Welcome to Morocco
Colorful streets, warm people, and tasty food are some remarkable things to experience on a trip to Morocco. This North African country is a truly unique place and has a lot to offer, from the breathtaking Sahara desert landscapes to the rich Moroccan culture.
In this ultimate Morocco travel guide, we will share some Morocco travel tips and tricks and everything you need to know before visiting.
Document checklist for Morocco
- Visa (if applicable)
- Valid passport (at least six months validity)
- Sufficient funds
- Return ticket
Essential Morocco travel information
Official currency - Moroccan dirham (MAD). $1 is equivalent to approx. MAD 10.79.
Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of MAD 448 ($41).
Official language - Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, and Amazigh (Berber). Moroccan Arabic is a mix of Arabic and Amazigh infused with French and Spanish influences. English is emerging in larger cities and at tourist attractions.
Socket type - Types C and E, 127V supply voltage and 50Hz, and 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): GMT +01:00.
Top 3 cities to visit - Marrakesh, Fez, and Rabat.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Sahara Desert, Hassan II Mosque, and Fes el Bali.
Visa information for Morocco
Visiting Morocco will be an unforgettable experience. But before packing your bags, there are some documents you may need to obtain: a visa and the Public Health Passenger Form.
Use the iVisa Checker Tool to find out if you need a visa and if you can apply online, or need to visit an embassy. iVisa offers the Morocco Public Health Passenger Form online for all travelers.
Morocco eVisa explained
The government designed the Morocco eVisa to allow foreign citizens to enter Morocco without visiting an embassy or consulate. Travelers can apply for this electronic visa if the Morocco trip has tourism or business purposes.
It’s a Single Entry, valid for up to six months after arrival. The document permits a maximum stay of 30 days Per Entry from the date of arrival in Morocco.
Morocco Public Health Passenger Form explained
The Public Health Passenger Form is part of the measures to control the spread of Coronavirus within the country. It’s a mandatory document, and all passengers must present it upon arrival in the country.
Both foreigners and nationals have to apply for the Health Form. The application is done entirely online and only takes a few minutes.
Typical costs and budget for Morocco
A basic guide to what you'll spend daily traveling through Morocco on a decent budget.
Daily spending - Around MAD 448 ($41) per person, per day on a budget vacation. This includes:
Meals - MAD 132 ($$12)
Transport - MAD 70 ($6.47)
Hotel - MAD 428 ($40), for two people.
On average, a trip for two for one week will cost around MAD 6,272 ($580).
Transport and best ways to travel around Morocco
The best way to visit this beautiful country is by flying. Otherwise, you can also travel on a ferry from France or Spain, or Gibraltar.
Trains in Morocco
Because of the limited network between Moroccan cities, train tickets will only be an option for traveling between major cities. That said, night trains are a good choice for specific routes, such as Tangier–Marrakech, and Casablanca–Oujda. The comfort and security they provide are worth the money.
Buses in Morocco
Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to get around. But it’s not fast: bus companies usually take longer to cover distances than grand taxis (at the same price).
Grand taxis in Morocco
The grand taxi is standard transport in Morocco and consists of a shared taxi that operates on various routes. Travelers just show up at the terminal and ask taxi drivers to take them to a specific destination. You only pay for your seat in this shared vehicle. When you see a big taxi with an empty seat, stop it and ask in which direction it’s going before hopping on.
Car rental in Morocco
Car rental is an option to explore distant places since you have Google Maps. Meanwhile, pay attention because the country has high accident rates, and drivers usually ignore traffic regulations and drive dangerously.
Safety in Morocco
In general, crime rates in Morocco are relatively low. In any case, the general safety tips are always valid: keep your valuables secure and pay attention to petty crimes on beaches, in crowded places, and around touristy areas.
Female travelers can sometimes face harassment on the streets. To avoid unwanted attention, dress conservatively. It is also advisable for female travelers not to go out alone at night or walk by themselves on empty streets.
It's important to note here that in Morocco homosexual acts are still illegal. Although this is not always enforced, it is smart to avoid public displays of affection, for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.
Weather in Morocco
Spring (mid-March to May) and autumn (September to October) are the best times to visit Morocco. You’ll experience pleasant temperatures, different from the snow of winter or the sweltering heat of summer.
It is possible, however, to travel to coastal regions and the Atlas Mountains year-round. The cities along the North Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea have a pleasantly mild winter and in summer temperatures reach around 25°C (77°F).
The shoulder season runs from November to February. It’s an excellent moment to visit the Sahara Desert. Marrakesh and the southern regions are very popular around the Christmas and New Years period, although northern Morocco can be chilly and too wet for outdoor activities.
Popular cities and towns in Morocco
Morocco is mainly a Muslim country with European cultural influences. The mix of cultures makes this a unique region to explore. Many tourists have remarkable experiences, both when visiting big cities or undiscovered beaches. Here are some popular places to include in your itinerary:
Marrakech - The perfect city to learn about Moroccan culture and admire the traditional architecture, but also enjoy nightlife and fantastic restaurants.
Fez - This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fascinating cultural landmarks. No wonder it’s dubbed the cultural capital of Morocco.
Agadir - A quiet and relaxing city on the North Atlantic coast. You can enjoy water sports and the best local argan oil products are produced here.
Ouarzazate - Best city for adventurous activities in the country. It offers fantastic landscapes as it’s located between the Atlas mountain range and the Sahara.
Chefchaouen - Also known as the 'Blue Pearl' of Morocco, because of the town’s fantastic blue painted houses and streets.
Must-do and see in Morocco
Check out the following must-sees and dos on your Morocco trip:
Admire the immensity of the Sahara. It's the world's largest hot desert and offers a breathtaking landscape. Just set realistic expectations, as there are not a lot of diverse activities to experience; the Sahara is the attraction itself.
Take a walk in the Gardens of Bouknadel. These gardens in Rabat are an oasis of calm and gather beautiful exotic plants from all over the world.
Visit the Hassan II Mosque. It is the second-largest functioning mosque in Africa and the 7th largest worldwide.
Visit Fes el Bali in Fez. It’s the largest and oldest medina in North Africa.
Go shopping at the Souk Semmarine. It's the biggest market in Marrakesh. You will find rugs, leather goods, silverware, and all kinds of local products in this labyrinth.
Typical Moroccan food to try
Couscous - This is a traditional dish in Morocco's delicious cuisine. It is made from wheat or corn flour in the form of small grains and eaten with spoons or by hand. It is steamed, after which meat, vegetable, green pulverized beans, milk, butter, and refined sugar, according to tastes and occasions, is added.
Tagine - This dish is spectacular to have in restaurants, and consists of spiced vegetables cooked with light broth, accompanied by meat, chicken, or fish. All ingredients are placed inside heavy pottery vessels called tagines, hence the name of the dish.
Bisara - Dried crushed fava beans, peeled and cooked in water with vegetables, spices, and olive oil. It is served hot with barley or wheat bread for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Vaccine information for Morocco
Most visitors have questions about which vaccines and COVID-19 measures are required when traveling to Morocco. You can check the CDC website to learn about all vaccine requirements for visiting the country.
Travel insurance is not required to enter the country, but it’s a good idea to be prepared in case you need medical services abroad.
Moroccan mint tea traditions
Mint tea is the most popular hot beverage in Morocco. Locals drink green tea with mint leaves several times throughout the day and evening. In this country, anytime is teatime!
It’s a tradition and part of the local etiquette to offer tea to any visitors. Besides the spearmint leaves, the addition of other herbs such as absinthium or wild mint is also very common.
The drink also has a place in special moments. There is a tea ceremony on formal occasions during which the host or hostess sits before a tray holding decorated glasses and two teapots. The preparation involves mixing fresh mint leaves, dried green tea leaves, sugar, and boiling water.
If you have an opportunity, enjoy a traditional mint tea in Morocco!
Fun facts about Morocco
This country in Northern Africa is full of surprises, and we bet you will have a great time exploring it. Here are some fun facts to know before you go!
Morocco has more active cellphones than people. More than 44 million cellphones are in active use in Morocco, while the population is only 35 million.
The symbol of love is the liver, not the heart, in Morocco. Because a healthy liver promotes well-being, Moroccans think it is a good way to represent love.
Morocco has the world’s largest concentrated solar power project. The Noor Power Plant is bigger than Morocco's capital city Rabat: it covers about 2,500 hectares.
The oldest human sculpture was found in Morocco. Called Venus of Tan Tan, the statue was discovered in 1999 along the north bank of the Draa River and dates back to 500,000 years ago.
Toilet paper isn’t common in Morocco. Squat toilets are more standard and the people of this culture use water to clean themselves. So you probably won’t find toilet paper during the trip, unless you’re in a touristic area.
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