Morocco is one of those countries you’ll see on Pinterest and Instagram over and over again. From the Atlas Mountains to the blue hues of Chefchouen, to the riads of Marrekech, the country is truly picturesque and worth a visit. It is, however, a very intense culture for those used to the Western comforts the tourism in Europe and the U.S. provides. But for those looking to visit this gorgeous country, all it takes is a bit of research to learn the customs and you will be so happy you visited this African gem.
- Language = French, Arabic, Berber
- English spoken in most tourist areas
- Money = Moroccan Dirham
- The exchange rate for the dirham is good right now, so you’ll find most things to be pretty cheap.
- In the more touristy areas and five star hotels and restaurants you’ll be paying tourist prices.
- When haggling with local vendors you’ll also find they will charge tourists a bit more, so remember to negotiate.
- Credit cards not widely accepted unless in touristy hotels; always have cash available
- Transportation = walking or taxis
- Although legal, Uber is currently criticized in the country and it’s not advisable to take one
- There are separate local taxis and inter-city taxis for farther destinations
- Casablanca – Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) is the only airport with direct flights from the U.S. via JFK on Royal Air Maroc. Many flights from other Moroccan cities will require a short layover in Casablanca.
- Best Time to Visit = March-May, September-October
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Things to Note
Morocco is a Muslim nation and is therefore conservative. You will not be expected to dress like the locals, but it’s best for tourists to respect the culture and dress conservatively as well, not showing off too much skin, especially for women who would like to avoid unwanted stares.
The country is also very modernized and welcomes tourists, and does sell alcohol in many places, especially in larger cities. It may not be as plentiful as you might find in Europe, but drinking is perfectly acceptable and you will find Moroccan wine to be quite delicious. Keep in mind that many locals do not drink, so public drunkenness would not be tolerated. If you are interested in having more than a few drinks it’s best to keep to your hotel bar.
Overall, Morocco is very safe but petty crime (like pickpockets) is an issue, just like in most touristy cities, so always keep your handbag close and if anyone approaches you and makes you feel uncomfortable simply say “no, thank you” and walk away. The biggest risk – from our experience – was simply feeling overwhelmed at times, as you will often be hustled by locals wishing to make some money by encouraging you to visit their friend’s shop or offering to take you to a local landmark. This is quite annoying, but not unsafe.
- Foods to Try
- Chicken or Lamb Kebabs
- Mint tea
- Olives – often given at bars and restaurants
- Top 3 Must-See Spots
- Sahara Desert
Morocco is a tipping country. Advice in this country doesn’t come free, so if you stop to ask someone for directions – especially in the medina – they will expect a tip for their service. Always have a few dirham in your pockets to be able to offer up some coins for help the locals provide.
check if service fee has been added first; extra +20 dirham for great service, no tip for bad service
|Hotel/bellhop/security escort||10-20 dirham|
|Concierge/helpful hotel staff||50-100 dirham||given at the end of the stay; varies based on how high-end your hotel/riad is|
|Tour guide||0-10 dirham|
negotiate price beforehand, if it’s a round number no need to tip
|Random advice||5-10 dirham|
Geo Travel Guide
Check out some of our favorite locations in Morocco via the map below.
TOURS & DAY TRIPS
Our favorite tours:
- Private Arrival transfer Casablanca Mohamed V Airport to Hotels
- Small Group Day Tour to Chefchaouen from Fez
- 3-Day Desert Tour to Marrakech via Merouga-Erg Chebbi from Fez
- Private Airport Roundtrip Transfer in Marrakech with On-board WiFi
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