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About Morocco

  • Can you briefly describe Morocco?

Morocco is a country where African, Arab and European cultures are entwined. It is situated on the far northwestern corner of Africa; it is the closest point of contact to Europe for Africa. Morocco has a population of over 35 million and an area of 172,410 sq. mi (446,550 sq. km). Its capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities include Marrakech, Tangier, Fes and Meknes.

  • Is Morocco safe?

In a word, yes! It is as safe as most European countries and is by far the safest country to travel to in all of Africa. You should exercise a normal level of caution while visiting. Just like everywhere else, you should always be mindful of your belongings and your surroundings. Solo female travelers need to take the usual precautions and dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention. In addition to the regular police force, Morocco employs a special tourist police force whose mandate it is to help all tourists have a safe and enjoyable Moroccan experience.

  • What languages are spoken in Morocco?

Standard Arabic and Amazigh (Berber) are the two official languages of Morocco. However, Darija - Moroccan Arabic Dialect - is the main spoken language. French is the third language for most Moroccans, followed by Spanish and English.

  • What religions are practiced in Morocco?

The Moroccan constitution grants religious freedom, while recognizing Islam as the official national religion. The second-largest religion in the country is Judaism followed by Christianity.

  • What currency is used in Morocco?

The currency used in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham, abbreviated as Dh. The official currency code for Dirhams is MAD. The exchange rates fluctuate but generally: 1 USD=9 Dirhams. It is easy to exchange for Dh at airports, banks, exchange offices and most major seaport stations. Cash is still the most commonly used means of payment in most places but most restaurants, bars, reputable shops and tourist attractions will accept major credit cards (some souk shops in markets accept credit cards but may charge a 5-10% surcharge).

  • Do I need a visa to visit Morocco?

American, Canadian, and EU citizens don’t need a visa to travel to Morocco. Most travelers from other countries can also visit Morocco without applying for a visa if their trip is not exceeding three months. We recommend that you check the current regulations with the Moroccan Embassy in your country of citizenship before you travel. Morocco requires that all travelers carry a passport that is valid for at least six months from the time they enter Morocco. 

  • Can I drink alcohol in Morocco?

You are free to drink in private or where alcohol is being served. Alcohol is widely sold in hotels, restaurants, bars, liquor stores, supermarkets and in tourist areas. However, drinking alcohol in the street or near religious places isn’t allowed.

  • Are there any specific rules to be respected in Morocco?

Morocco is a country known for its amazing hospitality! It is a moderate Muslim country in which certain rules and customs are to be respected: 

Avoid public displays of affection, particularly near religious places.

Entering a mosque is not allowed for non-Muslims. Photographing a mosque is usually acceptable, so long as you're not too close or appear to be photographing the interior.

Moroccans typically greet with a handshake but also often with two kisses between people of the same sex. You should extend your hand first if that makes you uncomfortable.

You will often be offered tea and snacks when entering shops or touristy locations. Feel free to politely decline if you do not wish to drink or eat.

  • Do I need vaccines?

Depending on your country of departure, a COVID vaccine may be required to enter Morocco.

If you are travelling from the US, a certificate of vaccination or a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entry into Morocco.

You can find the most updated COVID travel information HERE.

No other specific vaccines are required for travel to Morocco.

  • Do I need a power adapter for my electrical items?

In Morocco the power sockets are of type C (standard European plug) and E (French plug). The standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Morocco, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 - 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V - 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you need a voltage converter in Morocco. You can find voltage converters on Amazon. You can also consider a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter. The hotel provides power plug adapters upon request but does not provide voltage converters.

  • What is the tipping policy in Morocco?

Tipping in Morocco is customary, so you will be expected to leave a few dirhams in a number of places during your travels. There is no standard amount that you should always leave but here are a few examples:

Café 5 Dh

Bar 20-30 Dh

Simple restaurant / street food 10 Dh

Smarter restaurant 80-100 Dh

Hotel porter 20-50 Dh

Guardian for car parking 5-10 Dh

Guide / Driver 50-80 Dh

Spa 50-80 Dh

Even though it is customary to tip in Morocco, your generosity is completely up to you and is subject to your satisfaction. If you would like to tip, please base your tip off of the guide above, never ask the tippee how much they are expecting to receive.

  • How and where do I shop in Morocco?

Souks (markets) are a major feature of Moroccan life, and among the country’s greatest attractions. Every town has a Souk area in the medina (old section of the city). Each souk specializes in a certain type of product, like spices, traditional clothing, jewelry, leather goods, pottery, lamps, or carpets. Nowadays most souks overlap, and most medinas don't partition at all. We will be taking you on a guided tour of the Souks. Bargaining in the souks is a part of the Moroccan culture and you are expected to do so. So don’t be shy about driving the price down, but do it with a smile and a sense of good fun! Prices are fixed in malls, franchises, and stores outside of the souks.

Any questions? You can reach us at salam@qarryaretreats.com