Ancient city of Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
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Ancient city of Ait Benhaddou, Morocco

© 123rf.com/Craig Jakich

Morocco Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

716,550 km sq (including disputed Western Sahara).

Population

36.47 million (2020).

Population density

83 per km sq.

Capital

Rabat.

Government

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state

King Mohammed VI since 1999.

Head of government

Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch since 2021.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are standard.

Known for its incredible cultural riches, Morocco has fascinated travellers for centuries. The name usually conjures up images of sprawling souks, walled medinas and towering minarets calling Muslims to prayer.

Morocco's biggest drawing card is Marrakech (also spelt Marrakesh), a vibrant city that Winston Churchill once described as "simply the nicest place on Earth to spend an afternoon." This sentiment still rings true for many travellers today.

But Morocco is more than just Marrakech. Tangier, in the north, sits just 13km (8mi) away from Gibraltar and is characterised by its whitewashed buildings and sandy beaches. Further down the Atlantic coast, you will soon come across Morocco's capital city Rabat, cosmopolitan Casablanca, atmospheric Essaouira, and the lively beach resort of Agadir, the latter is a firm favourite among sun-seekers and surfers. Inland, Fes (also spelt Fez) is a well-preserved medieval city famed for its high-walled medina. Talking about medinas, which essentially mean old walled towns, it is worth mentioning that the medinas of Essaouira, Fes, Marrakech and Tétouan are all on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

Beyond the cities, awesome landscapes await. Like an elongated spine, the Atlas Mountains run from the southwest to the centre of Morocco, before extending eastward to Algeria and Tunisia. These rugged landscapes offer spectacular scenery from deep gorges, verdant valleys to snow-capped peaks. People come here to trek, bike, or scale Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The areas are also home to the Berber people, whose unique culture, crafts and costumes make for a fascinating visit.

While Morocco is generally a safe country to visit, travellers interested in the disputed territory of Western Sahara should seek the latest travel advice from their own government before departing. This sparsely-populated territory, which sits in the south of Morocco and northwest of Mauritania, is partly controlled by Morocco, a claim that the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), whose government is in exile in Algeria, disagrees. The sovereignty issue remains a sensitive subject.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Morocco on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

With effect from 15 June, direct flights between the UK and Morocco resume. You will need to provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the second dose administered at least two weeks prior to travel, or a negative PCR test result before boarding your flight or ferry to Morocco. The result must show that the PCR test itself was undertaken no more than 48 hours before boarding. For travel by ferry, you will also need to take a COVID-19 test during the journey. Children under the age of 11 years old are exempt from the PCR testing requirement for entry into Morocco.

On arrival to Morocco, you will be asked to present a completed Public Health Passenger form. You can print a copy in advance of travelling.

Travellers transiting through third countries should ensure they consult FCDO Travel Advice for that country for the latest COVID-19 related travel and transit guidance.

British nationals in Morocco who require consular assistance should call the British Embassy on + 212 (0) 537 63 33 33 and follow the voice menu for “option 4 - consular assistance”.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Morocco.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Morocco

State of Health Emergency

A state of health emergency has been in place in Morocco since 20 March 2020.

With effect from 1 October 2021, the new curfew hours last from 11 pm to 5 am. Exceptions apply for emergency cases only. Public and private gatherings are permitted up to a maximum of 50 people. Hammams, public swimming pools and sports facilities are permitted to operate at 50% capacity, and restaurants, coffee shops, shops and supermarkets must close at 11pm.

Travelling around Morocco is permitted, subject to presentation of a vaccine pass or authorisation to travel (exceptional certificate of movement). You should contact the nearest local authority to check if you are required to obtain an exceptional certificate of movement, which can be provided by your local Wilaya.

People who have received two vaccine shots through Morocco’s national vaccination scheme are able to download a vaccine pass, which enables holders to travel within and outside Morocco without restrictions, including during curfew hours. The document contains a QR code, which can be stored in digital format or printed. The NHS COVID Pass will also be accepted as proof of vaccination. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’)

The wearing of face masks in public spaces remains mandatory.

Further local restrictions may be applied by local authorities in cities/prefectures/provinces or in some cases in certain neighbourhoods.

Failing to respect the rules can lead to a prison sentence of up to three months or a fine of up to MAD 1300.

Healthcare in Morocco

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact the Moroccan hotline COVID-19 numbers: 0801004747 OR 141 OR 300. If you need help with translation, you should call +212 (0) 537 63 33 33

Local approach to testing:

  • if you were in contact with a suspected or confirmed C-19 case;
  • if you show any symptoms;
  • if your company requires it.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers .

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

If you have a British issued medical prescription and would like to get medication in Morocco, you will need to contact the nearest pharmacy. If the medication does not exist in Morocco, the pharmacy will then ask you to get another prescription from local doctors to provide you with an alternative medication that exists in the country. Pharmacies are available in every city and district and can be accessed 24/7. To find out the pharmacy that is closest to your area, please consult the following website: http://dmp.sante.gov.ma/pharmacies

View Health for further details on healthcare in Morocco

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Morocco

We will update this page when the Government of Morocco announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Moroccan national vaccination programme started in January 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines. The Government of Morocco has stated that British nationals resident in Morocco are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. The Moroccan authorities have issued guidance on how to get a vaccine in Morocco (only available in French or Arabic). The guidance includes information on how you can register if you live in Morocco.

If you do not speak French or Arabic and need support accessing the vaccination campaign, you can call “Allo Liqah Corona” on: +212 (0)8 0000 0147 where English-speaking operators are also available.

You must possess a Moroccan residence card to access the vaccine programme. If you are resident in Morocco but have not formalised this with the Moroccan authorities, you can find advice on our living in Morocco page .

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Morocco, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Help and support

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

The British Embassy Rabat is now open for consular appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Political situation

On the 20 March, Morocco entered a State of Health Emergency. Internal movement can be subject to restrictions. See Coronavirus

Protests can occur at short notice across the country and are generally heavily policed. Demonstrations are mostly peaceful but there have been isolated incidents of violence.

You should follow local and international developments in the media and take sensible security precautions. Avoid political gatherings and demonstrations. Always observe instructions given by the local security authorities.

Crime

Incidents of violent crime occasionally occur.

There have been incidents involving the use of knives against tourists in street attacks, thefts and burglaries in the major cities and along beaches, where you should avoid quiet areas and be vigilant at all times, particularly after dark. Don’t carry large amounts of money or valuables around with you.

Petty crime is common, especially in tourist areas like the medina quarter of towns/cities and on beaches. Crimes include pick-pocketing, bag snatching and drive-by motorcycle theft of visible jewellery and handbags. Be vigilant when asking for directions and using ATMs as crime and aggressive begging can occur. Credit card fraud and scams like substituting inferior goods for those that were actually bought are common. You should remain vigilant and alert to potential confidence tricks.

When visiting the medina quarter of a town or city, make sure any guide you use is operating with the agreement of the local tourist authorities, and displays an official badge. Harassment of tourists by people posing as official tourist guides is common.

Women should exercise caution particularly when travelling alone as they could be vulnerable to unwanted attention or harassment by men.

Exercise caution when travelling to Morocco for a relationship initiated via the internet. There have been incidents of marriage fraud and attempted extortion affecting foreign nationals. When travelling for a first visit, make sure you keep your return ticket, passport and personal belongings safe in case problems arise.

Road travel

On the 20 March, Morocco entered a State of Health Emergency and road travel between cities can be subject to restrictions. See Coronavirus

You can drive in Morocco with a valid UK driving license for up to one year. You can also drive with a valid International Driving Permit for up to one year of your temporary stay in Morocco. From 28 March 2019, you will need to have a 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Morocco. 1949 IDPs previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted for use in Morocco after this date. From 1 February 2019, you can only get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

For any longer periods you need to apply for a Moroccan Driving License as per laws and guidelines set by the Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport and Logistics.

A green card is proof that you have vehicle insurance when driving abroad. You need to carry a green card to prove you have the minimum insurance cover in Morocco.

If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel.

Morocco has a poor road safety record. In 2018, 3,485 people were killed and approximately 100,000 injured in traffic accidents. The road fatality rate is approximately 9 times higher than in the UK.

Drive carefully, especially in poor weather conditions, on secondary routes and on mountain roads. Driving at night can be particularly hazardous due to poor lighting. Lorries and trucks may be overloaded and you should take extra care around them. It’s common to encounter pedestrians crossing motorways. You should take extra care when overtaking, particularly where there is no hard shoulder. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination and respect speed limits.

If you’re involved in a road accident, you should complete a ‘Constat Amiable’ form, to be signed by both parties. Blank forms are available on arrival at Tangier port from the insurance company booths and from tobacconists in all cities.

If you’re involved in a road accident resulting in a fatality and the Moroccan authorities consider you responsible, you may be detained pending a trial hearing.

If you enter Morocco with a vehicle, the registration number will be recorded. If you’re not in possession of the same vehicle when leaving Morocco, you’ll be refused exit and detained. You’ll need to provide evidence of adequate motor insurance. You should always carry your insurance, license and registration documents with you.

Public Transport

Public transport may be affected by local restrictions put in place at short notice.

Hiking

If you’re planning to hike on Mount Toubkal or on other mountains in Morocco, seek local advice and take necessary precautions, including safe camp arrangements. Trekking or camping alone can be dangerous, consider joining a group or hiring a registered guide. Crime is also a risk.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Morocco.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

Two foreign nationals were murdered while hiking near Mount Toubkal in December 2018. Moroccan authorities arrested four individuals in connection with the murders, including one individual they say had links to “an extremist group”, following the release on social media including Daesh affiliated media of a video apparently showing one of the murders.

There is an increased threat linked to the number of Moroccans sympathetic or belonging to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and other extremist groups. Authorities regularly report the disruption of terrorist cells across the country. Crowded areas, government installations, transportation networks, businesses with Western interests, and areas where foreign nationals and tourists are known to gather may be at higher risk of attack. You should be vigilant in these areas and follow any specific advice of the local security authorities.

Protective security measures, including security personnel, may be visible in certain areas, including hotels and sites popular with tourists.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Kidnap

There have been no recent instances of kidnapping of foreign nationals in Morocco, although they cannot be ruled out. There is a threat of kidnapping by groups operating in North Africa, particularly from Libya, Mauritania and groups originating in the Sahel. This includes Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-IM) and Daesh-affiliated groups, who may travel across the region’s porous border. There is a heightened risk of kidnap in border and remote desert areas of North Africa. Terrorist groups have kidnapped foreigners, government officials and civilians in the region for financial gain and for political leverage. Further kidnaps in the wider region are likely.

Those engaged in tourism, humanitarian aid work, journalism or business sectors are viewed as legitimate targets. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) also makes payments to terrorists illegal.

On the 20 March 2020, Morocco entered a State of Health Emergency and internal movement restrictions have been imposed. See coronarvirus

Morocco is a Muslim country which follows Islamic laws and customs. Be aware of your actions to ensure they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. See Travelling during Ramadan.

Avoid public displays of affection, particularly outside the main tourist areas and near religious places.

Sexual relations outside marriage are punishable by law. It’s not uncommon for hotels to ask couples to show evidence of marriage at the time of check-in, and if such evidence is not available, to insist on separate rooms.

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Morocco. Be sensitive to local laws and customs and avoid public displays of affection. Complaints can lead to prosecution. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Women, especially when travelling alone, may receive unwanted attention from men. To minimise hassle, you may choose to wear loose-fitting clothing which cover the arms, legs and chest. See our information and advice page for women before you travel.

Alcohol is served in licensed hotels, bars and in tourist areas. However, drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar isn’t allowed and can lead to arrest.

Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a heavy fine.

If you’re travelling to Morocco to marry a Moroccan national, make sure you have the correct documentation.

It’s illegal in Morocco to send passports through the post. British passports sent to or through Morocco by post or courier companies will be confiscated by the Moroccan authorities.

It is against the law to carry bibles in Arabic, to attempt to distribute any non-Muslim or evangelical literature, or to be involved in any such activity.

Avoid taking any photographs near sensitive political or military sites.

You’ll need permission from the authorities to fly a drone. Contact the Moroccan Civil Aviation Authority for more information about the rules. In 2016, a number of British nationals were fined and had their passports confiscated for flying drones without permission.

It’s illegal to possess pornographic material.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Morocco set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Entry and borders

On 15 June, direct flights between the UK and Morocco resumed. You will need to provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the second dose administered at least two weeks prior to travel, or a negative PCR test result before boarding your flight or ferry to Morocco. The result must show that the PCR test itself was undertaken no more than 48 hours before boarding. For travel by ferry, you will also need to take a COVID-19 test during the journey. Children under the age of 11 years old are exempt from the PCR testing requirement for entry into Morocco.

On arrival to Morocco, you will be asked to present a completed Public Health Passenger form. You can print a copy in advance of travelling.

Travellers transiting through third countries should ensure they consult FCDO Travel Advice for that country for the latest COVID-19 related travel and transit guidance.

British nationals in Morocco who require consular assistance should call the British Embassy on + 212 (0) 537 63 33 33 and follow the voice menu for “option 4 - consular assistance”.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Morocco will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record at the border. For details on how to demonstrate your COVID-19 status in domestic settings in Morocco, see the Coronavirus page. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Visas

The Moroccan authorities have advised foreigners on visit visas to return home. British nationals are able to book tickets on the special commercial flights operated by Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and Air Arabia.

British citizens with expired visas who are unable to return home should seek to regularise their status with the Moroccan authorities as soon as they can.

You can regularise your stay by applying for residency in Morocco. Visit servicepublic.ma for further information.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Morocco for the purpose of tourism for up to 3 months.

When entering the country, make sure your passport is stamped. Some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Morocco. However, the Moroccan Consulate General in London advise that your passport should be valid for at least 3 months on your date of entry to Morocco. If your passport does not meet this requirement you may face difficulties and you should check with the Moroccan authorities and your travel provider before travelling.

Before travelling, make sure your passport isn’t damaged. Some travellers have been refused entry when travelling on damaged passports.

Moroccan citizens who reside in the UK and travel to Morocco, may not be allowed to return to the UK unless they present evidence of their UK immigration status. This can include their UK biometric residence permit card or a valid UK entry clearance.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry to, airside transit, and exit from, Morocco.

Western Sahara

See our travel advice for Western Sahara if you plan to travel to this disputed territory.

Algerian border

The land border between Algeria and Morocco is closed. Don’t attempt to cross it.

Arriving by private boat

If you’re arriving by private boat, you must enter the country at a recognised port of entry. Entry through other ports will be considered illegal.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. Moroccan Customs don’t have a list of prohibited products, but they do advise anyone travelling with prescription medication to make sure they have a copy of the doctor’s prescription which covers the medication and quantity carried. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you should contact the Moroccan Embassy.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

Henna tattoos are common in Morocco. Some henna tattoos contain the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which can cause a painful allergic reaction including swelling and an itchy rash in some people.

Local medical care

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 150 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Morocco is in an earthquake zone. Minor earthquakes occur occasionally. A strong earthquake hit northern Morocco around the port town of Al Hoceima in 2004, killing more than 600 people. Familiarise yourself with general safety procedures in the event of an earthquake and take note of any instructions in hotel rooms.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Heavy rain can cause flash flooding in some areas, particularly in the mountains or near rivers during winter months. Walking and driving can be dangerous in flooded areas. If flooding does occur in your area, listen to local media and follow the instructions of the local authorities.

Most major credit cards are accepted in the larger towns. ATMs are widely available in cities and most of the main towns. There is no limit on the amount of foreign cash you can bring in to the country. You won’t be able to change Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes and it‘s very difficult to exchange travellers’ cheques.

The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is non-convertible. You can import or export up to a maximum of 2,000 MAD to or from Morocco.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.