If you live in the UK or Europe then Morocco is an easy country in Africa to visit. It’s just a short flight and you’re transported to an exotic land that feels a million miles away from home. You’ve got the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, as well as the windswept coastline of Essaouira, and the bustling medina of blue-washed Chefchaouen, to name but a few places.  The vibrant landscape offers so many things to do in Morocco. Before you book, you might ask yourself, is Morocco safe?

Morocco is a fantastic place that has so much to offer for adventurous spirits plus it’s very easy to get off the beaten track in Morocco is that’s what you’re looking for. This is exactly what we did when we explored Morocco with our toddler and baby on our month-long road trip. We felt that it was a very safe country and in particular we found the Moroccan locals extremely welcoming and great with children of all ages. In fact, traveling with children can help break the ice and encourage contact with Moroccans who are generally very helpful and protective towards families.  

Morocco is easily one of our favorite travel destinations because we had an amazing experience.  Why?  Because, it’s a fascinating country with an exciting and vibrant culture, and it’s safe to travel through. We also hear through people we met that it’s a popular and safe destination for digital nomads.

We’ve had some experience traveling in Morocco and answering the question ‘‘Is Morocco safe?” is quite easy. Because after spending a month traveling we believe that Morocco is very safe! To help you plan your Morocco trip and hopefully answer all your questions we’ve put together a post covering how safe Morocco is.

Bedouin tent1. Is Morocco safe?

Although we can’t guarantee that a country is totally “safe”, in our opinion and based on our experience, Morocco is a very safe country. The people of Morocco are friendly, very peace-minded and welcoming.  We never felt unsafe during our entire month-long road trip through Morocco with our kids. What’s really interesting is that we noticed that the more inland you go, towards the Berber people, the more genuinely welcome you feel.  It also helps that the country has been a politically stable kingdom for several decades.

However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention, that  like most other countries, Morocco does have some issues you should be aware of:

  • The country suffers from petty crime such as pickpockets or scams.
  • In some large cities, you’ll find that tourists can receive unwanted attention or be harassed by touts and salesmen.  Women especially can be a target.

Most travelers we’ve spoken to visit Morocco have visited with no problems whatsoever. In all honesty, if you’ve traveled already to either Asia or Africa, you probably won’t find traveling to Morocco a problem at all.

General Safety Tips

As with most other countries, it’s best to take some precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some things we’d suggest you keep in mind when you visit Morocco.

  • Keep your valuables such as passports, and other important documents in a secure place, like a safe, at your accommodation.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and in particular try to avoid walking alone at night.
  • Try to always use licensed taxis or private transportation arranged by your hotel or tour operator.
  • Be cautious when strangers target you with unsolicited offers or requests. Marrakech has a special tourist police that you should report to if you’re worried.

Respect their local culture

  • Morocco is a Muslim country and so it is very important to respect this and dress modestly.  This is especially true for women when they visit mosques or other religious sites.
  • Public displays of affection between adults should be avoided, especially because this is viewed as inappropriate in Moroccan culture.  Cuddling children is very acceptable by parents or close relatives.
  • Read up on and respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering a home or mosque.

2. Are people in Morocco welcoming to families?Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco

Moroccans are extremely warm and welcoming towards kids of all ages. They see children as a blessing and a source of joy, and so therefore they treat them with great care and respect.

In fact, we experienced that it is very common for total strangers to stop and admire a child and talk to them.  Whilst baby Dylan was oblivious to the attention, it was at times a little bit overwhelming for Cam, our three-year-old.  If it bothers you or your kids, then we found it helpful to step in and let people know nicely but firmly not to touch them.

Moroccans are very family-oriented, and so children are very much an integral part of the family unit.  Something we experienced when we stayed in family run riads when we were included in family meals and the boys were given a lot of attention and affection.  In Marrakech the owner of our homestay even did some cooking with young Cam. 

In restaurants, you’ll find that children are usually welcomed with very open arms. Most restaurants will have high chairs and booster seats available.  And some even have small play areas or activities that you can use to keep children entertained.

3. Is it safe to go camel riding in Morocco?   Ride camels in Morocco

Camel rides are typically one of the highlights of any trip to Morocco. The great news is that camel rides in Morocco are very safe, and you can even take young children and babies with you. During our trip to the Erg Chebbi sand dunes in Merzouga we took our baby and our toddler son on a camel ride and they loved it.  It was an amazing experience, because they were both so relaxed that they were both asleep by the time we reached our desert camp for the night.

Camels are very gentle and calm animals by nature, however, you may occasionally get one that is a bit nervous or perhaps tired but they’re rarely dangerous. Our concern was that we made sure that the camels were well cared for, and we’re pleased tp say that this was very much the case on our tour. Our camel guide treated his camels with such respect, care and love. He even slept next to them during the night rather than in a room at the camp. 

4. What should you pack for a trip to Morocco?How to dress in Morocco

Morocco is not your usual holiday, where you might “fly and flop” for a week or weekend. Although you can find that in Agadir, if that’s what you’re looking for. The climate and landscape are very diverse they have everything from the snow-capped mountains to the arid Sahara and windy coastal surf towns. Plus, it’s also a Muslim country so modesty is important. What you pack will need to cover the varied climate and local customs.

From a cultural respect perspective, I wore loose-fitting, light clothes that covered my shoulders, cleavage, and legs.  There is no specific “Moroccan” dress code, and while you might see some Westerners in shorts and vest tops in tourist areas, we’d recommend being sensitive to the local culture and still covering up. No one will say anything to you if you don’t, however, it’s just being respectful.

Young children will be alright in shorts and T-shirts, however, older teenage girls will need to dress more modestly.

Packing list

Besides the typical things you need to take with you, there are some special tips to consider.

  • Pack light and comfortable clothing. Layers with the change in climate across the country are the key!  And please don’t forget to pack a fleece or sweatshirt if you’re in the mountains or desert.
  • As it can be very sunny, therefore it is very important to pack a hat and high-quality sunscreen.
  • Depending on which part of the country you visit, you may want to take insect repellent. Especially true if you’re spending time outdoors.
  • Other travel essentials include a first-aid kit and water bottles. If you don’t want to buy bottled water (you shouldn’t drink the tap water), a great solution is to buy a water filter bottle.
  • Don’t forget to bring your basic medications with you.  We usually take our preferred pain relief, antihistamines, and anti-diarrhea medication. 

Top tip:  The weather can vary and during our time in Morocco we wore a warm sweater and long trousers several times. In the Atlas mountains it can be particularly cold even in the summer, then in the Sahara Desert it gets very cold in the evenings and first thing in the morning.

5. When is the best time to visit Morocco? Marrakech

The great thing is that the varied climate means there’s always a good time in the year to visit somewhere within Morocco.

For example, the coastal region has a more Mediterranean climate and is best in May, June and September.  Morocco can get very hot during the summer months and if you travel in the summer then it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you don’t get too much sun. You should always make sure to pack sunscreen, hats, and light clothing to protect you from the sun.  The great thing is that when the temperatures start to get cooler in Europe, between November and April, then this is the perfect time to head inland to Marrakech and the desert.

In our opinion, the best time to visit Morocco is between March and May, or between September and November. That’s because these are the months when the weather is mild and pleasant, which makes it easier to explore the cities and attractions.Casablanca

6. What is the best way to get around Morocco? 

Hiring a car is your best option if you love the flexibility of traveling on your own schedule and want to explore more than one town in Morocco. That’s because it allows you the freedom to travel at your own pace plus you can stop whenever you want.

For our Moroccan adventure we traveled to Morocco in our own car from the UK by taking it over on the ferry from Spain. We had already planned a trip in Portugal for a month so it made sense to take the ferry with our car to Tangier.  It was very easy, you just need to remember your ownership paperwork and to buy Moroccan insurance when you get off of the ferry.

You’ll be pleased to know that the roads are very good quality and easy to navigate.

An alternative way to travel around Morocco is by private transport using petit taxis. The main downside is that it will be usually be more expensive than hiring a car.  Or a cheaper alternative is by public transport as buses and trains in Morocco are well organized (especially between the bigger cities) and cheap.  However, it will take you much longer to get around by public transport and you’ll be less flexible. We guess that it really all depends on what you feel up to as slow travel can bring you great experiences too!

If you don’t feel up to driving or perhaps you don’t have the time to arrange everything yourself, then you could always book an organized Morocco tour.

7. Is it safe to drink the tap water in Morocco? 

We wouldn’t recommend that you drink tap water.  However, we can reassure you that we had no problem during our road trip finding bottled water.  Even in the very smallest of towns they have small shops that will sell bottled water.

Rather than buying bottled water you’d be better to invest in a water filtration bottle. We find them very handy when we go camping with our kids as we can use them to filter river water to drink. (Meagan prefers Lifestraw.)

As well as water, there are fresh orange juice stalls everywhere, which we loved to visit to keep ourselves hydrated.Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

8. Vaccination and visa requirements for Morocco

As long as you’re up to date at home with your regular vaccination schedule then you’re good to go. The main thing to arrange before you go is to ensure that you have adequate health and travel insurance before you travel.  That’s because the national health service isn’t great and the private hospitals in Morocco are very expensive. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Most visitors to Morocco don’t need a visa (including Brits) and you are allowed to remain in the country for 90 days.  We loved that you also get a cool stamp in your passport.

9. Where should you go on a road trip around Morocco? 

We absolutely loved our road trip in Morocco and wanted to share some top tips.  What made the trip so much fun was that we saw such a variety of different attractions and sites, as well as different cultures as we crossed Morocco.  If you search online there are lots of different itineraries that you can choose from.  It very much depends on how much time you have and how much driving between locations you want to do.  We spent a month there, and managed to visit a lot of the main attractions in that time.  In a 10-day itinerary you cover some of the major attractions including going to the Sahara Desert for a camel ride!

You’d be able to cover:

Tangier – Chefchaouen – Fes – Merzouga (Sahara Desert) – Tinghir – Ait BenhaddouMarrakechEssaouira

Final Thoughts on Is Morocco Safe For Families

Morocco is a fantastic family travel destination for travelers of all ages. During our road trip there we found that Morocco felt an extremely safe place. During our trip we had no issues, and in fact felt very welcomed. It is the perfect place to visit if you’re keen to experience and explore a country in Africa that has culture, history, and excitement and is easily reached from Europe. It’s also very affordable and that means that you can travel on a budget without breaking the bank.  

Guest Author: Sara Young is the author of Big Adventures With Little Feet, a family travel blog with the key aim to inspire parents to travel with their kids. 

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