Morocco Feature



Is Morocco safe?

Despite recent political unrest, Morocco continues to be a safe and popular tourist destination for international travelers. Throughout the country, modern tourist facilities and transportation are widely available. Though pickpockets can be problematic in bustling public areas, souks, and beaches, violent crime is relatively rare in Morocco. Female visitors, especially those traveling alone, may face irritating harassment from vendors or unwanted attention from local men; though this attention is rarely dangerous, it's best to avoid eye contact, ignore the pestering, and walk away briskly as you would anywhere in the world. Travel to remote regions of the country poses no particular safety risks; however, it's best to travel with a qualified guide. Unfortunately, at this writing, the potential for terrorist violence—particularly against U.S. interests and citizens—remains elevated.

Is the water safe to drink?

Though Moroccan tap water is relatively safe, tourists should still drink bottled or boiled water and avoid drinking from public fountains. Resist the temptation to add ice to room-temperature beverages. Brushing your teeth with tap water is usually okay.

How conservatively should I dress?

In larger cities, Morocco continues to be at a crossroad between traditional and modern culture, but still tolerant of foreign influences. As a visitor, it's best to respect the locals with proper attire. Men should wear short- or long-sleeved shirts with long pants. Women should always cover their legs and shoulders. Very short skirts, shorts, and tank tops will offend Moroccans, especially in smaller villages. Beachwear is strictly for the beach or private pools.

Do I need to speak Arabic?

Basic knowledge of Arabic and French phrases will get you far since these are Morocco's official languages. Many locals speak Moroccan Arabic dialect with rural Berber roots, with English heard more often in shops, hotels, and restaurants in larger towns.

Is it possible to drink wine, beer, or alcohol here?

Although alcohol is forbidden by Islam, it is readily available in restaurants, bars, and hotels classified with three stars or more. Supermarkets also sell wine and spirits to foreigners with proper identification, except during the holy days of Ramadan.

How much should I tip?

Tipping between 10% and 15% is customary. Keep on hand small bills and coins for attendants, taxi drivers, and servers. Guides expect about 100 DH per each hour hired. If someone helps you find your way back to your hotel, a tip of 10 DH should be offered.

Do I need a visa or vaccinations?

Americans on a typical vacation do not require visas, though everyone must carry a valid passport. There are no mandatory vaccinations required.

Can I use my cell phone and laptop in Morocco?

As long as international roaming is enabled on your quad-band GSM mobile phone, you should be able to make and receive calls, though you may pay a hefty surcharge for this service; data roaming is particularly expensive. If you want to use a Moroccan prepaid SIM card, ask your service provider to unlock your phone. Laptops work with a European French plug adapter. Wi-Fi is widely available, especially in hotels and cafés.

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