Travel to Morocco? Here is what you need to know before your trip

When you travel to Morocco, you will see snow-capped mountains, arid deserts, winding medinas, and colorful souks among many other sights. Throughout its rich history, Morocco has been shaped by its proximity to Europe and Africa. Because of this, everything from the people to the languages to the landscapes to the buildings is incredibly varied.

You may go from trekking in the Atlas Mountains to riding a camel in the desert to relaxing on the beach, all within the span of a few hours. The ancient medinas of the bustling cities are deliberately meant to mislead invaders, so it is easy to get lost among them. You’ll be surrounded by stores selling beautiful leather handbags, bright rugs, fragrant spices, and intricately wrought metal light fixtures.

Morocco is a very beautiful country, yet it also has some surprises and difficulties. In that case, take a look at our tips for getting ready for your vacation to Morocco.

passports and visas Passports & Visas

For tourist visits of up to three months, citizens of the following countries do not need a visa : Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Congo, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, New Guinea, New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.

Concerning other countries citizen, we advise you to contact the nearest moroccan embassy. You can find more information on this website.

insurance Insurance

Since Morocco has no reciprocal health-care agreements with most countries, we strongly recommend you to take out insurance coverage that includes medical aspects, loss of possessions, theft and cancellation when you travel to Morocco.

money Money

You can withdraw money nearly everywhere through the local urban ATM network. When you travel to Morocco, it is recommended to carry some cash, for small shops, taxis, souks (traditional markets) or in the countryside/remote places.

Credit/Debit cards (specially Visa and Mastercard) are widely accepted in most shops and restaurants with a 2.5% surcharge. Giving tips for almost any service rendered is part of Moroccan culture.

language Languages

Morocco’s official languages are Arabic and Berber (Tamazight). The country’s Arabic dialect is called Darija. French, which is spoken by a third of the population, is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size and large companies, international commerce, and often in international diplomacy. It is also taught as an obligatory language in all schools.

On the other hand, Spanish is mostly spoken in both northern and southern Morocco (former Spanish colonies, around 5% of people). During your travel to Morocco, you will notice that many Moroccans, particularly those working in tourism, will also speak some English.

closures Closures

Public holidays : New year’s Day (jan. 1st), Proclamation of Independence Day (jan. 11th), Labour Day (may 1st), Aid El fitr (may 2nd), Aid al Adha (9-11 juillet*), Islamic new year’s day (july 29-30th*), Throne Day (july 30th), Oued Ed-Dahab Day (aug. 14th), Revolution Day (aug. 20th), Youth Day (aug. 21st), Mawlid nabawi (oct. 7-9th), Green March (nov. 6th), Independence Day (nov. 18th).

Fridays : Muslim weekly holy day. Some businesses may close especially in the souks or traditional urban areas or remote places/countryside.

Saturdays/Sundays : Public services, banks and almost all businesses are closed except restaurants, malls/shops, museums and attractions.

personal security Personal Security

Morocco is the 8th safest country in the world and the first in Africa, according to a study by the British magazine “Which? Travel”. According to the study, Morocco has a low crime rate and less terrorist threat than most European and American countries. Moreover, it outranks developped countries like Greece, Italy, France and the United States.

That said, when you travel to Morocco, you have to beware of pickpockets in crowded tourist areas such as the souks. In Marrakech visitors have had their bags snatched by thieves on scooters. Use your common sense and be alert to your surroundings. If you have anything stolen, report the crime as soon as possible at the nearest office of the tourist police (Brigade Touristique). Get a copy of the crime report to claim on your insurance. Contact your embassy or consulate if your passport is stolen or in the event of a serious crime or accident.


For minor ailments go to a pharmacy or chemist, which are usually very well stocked and have knowledgeable staff. These are plentiful in towns and cities.

If you have an accident or medical problem requiring non-urgent medical attention when you travel to Morocco, ask at your hotel for a doctor, or go to the nearest hospital. Embassy websites sometimes list doctors and clinics. You will have to pay for medical treatment on the spot, including any supplies used.

Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs

It is officially forbidden to smoke in most public buildings, but law is very rarely applied.

Although Morocco is a muslim country, there are a lot of bars and most restaurants serve alcohol. Public drunkenness is prohibited.

Hashish (or kif) is illegal, but plenty of people smoke it. When you travel to Morocco, you may be offered kif or hashish for sale in the streets. We strongly recommend that you avoid accepting it.


When they travel to Morocco, visitors are not required to carry ID at all times, but it is a good idea to keep a photocopy of the information pages of your passport on your person.

Non-Muslims are not allowed inside mosques and religious shrines in Morocco. The one exception is the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the old Tin Mal mosque, which non-Muslims can visit as part of a guided tour.

Religious Customs

Islam is the state religion, and the king of Morocco is the leader of the faithful. It is thus considered very bad form to criticize religion. It is also ill-mannered to disturb someone while they are at prayer. It is above all during Ramadan that certain rules must be obeyed.

The fast of Ramadan is strictly observed in Morocco, and many dining establishments close during daylight hours as a result. When non-Muslims travel to Morocco during Ramadan, they should avoid eating and drinking in public.

Dress code

To avoid offense and being stared at, female visitors to Morocco should dress modestly, particularly when travelling outside the big cities. In practice, this means covering the shoulders and not wearing shorts. Dresses and skirts should be at least knee length.

It is not necessary to cover your hair when you travel to Morocco.


Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, and is technically punishable by up to three years of imprisonment. However, this is rarely enforced, and this law does not apply to non-Moroccan same-sex partners that travel to Morocco. The country is, in fact, a popular holiday destination for members of the LGBT community.

As with same-sex couples, LGBT travelers should use discretion. Public displays of affection by both gay and straight couples are generally frowned upon, and should be avoided since Morocco’s largely Muslim population are extremely conservative in this regard.


When you travel to Morocco, bargaining is a ritual in local souks and traditional markets, where seller and buyer, negotiate the price. The whole process is treated like a game, so keep smiling, be polite and enjoy the spectacle. A third of the asking price is a good place to start.

If you’re not comfortable with this or if you don’t have time, you can ask Menara Tours its catalogue, where you will find the finest artisanal products at very competitive prices. You will be delivered at your hotel or wherever you want in the world.

Taxes and Refunds

VAT of 20 per cent is levied on most goods and services. When they travel to Morocco, visitors may be eligible for a refund on presentation of a receipt for purchases of over 2,000 Dhs (approx. 200$).

This service is available at Casablanca and Marrakech airports only.