MOROCCO | When to Go, Where to Go and What to Bring? Practical Information
USEFUL INFO MOROCCO
Practical information to organize the trip with details about the best period to go, necessary documents, how to get around and much more.
WHEN TO GO to MOROCCO
Morocco can be visited all year round. However, the ideal time to go to Morocco is the months of April-May and September-October. In these periods the temperatures are perfect for outings in the desert, and pleasant for visiting the imperial cities, the Atlas and coastal areas. Don't forget that in the desert the temperature range can be very strong and the temperatures drop by several degrees.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED for MOROCCO
To enter Morocco you need a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months, at the time of leaving the country; Entry without a visa is allowed for tourist stays of a maximum duration of three months. For more information on this, we recommend you to consult the Farnesina website.
WHAT TO BRING in MOROCCO
Morocco is a fantastic country with lots of wonders to discover. To better enjoy your adventure to discover Morocco, here is a reminder of what to pack (indeed, we recommend a backpack if you are about to leave for an On The Road. It is more practical, more convenient when you have to reach the dispersed hotels. in the narrow alleys of the medinas and takes up less space in the car, especially if you are traveling in a group). So don't forget the essential:
Comfortable and resistant shoes
Mosquito repellent and hand sanitizer
Sunscreen and after-sun cream (especially in the summer months)
Swimsuit (for hammam or hotel with swimming pool)
Credit card just in case (remember to notify the bank that you will make withdrawals and payments abroad)
Photocopy of your passport in case of loss
Kit of basic medicines (Paracetamol, Anti-inflammatory, Intestinal antibiotic and broad spectrum antibiotic, Antidiarrheal, Lactic ferments and Patches)
Dress longer to visit religious sites
Warm clothes for cool evenings (especially in the desert)
Light clothes to withstand the heat
Smaller backpack / bag for camel ride and night in the desert
If you travel with a lot of medicines, remember to enclose your medical prescriptions
Morocco is a Muslim country. It is a good idea to adapt behavior and clothing to local uses and customs. In Muslim countries, the way of dressing is rather conservative and traditionalism is mainly reflected in clothing. Dressing in Morocco for men is certainly easier than for women, but both genders should avoid tank tops, t-shirts and shorts as well as tight fitting clothing. It is good to keep in mind that the legs and shoulders are considered intimate parts of the body and in most Moroccan cities both men and women should cover these areas. Most mosques in Morocco are off-limits to non-Muslim people. In mosques that you can enter (such as that of Hassan II in Casablanca) it is good to remember that special rules and regulations apply. It is not possible to enter during prayers and ceremonies, inside the mosques there are separate areas for men and women. Men must wear at least a short-sleeved shirt and pants below the knee, while women are required to have their arms and legs covered and to wear a scarf on their head. Finally, the shoes must be left outside. If you are a photography lover, remember to photograph people only and exclusively with their consent.
GAY FRIENDLY MOROCCO?
In Morocco, male and female homosexuality is considered a crime punishable by a fine and up to three years in prison. When visiting countries like Morocco, Discretion is the watchword. In reality, anyone, both straight and gay, should avoid public displays of affection. In fact, in these countries, kisses and effusions in public are behaviors not accepted by anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. In Muslim countries it often happens to see men hand in hand, but we must be careful not to misunderstand this gesture as a sign of homosexual relationship. Indeed, here it is considered as a gesture of friendship. Two Muslim men hand in hand do not arouse any surprise, it is different if two tourists do it; this is immediately interpreted as a homosexual gesture (If you want to deepen this aspect, we leave you the link to our article on homosexuality in the United Arab Emirates).
Some cities in Morocco are more "gay friendly" than others, although there are no openly LGBT clubs in Morocco. Marrakech and Tangier are certainly among them, so much so that in the past Tangier was known as "Queer Tangier".
That said, homosexuality, especially male, is a very common aspect in Morocco even if, of course, it is not experienced openly.
The most famous dating apps are used regularly, even if not explicitly (if you open Grindr you will only find bodies without heads) and unfortunately, given the poverty, there are many young people who sell their bodies in exchange for money.
In our opinion, any tourist, whether straight or gay, should consider the traditions, customs and habits of the country where he arrives in order to visit it in total safety and serenity.
LOCAL CURRENCY in MOROCCO
The Dirham is the currency used in Morocco, abbreviated to Dh, and can only be exchanged once you arrive in the North African country since it is a so-called restricted currency and therefore not available abroad (importing and exporting the dirham is prohibited). To make the change you can contact the Bureau de Change upon your arrival at the airport, at the banks or at the hotel, or decide to withdraw at one of the ATMs. The Moroccan currency is divided into 100 cents, but they are not widely used, and the coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 while the banknotes are in denominations of 10dh, 20dh, 50dh, 100dh and 200dh. Just to know, 1 Euro is approx a little bit more then 10 Dh. Most hotels and large shops accept major credit cards such as Visa, Master Card and American Express, sometimes even in the markets you can pay by credit card, but if your destination is a small hotel, maybe in the south of Morocco, don't expect them to be accepted (taken from morocco.org). ATMs are the fastest and easiest way to get money in Morocco. They are everywhere, even in small towns, and usually accept all types of cards. Our advice: before departure, inform your bank if you can withdraw abroad without problems and with the same pin you use in your country of origin.
CREDIT CARDS in MOROCCO
Most credit cards are accepted in Morocco for making payments. The main ones are Visa and Mastercard and a 5% surcharge is usually applied for payments by credit card.
LOCAL TIPS in MOROCCO
Baksheesh. This word indicates money paid in exchange for a service. Tipping in Morocco is an integral part of daily life, given the fact that an average salary in Morocco is less than 100 Dh per day. Our advice is to leave a tip of 10% -20% of the price if you are satisfied with the service offered.
BARGAIN in MOROCCO
Be prepared to bargain. The art of bargaining is a fundamental part of a trip to Morocco and in the various souqs (markets) it is unthinkable not to bargain. The first price you will be asked is generally very high compared to the actual value of the asset. A good rule of thumb is to offer a third of the initial request and start negotiating there. The Moroccan salesman is famous for being "nagging". In any case, even if you are no longer interested in buying, be courteous and respectful.
ELECTRICITY AND TIME ZONE in MOROCCO
In hotels and riads, the current is 220 volts, with sockets the same as in Italy. The most common sockets are round two-prong, but three-prong sockets are also found. In any case, we always recommend that you bring a universal adapter.
In Morocco there is an hour less than in Italy. The hands are set back two hours when daylight saving time is in force in Italy.
GETTING AROUND in MOROCCO
There are several possibilities for getting around Morocco. The main cities are well connected by trains. You can also explore Morocco by bus, cheaper than the train and perfect for reaching places not connected by rail. In any case, the best way to get around Morocco and discover its wonders is to rent a car. You can book the rental from the comfort of your home and collect your car upon arrival in Morocco. The main roads are generally in good condition and the cities are connected by toll highways: the A3 connects Casablanca and Rabat, the A1 connects Rabat and Tangier, the A2 Fez and Rabat, the A7 Marrakech and Casablanca. Road signs are written in Arabic and French and police checks are frequent (be careful not to exceed the speed limits and to drive in the dark when many pedestrians are walking along the streets). Finally, in Morocco you will see a lot of taxis (the most popular and very economical means of urban transport). There are two types: petite taxis make minor journeys within cities and in each city they have a different color (beige in Marrakesh, blue in Tangier, Red in Casablance and so on). In large cities, taxis are equipped with a taximeter (always ask to activate it), while in small cities, the fare is standard regardless of the route. The big taxis, on the other hand, are white and run out of town.
CHEAP CAR RENTAL in MOROCCO
To travel around Morocco you need a rental car. We have chosen to rely on DiscoverCars.com, the best car rental website where you can search, compare and save up to 70%, a real bargain right? They will help you choose the perfect car for your next trip, without having surprises of car delivery surcharges, and where it suits you best. Then just download their App to manage your booking wherever you are.
TRAVEL INSURANCE for MOROCCO
Before any trip it is good to take out insurance to cover any inconveniences that could ruin the experience. We always rely on HeyMondo which allows you to choose the right insurance for every need. We recommend that you always protect yourself with health insurance and coverage for any cancellations, delays and, if you use them, for theft or breakage of electronic equipment. Medical treatment in Morocco can be very expensive. Health insurance in this country is not mandatory by law but is strongly recommended; without it, even a routine visit can make you shell out staggering amounts.
You will get an immediate 10% discount
INTERNET & PHONE CALL in MOROCCO - eSIM CARD
How many times do we go abroad and the first thing we do is call home to say we have arrived. How often are we in a city on vacation and we need to find a place to eat using Google Maps or the internet. How many times do we need to send messages and photos on WhatsApp without spending a salary.
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This is a "new" technology and not all devices are compatible with it, but you can check which phones are already compatible with the eSIM at this link: https://esim.holafly.com/how-to/esim-phones.
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