Sahara Desert Morocco, Marrakech, Morocco
Sahara Desert Morocco, Marrakech, Morocco

Sahara Desert

Camel rides out in the beautiful Sahara Desert near Marrakech
Photo by Yeo Khee

MOROCCO

Africa

Morocco Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Rabat

Location:

Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Mauritania

Currency:

Moroccan dirhams (MAD)

Area:

716,550 sq km

Population:

36,561,813 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Arabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy); note - the proportion of Berber speakers is disputed; does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Religion:

Muslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC 0

Tel Code:

+212

Weather

Climate

Morocco has a Mediterranean climate along the coast and a semi-arid climate in the interior. The coastal areas have mild winters and hot summers, while the interior can be quite hot in the summer, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C (104°F). The Atlas Mountains have a more moderate climate and can be quite cool in the winter.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Morocco depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.

  • Spring (March to May) is a great time to visit as the weather is mild and the crowds are not as heavy as in the summer. The temperature is pleasant and it is perfect to visit the desert, the gardens, and the Atlas Mountains.
  • Summer (June to August) can be quite hot, especially in the interior, but it is also the peak tourist season. It is the perfect time to visit the beaches, the cities and the countryside.
  • Fall (September to November) is a great time to visit, with milder weather and fewer crowds. It is also the perfect time to visit the deserts, the gardens and the Atlas Mountains.
  • Winter (December to February) can be quite cool and damp, especially in the interior, but it is also the low season, which means fewer crowds and lower prices. It is also the perfect time to visit the Atlas Mountains and the ski resorts.

Overall, the best time to visit Morocco depends on your personal preferences and what you want to do during your trip. Keep in mind that peak travel season is usually in the summer months and it can be quite hot in the interior and crowded in some places. If you're looking for milder weather and fewer crowds, spring or fall would be a great time to visit.

Transportation

Train

Morocco has a modern and efficient train system that connects major cities and tourist destinations. The trains are comfortable, and most offer first and second class seating options. Train travel is generally considered one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to get around Morocco.

Bus

Bus travel is also a popular option in Morocco, especially for shorter trips and to reach smaller towns. Buses are generally less expensive than trains, but the journey can be longer and less comfortable.

Car

Renting a car is a great option for travelers who want to explore the Moroccan countryside and visit smaller towns and villages that are not easily accessible by public transportation. Keep in mind that traffic in Morocco can be heavy and chaotic, and parking can be difficult in some cities.

Air

Morocco has several major airports that connect the country to destinations around the world. Flying is a good option for travelers who are looking to cover long distances quickly and efficiently.

Taxi and Ridesharing

Taxis and ridesharing services such as Uber are also available in Morocco. However, they tend to be more expensive than other transportation options and may be more difficult to find in smaller towns and villages.

Grand Taxi

Grand Taxi (shared taxi) is another popular and affordable transportation option in Morocco. They are often used for intercity travel and can be found at major bus and train stations. They are typically more comfortable than buses and can be faster.

Petit Taxi

Petit Taxi (private taxi) is widely available and can be hailed on the street or found at taxi stands. They are a good option for shorter trips within the city and are metered, but the fares can be higher than other options.

Ultimately, the best transportation option for you will depend on your itinerary, budget, and personal preferences. Keep in mind that public transportation options are generally more affordable and efficient, while rental cars and taxis offer more flexibility. Keep in mind that transportation options in the rural areas may be limited and more expensive than in the cities.

Accommodation

Hotel

Morocco has a wide variety of hotel options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury 5-star hotels to budget-friendly 2-star hotels, you can find accommodations in every major city and tourist destination in Morocco. Many hotels offer amenities such as a gym, pool, and spa, while others may have a restaurant or bar on-site.

Riad

A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Many riads have been converted into hotels and offer a unique and authentic experience. They are often located in the medinas (old towns) of Moroccan cities and are known for their beautiful architecture and decor.

Guesthouse

Guesthouses are a popular budget-friendly accommodation option in Morocco. They offer basic rooms and shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens. They are often family-run and can provide a more personal and intimate experience.

Camping

Camping is another popular option for travelers who want to explore Morocco's beautiful countryside and deserts. Morocco has a wide variety of campsites, from basic to luxurious, and many of them offer amenities such as bathrooms, showers, and swimming pools.

Apartment and Vacation Rentals

Another popular accommodation option in Morocco is renting an apartment or vacation rental. This is a great option for travelers who want the comforts of home, such as a kitchen and living room, and also for those who want to stay in a specific area for longer periods.

Ultimately, the best accommodation option for you will depend on your personal preferences, budget and the purpose of your trip. Keep in mind that peak travel season is usually in the summer months and prices tend to be higher during that period. Additionally, it is important to note that accommodation options in the desert or rural areas may be more limited and rustic than in the cities.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Morocco Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Morocco is a North African country known for its rich culture, history, and natural beauty. From the bustling medinas of Marrakech to the vast deserts of the Sahara, there is something for every traveler to enjoy. Here are the top 10 things to do in Morocco:

      1. Explore the medina of Marrakech

      The medina of Marrakech is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-see for any traveler. The winding streets are filled with vibrant markets, palaces, and mosques.

      2. Take a camel trek in the Sahara

      The Sahara is one of the world's most iconic deserts and a camel trek is a great way to explore it. You can take a day trip or a multi-day tour and camp under the stars.

      3. Visit the Bahia Palace

      The Bahia Palace is a beautiful 19th-century palace located in Marrakech. It is known for its intricate tilework and gardens.

      4. See the Ait Benhaddou

      Ait Benhaddou is a fortified village located in the Atlas Mountains. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been used as a location for many movies and TV shows.

      5. Take a cooking class

      Moroccan cuisine is known for its rich flavors and spices, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn about it.

      6. Visit the Majorelle Garden

      The Majorelle Garden is a beautiful garden located in Marrakech. It was designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle and is now owned by Yves Saint Laurent.

      7. Explore the medina of Fes

      The medina of Fes is the oldest of the four imperial cities of Morocco and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known for its beautiful architecture and traditional crafts.

      8. Visit the Todgha Gorge

      The Todgha Gorge is a beautiful natural site located in the Atlas Mountains. It is known for its towering cliffs and excellent hiking opportunities.

      9. See the Koutoubia Mosque

      The Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech and is known for its beautiful minaret.

      10. Take a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains

      A hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains is a great way to see the beautiful landscape of Morocco.

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