When traveling to a foreign country, it is important to be aware of the customs and traditions of that country. Morocco is a country full of culture and history. While it can be an amazing place to visit, there are some things you should avoid doing in order to have a good time and avoid any hassle.
In this blog post, we will discuss all the things a tourist should never ever do in Morocco!
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Don’t Do These Things In Morocco
Don’t take pictures of people without asking
With all of the stunning scenery in Morocco, it can be tempting to want to take photos of everything. However, it is important to remember that some people in Morocco may feel uncomfortable having their photos taken without permission.
If you want to take a picture of someone, be sure to ask first and be respectful of their wishes if they say no.
It is also important to know that in some places people charge money for pictures. For example, snake charmers and monkey handlers. These guys would not allow you to take pics of their animals for free.
Don’t wear revealing clothing
While Morocco is a relatively liberal country, it is still important to dress modestly. In general, it is best to avoid wearing revealing clothing, especially if you are visiting religious sites.
If you want to stay cool in the heat, consider wearing loose, light-colored clothing. We wrote a whole blog post on what to wear in Morocco, which you can check out for more information.
Don’t show affection in public
In Morocco, it is considered inappropriate to show affection in public. This includes kissing and hugging. It’s okay to hold hands and cheek kiss, but avoid anything more than that.
Don’t enter religious sites if you’re not Muslim
If you’re not Muslim, you are not allowed to enter most mosques in Morocco and trying to do so will probably result in a lot of hassle.
There are, however, a few mosques that non-Muslims are allowed to enter, such as the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, but it is still best to dress modestly and respect the religious customs.
Do some research before you visit to see if the mosque you’re interested in visiting allows non-Muslims.
Don’t be too friendly with strangers
While Morocco is generally a safe country, it is always best to be cautious when traveling to any new place. Avoid being too friendly with strangers and be sure to keep your belongings close to you at all times.
If someone does approach you and asks for money or help, it is best to politely decline and move on.
Don’t be offended if someone refuses your handshake
In Morocco and for muslims in general, it is not customary for women to shake hands with men. If a man extends his hand to you and you are a woman, it is perfectly acceptable to just smile and say “hello” without shaking his hand. And If you are a man and someone refuses to shake your hand, don’t be offended. Just smile and say “hello” instead.
Don’t eat and drink in Public during Ramadan
If you are visiting Morocco during the month of Ramadan, be aware that Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink in public during the daytime hours.
As a tourist, you can still eat and drink in public, but it is considered polite to avoid doing so in front of those who are fasting. So the best thing to do is look for cafes and restaurants that cater for tourists during Ramadan.
Don’t trust people offering help
Getting lost in the souks or Medinas is a part of the authentic Moroccan experience. If you need directions, it’s best to ask a police officer or someone working at your hotel rather than a random person on the street.
But when you get lost and there is nobody you can trust to show you the way, try and ask shop owners and old men or women. And if someone approaches you offering help that’s when you should be careful. There have been reports of people offering help to tourists only to demand money after.
Sometimes this help could be something small like helping to carry your bag out of a taxi. It’s best not to allow any stranger to touch your belongings.
Don’t walk with your phone in your hands
While it may be tempting to want to document your every move while in Morocco, it is important to remember that walking around with your phone in your hand can make you a target for thieves.
Keep your phone in your pocket or bag when you’re not using it, and only take it out when you need to take a photo or make a call.
Don’t carry too much money with you
Having a credit card in Morocco is recommended but not every place will accept them so it’s best to have some cash on hand as well. However, you should avoid carrying too much money with you as it can make you a target for thieves.
When possible, leave your valuables, including extra cash and jewelry, in a safe place at your hotel or riad.
As for the money you are carrying, it is best to keep it in a money belt or hidden pocket, and only take out what you need for the day.
Don’t disrespect Islam or the Moroccan culture
Morocco is a Muslim country and it is important to respect the Islam religion and the local customs and culture.
Avoid anything that could be considered disrespectful, such as making negative comments about Islam or the Moroccan way of life. It’s also important to avoid being too loud or rowdy in public, as this can also be seen as disrespectful.
And finally, don’t forget to take your shoes off when entering a mosque (that allows non-Muslims) or someone’s home!
Don’t take your drone to Morocco
Morocco has strict laws regarding drones, and it is not worth the hassle of getting in trouble with the law or having your drone confiscated.
If you really want to bring your drone, it is best to get a permit in advance from the Moroccan Civil Aviation Authority.
Don’t drink alcohol in public
Drinking alcohol in public is not allowed in Morocco and you will be fined if caught.
Alcohol is only served in licensed restaurants, hotels, and bars, so if you want to drink alcohol it is best to do so in one of these places.
Don’t take pictures of military personnel or government buildings
There are some places where it is not allowed to take photos, such as military installations and government buildings. Some of these buildings are the King’s palaces.
So if you see a sign that says no photos, it’s best to respect the rules and not take any pictures. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re allowed to take photos in a certain place, it’s always best to ask first.
Don’t walk around in beachwear (away from the beach)
While it is perfectly acceptable to wear beachwear at the beach, it is not appropriate to walk around in public places like this. If you want to go for a walk or explore the city, be sure to change into some more modest clothing first.
Don’t limit your Morocco holiday to Marrakech
Don’t miss out on all that Morocco has to offer by limiting yourself to just one city! While Marrakech is a great city and definitely worth visiting, there is so much more to see in Morocco.
From the stunning beaches of Essaouira to the Sahara Desert, there is something for everyone in this country. Do some research and plan your trip so that you can see as much of the country as possible.
Don’t except Casablanca to be like ‘the movie’
The movie Casablanca is set in the city of the same name, but it is important to remember that this is just a Hollywood film and not an accurate portrayal of what the city is actually like.
If you’re expecting to meet Humphrey Bogart, you’re going to be disappointed. While Casablanca is a great city, it doesn’t have the same old Hollywood charm that the movie portrays.
However, what you can experience in Casablanca that has something to do with the movie is visiting Rick’s Cafe. This cafe was actually inspired by the movie and is a great place to try some great food and listen to live music.
Don’t expect everyone to speak English
English is becoming more and more common in Morocco, but it is still not the main language. Many people in smaller towns and villages will only speak Arabic or Berber.
It can be helpful to learn some basic phrases in Arabic or Berber before you visit but don’t expect everyone to be able to understand you.
Don’t forget to enjoy your time in Morocco!
Despite all the things you shouldn’t do in Morocco, it is still an amazing and welcoming country.
So be sure to follow the rules and respect the local culture, and you’re sure to have a great time! Just don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
Do you have any tips for avoiding embarrassment and hassle in Morocco? Share them with us in the comments below!
SHARING IS CARING!