of Ramadan
Are you ready to go live in Marrakech?