Have questions about Marrakesh/Morocco? You’re not alone! Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you get the information you need:
A Visa isn’t necessary to travel to Morocco for US and EU citizens. You will need to hold a US or EU Passport that has at least one blank page and is valid for a minimum of 3 months after your stay in Morocco.
Other than an approved Covid-19 vaccine, special immunizations are not required for travel to Morocco. However, we recommend that you check the CDC website for general guidelines regarding routine vaccinations they suggest that you are up-to-date with before traveling.
A valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate is currently required for intercity travel in Morocco.
Marrakech Menara International Airport (RAK) is your final flight destination in Morocco.
If you are an adventurous person, then the answer is a resounding YES! Local Medina maps are available but there are really no street signs, so the best way to acclimate yourself is by sight-remembering landmarks as you pass and feeling more and more comfortable and confident each day. PRO travel tip: if you need directions, ask a shop owner. Ignore random guys on the street that will offer to lead you somewhere, and then ask for a big “tip”.
ALSO! There is a navigation app Maps.me that will give you GPS capabilities with offline maps you can download to track your position as you move around the Medina. It works well 90% of the time, though you may lose the signal in the deep part of the souks.
Contact your phone carrier to see if you can get service in Morocco and possibly get set up for Global Roaming. Otherwise wifi is available in most businesses, making it easy to communicate using Facetime, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. Make sure to turn off data roaming or leave your phone on Airplane Mode to avoid unexpected charges.
In Morocco the voltage is 220V, 50Hz (two-pin round plugs) commonly used in European countries.) Laptops and electronics from USA or Europe will usually work in Morocco without currency converters, assuming access to an electric plug adapter.
To be honest, it can be challenging. The historic Marrakech Medina is a network of small streets and alleys and very few areas are open to car access. This means that traveling around the Medina requires a LOT of walking-between souk shopping, visiting historic sites, and going to local restaurants. The closest car drop off point to Maison 28 is a 7-minute walk to the house, so if you are planning a trip to Marrakech be prepared to spend a lot of time walking.
Also, important to note is that most Riad/guest houses and restaurants are designed on 3 levels: ground floor, first floor, second floor, and then roof terrace so be prepared to climb a lot of stairs to get the full Moroccan experience.
Weather is unpredictable now more than ever. Generally speaking, the most moderate temperatures are October-November and March-May with high daily averages in the low 70’s to low 80’s. Mid-June through Mid-September has the hottest temperatures and December-February has the lowest temperatures and highest likelihood of precipitation.
Morocco is a Muslim-majority country, and women here generally dress more modestly than western women. However, acceptable styles of dress vary widely depending on where you are in the country. In the mountain, desert, and rural villages society is more religiously conservative and women dress accordingly.
In the larger cities, including the most tourist city of Marrakech, you may find many women dressed in very western (and revealing) fashions, whether they are tourists or locals. Some women cover their faces, some just cover their hair, and some cover neither. There a no mandated rules for dressing or covering up body parts in Morocco and all manner of dress is tolerated, but we encourage people to respect the culture and religion by wearing comfortable clothes that don’t over-expose.
The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). It is a closed currency, meaning it can only be found in the country, so you can only exchange dollars for dirhams once inside Morocco. There will be a currency exchange booths in the baggage claim area in Marrakech when you but the exchange rates are better in the city. You can access ATMs throughout Marrakech and there are a few within walking distance of Maison 28. You can use both credit cards and ATM cards at the bank machines, as long as you know your PIN CODE.
The official language of is Moroccan Arabic (Darija) and also Tamazight. As Morocco was a French colony until the 1950’s French is the recognized language for business and higher education.
As tourism is a major supporter of the Moroccan economy, especially in Marrakech, you will find that many people in the tourism and hospitality industries will speak multiple languages, including French, English, Spanish, and German.
Marrakech and Morocco is generally very safe for women and tourists in general. Practice the same precautions you would in any tourist area. Walk with a friend if possible, wear a closed cross-body handbag, be aware of your surroundings, don’t wave your phone around, and ignore solicitations from “false guides”.
Safety is why Morocco is a favored destination in North Africa, as crimes committed against tourists are extremely low (and severely punished by Moroccan law). However, you should always check your state department website before traveling to any country.
Alcohol is prohibited in the Muslim religion, but that is not to say that it’s not available in Morocco. In fact, alcohol is served in many restaurants and bars in Marrakech. Alcohol can also be purchased locally at liquor stores and grocery stores. Alcohol is generally more expensive in Morocco than in other countries because it is mostly imported and also because a high “sin” tax is applied to discourage local consumption. Foreign visitors are allowed to bring in 2 bottles each from foreign Duty-Free airport shops, or 1 bottle only from the Duty-Free shop in the Marrakech airport baggage claim area.
Fun fact: both beer and wine are produced in the country. The most famous beer is called Casablanca, and the wine quality varies, but there are some quite good table wines available, and also working winery with a tasting room/restaurant very close to the town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast.