A melting pot of Arabic, Berber and French culture Morocco is a North African country that packs a punch of unforgettable experiences. Famous for its storied old medinas, mint tea, ancient mosques, and delicious cuisine, there’s a world of wonder to discover in Morocco.
But you might be wondering… Morocco sure sounds amazing, but is Morocco safe?
Don’t worry, we are here to answer all of your questions! In this travel safety guide, you’ll find tips, advice, and an awesome coverage on how to visit Morocco safely.
Whether you are wondering if Morocco is safe to visit right now, or whether want to know if Morocco is safe for female tourists, traveling alone, or even to live in – this insider guide will answer all of your questions!
Table of Contents
- How Safe is Morocco? (Our Take)
- Morocco Travel Insurance
- 17 Top Safety Tips for Traveling to Morocco
- Is Morocco safe to travel alone?
- Is Morocco safe for women?
- Is Morocco safe to travel for families?
- Is it safe to drive in Morocco? Getting around Morocco
- Is the food in Morocco safe?
- Is Morocco safe to live in?
- Final thoughts on the safety of Morocco
How Safe is Morocco? (Our Take)
Is it safe to travel to Morocco? Overall, Morocco is safe for travel.
In 2017, over 10 million people visited Morocco, making it the most visited country in all of Africa! Countries generally don’t hit those sort of tourism numbers if they are dangerous.
But this doesn’t mean that crime doesn’t happen, and like anywhere else in the world, you’re going to want to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the details of how to stay safe in Morocco…
Is Morocco safe to visit? (The Facts)
Is morocco a safe place to visit? Morocco’s tourism numbers have been growing by the year and are projected to continue their impressive growth. And at the end of the day, growing tourism numbers typically indicate a safe country to travel in.
But do bad things happen in Morocco? Absolutely.
The most common complaints in Morocco are pushy people, petty theft (which can be common in the major cities), and poor treatment of women (which we’ll cover thoroughly in a bit).
But while both of these issues are unfortunate, there are ways to maximize your personal safety and ensure that your trip to Morocco is smooth sailing.
Is it safe to visit Morocco right now?
So the burning question is it safe to travel to morocco right now? Yep it is. Morocco is, in fact, the most politically stable country in North Africa. The government has been investing more in its infrastructure to be able to attract more tourists.
Because at the end of the day, more tourism = more money.
Like all countries, Morocco can sometimes experience political instability. Al Hociema and other cities have seen a number of demonstrations in late 2016 and 2017 due to the arrest of Berber activists and marginalization in the Rif area, a situation which is ongoing.
But at the end of the day, these demonstrations have not targeted, nor harmed tourists.
Do you need Travel Insurance for your trip? Even if you’re only going for a few days, that’s more than enough time to get buggered by wicked men or smote by wrathful angels. Have fun in Morocco, but take it from us, overseas medical care and canceled flights can be seriously expensive – insurance can, therefore, be a life-saver.
Travel mishaps can and do happen and it is well worth thinking about insurance before you leave home.
We have used World Nomads for years now and I have personally made several claims. Why not get a quote from them yourself?
Do be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure that the policy covers your needs.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
While we all agree that Morocco is largely safe, there are always ways to make sure you are extra-safe. These are our tailored travel tips for staying safe in Morocco. By following these travel safety tips for Morocco, you’ll be able to travel there confidently and spend more time exploring and less time worrying!
Morocco Safety Tips for Traveling Smooth
- If you are approached and are uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to say ‘no thank you’ and move on.
- Make sure you’ve packed everything you may need.
- Shop around for guides and don’t accept tours from strangers.
- Keep your valuables close and/or hidden.
- Carry small bills around so you don’t have to get out larger notes.
- Dress modestly – this is a conservative country.
- Buddy up with fellow travelers; walking alone can make you a target.
- If someone says they recognize you, it’s a scam!
- Be aware of people hanging around you at ATMs.
- Ask people before you take someone’s picture – they may demand money.
- Try memorizing routes (or drawing a map) to avoid having your phone out.
- Drink filtered water; ask for drinks without ice.
- Be wary of your personal space as pickpocketing can happen – take a security belt.
- Don’t wear anything flashy – you’re more likely to be targeted for a scam.
- Confirm the price of your taxi before you get in.
- Be prepared to haggle; it’s expected.
- Take MASSIVE care when crossing roads.
- If somebody tries to do you any kind of unsolicited service such as offering directions, they will possibly want you to pay afterwards.
Keeping your money safe in Morocco
The biggest threat you’ll probably face is being pickpocketed, to be honest. No matter where you go in the world, your money (and not your actual person) is most at risk.
All travelers are basically targets for thieves looking to make a quick bit of cash by stealing from you. But you can thwart them in their tracks with a trusty money belt.
You’ll find a few different money belts on the market, but we at The Broke Backpacker heartily recommend the Active Roots Security Belt. This is one of the most affordable, durable, and (mercifully) subtle money belts out there.
Traveling with a money belt not only gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re pretty much protected against petty theft, but there’s a bonus: if you lose your stuff, you’ll always have this stash of cash strapped to your bod. Definitely recommend this one!
If you need a little more room for your passport and other travel valuables, have a look at a full-size money belt that tucks under your clothes instead.
If neither of those options appeals to your refined fashion sense, don’t compromise! Opt for an infinity scarf with a hidden zipper pocket instead.
Traveling by yourself is an amazing experience – especially solo backpacking in Morocco! But is traveling to Morocco safe if you are alone?
Every year, thousands of solo travelers head to Morocco alone to soak in the desert and culture of this amazing country. With a great variety of hostels and cheap guesthouses, meeting other solo travelers is really very easy. But that doesn’t mean that traveling solo in Morocco is a cake-walk.
Generally speaking, Morocco is safe to travel alone. However, things can happen anywhere in the world so keep your wits about you. It’s not necessarily a difficult place to travel by yourself, but you’ll have to learn a few things to ensure that you have a fun time on the road.
Traveling to Morocco Alone – Tips and Pointers
- Learning some basic Berber, Arabic, or Darija will help you in your travels, especially with taxis or haggling.
- If you are thinking about traveling alone in Morocco, get yourself a phone or sim card. This will help ensure you don’t get lost and gives you peace of mind knowing you can make an emergency call if need be.
- Making friends with fellow travelers along the way is always a good idea.
- Depending on where you go and what city you’re in, solo travelers won’t even need a tour guide, particularly the relatively easygoing Tangier. In other places, just for peace of mind as well as of course to get the best out of your experience, a guide may be a good idea. In this modern age, you can check TripAdvisor and read blog posts to assess what places are safe to stay, eat, and explore.
Is Morocco safe for women?
So, following the question of traveling alone, the next question is if Morocco is safe for female tourists? No matter where you go, traveling as a woman – solo or otherwise – is always going to have its risks. Some countries, more so than others.
But having said that, traveling in Morocco as a woman can be very safe and 100% doable! You’ll just need to exercise more caution than you would in some other countries. Some level of attention and minor harassment is, unfortunately, to be expected.
Keep an open mind and you’ll still have a great experience. It will feel a little intense at times traveling Morocco as a woman but just remember why you’re there: to explore the country to its fullest. Even Moroccan women themselves have to deal with hassle from the men – possibly even to a worse degree.
So is Morocco safe for female tourists? The answer is yes. It’s an awesome place to travel, as long as you’re aware, follow our safety tips and don’t do anything to put yourself at unnecessary risk – however, if you’re new to backpacking, Morocco may be a bit intense for your first experience so we wouldn’t recommend newbie solo female travelers start here.
Here are a few female-specific safety tips for Morocco you need to bear in mind to ensure that you actually stay safe on your trip.
Traveling to Morocco as a Woman – Tips and Pointers
- You will most likely receive cat-calls in the medina, but the majority of harassment will most likely be ‘you’re beautiful’. Don’t interact with people who come up to you – you can do things like pretend to be filming and talking on the phone. Don’t be afraid to completely ignore/shut down a man that approaches you
- Dressing appropriately is CRUCIAL – especially when you’re not in tourist areas. Cover your legs and shoulders, even if it’s hot, with loose, long clothes; a scarf is always very handy. You’ll still get comments, but not nearly as many.
- Learn some basic Arabic phrases – ‘No, thank you,’ (La, shukran) is a good one – to gain the respect of locals. Always try and walk around confidently and keep your eyes forward. Know where you’re going, have maps preloaded (or best of all, memorized), and try not to look lost.
- Never walk around alone at night and listen to your gut: if something looks sketchy, it probably is. Have a local or international sim card so you can call people at any time.
- Hiring a local guide is a good idea, but by no means mandatory.
Is Morocco safe to travel for families?
Is it safe to travel to Morocco with your family? Yes. Morocco is a family-friendly destination and a total blast for anyone traveling with kids! It’s going to be a family holiday that you’ll never forget.
Moroccans are used to having large families and traveling with children is a great way to connect with locals who’ll be friendly and helpful to family groups in their country. Booking yourself into family-friendly accommodation is a good idea.
Morocco is safe to travel for families, but before you go, just make sure your children are up to date with their vaccinations, that you have simple medications (rehydration sachets, diahorrea tablets), and make sure they don’t drink tap water.
Also be sure to advise against petting stray animals and don’t let your children stay in the sun for too long.
But overall Morocco is a phenomenal place for a family holiday!
Is it safe to drive in Morocco? Getting around Morocco
Is travel to Morocco safe for motorists? If you are in the city, whilst you can rent a car or a motorbike, we don’t recommend it.
Morocco’s urban traffic is absolute chaos. These roads are filled with potholes, congested traffic, and super-aggressive drivers. In 2017 road accidents in Morocco accounted for 3.6% of all deaths in the country (compare that to 0.39% in the UK).
For these reasons, we’d advise only super confident and/or experienced drivers to drive in Morocco’s larger cities.
That said, if you are looking to drive OUTSIDE of the city, there are some incredible road trips to be had. If you find a reliable place to rent a car, and you’re in Marrakesh, you should head out for a road trip on the Tizi N Tichka Pass – it’s mostly empty and is an amazing way to see the countryside.
Is Uber safe in Morocco?
Uber launched in Casablanca in 2015. However, after some difficulties, Uber was forced to suspend its services in the country. As of Winter 2019, it is not expected to return to Morocco anytime soon.
With no Uber, this means that you’ll be relying on taxis…
Are taxis safe in Morocco?
Taxis are one of the most frequently used modes of transport in any given Moroccan city. There are two main types: petite (small) and grande (large). Buses do operate but most people hop into a petite taxi if they need to get anywhere in a city.
Are the taxis in Morocco safe though? Well, they might be safe, but that doesn’t mean they’ll follow the rules. Taxis in Morocco are notorious for driving quickly and jumping traffic lights. Generally, they’ll get you from A to B without mishap – just be prepared for a wild ride.
Also, please be aware that taxi scams can be very common. Agree on a price upfront, haggle hard, and stick to your guns.
Petite taxis are supposed to charge by meter, but they’re known for pulling the old ‘the meter is broken’ scam. If this happens, point to the meter and say “la” (no) and if they refuse, take a picture with your phone – the thought of been reported to the licensing board may straighten them out.
They also might say they have no change (which is why small denominations are important) and also try and drop you at random places, so if possible try to keep a GPS app on your phone so you know where they’re driving you.
You may also have to share taxis. When it comes to the grande taxis, these will wait until they’re full with more people than they’ve got seats before they go. It can be squishy but it’s definitely an experience to add to your travel log. Grande taxis also charge per seat rather than by meter.
Learning a little bit of Arabic, Berber, or even French would also help a lot in any taxi based situation, but, at the end of the day, taxis in Morocco are quite safe… if not completely thrilling.
Is public transportation in Morocco safe?
Morocco is fairly easy to travel around on its trains, buses, and taxis. But is the public transportation in Morocco safe?
Easy answer – absolutely!
There’s a train network in Morocco which is great for traveling long distances: it connects most of the major (tourist) cities nationwide. They’re fast, they’ve got air-con, they’re comfortable, and they’re safe. You can check times online, meaning you know when you’re going to arrive and plan accordingly.
Between Rabat and Casablanca, there are some pretty chic double-decker trains that will make you think differently about overnight train travel. For those nervous about overnight trains in general: fear not. Plenty of women travel solo on these trains, with children, too – and there are even women-only cabins.
Be aware that train stations are where you’ll find a lot of salesmen trying to get you in their taxis and on their tours before you’ve even had a chance to step foot around your point of arrival, so be prepared to say ‘no thank you’ a lot. But then again, there’s often a bus station right next to the train station, so transit to your destination should be surprisingly efficient.
The bus routes in Morocco are extensive. The CTM buses, which can be booked online, have Wi-Fi and extra legroom for a spot of luxury.
Then there are the older buses. More affordable, sure, but the routes are hard to figure out and they’re the type that just pick-up and drop-off as they go.
Unlike the trains, the conditions on the buses aren’t always the best: they’re overcrowded, and you may find yourself sat next to a dog or even a chicken. But generally buses in Morocco are safe, if a slightly colorful, way to travel.
Keep in mind though that all public transportation that travels by road is subject to, well, being on the road. And these can be at times a little hairy in Morocco.
Is the food in Morocco safe?
Moroccan food is absolutely incredible. A trip to this North African country will have you on a culinary journey that’ll have your taste buds tingling.
But is the food in Morocco safe? Will it upset your stomach? Will you get food poisoning?
If you follow these guidelines you should be able to eat your way around the country no problem. And you might want to practice the Moroccan custom of the right hand for eating, left hand for… well, you know (cleaning your butt; it’s for cleaning your butt).
Eating Safety in Morocco
- Firstly, there are a lot of delicious-looking fruit and vegetables on offer at the markets. But you shouldn’t really eat these raw unless they’ve been thoroughly washed or peeled. Otherwise, cooking them should be ok.
- Salads should always be approached with caution; if you don’t trust the place you’re ordering the salad from – if it doesn’t look clean – be wary.
- Use your senses: if the food looks like it hasn’t been cooked properly, or if it’s been lying in the sun all day, try to avoid.
- A good rule (for anywhere in the world) is to eat at places where a lot of people seem to be eating – locals in particular. Popular restaurants are less likely to have sanitation issues.
- Eating at food stalls is another great idea because you can watch the food be prepared and cooked in front of you – no surprises!
- Even in supermarkets, check the sell-by date. Old food might not be allowed on the shelves in your home country, but in Morocco’s supermarkets, it seems things can slip through the net quite easily.
- And lastly, it’s an oldie but a goodie: wash your hands. Forever and always.
- Traveling with an allergy? Research ahead of time how to explain your allergy. Keep in mind that store owners and restaurant staff might not know all the foods that contain allergens, so it’s helpful to know the names of some of these too.
- If you’re gluten-free, pick up a handy Gluten-Free Translation Card with descriptions of Celiac disease, cross-contamination risk, and local Moroccan ingredients in Moroccan Arabic.
Can you drink the water in Morocco?
Technically, yes, the tap water is MOSTLY safe to drink in Morocco but it’s still recommended that you don’t risk it. The Prime Minister himself has stated that he drinks the tap water in Morocco and, generally, Prime Ministers (anywhere in the world) lie at a professional level. Regardless, the water is heavily chlorinated and treated.
That being said Morocco is scorching hot, and you’ll need to keep yourself hydrated. Do this by buying big bottles of water from supermarkets, streetside kiosks, and newsagents. Hotels usually have water filters for guests and we highly recommend you try to refill bottles rather than buying new bottles because plastic is the worst.
If you’re heading out for treks in the desert – or even if you’re just walking around a city – take a good quality water bottle and water purification tablets. The water bottle can be used for anything, not just water, which is great if you need a little bit of sugar to keep you energized.
Is Morocco safe to live in?
Is Morrocco safe to live in? If you are thinking of making the move, don’t worry: Morocco is a safe place to live and work. The number of foreign nationals living in Morocco (as of 2014) is around 84,000, with French nationals making up 25% of that number.
It might be a little bit of a culture shock, and you may struggle – as with making any move to any new country – but Morocco is very safe to live in.
A great tip? Integrate yourself into the local community and don’t isolate yourself! Ideally, place yourself somewhere where you’ll find home comforts or at least European familiarities. Base yourself in Casablanca (home to the largest portion of expats) or Rabat – this is also where you’ll find the best jobs.
It goes without saying that learning at least some of the language, Arabic and/or French, is a must.
How is healthcare in Morocco?
There are two types of healthcare in Morocco: public and private.
The public is free, but not recommended since it’s not well funded.
The private healthcare system in Morocco is affordable by Western standards and offers high-quality care. Hospitals vary, but doctors have often trained in Europe or the US so you shouldn’t worry about skill level. Though do note that some hospitals don’t provide things like drinking water or even blankets.
Bribery is also a thing here; paperwork too, and lots of it. Government officials aren’t always the most genuine people, so be prepared for that, and outdated systems, too. This, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. Just keep your cool and don’t try to challenge the situation too much.
Helpful Arabic Travel Phrases
Moroccans speak Moroccan Arabic or Darija (countries in the Middle East will say it’s not really Arabic). The main Berber language is known as Amazigh. Most people speak English in the cities, as well as other languages. However, once you get to smaller towns, you’ll find many people barely speak English, even guesthouse owners.
French will get also get you by anywhere in Morocco, though it is no longer an official language. (My college classes finally came in handy here!)
I have listed a few phrases in Darija. Note that there are some regional variances which we cannot cover.
Final thoughts on the safety of Morocco
Is Morocco safe? Final thoughts…
Yes! Morocco is safe to travel to right now.
Morocco is one of the most amazing, dazzling, (and sometimes frustrating) countries in the world. Whether you are a solo female looking for a backpacking trip, a family looking for a weekend holiday, or are thinking about moving to Morocco, you will be pleased to know that while it has it’s downsides, Morocco is a safe and wonderful country to experience.
With the help of this safe guide for Morocco, you’ll be able to easily know exactly how to stay safe while visiting so you can spend less time worrying, and more time exploring this incredible destination.
Let us know in the comments below if you are heading to Morocco! And, if your heading to Marrakesh, we have a safety guide for there too!
Don’t forget to pick up your travel insurance!
Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means we earn a small commission if you purchase your insurance through this page. This costs you nothing extra and helps us keep the site going.
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