Morocco is a very beautiful country that Filipinos shouldn’t miss especially that we are visa-free there! Yes.. You heard it right, we, Filipinos don’t need to obtain a visa prior to traveling to Morocco..
It has been a year since our flight to Morocco.. This has long been overdue but I felt I still need to provide other Filipino travelers some helpful tips on having your Moroccan trip fun-filled and budget-friendly..
Since this was our first trip abroad coming from Qatar, we started planning it out some 6 months prior to our travel dates (we realized planning it 6 months or more is very helpful!).. We started looking out for some good flight fares and decided to book through EgyptAir at QAR 2,160 round trip per person (roughly around Php 29,000 that time, and EgyptAir still had flights to Qatar then) with a 2-hour stopover in Cairo. Then, we checked out Tripadvisor for the best but cheap places to stay in the cities we plan to go to — Rabat and Marrakech.
Since we wanted to immerse ourselves in Moroccan culture, we decided to stay in riads instead of hotels — riads are traditional Moroccan houses or palace with interior garden or courtyard with very colourful designs. In Rabat, we chose to stay at The Repose which is located at the other side of the river in Rabat-Salé and a few steps from the street. This place boasts a beautiful interior and homey feel to it as well as the locals are very friendly. We got it for QAR 282 for 1 night (around Php 3,800) since we will be moving on to the train station immediately after our tour.
For our day tour in Rabat, we chose BeInMorocco as they have one of the best reviews in Tripadvisor and it is a private tour (two introverts on the loose..). You can have their Rabat Day Tour for around $150 (QAR 550 or PhP 7,500). Amine of BeInMorocco was so nice that he picked us up from the Airport the previous day, from the hotel to our tour and up to the train station in his black SUV Explorer(?) plus a cup of Nous-Nous coffee for us!
After an almost whole day tour in Rabat, we headed immediately to the station to catch our ride going to Marrakech — 5 hours travel it was for MAD 120 (QAR 48 or PhP 650). The transportation system in Morocco is still improving but better than Manila! They have metro railway links to major cities — Rabat, Marrakech, El Jadida, Fez etc.
When we reached Marrakech, we were picked up by Omar of Morkosh Tours from the station going to our place for the next 4 days — Riad Konouz. We paid QAR 556 (PhP 7,600) for 4 nights or QAR 136 (PhP 1,900) per night including taxes/surcharges. The rate also included a traditional Moroccan breakfast for both of us.
With Morkosh Tours, we paid around MAD 3,600 (QAR 1,440 or Php 19,650) for our 3-cities private tour which includes Marrakech whole day tour (Day 1), Ouarzazate (Day 2) and Essaouira (Day 3). It was a personalized tour which includes trips to the Atlas Film Studio and Ait Ben Haddou, local guides are not included but it is only around MAD 150 each (QAR 60 or PhP 800). They get the best local guides for each city so you wouldn’t have to worry that you have to pay additional to them because you will learn a lot!
Our Moroccan Trip was unforgettable and we felt we needed more time to explore this wonderful country. I would say it wasn’t very budget-friendly for others as we had our tours private. But it was good enough for us. I and my friend never liked being with a big crowd and it makes us uncomfortable.
Food, train tickets, local tour guides and souvenir shopping are the only things you have to think about. Other than that, everything was taken cared of by our private tours. I would say it is still best to have tour guides if you will be visiting a place for the first time — it will help you be familiar with the places and never missed other tour-worthy places. We had our pocket money at QAR 3,000 each (PhP 41,000) for the expenses I mentioned for a 6-day trip.