Ancient cities, impressive mountain ranges, extensive desserts, and the best of all, the warm hospitality makes Morocco a treasure trove for travelers. The renowned Atlas Mountains and the breathtaking oasis in the Sahara Deserts are simple, yet the most majestic sites your eyes could admire.
The night skies of the mighty desert, rugged coastlines, caves, waterfalls, and forested hills all make Morocco a country that is immensely diverse yet welcoming. It is located on the North-West coast of Africa and is the third most populated Arab country. The people are more than welcoming and are always ready to help any traveler in search of adventure or spice.
Morocco Travel Info
Language: The official language of Morocco is Arabic along with Berber. The people belonging to the tourism industry speak fluent English and most of the local population is also versed in English making it easy for the overseas travelers to communicate with them.
Currency: Moroccan Dirham.
Visa: For a Moroccan Visa, you need to have a passport valid for at least six months post your date of application, a complete visa application, copy of your onward/return journey ticket, copy of your hotel booking and a proof of your financial stability. Tourist visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days.
Electricity: Morocco operates on 220V standard supply with a frequency of 50 Hz. Power socket types C and E are commonly used. I recommend bringing a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each country you visit.
Morocco Festivals & Celebrations
Timitar Music Festival: Timitar has become one of the most important music festivals of Africa and the biggest festival in the country. The events and performances are culturally rooted and actively promote the Souss Massa Draa culture. About 40 artists give excellent performances entertaining around 500,000 people who gather every year to enjoy this festival.
Fes Music Festival: This 10 day festival that takes place during summers celebrates sacred music and is held in the city of Fes. A Moroccan scholar Faouzi Skali was the founder of this festival whose main motto was to showcase important tradition of sacred, world and spiritual music.
Ramadan: Ramadan is the most important month of the Islamic Year and is the ninth month of the lunar calendar. All Muslims observe fast from sunrise to sunset for the entire month and eat only after the sun sets. The thirty-day fasting ends with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, another popular Islamic festival.
Safety In Morocco
Safety is a concern for most people traveling to Morocco. Bag-snatching, pick-pocketing and other scams to take advantage of travelers are common in some places. Some parts of Morocco are dangerous so always do your research before you travel and make sure that you avoid any dodgy areas. Female travelers to Morocco should be mindful to dress appropriately and be extra careful when walking alone or at night. Based on my own travel experiences in Africa I would never leave home without travel insurance. I recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks before your Morocco trip. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Top Things To Do In Morocco
Explore the Djemaa El Fna
The literal meaning of Djemmaa El Fna is ‘assembly of the dead.’ It is the main square of Marakkech, which was in around 1050 AD, used for public executions but today it is the most happening place in the city. Its street theatres provide non-stop entertainment. You can hear the snake charmer’s flute by mid-morning and by evening the plaza turns into food heaven with the smell of meat being charred on fire grills. Musicians liven up the atmosphere a notch more with their live music. The place has been declared a ‘Masterpiece of World Heritage’ by UNESCO.
Go horse riding
There is nothing as calm as slowly riding a horse on the beach, the sea lapping around and the sun setting in the backdrop. This experience will go a long way and is just perfect. You can enjoy the activity off the beach at Essaouira and the best time is evening when the crowd is less. The only thing accompanying you will be the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea, and the evening sun soothing your skin, just the perfect way to unwind after a long hectic day.
Sleep under the stars in the Sahara
Venture across the vast desert on a camel, dine with the nomads and camp under the starry night of the desert, the ultimate desert experience. Plan a six-day long adventure and live a nomadic life experiencing their lives to the core. You will realize that in the desert, the camel ride is not just an attraction, but a necessity. This would be one adventure that you will never forget.
Climb rocks in Todra Gorge
If you are among the ones who love rock climbing, you have come to the right place. Morocco boasts several natural outdoor climbing options. The Todra Gorge is among the most preferred climbing spots and can prove to be immensely challenging if the path chosen by you is a difficult one. Whatever may be the level of difficulty this is one activity that you are going to enjoy a lot.
Explore the Middle Atlas
The Middle Atlas is a mountain range in Morocco and has loads of activities to offer, and you can spend as many days immersed in nature as you want and would never want to resurface. Trek the mountains, swim in the lakes, slide down the natural rocks and abseil a waterfall. The best way to explore the natural environment of the Middle Atlas is Canyoning. The list is never-ending, and each activity is equally adventurous and fun.
Enjoy the beauty of the Agdal Gardens
There was a time when Adgal was the most renowned garden in Morocco. It was built in the 12th Century and spans across the southern edge of Medina. The vast garden has a date, orange, fig, lemon, pomegranate and walnut trees flourishing in its orchards. Here you can spend a few hours in peace and discover the agricultural side of Morocco.
Lose yourself in the Streets of Medina
One of the loveliest area’s in Morocco is the Chefchaouen’s Medina. It can be explored easily as it is small and not much crowded.
You will not get lost in its streets as it is compact enough. The buildings are mostly blue-white which give the place a neat and fresh appearance, and to these, an Andalusian touch is added by the terracotta tiles. It the center of the Medina is a shady area called Plaza Uta El Hammam.
If you are a water-sports lover, you must surely try your hands at kite-surfing on the Atlantic coast. Hit the waves on a windy day and feel the adrenalin rush through your veins. You can spend as much time as you want amid the thrill of surfing in regions like Sidi Ifni. If kite-surfing is too much for you, you have more options like paragliding and quad biking. Just head towards the beach and soak into the adventure it has in store for you.
Take a bike ride down the Draa Valley
Coming down the valley on a mountain bike, sounds thrilling, but it’s this particular valley that increases the thrill manifold. This valley has a lot of mountain sand and different tones of red rocks. It is lined with lush green trees and through its center runs the longest Moroccan river. An MTB ride down the river amid such natural beauty is an experience that you will get in Morocco alone.
Sandboarding in the Dunes
If you want to explore the huge dunes, sandboarding is the best way to do it. Hiking up the dunes might take several hours and then just zoom down at speed as high as 50 kmph. Find some like-minded chums and enjoy the thrilling experience. Do not forget to visit the small yet beautiful village of Merzouga while going to the dunes and also take out time to camp on the dunes. Seeing the sunrise in the dunes is one of the most unique of all experiences.
Other than these top things to do in Morocco, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems.
What To Eat In Morocco
Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in Morocco are listed below.
B’ssara: This is a rich, creamy soup made of broad beans that are dried and is topped with olive oil with some cumin sprinkled over the soup. A bowl of B’ssara costs just a few pennies and is served with freshly baked bread.
Harira: Harira is another type of soup made of lentils, chickpea, tomatoes, and lamb and a dash of lemon and some fresh coriander are added to it. The soup is served piping hot with chebakkiya which is a sweet, sticky, pretzel and is commonly used to break the fast during Ramadan.
Couscous: Also called sesku, this is wheat pasta that is rolled by hand. A stew of vegetables and meat is prepared, and the pasta is then added to it. While serving, a heap of pasta covers the meat, and the veggies are laden on the sides.
Makouda: This street food can be best offered at the Djemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech. Apart from kebabs, grilled sardines and calamari you will also come across a rare delicacy in the form of cheek meat of the head of a sheep cooked in a broth rich in spices
Mint Tea: Mint tea is also known as Moroccan Whisky and is the most preferred drink. It is excessively sweet and made of gunpowder tea infused with twigs of spearmint put together in a teapot. This is then poured from a height into tea glasses to form froth called crown.
Where To Stay In Morocco
Morocco is an incredibly affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in Morocco is super easy because there’s so many options whatever your budget. Hostels and dormitories make travel to Morocco affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget.
If you’re traveling to Morocco during peak season or wish to stay in a luxury hotel then it’s wise to book your accommodation in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best places to stay have already been snapped up. Morocco is a pretty popular year-round destination you know!
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in Morocco.
If you’re backpacking in Morocco or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Africa very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies.
Morocco Trip Planner
Best Time to Visit Morocco
The best time to visit Morocco depends on where in Morocco you’re visiting.
Morocco Travel Budget
Morocco is generally an affordable destination for travelers on all budgets. The cost of your trip to Morocco really depends on the level of comfort you will expect while here. If you’re backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating street food then budget between $25 to $35 a day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between $35 to $60 per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants in places like Morocco then budget about $60 to $150 plus a day.
- Budget: $10-25
- Mid-range: $25-$60
- Splurge: $60+
Meal For One
- Budget: $1.00-$5.00
- Mid-range: $5-$15
- Splurge: $15-$50+
Morocco Packing Guide
Packing for a trip to Morocco, like most other places in Africa, is a breeze because it’s so easy to travel light in hotter climates just remember to pack lightweight and breathable lose-fitting clothing.
Be prepared for the occasional cool evening depending on the month you visit and pack a warm sweater just in case. If you forget to pack something you can buy anything you need in the larger cities such as Marrakesh.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to Morocco include, most importantly, a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.
For the full list of everything you need to pack for a trip to Morocco check out the Jetset Bunny Ultimate Africa Packing List For Female Travelers.