The decision to take a trip to Morocco is certainly going to be paired with plenty of questions and concerns about how best to prepare for your Morocco trip, especially if this is your first time travelling in a country with a culture that is so different to what we are usually accustomed to in the western world. It’s understandable that you may be concerned about ensuring that you dress and act appropriately, that you don’t commit any cultural faux pas and that you are prepared for any possible scenario that you may encounter and that is why I have prepared this Morocco travel FAQs guide to assist you in preparing for your Moroccan adventure.
Your route to Morocco depends on where in the world you are prior to departure and what your itinerary will be. If you are travelling from the US, then your only option for a direct flight presently is into Casablanca with Morocco’s Domestic Airline. However you will also find connections to the airport’s of Marrakech and Fes on flights that change in Europe or the Middle East.
What are the Visa Requirements?
The majority of nationalities (including British and American citizens) do not need a visa to enter Morocco, however as with many destinations, you should ensure that you have 6 months validity on your passport before travelling.
What is the Currency of Morocco?
The national currency of Morocco is Dirham. The exchange rate fluctuates but you can expect around 8 or 9 dirham in exchange for one dollar. (Check the latest exchange rates here). US dollars are also widely accepted so it is useful to keep a small amount of dollars with you just in case. Try to exchange a little cash before you arrive in Morocco as the ATM machines in the country tend to dispense cash only in larger denominations (100 or 200 dirham) which can be a bit of a bother for buying cups of tea, tipping, and other instances where you may need small change.
Cards are often accepted in hotels and stores in the major city however you should be aware that many places will often charge an additional processing fee ( to the tune of 3% and upwards) and so as such, cash is preferable.
What Language is Spoken in Morocco?
The primary language of Morocco is Arabic, however locals are also taught French as a second language at school from a very early age. As such if you are able to speak either, you will have no problem!
That said, Moroccans are very warm and hospitable people and you will find that in tourist businesses and areas (hotels, etc), the majority of people that you encounter and interact with will speak a good level of English.
Can I Drink the Water in Morocco?
As you may imagine, you shouldn’t drink the tap water in Morocco. Instead, opt for purchasing bottled water or sterilise your own using a Steripen (to be honest, buying a bottle of water is likely going to be the easier option of the two!)
Will I Get Sick? Are there any Diseases in Morocco?
Food hygiene standards in Morocco are pretty good. Perhaps whether or not you fall sick while traveling here depends more on your tolerance to spice and how accustomed you are to this type of food. As you should with travelling anywhere in the world, exercise common sense when it comes to making dining decisions – particularly where street food is concerned. Don’t eat any meats that have been left out and steer clear of any stalls with insects around them (common sense right?)
There are no essential travel vaccinations necessary for travelling in Morocco, however you should ensure that your tetanus and typhoid boosters are up to date. It’s optional, but you should also consider a hepatitis A vaccination since this illness can be contracted from foods or contaminated water.
Is Morocco Safe?
Heightened tensions and terror concerns across the globe have many people feeling apprehensive about travelling but there’s really no need to be afraid of travelling to Morocco. Morocco have good relations with the western world and for the most part, it’s a very safe place. Prepare to have to haggle in the bazaars or be hassled to buy things occasionally but remember these people are just trying to make a living and it’s all part of the fun, nothing sinister.
Is it Safe to Travel Solo in Morocco?
Solo travellers (including females) should feel assured that they will have a wonderful time travelling in Morocco. You should bear in mind a few safety pointers which apply wherever in the world you go.
- Don’t walk around alone at night.
- Don’t get drunk and be careful who you trust.
- If you feel nervous about venturing out alone, you will find plenty of opportunities to hire a friendly local guide to help you navigate your way through the souks. If you are planning on exploring more remote areas, then this comes even more recommended.
- Check in with relatives and friends back at home and let them have a rough idea of where you will be.
When to Go
The best time to travel in Morocco is dependent on you and what you want to see and do while you are there. If you are headed to the desert, try and avoid the peak summer months of July and August when it will be unbearably hot and you will fry.
Spring is arguably the best time to take a Morocco trip (from mid March – May) since the weather is mild and pleasant (think mid twenties) making it perfect for trips to the desert, days spent relaxing by the coastal beaches, and naturalistic hikes in the mountains.
Moroccan winters get very cold and some of the popular hikes within the Atlas mountains become inaccessible due to snow.
Public transport in Morocco is relatively inexpensive and efficient. Trains connect the majority of the major cities and although it can be slightly trickier to access smaller towns and villages (i.e. if you want to visit the incredibly picturesque blue town of Chefchaouen), then there are reliable bus services that run to these places.
Trains run on limited schedules so try to check the specifics and book your tickets in advance of your intended departure. For buses, you will encounter numerous operators that service the various towns and spots of interest, however two providers to remember are Supratours and CTM, both of whom provide comfortable services geared towards aiding tourists.
Morocco Travel Resources
I hope you found this Morocco FAQ article useful. If you are planning a trip to Morocco then perhaps you will enjoy these other resources I have prepared.