When planning a trip abroad it is good to be aware of any requirements that the country you are visiting has in place, such as driving regulations and what type of passport or visas you might need in order to enter. On these pages you will find useful information about travelling to Morocco to help you prepare for your trip.
Ancient and modern, Arab and Berber, European and African, Morocco is all about baffling contrasts and cannot be easily explained. Best to leave all your assumptions home when you visit this captivating destination. Moroccans are, like their country, full of contrasts. They are extremely hospitable and very tolerant, yet when exploring less touristy and remote areas, you should keep in mind Morocco is a Muslim country which follows Islamic laws and customs so you should take care not to affront people’s religious beliefs by, for example, wearing skimpy clothes or eating in public during Ramadan.
The official Language of Morocco is Modern Standard Arabic although Moroccans speak their own Arabic dialect called Darija so Arabic phrasebooks are not always completely reliable. The other official language is the Berber language Tamazight. Many Moroccans can also speak French and you can get by using Spanish in the north of the country. Some of the most common Arabic phrases you may find useful to know when visiting are:
• As-salaam Alaykum – Hello (literally means peace be with you. The correct response is Wa Alaykum As-salaam
• Beslama – Good bye
• Iyah – Yes
• Lla – No
• Afek – Please
• Shukran – Thank you
• Tkellem Inglisi? – Do you speak English?
• للرجال حمام (Hamman lirrijal) / للنساء حمام (Hamman linnisa'a) – Gents / Ladies
English is increasingly spoken in the larger towns and tourist areas, though attempting basic greetings in the local language will be considered as polite and appreciated. We therefore recommend investing in a phrase book to help you during your stay.
The currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). You can enter or leave the country with up to 1000 MAD (approx. £80)
Banking hours are generally weekdays 0800 hrs to noon and 1400 hrs to 1600 hrs. They are reduced to 9am to 2pm in Ramadan and at hotter times of year
Credit Cards & ATM
ATMs are available in towns and cities.
Cash is the preferred method of payment across most of Morocco as very few traders have card facilities, though larger stores, hotels and other amenities are more likely to take payments on a card, usually Visa and Mastercard (AMEX is rarely accepted). There is often a small charge to cover this service. Always try and have some small change on you – ATMs usually dispense 100 and 200 dirham notes which can be quite hard to break and aren’t much good if you just wish to pay for something small such as a coffee or a taxi ride.
It’s a good idea to keep your receipt when buying dirhams as you’ll need it to convert any remaining dirham to your local currency before you leave. Please be aware – you won’t be able to change Scottish or Northern Ireland bank notes and it‘s also very difficult to exchange travellers’ cheques.