A Digital Nomad’s Guide to Morocco

by | Oct 20, 2018 | Guest Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

GUEST POST ABOUT A DIGITAL NOMAD’S GUIDE TO MOROCCO BY SAM ROSS

Morocco is a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. It is a large, interesting country with 34 million citizens and a lot of history; it has Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. The Moroccan coastline stretches across 3,600 km you can find the second highest mountain in Africa here.

Morocco has several big cities, most of which are attractive to digital nomads for different reasons. The country has a strong infrastructure, high-speed internet, reasonably priced accommodation, user-friendly transport, wonderful food and it is well situated for European trips.

 

Where to stay in Morocco

The area you gravitate to in Morocco will depend on your lifestyle preferences. For example, beach lovers are probably going to prefer the cities of Essaouira and Tangier, and surfers will head for Taghazout or Dakhla. If you want to be surrounded by rich local history, head for Fez.

If city living appeals more, check out the cosmopolitan cities of Marrakech, Casablanca or Rabat. If you want to get a slice of village life, you might go for Chefchaouen, and if mountain life seems most appealing, Ait Bougmez could be the place for you.

Getting around Morocco

You shouldn’t have a problem getting around Morocco. There are modern trams running regularly around some of the major cities like Casablanca and Rabat, and there are plenty of buses. Another option is to jump in a cheap cab (don’t forget to barter first, or insist on the meter). Cabs come in two sizes: grand (big) and petit (small), but note that the smaller ones aren’t able to go outside of their city.

Getting online in Morocco

As a digital nomad, internet connection is going to be one of your main priorities. You shouldn’t have too many issues in Morocco, fortunately. It costs less here, and it can be found pretty much everywhere from hotels to coffee shops. It tends to be the case that smaller hotels have better internet.

Most nomads grab themselves a SIM card on arrival. Some buy two (from different operators) in case signal varies from place to place. You can get a decent data package on your SIMs and tether to your phone when there’s no WiFi.

It won’t cost you much, but the best companies are Maroc Telecom and Meditel. For around $7 you’ll get a SIM and 4GB of data. What’s more, inner city the coverage is good and data speed is usually quicker than café WiFi speeds.

Where to work in Morocco

Day to day, cafes and hotels will cover most of your working needs. There are plenty of them, and WiFi is usually reasonable. Co-working spaces are not omnipresent but there are a few you can get your head down in, and they provide more comfortable and convenient facilities for nomads. Here are some of the best options:

In Taghazout (near Agadir) there’s a space called Sun Desk, which is both a co-working and co-living option for nomads, if you want to kill two birds with one stone. Internet connection is 100/10 Mbps, you can work both indoors and outdoors, and there are private Skype rooms for your calls. Prices ranges from 8 euros per day for a pass, but you can get 10 day and monthly passes too. To stay there, expect to pay a minimum of 22 euros per night.

If you’re in the capital, Rabat, head to TechVerse. This is the best in the city, and it has lovely views of the Hassan Tower. You can pay daily prices (50 MAD), or go for the weekly or monthly packages. Included will be high-speed internet, Skype rooms, and video recording equipment.

When in Casablanca, you’ll probably want to work at Netspace, which is a beautiful space indeed. Decorated in a minimal style, it has a cool chill out area and kitchen with free coffee. Again, expect high-speed internet, and access to printers, scanners and more. Day passes start at 100 MAD, and they too have weekly and monthly packages.

You might also want to check out Dare.inc in Rabat, or the Blue House in Taghazout, which offers an intriguing retreat program for entrepreneurs. Casablanca also has New Work Lab, which will rent you a hot desk.

Accommodation in Morocco

Riad is a word you’ll come across quickly. These are the large traditional houses with central courtyards that have been converted into hotels. They normally have a rooftop and courtyard; some have a pool and most have a restaurant. They are generally beautifully decorated and comfortable, but they won’t be cheap if you want to stay somewhere long-term.

Hostels will work out cheaper, with dorms setting you back around $5 or 6 a night. For more privacy, you’ll pay between $10 and $12 for a double room. Hostels tend to be of pretty high quality so can make for comfortable stays. Then there is Airbnb, which to date has remained affordable in Morocco. You’ll pay around $26 or more per night for a decent apartment with everything included. Monthly commitments should bring this price down, however.

If you’re looking to settle for a while, you might want to check out a peer-to-peer renting option. Check out Selektimmo,  Avito or Marocannonces for listings. Another idea would be to contact an estate agent (look out for the word samsar) who will take you around to find a suitable place. For $200 you should be able to find a reasonable apartment, and in the Casablanca, for example, the most you’ll pay is $700 for a studio. You can even rent an entire house if you prefer.

What (and where) to eat in Morocco

If you’re in the bigger cities like Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech, you can find supermarkets with everything you’ll need to cook at home. There are also little stores selling foods of all kinds so you can easily grab your basics. Local produce is cheap, but imported goods will cost you considerably more.

You can pop into most riads for a bite to eat in the courtyard, but this won’t always be cheap. Note that you might need to reserve, especially if you’re not staying there.

Street food is another great option in Morocco. Just make sure the vendors have clean equipment and that there are locals and families buying from them. Here you can sample Msemmen, grilled meats, Ma’akouda (potato patties), Sfinge and Kringo (doughnuts), Harira or B’ssara (soups) and all kinds of juices.

You’re bound to come across tagines, which are found everywhere from roadside cafes to high-class restaurants; they’re the traditional clay pots used to cook many kinds of delicious, fragrant dishes.

In Marrakech, check out Le Fondouk in the heart of the souks. It has tables inside and on the rooftop terrace, overlooking the Medina. In Fez, why not join Café Clock’s cooking school to learn about traditional dishes you can make at home?

What do for fun in Morocco

Most visitors will head to a spa (hammam) at some point for a Turkish-style bath and body scrub, and/or a vigorous massage. It’s a novel experience and well worth doing once!

Drinking is hit and miss in Morocco. When you can find it, it’s expensive and the nightlife isn’t amazing. In Marrakech go to Le Pacha, 555, Theatro, and in Casablanca try out Cabestan, Bodega, Sky bar or Amstrong. You can partake in some wine tasting at the local cellars around Meknes too.

Hikers can explore the stunning Atlas Mountains, and beach bums can head to resorts like Agadir or Saidia for some sunbathing and people watching. Water sports fans, there is fun to be had in Essaouira, where you can also kite surf to your heart’s content. Surfers can mix with their kind in Dakhla or Taghazout.

It would be a shame not to explore the Marrakech medina. Here you’ll wander around the souks (markets) haggling for bargains, soaking in the bustling atmosphere, photographing the architecture and witnessing the unusual forms of entertainment.

About the Author

Sam Ross runs the blog thehammockhombre.com – a travel blog focused around the digital nomad lifestyle. Over the past 3 years, he’s travelled to every continent, so writes on a broad range of countries, cities and destinations.

Morocco is a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. It is a large, interesting country with 34 million citizens and a lot of history; it has Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. The Moroccan coastline stretches across 3,600 km you can find the second highest mountain in Africa here.

Morocco has several big cities, most of which are attractive to digital nomads for different reasons. The country has a strong infrastructure, high-speed internet, reasonably priced accommodation, user-friendly transport, wonderful food and it is well situated for European trips.

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