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Currency exchange

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posts: 13
Currency exchange

Hi, I just went to my friendly local currency exchange to order some dirhams and was told it was a restricted currency in terms of how much I could import. My options were said to be:

1. Change as much as I want into dirhams as "no-one will check they will only ask and you say no. " Hmmmm

2. Change the permitted amount into dirhams and take the balance in euros because "in Morocco they love euros".

3. My option: take the permitted amount in dirhams and withdraw from ATM once in Morocco.

Can anyone advise? I have an early flight Sunday so not much time to sort this out!!

Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 7,876
reviews: 63
1. Re: Currency exchange


Read the banks and money article in the top question box on the right of the page. Don't buy Dirhams before you arrive. Use ATM's (there are several at the airport when you arrive).

posts: 7,473
reviews: 31
2. Re: Currency exchange

and don't ask that person for advice again! they gave you options of breaking the law or losing extra money changing twice! hmmm..

Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,549
3. Re: Currency exchange

Take British sterling notes (in good condition) and your bank card. Exchange currency in Morocco and/or use your bank card in the ATMs. There are more than 5 exchange kiosks in Marrakech airport and at least three ATMs. Obtaining Moroccan money is straight-forward. Many more banks in town too.

Roslyn, New York
posts: 17
reviews: 9
4. Re: Currency exchange

Hello MMY, Greetings from New York. My wife and I returned yesterday from a fabulous trip to Marrakech and Fez/Fes. We live in New York and are very experienced world travellers. I too was confused about currency options before we went to Morocco but here is the story:

-You are allowed to legally bring only 1,000 Dirhams per person to Morocco <approx 11 Dirhams/"MAD" = 1 Euro I believe or U.S.$120.>. But, you will most likely pay a higher exchange rate purchasing in UK vs. Morocco, but at least you will have some pocket money when you arrive. Importantly, I'm fairly certain that if you have any Dirhams left over at the end of your trip, to exchange back to another currency, you will have to show proof of purchase in Morocco and I'm sure if you sold them in the UK, you would get a very low, poor rate. We made sure we had no Dirhams at end of trip.

-When we travel, I only use ATM's at Citibank branches with my card to get best exchange rate for local currency. I have to believe that you will pay a large fee <5 % or so ?> to use another banks ATM / or public ATM instead of your bank plus there is the security issue <getting money in public, identity theft, etc.>. You can check to see if your bank has branches or affiliates in the cities you are visiting.

-I did not use British Pounds but I purchased 2,500 Euros before my trip. I also used my Master Card in good hotels and restaurants <many do not accept American Express>. I also exchanged Euros for Dirhams for shopping in the Medinas, snacks, etc. Even though we had I private guide and I carried Dirhams and Euros when we shopped, I suggest using Dirhams only to make it easier for you. Yes they like Euros, but they'll take your Dirhams...

-Again, I do not know exchange rate for British Pound here, but Euros and Dirhams are the way to go. I add, many hotels cannot exchange money for you, but Money Exchanges are readily available.

-Have a great trip. People in Morocco overall are very nice but of course protect your wallets and bags in crowded areas. I add, we were advised to not to show our iPads in public as they can get stolen off us in the streets. Overall, we felt safe here.

posts: 7,473
reviews: 31
5. Re: Currency exchange

euros are not the way to go! and american banks work differently to british ones. no need to take 'pocket money'. there are atms and exchange facilities at the airport. please read the article already mentioned in this thread. here's the link.


Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 6,306
reviews: 40
6. Re: Currency exchange

I don't understand why you did that AKNY007. Why on earth exchange dollars to euros and then euros to dirhams when you could have just taken dollars and got much more bangs for the buck?

Roslyn, New York
posts: 17
reviews: 9
7. Re: Currency exchange

Hi Tim, I understand where you are coming from. I was able to buy Euros in New York for less than 1% over the "official exchange rate" on www.xe.com. I did this because I was told by both of the very good Riads <hotels> we stayed in Morocco that we will get a poor exchange rate for US Dollars Cash or US Dollar Travellers Checks in Morocco. Yes, I paid an additional extra fee to convert Euros to Dirhams but I had convenience at a small price and again, avoided what I believe would be higher fees using ATM's in Morocco . I never encountered this situation elsewhere, but Morocco does have a very restricted currency. Of course some credit cards have currency exchange fees <American Express charges me approx. 3 1/2%> and some don't. Again, Master Card & Visa are more readily accepted here vs. Amex. As stated, I don't know the details of exchanging Pounds Sterling to Dirhams. Safe Travels...AK

Cardiff, United...
posts: 936
reviews: 32
8. Re: Currency exchange

Just take british pounds and don't worry about it, there are 3 or 4 banks as well as a bureau de change in the airport, I have never had a problem exchanging pounds to dirhams.

London, United...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
9. Re: Currency exchange

Thanks so much for all the helpful advice, everyone, i really appreciate it. It's all much clearer in my head now, thanks to your help. I agree, pam_redboots, the advice given to me by a staff member at my local currency exchange, was outrageous, which is why I came on here for the voice of reason and experience! Which I have received in full, so thatnls so much to all of you who took the time and trouble to help me out.

10. Re: Currency exchange

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