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Is Morocco Safe to Visit?

Susan Laurent
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by Susan Laurent

Feeling a bit jittery about your Morocco trip after hearing about that earthquake in September 2023? Don’t be! Morocco is generally safe for visitors, and in 2023, it welcomed a record-breaking 13.2 million visitors.

And why wouldn’t it be popular? Morocco boasts a lineup of historically imperial cities—Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat—each a kingdom of former sultans, adorned with palaces, bustling souks, majestic mosques, and intricate madrasas (religious schools). But that’s not all—there are the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains, Sahara desert camps, charming village towns in the northern Rif Valley, and bohemian coastal havens stretching from north to south.

With so much to see and enjoy, it’d be a shame if a mishap were to dampen your vacation. So let’s see how you can stay safe on the lively streets of Morocco!

Is Morocco Safe?


Morocco is generally a safe place to visit, but when you’re walking around, you have to keep your eyes open.

The locals here are very tourist-oriented, to say the least. Oftentimes, they can be a bit too pushy, especially in the busy medinas. They might offer you a free tour and then ask for money later. Or they’ll keep bugging you to check out their shops or restaurants.

Also, Morocco is a bit conservative, with more than 99% of locals devoutly following Islamic traditions. Moreover, if you plan to visit solo or with other girls, expect a ton of attention from men here. Wearing a headscarf can help you blend in more and perhaps reduce unwarranted attention.

Alongside the everyday hustle and bustle, there are those bigger worries like the nearby conflicts and the earthquake that hit a while back. You can relax—Morocco is actually pretty far from the conflict, and the earthquake didn’t cause any lasting problems.

Mainly—keep your wits about you to spot those pesky pickpockets and scammers, and you’ll be OK.

  • International travel advisories: Level 2, practice increased caution
  • Crime rating: Moderate, sitting at 46.63
  • Areas to avoid: Areas around Berm and the border areas on the eastern and southern neighboring countries
  • Safest part of the country: The northwest part of Morocco
  • Most common crime that affects tourists: Petty crimes and verbal harassment
  • Public transportation safety: Busses and trains are generally safe, reliable, and budget-friendly
  • Road safety: The roads are good, just watch out for potholes and super narrow streets within the cities’ bustling centers
  • Safety walking alone during the day: Safe
  • Safety walking alone during the night: Not safe
  • Beach safety: Generally safe and clean
  • Common natural disasters: Earthquakes, storms, wildfires, and sandstorms
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning: No incidents
  • Police presence: Officers are plenty and professional
  • Medical care quality: Big cities have good hospitals and clinics, but rural areas might have limited access to quality care

Travel Advisory for Morocco

The UK, US, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand travel advisories suggest a high degree of caution when visiting Morocco, giving it a Level-2 safety rating. 

The advisories mention that, yes, there’s a chance of terrorist attacks, but the reality is that Morocco’s a long way from Israel, so it’s not mixed up in that conflict at all. In fact, Israel and Morocco signed a normalization agreement in December 2020.

However, there are groups in Morocco who support Palestine, and they might have rallies in places like Rabat, the capital. Authorities say it’s best to steer clear of any political protests while you’re there.

There are a couple of places in Morocco that international travel advisories say are a no-go:

  • Areas around the Berm, which is Morocco’s military border in the Western Sahara
  • Areas between the Berm and its neighboring countries on the eastern and southern sides

These are not tourist hotspots, so you shouldn’t end up there anyway.

But when it comes to the places you’d probably end up, like the bustling markets and busy streets of Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, and Meknes, there’s a bit of petty crime going on—pickpocketing, bag snatching, and even some motorcycle thievery.

This is what the “Practice Increased Caution” warning for Morocco mostly refers to. Keep your belongings close, stay alert, and you’ll be just fine navigating through the hustle and bustle of Morocco’s vibrant streets.

A Comprehensive Look at Morocco Crime Rates

The crime rating of Morocco is moderate, sitting at 46.63.

When it comes to the types of crime, Morocco mostly deals with property crimes. In a regular year, there are about 16.88 property crimes for every 1,000 people in Morocco. Theft makes up most of those property crimes, with a rate of 11.56 for every 1,000 residents.

As for violent crimes, those are pretty rare. The total rate is only about 2.5 for every 1,000 residents. Assault is the most common violent crime, but even then, it’s not something to stress over as a tourist.

Now, when you’re exploring Morocco, keep in mind that about 80% of cities here are safe. The northwest part of the country is generally considered the safest.

Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) had some good news to share: in 2022, there was a 30.22% drop in recorded crimes compared to previous years. And the trend continued in 2023, with a further decrease. Police reported a total of 738,748 criminal cases, leading to the arrest and prosecution of 723,874 individuals for various offenses. Overall, there was a 10% decrease in the crime rate, with violent crimes dropping by 25% and car thefts decreasing by 19%. Looks like Morocco is doing a great job cleaning up the streets!

Safety ConcernsCrime RateStatus
Overall Crime Level47.41Moderate
Crime Increasing in the Past 3 Years56.56Moderate
Home Break-Ins and Thefts33.82Low
Mugging and Robbery52.60Moderate
Car Theft32.66Low
Theft from Vehicles47.42Moderate
Personal Attacks43.72Low
Verbal Insults44.37Moderate
Racial, Ethnic, Gender, or Religious-Based Attacks23.97Moderate
Drug Use and Dealing58.14Moderate
Property Crimes (Vandalism and Theft)48.58Low
Violent Crimes (Assault and Armed Robbery)44.28Moderate
Corruption and Bribery69.44Moderate
Safety Walking Alone in Daylight66.67Moderate
Safety Walking Alone at Nighttime38.39Safe

Source: Numbeo, 2024 data based on 746 contributors.

Personal Crime in Morocco

In Morocco, it’s super rare for tourists to face personal crimes, like an insult or physical attack. So, unless you’re being disrespectful towards the people and their culture, you’re unlikely to face any trouble.

However, there’s something to keep in mind, especially if you’re a woman—verbal teasing or harassment does occur. Most Moroccans have pretty traditional views on gender roles, so it’s not uncommon for women to get unwanted attention or comments from men on the streets, especially if walking alone.

To minimize the chances of such encounters, try traveling around with a small group or with a male companion. Additionally, dressing a bit more conservatively, like covering your knees and shoulders, can help you fit in better.

Property Crime in Morocco

Pickpocketing and purse snatching are among the most common types of property crime in Morocco, especially around souqs and medinas.

However, pickpocketing isn’t just a problem in Morocco. It happens pretty much everywhere tourists go, from sunny Spain to tropical Maldives. Why? Tourists are seen as easier targets since they usually bring more cash and fancy valuables while on vacation.

Outsmarting the sneaky pickpockets is very simple. First off, don’t flaunt your cash or wear flashy jewelry. Keep your valuables in secure pockets and carry just enough cash for the day. Additionally, be careful around ATMs too—sometimes beggars can get a bit pushy and there may be a thief lurking to snatch your money once you withdraw it. Most importantly, leave your passport and extra cash locked up safe back at your hotel. That way, even if something does go missing, you’ve still got your essentials.

Police Presence in Morocco

The Morrocan police are doing a solid job keeping crime under control.

The locals have a lot of trust in their police force. In fact, about 58% of people who’ve dealt with the cops say they were treated with respect and professionalism. Plus, the locals see the police as pretty honest, with 61% thinking it’s rare for any officer to have corruptive intentions.

Morocco also has a special tourist police squad who speak English and are ready to lend a hand if you need it. They keep an eye on tourist hotspots in particular to make sure everything’s running smoothly. So if you ever feel like you’re in a pickle or even just need some directions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the people in uniform—they’re there to make sure your trip is safe.

Public Transportation Safety in Morocco

Taxi in Morocco

Public transport in Morocco is generally safe, reliable, and affordable.

The train network covers the northern region, Marrakesh, and the scenic coast. Meanwhile, the bus system connects larger cities to smaller ones, making it easy to explore every nook and cranny of this beautiful country.

Taxis are the primary mode of transport in Moroccan cities and towns. You can recognize them by their color—yellow in Marrakesh, red in Casablanca, and blue in Rabat. You can hail one on the street or locate them near bus or train stations. Equipped with meters, fare negotiation is typically unnecessary; however, if a driver attempts to avoid using the meter—often claiming it’s broken—politely request to exit and find another taxi.

Regardless of your mode of transport, keep your belongings close to you.

Road Safety in Morocco

The roads in Morocco are good—just watch out for potholes and the narrow streets within the cities’ bustling centers.

As you cruise along, you’ll encounter all sorts of fellow travelers sharing the road—slow-moving trucks, nimble motorbikes, bicycles, oxen and donkeys towing carts, and tons of pedestrians.

Another thing you’ll notice is the honking culture of Moroccan drivers. Moroccan drivers love to honk their horns—it’s their way of communicating on the road. Sometimes it means they’re getting impatient, other times it’s a heads-up regarding something on the road, but it can also just be a friendly hello.

Nighttime driving can be a bit dicey, though. Potholes and speed bumps can be hard to spot, and some areas are poorly lit. In fact, it’s best to avoid driving at night altogether. And don’t drink and drive! It’s not just frowned upon—it’s illegal. So save the drinks for after you’ve parked the car for the night.

Medical Care Quality in Morocco

The quality of healthcare in Morocco can vary depending on where you are. Big cities like Rabat, Casablanca, and Marrakesh have good hospitals and clinics, but rural areas might not have the same access to quality care.

If you need medical attention, these are some of the best hospitals to head to:

There are plenty of pharmacies across the country, especially in the big cities. Some of the well-respected pharmacies here are Sanofi, Cooper, Bottu SA, GSK, Novartis, and Pfizer.

Just to be on the safe side, it’s always a good idea to grab travel insurance that covers medical evacuation and hospital stays. Check out options like VisitorsCoverage, Insured Nomads, and SafetyWing for some peace of mind.

Is It Safe to Travel Solo in Morocco?

Morocco is generally a pretty safe destination for solo travelers. The country’s overall crime level is moderate and steadily declining, so you can breathe easy.

Still, Morocco is not your typical tourist destination like Paris, New York, or London. So if you’re new to solo travel, maybe consider joining a group tour first. It’ll help you get a feel for things.

If you’re wondering where to stay, places like Marrakesh Palmeraie, Marrakesh Medina, and Rabat are top picks and pretty popular amongst tourists. However, as we’ve already said, where there are tourists, there are petty crimes, so keep an eye out for petty theft.

Solo female travelers might feel a bit uneasy with the attention they get from locals. Sadly, street harassment is common here, so it’s good to be on your guard, especially if you’re walking solo. To avoid unwanted attention, skip form-fitting clothes, bare midriff, vest tops, and short skirts.

Perils of Nature: The Risk of Natural Disasters in Morocco

Natural Disasters in Morocco

Morocco is susceptible to earthquakes, storms, forest fires, and sandstorms.


On September 8, 2023, Morocco suffered one of the mightiest earthquakes in the last decade—a major 6.8 magnitude earthquake near the Marrakech-Safi region. The quake left infrastructural damages and sadly claimed many lives, particularly in villages nestled within the High Atlas area.

The good news is that the affected areas are on the path to a steady recovery. Moroccan airports are back in business as usual, and transportation services like trains and buses are operating smoothly.

In fact, your visit can play a big role in supporting the local economy, so that’s something to feel good about. Plus, Morocco hasn’t been hit by major earthquakes since then. However, you need to be careful if you’re exploring the affected areas.

If the ground starts shaking, remember to:

  • Drop on the ground.
  • Take cover under something sturdy to shield yourself from falling debris.
  • Hang tight until the shaking stops to prevent any unwanted injuries.

For the inside scoop on any seismic shenanigans happening in Morocco, you can always tap into the VolcanoDiscovery website for real-time updates.


Storms aren’t exactly what most tourists hope for during their holiday. Take March 2021, for example. Tétouan got hit with some heavy rainfall, causing flash floods that damaged roads and buildings. And more recently, in July 2023, nearby areas in the Al Haouz Province faced similar issues with severe flash floods.

To keep your trip from turning into a waterlogged adventure, here’s what you can do:

  • Keep tabs on the weather forecasts so you’re not caught off guard.
  • Pay attention when the local authorities give advice, especially if they say it’s time to evacuate.
  • Have a backup plan with some indoor activities—you don’t want to be stuck twiddling your thumbs while the storm rages outside!

Forest Fires

In July 2022, wildfires tore through parts of northern Morocco, engulfing forests in Taza, Tetouan, and Larache. Fast forward to August 2023, and firefighters were battling another wildfire on the outskirts of Tangier in the Rmilat forest. The flames edged closer to homes in the northwest of Tangier, posing a serious threat to local communities.

While we all love soaking up the summer sun, prolonged heat waves can heighten the risk of wildfires. Here are some tips to keep safe:

  • Consider booking accommodations in urban areas rather than forest regions.
  • If you opt for a more natural setting, stay tuned to local media for updates on high temperatures that could trigger wildfires.
  • In the event of a wildfire, evacuate promptly—especially if you have respiratory issues, as smoke inhalation can be particularly dangerous.


In August 2023, a massive sandstorm swept through the city, casting an eerie orange glow and streets full of dust. Unfortunately, the storm resulted in one casualty.

If there’s a sandstorm brewing, authorities immediately share alerts so tourists and locals won’t be caught off-guard. For instance, in February 2024, the Moroccan General Directorate of Meteorology issued warnings about strong winds and dust storms in various regions of the country, including Fkih Ben Salah, Jerada, Nador, Al Hoceima, Driouch, Ksar El Kebir, Taourirt, Taza, Boulemane, Midelt, and Guelmim, among others.

These storms are dangerous, so here’s what to do:

  • Stay indoors to avoid exposure to airborne dust.
  • Close all windows, doors, and vents to prevent dust from entering your room.
  • Protect your nose and mouth by covering them with a mask designed to filter out dust particles.
  • Don’t drive until conditions improve.

Beware the Silent Threat: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Morocco

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, deadly gas that we can’t see or smell. It can leak from faulty appliances like heaters and boilers, slowly poisoning anyone nearby.

Believe it or not, CO poisoning happens more often than you’d imagine. Every year, nearly 400 people in the US alone suffer dire consequences from this gas. And sadly, many hotels in the tourism sector don’t put carbon monoxide detectors in their rooms. This has led to some incidents in destinations like the Bahamas, Mexico, and Colombia.

The good news is that Morocco hasn’t had any carbon monoxide incidents, but it’s still a possibility, especially since no rule mandates hotels to install detectors.

That’s why we’re giving you a heads-up—bring your portable carbon monoxide alarm. They’re not expensive, and they’re small enough to fit in your bag. And if your room already has one? Well, that’s just double peace of mind for you.

Serenity by the Shore: The Safety of Morocco Beaches

Essaouira Beach

Morocco’s beaches are generally safe spots for fun in the sun, and about 98% meet high cleanliness standards.

Some of the best beaches include:

  • Sidi Ifni Beach
  • Essaouira Beach
  • Safi Beach
  • Bouznika Beach
  • Skhirat Beach

Three beaches, on the other hand, aren’t safe for swimming:

  • Oued Merzeg beach near Casablanca
  • Ain Atiq beach near Rabat
  • Jbila III beach near Asilah

When at the beach, you’ll see Muslim women wearing burkinis or light tops and leggings. However, if you’re not from this culture, you’re free to wear what you like—as long as you’re not fully nude!

Shark attacks are rare in Morocco, but shark visits are not impossible. So maybe avoid a dip at dawn or dusk, when they might be on the prowl for prey.

Something you do need to watch out for is the Atlantic Portuguese man of war jellyfish. These creatures usually visit the Moroccan coasts in March and April and their stings are super painful, so keep an eye out.

While at the beach, keep your valuables secure, carry only beach essentials, stay in shallow waters if you’re not a good swimmer, and watch out for big waves.

Morocco Weather Patterns: What to Expect

Morocco’s climate is heterogenous—Mediterranean up north, mild and semi-arid by the Atlantic, desert climate inland, and continental in the mountainous regions. 

Let’s zoom in on the climate of the capital, Rabat.

The Weather in Rabat: What to Expect?

In Rabat, the weather is warm and sunny in the summers, and cool and partly cloudy in the winters. Throughout the year, temperatures usually range from 47°F to 80°F (about 8.3°C to 26.7°C), so it’s rarely too cold or too hot.

Rabat is warm from June to October. July is the sunniest month, whereas August is the hottest, hitting around 80°F (about 26.7°C) during the day and cooling down to 66°F (about 18.9°C) at night.

Winter spans from December to March. January’s the coldest month, with temps dropping to around 47°F (about 8.3°C) at night and peaking at 63°F (about 17.2°C) during the day.

Rain usually drizzles from mid-September to mid-May, with November being the rainiest month, averaging 2.6 inches (about 6.6 centimeters). However, from the end of May to the end of September, it’s all sunshine and blue skies, especially in July, when there’s no rain at all.

If you’re planning to do a lot of sightseeing, plan your trip around June 20 – that’s when you’ll get 14 hours and 25 minutes of daylight. December, on the flip side, has the shortest days, with around 9 hours and 53 minutes of daylight.

For beach lovers, the water’s warmest from June to October, hitting a toasty 71°F (about 21.7°C) or above. August has the warmest waters, with sea temperatures of around 73°F (about 22.8°C). And if you’re looking for calm waters for swimming, August’s got that covered too, with gentle breezes blowing at about 7.6 miles per hour (about 12.2 kilometers per hour).

Monthly Average Temperatures in Morocco

MonthFahrenheit (°F)Celsius (°C)

Source: WeatherSpark, 2024 data

When Is the Best Time to Visit Morocco?

Visit Morocco

The best time to explore Morocco is in September. The hustle and bustle of summer is over, people head back to school and work, and prices become more budget-friendly. Plus, the weather’s just right—warm with plenty of sunshine, perfect for lazy beach days and quiet seaside strolls.

But Morocco’s charms aren’t limited to September.

Summer, for instance, may be hot and sticky, but brings the liveliest atmosphere and tons of festivals. Winter may be more chilly, especially in the mountains, but it’s the prime time to experience the majestic Sahara or tackle snowy peaks like Mt. Toubkal. Come spring, the landscape comes back to life with wildflowers and blossoms, making it ideal for scenic hikes.

So if September doesn’t fit your schedule, rest assured that Morocco is a gem year-round!

How to Stay Safe in Morocco

  • Embrace spontaneity. Research the places you want to visit but be open to changes along the way. You can easily book tours and activities when you arrive.
  • Make sure to book a professional tour guide. Ask your hosts or the local tourism office for recommendations.
  • Bargaining is a part of shopping in Morocco. Aim for a fair price that satisfies both parties. Hop from one seller to another, learn the prices, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
  • Learn some Moroccan—a please and thank you spoken in this country’s language are sure to earn you some smiles and nods.
  • Respect Islam, the official religion. Mind your manners, cover up at religious sites, keep it modest in public, and be mindful of Friday prayers.
  • Eat with your right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean.
  • Look for street signs to navigate around medinas. A hexagon means a dead end, while a square indicates a through street.
  • Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, so keep those public displays of affection on the down-low.
  • Some locals don’t want to end up in tourists’ photos. Always ask before snapping someone’s picture and avoid photographing sensitive locations like military buildings.
  • Tap water is unsafe to drink, so opt for bottled water or pack a filtered water bottle to stay hydrated without adding to the landfills.
  • Street cats and dogs are common in Morocco. Avoid feeding them at your table if you don’t want puppy eyes staring at you throughout your meal, but feel free to share leftovers elsewhere.
  • Alcohol is available, but not all establishments serve it. Respect local customs and drink responsibly.
  • If venturing into the Sahara desert, make sure to pack the essentials. Closed-toed shoes are a must. Don’t let the idea of sandals fool you—walking barefoot on hot sand can be a painful experience! Remember to bring along sunglasses to shield your eyes from the glaring sun, a light scarf, a jacket for cooler evenings, plenty of sunscreen, and, most importantly, a water bottle to stay hydrated.

Common Scams to Be Aware Of

  • The Friendly Guide: While their help can be handy, be cautious of unexpected demands for money afterward. If you agree to be guided, negotiate the fee upfront, typically around 20 dirhams (around $2 USD) for a short stroll in the medina. If you find yourself lost, pop into a nearby shop and ask the friendly shopkeepers for assistance—they’re unlikely to scam you as they’re tied to their store.
  • The Henna Lady: Keep an eye out for henna artists who may approach you, offering to decorate your hands with intricate designs. Some may start drawing without your permission and demand payment afterward. Bargain for the lowest price or politely decline and walk away. They might follow you for a bit but will eventually give up.
  • Market Scams: Souks and markets in Morocco are bustling with vendors selling various goods, but be wary of counterfeit items and inflated prices. Before shopping for souvenirs, spices, or other goods, check with your hotel or hostel staff, locals, or the internet for advice on pricing and quality. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the real deal at a fair price.

Useful Apps/Sites to Enhance Your Experience

  • Darija Dialect: Helps you learn Moroccan Arabic, known as “Darija,” so you can chat with locals and really immerse yourself in the culture.
  • Citymapper: If you’re navigating the city’s public transport, this app lays out all your options for buses, trams, and trains, telling you how long it’ll take, how much it’ll cost, and when you’ll arrive.
  • ONCF TRAFIC (Apple Store/Google Play): For train travel, this app from the National Railways Office helps you find the nearest station, check traffic status, and plan your journey down to the last detail.
  • CTM: Need to hop on a bus? CTM’s official site lets you buy tickets right from your phone.
  • Careem: Ride-sharing app when you’re in need of a taxi or a private luxury car.
  • Pharmacies de Garde Maroc: Feeling under the weather? This app shows you the nearest pharmacy that’s open, so you can get the meds you need ASAP.
  • ADM Traffic (Apple Store/Google Play): If you’re hitting the road, this app uses GPS to keep you updated on any traffic jams or accidents.
  • Glovo: Too lazy to cook or head out for food? Glovo’s got you covered with food delivery right to your doorstep.
  • The Morocco Times: Stay in the loop with the latest news and updates from Morocco with this handy online newspaper site.

Emergency Numbers

  • Police: 190
  • Firefighters: 150
  • Royal Gendarmerie: 177
  • SOS Doctors Morocco: +212 5 22 98 98 98
  • Poison Control Center: +212 5 37 68 64 64/ +212 8 01 00 01 80
  • Airports Mohammed V: +212 5 22 53 90 40
  • Airports Marrakesh: +212 5 24 44 79 10

Safar Ma’Mun to Morocco!

Where are you headed first? Will it be the red sands of the Sahara? Or the seaside treasures, such as Taghazout? Perhaps you’re excited to test your bargaining skills in the bustling medinas of Marrakesh.

Wherever your adventure takes you, it’s bound to be unforgettable. Just remember to stay alert, keep your belongings secure, watch out for scams, and dress modestly.

We wish you fun and safe travels to Morocco, or “سفر مأمون” (safar ma’mun).

About Susan Laurent
Susan Laurent
I'm passionate about world cultures, travel, and discovering amazing new places. I've spent years traveling the globe, very often alone, so I focus on providing important information about travel safety to travelers that I've gathered from first-hand experience.
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