10 things to know before traveling to Morocco
10 things to know before traveling to Morocco: Check out the main tips for Morocco tours, such as the best time to visit, temperatures, transportation, prices, curiosities, itinerary and attractions!
I took a 10-day trip to Morocco in November on an excursion. In this article I tell you about my experience as a woman in an Islamic country, as well as some details that will help you with your itinerary in Morocco, taking in the main cities and the Sahara desert.
10 things to know before your trip to Morocco
1 – Is traveling to Morocco safe?
The first thing you need to know before taking a trip to Morocco: it’s a relatively safe country to visit. However, I suggest that you always proceed with caution and hire a guide for the larger cities like Fez, for example, as it’s very easy to get lost. Another common thing is for people to trick you into visiting a particular place and charge you a lot for it, or to take you back to your hotel and ask for a tip. They also charge you if you take pictures of them (especially if you’re with a snake or monkey).
It’s not a country I’d recommend traveling alone. I recommend traveling in a group in Morocco, either with friends or on an excursion (that’s what I did!). traveled with Sahara Morocco Tours for 10 days and was very happy with the pace of the itinerary, the attractions and the hotels included in the tour. talk about them a lot in the videos, I show the bus and the hotels. highly recommend it!
I think traveling on a tour is a good experience for getting to know a country without worries and making new friends.
2 – Food in Morocco
Moroccan food is usually made in a tagine, a type of clay pot with a conical lid. They cook couscous, vegetables and meat in it and also serve it in this little pot. You’ll also find lots of fried potatoes, skewers, salad, chicken with lemon and even goat meat.
Your stomach may not be comfortable with the spices used by Moroccans, especially cumin. Personally, I avoided eating salad and things with ice because of the water (it was my choice, other people have eaten and they were fine). I always worry about the hygiene of places because I get sick easily (weak stomach).
In any case, I always recommend traveling with travel insurance in case you get sick, your flight is delayed or your suitcase doesn’t show up at the airport. It’s an investment to avoid a headache! I recommend Real Seguros for your trip to Morocco!
3 – Languages spoken in Morocco
The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Berber, the language of the original peoples. Many people speak French in the Marrakech area, but it’s more difficult outside. I recommend speaking English or Spanish.
4 – Morocco’s currency
10 things to know before traveling to Morocco: Morocco’s currency is the Dirham. The exchange rate is usually 10 dirhams = 1 euro. Many establishments don’t accept cards, so be prepared to take cash and exchange it at a bureau de change. In this case, I recommend that you take dollars or euros on your trip to Morocco.
5 – Is Morocco cheap?
Although Morocco is considered a more affordable country to travel to, I didn’t find it that cheap, as many places are designed for European tourists.
In other words, you can pay a lot if the atmosphere is different. For example, we went to a rooftop restaurant where hamburgers cost 18 euros. That’s an amount I wouldn’t pay here in Scotland, it would normally cost 13 euros. During the trip we went to other restaurants that charged between 7 and 14 euros for lunch. In many hotels you can have dinner.
Also, anything you want to buy needs to be negotiated. The sellers put the price up and you have to say another price and negotiate. It’s a local custom. Nothing has a fixed price or price tag.
The hotel in the photo below is called La Trattoria, an Italian restaurant inside a riad (a traditional Moroccan house). You pay more for the atmosphere and in this case I thought it was worth it.
6 – Best time to visit Morocco
Morocco has many contrasts such as desert dunes, snowy mountains and beaches!
Probably the best time to travel to Morocco is in the fall from September to November or early spring from March to the second week of April. The weather will be hot, but you won’t find those absurd summer temperatures. Likewise, the nights in the desert won’t be as cold (even so, take clothes for a chilly 5 degrees early in the morning). These are considered high season.
I went in November and it was very hot, always 30 degrees. I only wore a sweatshirt in the desert at night and in the morning. Then it was a dress or skirt.
During the month of April there may be some sandstorms in the desert! Ramadan may also take place in April or May, when Muslims celebrate a time of spiritual rejuvenation. Many stores and hotels may change their opening hours.
During the months of June to September, temperatures are very high, so I recommend taking advantage of the beaches such as Tangier, Essaouira and Taghazout when the sea water is perfect for surfing! See here 1-day excursion to Essaouira
The low season is from November to January and May to July. August can be one of the worst months to travel as temperatures soar to 50 degrees in the desert.
7 – Visas for Morocco
Brazilians don’t need a visa to travel to Morocco, they just need to complete a tourist form (ficha sanitaire) and receive a visa stamp valid for 90 days on arrival at the airport. The same applies to Europeans.
So far, it is not necessary to present a COVID vaccination certificate or take a test to travel to Morocco.
At immigration, find out the address and name of the hotel you will be staying at.
8 – Travel to Morocco: Airports
10 things to know before traveling to Morocco: Morocco’s best-known airports are in Casablanca and Marrakech.
Menara Marrakech airport is very modern, but immigration and security procedures are very slow. The queue was huge at the entrance and exit, not to mention that they checked my passport 3 times and I went through the x-ray 3 times before boarding to leave. I believe that these procedures are related to agreements with Europe, because I’ve never seen so much security.
9 – Internet in Morocco
During my trip to Morocco in November 2022, I used Holafly’s eSIM for 10 days. The eSIM is a virtual SIM card that you install in your cell phone to have mobile data when traveling abroad.
I had a connection in the main cities in Morocco such as Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Fez and in some smaller towns such as Chefchaouen. Only in 2 hotels did I have no connection (no signal or limited speed) because they were more remote places in the Sahara desert. This was probably due to the lack of local coverage rather than Holafly’s service.
Incredibly, I had internet during the dromedary ride in the Sahara haha
10 – Most visited places in Morocco
Considered the red city of Morocco, Marrakech is one of the top destinations, both for its attractions and for the affordable prices of flights from Europe. I paid just £25 for a direct flight from Edinburgh to Marrakech! It’s certainly an excellent starting point for your trip to Morocco.
I recommend 2 full days in Marrakech to visit the Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, visit the main square, get lost in the alleys of the Medina and visit the Madrassa (educational institution). Book your 1-Day Private Tour of Marrakech here
In Marrakech I also recommend doing the hamman, the traditional Turkish bath with massage
10 things to know before traveling to Morocco: The Ouarzazate region is the gateway to the Sahara desert. Most tours will pass through here and stop at Aït-Ben-Haddou, a beautiful fortified village that has been the setting for several films and series such as Gladiator, Game of Thrones, The Mummy… This region is considered the Hollywood of Africa, as many studios come to shoot here for the most affordable price.
Many people go to Morocco just to see the Sahara Desert! But be prepared: it’s nowhere near Marrakech! The journey there is long and many people take 2-3 day excursions to get the most out of it.
You can usually take a dromedary ride, sleep in a camp in the middle of the desert and take a buggy ride the next day.
I recommend these tours in the Sahara desert:
Fez is considered one of the most religious cities in Morocco and its Medina is very old, full of narrow streets and interesting stores. I found Fez a bit chaotic and it was easy to get lost. I strongly recommend hiring a guide, see here Guided Tour of the Medina of Fez
Fez is home to the famous tannery that appeared in the soap opera The Clone (this place is very smelly!!) and the oldest university in the world. I think 1 day is enough to see it.
Chefchaouen is known worldwide as the blue city of Morocco. Located in the mountains, Chefchaouen enchants with its blue-painted alleys throughout the medina. The steps, walls and even some of the vendors are painted blue haha Legend has it that it was painted blue to represent the sky. I think 1 day is enough to visit it, as it’s very small.
As it’s closer to Fez, there are day trips to and from the city: 1-day excursion to the Blue City of Chefchaouen This was one of the cities I liked the most, so don’t leave it out of your Morocco itinerary!
Rabat is the capital of Morocco, a more modern city that celebrates its history. The main attractions are the Hassan Mosque, the Kasbah des Oudayas and the Chellah Necropolis. I consider one day to be enough.
You can visit Rabat and Casablanca in one day with this excursion!
10 things to know before traveling to Morocco: Famous because of the film, Casablanca is the economic center of Morocco with many art-deco buildings. The most visited attraction is the Hassan II Mosque, the only mosque that foreigners can visit! Truly one of the most beautiful places in the country, it’s worth visiting with a guide! Check it out here > Casablanca: tour of the city’s highlights
Casablanca is a good option for your return flight because of the airport.
Did you like these tips for your trip to Morocco? Take the opportunity to read 13 Curiosities about Morocco that they don’t tell you!