“Morocco is such a beautiful place. It's incredibly beautiful. And also it is captivating place because for a writer, you feel that you make impact. I mean, when I write something in the press, the day after in the fish market, people will be discussing it.” - Fatema Mernissi
Morocco is one of the richest countries in Africa. From the Atlantic coast to the desert, Morocco is famous for souks, mint tea, hammams, and many other clichés. There’s a lot to learn about the country, especially when it comes to food.
Did you know that Morocco is the biggest producer and exporter of saffron?
It had to come from somewhere!
So, whether you want to go trekking in the Grand Sud, ride camels in the Berber desert, or visit the many beautiful mosques in the country, here’s our advice for visiting Morocco!
When’s the Best Time to Visit Morocco?
If relaxation is what you’re after in Morocco, it’s better to look for towns where palm trees and windsurfing are on the agenda, particularly in the north of the country where the seasons are milder.
Cities such as Casablanca, Fez, or Rabat should be top of your list where the following activities are available:
- Walking around a Medina quarter.
- Trips to the outskirts, particularly the desert, to cities such as Meknes or Chefchaouen.
- Camel rides.
In the south of Morocco, there are plenty of beach towns and the perfect climate in summer. For example, Agadir is one of the most popular destinations in Morocco with 300 sunny days a year and very little rain! This means you can go at almost any time of the year. In Essaouira, you can:
- Go surfing
- Relax on the beach
- Or road trip to the Grand Sud
There are seven main areas in Morocco:
- The north Atlantic plains, home to Tangier and Tetuan.
- The plains from Doukkala to Sous, including Agadir.
- The internal plateaux, including Marrakesh.
- The Mediterranean coast and Oujda.
- The Middle and High Atlas and Ifran.
- The Anti-Atlas and the pre-Saharan valleys and Ouarzazate.
- The Sahara region and Dakhla.
Morocco has a diverse range of climates including oceanic, Mediterranean, mountain, continental, and desert climates.
Find out more about the best time to visit Morocco.
The Cost of Visiting Morocco
Money is always something you need to think about when planning a trip to Morocco: there’s transport, food, and accommodation to think of. Let’s have a look at the average cost of a trip to Morocco so you can have a better idea of your budget.
Find out about Arabic classes London here.
In terms of transport, you need to think about:
- Your flights to Morocco
- Public transport once you’re there
- Taxi trips
- Other types of transport, such as bikes
In the city, you can cheaply travel by taxi as long as you know the rates. Insist that your driver puts the meter on. If they refuse, don’t ride. Official taxis have to respect the rates, with the meter generally starting at 2Dh (3Dh the evenings or from in front of your hotel) and between 4 and 8Dh per kilometre.
Make sure you have small change so you can pay exactly what you owe! In the event of a conflict, take the taxi’s number and mention that you’ll get in touch with the Tourist Police. You’ll see that there’s no conflict.
It’s not recommended that you rent a car in Morocco, even though all the main companies are there. Insurance contracts are a little blurry and driving in Morocco is complicated.
If you prefer to organise everything yourself, the bus network between the main cities and even a few secluded parts of the country is quite advanced.
There are three main bus companies:
As for accommodation, the cost of hotels varies according to location, rating, and season. There are large hotel chains like Ibis and Sofitel but there are also independent hotels for all budgets, too. You can find a double hotel room for as little as £4 a night in Meknes. In Casablanca, rooms are available for around £50 a night and in Tangier, you can expect to pay around £40 a night.
If you’re looking to stay in Morocco, you can always look at Airbnb and get a private room with a Moroccan family. You can expect to pay between £30 and £70 a night for a private room.
If you’re on a budget, here’s a “backpacker’s budget”.
Not including the flights, you can spend less than £300 for a week for two people in Morocco.
Here are the average prices for two people:
- £25 per night for accommodation
- £10 per day for food
- £4 per day for transport
- Opt for free activities
The budget will be similar for most Moroccan cities but you won’t be able to do trips to the desert or anything like that.
Find out more about the cost of visiting Morocco.
Where Can You Stay While Travelling in Morocco?
Did you know that accommodation generally accounts for around 30% of a traveller’s expenses?
That’s why you need to pay particular attention to your accommodation.
Do you prefer comfort or saving your pennies for activities to do while you’re there?
There’s a lot to do in Morocco and there’s European-style accommodation as well as more classic Moroccan accommodation or out-of-the-ordinary places like a Berber bivouac in the desert.
So here’s a quick list of the types of accommodation in Morocco:
- Moroccan camps
- Youth hostels
- Hotel rooms
- Private flats
It’s very easy to camp in Morocco. There are plenty of campsites all over the country. In Arabic, the term is “mukhayyam”. Generally, a campsite costs between 10 to 20Dh per person per night with a fee of 10 to 20Dh to pitch a tent.
Youth hostels aren’t very common in Morocco. There are around a dozen listed on Hostelling International and you can find most of them in the main cities: Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Essaouira, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Tetuan, Asni, Azrou, Chefcaouen, and Layoun. Generally, you’ll pay between £5 and £15 for a bed in a dormitory.
You can also stay in resort hotels or regular hotels. There’s a whole range of prices depending on the type of hotel you pick. Generally, you’ll need to put your passport and visa number in the register upon arrival. Taxes and fees are around 35Dh.
Staying in a Moroccan guest house or with a host family costs between £20 to £40 per day per person depending on the type of accommodation you get. This is handy if you’re travelling around Morocco or doing a road trip.
Find out more about accommodation in Morocco.
10 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Morocco
Morocco welcomed 11.3 million tourists in 2018, an increase of 8.5% compares to the previous year. Just like travelling anywhere else, you need to be aware of local customs and rules.
The Kingdom of Morocco is a Muslim country and whether you go to Tetuan, Chefchaouen, or the Sahara desert, whether you’re a man or a woman, you need to respect the customs. Opt for modest clothing. Even though cities like Fez and Marrakech are used to Western fashion and tourists, it’s better to not draw too much attention to yourself.
Friday is the day of public worship in Mosques for those of the Muslim faith. Shops tend to be closed or open at different times. It’s also recommended that you don’t visit during Ramadan (May-June) because everything slows down in the cities.
Visiting Morocco is an opportunity to barter and negotiate. While Moroccans are famous for being warm and welcoming, they’ll be even more so in the souk. Don’t be naive. They’ve one thing in mind: get you to buy something like argan oil, a tagine, or a pair of babouche. Similarly, don’t drink the tap water and avoid ice in drinks. It's not great for digestion. Finally, adopt a positive and open attitude, don’t talk about certain topics in the street, and generally be a “good tourist”, tipping for services. After all, that’s how it works.
Check out our advice for visiting Morocco.
Before going to Morocco, you should consider learning some Arabic. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of talented Arabic tutors on Superprof. There are three main types of tutorials available: one-on-one tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each type of tutorials has its pros and cons so choose the right type and right tutor for you.
Many tutors on Superprof offer the first hour of tuition for free so consider trying a few different tutors before settling on the right one for you.