Morocco is a popular destination, attracting culture lovers, backpackers, adventure travelers, couples, families, foodies, and more to its four imperial cities: Marrakesh, Fes, Meknes, and Rabat. Rabat is the current capital city. Although a modern city at first glance, it has several interesting historical attractions, such as the Kasbah of the Oudaias, the old medina, and the Hassan Tower. The gleaming Royal Mausoleum is also well worth a visit. Known as the Red City, Marrakesh is famous for its old medina, numerous souks, ancient palaces like Badi Palace and Bahia Palace, the striking Koutoubia Mosque, the energetic Djemaa el-Fna, and the Saadian Tombs. The former capital of Fes boasts plenty of stunning architecture, though it is perhaps most known for its large tanneries and for being home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Meknes has one of the most impressive monumental gates in all of Morocco, Bab el-Mansour. Horse-drawn carriages are a great way to explore the charming and relaxed imperial city. Morocco has beaches along both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Popular holiday spots with foreign visitors include Tangier and Agadir, while Asilah attracts mainly locals and Spanish visitors. The vast Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert. There are several places in Morocco from where you can begin expeditions into the desert, and there are plenty of experienced operators offering trips to remember.
The country welcomes an ever-increasing number of medical tourists each year, many of which travel for Breast Cancer Treatment procedures. Medical Tourists travel from all across the globe, particularly from neighboring African countries with an inferior healthcare system. Casablanca and Marrakesh are the popular cities and they mostly cater to dentistry and plastic surgery requirements
Popular Parts of Morocco
Morocco, with a population of over 35 million people, is known to be magical and chaotic. The country is very diverse, from Saharan Dunes, High Atlas, ancient medinas, friendly locals to traditional life; Morocco has everything for every tourist.
Marrakesh is also known as the red city because of its famous red walls, plazas, and alleys. It has a beautiful medina (old town) where tourists can wander around, be amazed by the historical city, and explore and shop in the souks. Visit Djamaa el-Fina and find street performers, musicians, and tattoo artists.
Fez is considered as Morocco’s cultural and spiritual center. The city is filled with museums, mosques, palaces, and fountains. The most popular attraction is the medina, tourists can explore the tiny streets and find an array of street vendors. Remember to try the amazing local cuisine and stay away from wandering down empty streets.
Tangier is located in northwestern Morocco on the Maghreb coast. It offers a breathtaking waterfront where you can see the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city is known to be Europe’s gateway to Africa. It has a fascinating cultural landscape as well as an inviting literary and artistic past.
Casablanca is the biggest city and the least popular tourist’ destination in Morocco. But the city is actually full of hidden gems. From Art Deco architecture, beaches, markets, to history and culture, tourists will find many amazing things to see here.
Rabat is often overlooked by tourists. It is the political and administrative capital of Morocco that offers plenty of charm. Tourists are free to roam around the Tower of Hassan, enjoy a day at the calm beach, or admire the big medina.
Weather and Climate in Morocco
Morocco’s climate is generally moderate and subtropical with cool breezes from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Temperature varies greatly depending on region and altitude. Summer lasts from June to August and is often really hot. Winter comes in November and ends in January. It is the wettest and coldest season in the country. The best time to visit is in Spring and Autumn where the weather is warm and pleasant.
The coastal regions have nice weather throughout the year, the Winter has mild temperature and although the temperature will rise in the Summer, it’s not too hot. The High Atlas Mountains can be visited all year round but the Winter can get really cold. There will be snow on the peaks during Winter. The summer can be a little too hot for any long-distance hike.
Getting Around in Morocco
Morocco’s main gateway is Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport. The airport is located in Nouaceur Province and is the busiest airport in the country. It is the hub for Air Arabia Maroc, Royal Air Maroc. It serves domestic and international flights to and from many cities in the Middle East, Europe and America. Major and budget airlines operate flights from this airport. Other important airports include Menara airport in Marrakesh, Fes–Saïss in Fez, Ibn Batouta International in Tangier.
There are several options for tourists to travel to downtown Casablanca. Buses are affordable, a single ticket costs 20.00 MAD. It will take around 45 minutes to get to the city center. There’s also a bus line that will take tourists to Rabat.
Casablanca Airport has an underground train station that connects to Mers Sultan, Casa Port, Casa-Voyageurs or L’Oasis. The total trip time to downtown Casablanca is 45 minutes. The trains operate from 06.00 am to 10.00 pm.
Taxis are the most convenient mean of transportation, but they’re also more expensive than trains and buses. The base fare is around 250.00 MAD to 300.00 MAD (25 to 30 USD). Always avoid non-authorized taxis because they are known to overcharge. Refuse to board a taxi with broken or turned off meters. Remember that Casablanca official taxis are painted in white.
The most efficient and affordable way to get around Morocco is by the intercity buses. The most popular operators are Supratours, CTM, SATAS, and Ghazala. A ride from Marrakesh to Casablanca is around 4 hours and should cost 90 MAD (9 USD).
Morocco’s national rail network is operated by ONCF and connects major cities like Marrakesh, Casablanca, Fez, and Rabat. The trains are usually on-time and comfortable. First class tickets cost about 45 MAD (5 USD) per hour and the second class tickets cost around 30 MAD (3 USD).
Tourist Visas in Morocco
Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the European Union, Britain, Japan, and South Africa do not need a visa to enter the country. Citizens of 66 countries can enter and stay in Morocco for up to 90 days. Citizens of Republic of the Congo, Guinea, and Mali do not require a visa but must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization in advance.
It is recommended to check the current regulations with the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in your country. All visitors must hold a passport valid for over 6 months at the entry date.
Local Currency: The official currency if Moroccan Dirham (MAD). The exchange rate from 1 USD is 9.70 MAD.
Money & Payments: Tourists can find many ATMs spread around the country and they are the easiest way to access money. Credit cards are accepted in top-end hotels and restaurants. Always carry some cash with you. Many Moroccan riads will accept euros. Tipping can sometimes be mandatory. It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers, but it is polite to do so.
Local Language: There are two official languages in Morocco; Modern Standard Arabic and Amazigh (Berber). French is widely understood and spoken in the country. Many people in the northern and southern parts of the country can speak Spanish. English is not widely spoken but some people in tourist and urban areas can speak English. Most street signs are written in Arabic and French.
Local Culture and Religion: The majority of Morocco’s population follows Islam. Christianity, Judaism, and Baha’i Faith are freely practiced. The country has a conservative dress code. Avoid wearing revealing clothes regardless of the season.
Public Holidays: Islam religious holidays are celebrated in Morocco. The country hosts several annual festivals such as Marathon des Sables, Kelaa-des-Mgouna Rose Festival, and Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival.