Morocco Packing List – Guide For What To Wear In Morocco
Morocco Packing List
It’s been years since our first trip to Morocco and to Africa. I spent a good amount of time before our recent trip researching what to wear in Morocco. Part of this is due to the culture and part because we were taking a bit of an adventurous trip. This Morocco packing list is the result of our research and what we learned on our trip about what to pack and what can be left at home.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.
Packing For Morocco
Our guide to packing for Morocco will include what is appropriate clothing to wear for Morocco and some tips on what not to wear. This will include outfit ideas, tips for what bags to pack, what shoes to wear, and more general tips on how to pack for a trip to Morocco. This last part includes all the details about currency, electronics, and other non-clothing things to pack for Morocco.Wondering What To Eat In Morocco? Check out our Morocco Food Guide See our Review of Our Intrepid Morocco Real Food Adventure
Creating a Packing List For Morocco
Morocco might only be a 2.5-hour flight from where we live in Spain, but it is so different from our normal travel destinations. Our first trip to Morocco was in 2007 when we added on a trip to Marrakech to an itinerary that took us to Barcelona and Paris – an itinerary that now seems obscene. Our most recent trip was a 12 day Morocco Food Tour through Intrepid (see our review here). It involved market tours and cooking classes as well as dessert camping and camel rides – how were we to pack for this trip?
Not only did we have a variety of activities scheduled, but we would be in cities, villages, deserts, and mountains. Although our first trip to Marrakech was in the summer, this trip was in the fall, where it could be both hot and cold. Add in the fact that Morocco is a Muslim country, and I had some stress about what clothes to wear in Morocco.
I figured we were not alone in worrying about this, so we did a lot of research on what to bring to Morocco before our trip. This Morocco packing guide shares what we learned and will help you learn from our successes (and mistakes) in how we traveled through Morocco.Learn More About Our Morocco Real Food Adventure With Intrepid
Purchasing Travel Insurance For Morocco
One of the most important things I can recommend for any trip to Morocco is travel insurance. First, we were required by Intrepid to purchasing a minimum level of insurance before the trip. We needed to provide them proof of insurance before we arrived.
Even if Intrepid didn’t require insurance, it’s a really good idea to purchase travel insurance, particularly when traveling to a place like Morocco. This trip was a lot more adventurous than most of our other trips, which tend to focus on city breaks and country retreats.
We purchased our travel insurance through World Nomads for this trip. World Nomads is one of the most reputable companies for travel insurance worldwide. They make purchasing insurance easy too.
We purchased the Explorer Plan because we wanted to ensure our laptops and cell phones were covered up to $500 each for only a few dollars more. This really gave us peace of mind. We cannot recommend enough the importance of travel insurance for Morocco. Get an instant quote here.Get An Instant Quote From World Nomads Here
What Is It Like To Travel In Morocco
Morocco has a variety of landscapes and travel experiences. Although cities like Fes and Marrakech are more used to tourists, some Morocco itineraries go off-the-beaten-path a little more, with visits to smaller towns and villages. Being a desert country, everywhere we went was dusty. We actually lived through a sand storm in Marrakech during our first visit. This means be prepared for clothing to get dirty. It might not be the place for a long white skirt or white flowing pants. They will get dirty.
Morocco is also a Muslim country. As much as it is not as conservative as some Middle Eastern destinations, it’s always a good idea to respect the local culture and religion. This means finding appropriate clothing for Morocco, even when it’s super hot outside. In the section below on women’s clothing for Morocco, I will share some tips on how to dress sensibly while still trying to be somewhat fashionable and comfortable in the weather.
How To Pack Light For Morocco
We each traveled with a carry-on wheeled suitcase for our trip to Morocco. Our trip notes from Intrepid suggested a backpack, but my back won’t allow backpacks anymore. Instead, we used our normal wheeled luggage but kept it light enough that we could carry it by its handle if needed, particularly up and down steps. Others in our group carried duffle bags as well as wheeled suitcases.
In at least one destination, a donkey transported our luggage, along with others, to our guest house. This is another reason to pack light, one that I never thought I would consider.
In order to pack light and to be able to carry everything we needed for almost two weeks in Morocco, we learned to pack layers and interchangeable outfits. This helped with the range of temperatures we experienced and also helped me keep covered when needed. We had an opportunity to do laundry twice during the trip, which helped. We ended up doing laundry once, during a two night stay in Fes.
On a recent train ride in Spain, we left our luggage on the luggage rack at the entrance of the train. Someone rummaged through our two suitcases and stole a few things. Since then, we’ve been more cautious about our bags. Knowing we would be traveling by train in Morocco and that often times our luggage would be out of our control, we used luggage locks for this trip.
This luggage lock set includes two locks where you can set your own password. And, it is TSA approved. I would definitely recommend it!
Best Daypack For Morocco
When traveling in Europe, we almost never use a backpack for our day bag. I normally use a crossbody travel purse, a purse that tucks under my shoulder, or a lightweight but feminine backpack. Eric carries a Timbuk2 messenger bag but rarely carries it as a day bag. It’s more a carryon for travel. For Morocco, I felt I needed to change things up.
Eric still brought his messenger bag but I opted for a small, functional, and very typical backpack. I did this for a few reasons. I wanted something that I could get dirty – throw on the ground, drop on the floor of a bus, etc. I wanted a backpack that was large enough to hold everything I needed for a day out, but that was small enough that I could wear it on my front if need be.
During the day, we carried our phones, a small Gorilla tripod, a battery pack, a phone charger, sunglasses, and a travel water bottle. I also carried a scarf and a long-sleeved shirt to cover up if needed, either because we were traveling someplace a little more conservative, or to cover up from the sun. I was happy with my choice.
Check out this post if you want to bring an anti-theft travel bag.
What To Pack For Morocco – Technology
We went a little technology light for this trip knowing we were going to have full days and a busy itinerary. Here’s what we recommend bringing on a trip to Morocco.
Camera Or Smartphone
For this trip, we kept things simple. We each carried a smartphone. We left our Sony a6300 Mirrorless camera at home. We just didn’t want to worry about an extra camera. This is mostly because Eric’s new Samsung S10 takes amazing photos and videos, even in low light. We also brought our Gorilla tripod, but we ended up not really using it.
Extra Memory Cards
Whether bringing your phone or camera, be sure to pack an extra memory card. Normally, we upload photos to Dropbox at the end of each day and can clean off our memory cards or storage on our phone easily. This was not as easy to do in Morocco. We did not have the best internet access during our trip to be able to back up photos as we went. So, ensure you have a large enough memory card for your camera or phone before leaving home. This 125GB memory card will mean you will never run out of space for your photos.
Portable WiFi Device
Speaking of WiFi, we are spoiled living and traveling in Europe because our mobile phones work across all of Europe now. We did not get a local sim card when arriving in Casablanca. They are available at the airport, but it was so hectic, we skipped it. Intrepid tried to ensure we had WiFi access at each hotel, but it was spotty, slow, difficult to connect to, or only available in the restaurant or reception. At a few hotels the WiFi was just not working.
For this trip, we packed our SkyRoam portable WiFi device and used it a good amount. We used it about half of the days on our trip. We’ve had the SkyRoam for awhile, but this was the most we’ve used it on a single trip. You can purchase day passes that are good for 24 hours or purchase by gig. We had internet access in some pretty remote parts of Morocco, including the edge of the Sahara desert and in the Atlas mountains. You can connect multiple devices to it as well. SkyRoam is definitely a worthwhile purchase!Use the code WHITROAM to save on a new SkyRoam
Battery Pack or Power Pack
We always travel with at least one portable battery to top up our smartphones during long days of sightseeing. This is more important when traveling in Morocco because there are long days and not a lot of charging options along the way. We’ve had a few power packs from Anker that have worked well. Our current Anker battery can charge two phones at one time making it very handy. See our Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh here.
Morocco uses two prong outlets, the same that are used in most of Europe. A proper travel adapter will help you charge all of your devices while traveling. I recommend taking multiple converters on a trip.
We generally carry at least four on each trip, two for our laptops and two for our phones, so we can charge most of our devices at one time. For this trip, two was sufficient. In one room at a guest house, we only had one outlet! This is important when you have long days and might not have a ton of time to charge up back at the hotel. A Universal Adapter is the best value because it can be used in Europe, the UK, and Asia. You can also plug in a USB, but I wouldn’t plan on using that for a mobile phone. It would work for a battery back.
Portable Coffee Maker
If you are particular about your coffee and need a proper cup in the morning to get you going, Morocco might be a bit of a challenge. Hotels served coffee in the morning, but it was nothing to write home about. If you need a proper cup, check out our recommendations for the Best Coffee Makers For Travel.
Do You Have To Cover Up In Morocco?
Yes and no. Regardless of my personal opinion and how hot it might be in the sun, I always ensure I dress inline with the local culture and norms. This might mean covering shoulders and knees to enter a cathedral in Italy. It is similar to Morocco.
Marrakech is the most touristic city, and you will see people wearing everything, including shorts and tank tops, but that doesn’t mean it is okay. Add this to the category of what not to wear in Morocco. To me, it is not worth bringing attention to myself, offending a hotel or shop owner, or just disrespecting the local culture. I saw young boys starting at women wearing short, sleeveless dresses. I even saw an adult chastise the young boys for doing so.
It is not difficult to find clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. It’s just not hard. I would recommend it.
Morocco – What To Wear
During the winter, jeans are fine, but the forecast for Morocco in October was still calling for hot weather, so we both avoided jeans. In general, try to dress neatly. If you look grubby then you might bring unwanted attention from people looking to sell drugs. Overall, when traveling to Morocco in Spring, Summer, or Fall, look for loose-fitting clothing, including pants, skirts, or tunics. T-shirts are fine, so long as they cover the shoulders.
What To Wear In Morocco – Men
I am starting with men because, well, it’s just easier. When it comes to what do men wear in Morocco, it’s simple – pants and shirts. When it comes to a Morocco dress code for men, I would recommend just dressing neat. No torn jeans, no tank tops, and watch out for printed t-shirts that could potentially have offensive language on it. Although longer shorts are acceptable in Marrakech, in smaller towns and villages I would avoid shorts.
For a 12 day trip to Morocco in the autumn, Eric packed the following:
- Three pairs of lightweight pants
- One pair of men’s capris (Americans still pick on Eric for his capris, but they are a great alternative to shorts when it is hot outside. He’s been wearing them for years).
- One pair of shorts for swimming
- Six short-sleeved shirts, a combination of polo shirts and breathable merino wool t-shirts, which are great for traveling. They don’t need to be washed as often as cotton. We recommend these shirts from Wool And Prince.
- One casual long-sleeved shirt, one merino wool long-sleeved henley (check it out at Wool And Prince), and one pull-over
- One pair of sneakers and one pair of Birkenstocks
What To Wear In Morocco – Women
There is no strict Morocco dress code, not like you see posted on the entrance to shopping malls in Dubai. There are no fashion police looking to arrest or fine tourists. But it is a conservative country. Moroccan traditional dress, though, means women are covered, sometimes even with veils or headscarves. Moroccan dress for men also generally means they are covered as well.
What does this mean for how to dress in Morocco? A lot of women focus on skirts that fall just below the knee. I happen not to own any, so I wore long pants but cuffed them into capris, long skirts, and long flowing pants. I left my knee-length skirts at home. I saw women wearing tank tops and short skirts and shorts, but I also saw local boys staring at them.
A Morocco women’s dress code could be stated as the following:
- Keep shoulders and knees covered, even if with a shawl, scarf, or cardigan
- Avoid tops that reveal cleavage. I wore a camisole under my relatively low-cut dress to be respectful.
- Try to pack full length skirts or long pants
- There is no need to cover your head as they do in more strict Muslim countries. Carry a travel scarf to cover your head if visiting a mosque. A scarf is also helpful to protect from the sun and the occasional sand storm.
Women’s Packing List For Morocco
For a 12 day trip in Morocco, I packed the following:
- Two long, short sleeve dresses (I only ended up really wearing one)
- Three pairs long pants
- Six short-sleeved shirts, two camisoles, and one three-quarter length shirt
- One bathing suit
- One cardigan, one long-sleeved button down, one zip-up hoodie
- One pair of sneakers and one pair of Birkenstocks – I didn’t pack any dress shoes
Our weather was unseasonably warm. I never used my cardigan and only used by zip-up hoodie in the Atlas mountains. I didn’t use my sneakers either, but some itineraries call for some light hiking wear sneakers are better than sandals. One thing I wished I brought was a cover up for my bathing suit as I felt uncomfortable walking to the pool with just a towel around me.
What To Pack For A Trip To Morocco For The Seasons
There are a few modifications to our Morocco packing lists above depending on the season of travel and your intended activities. Be sure to check the forecast in the weeks before your arrival to be sure. Also, there are geographic differences. It was much colder in the Atlas mountains than it is in Marrakech, even if they are not far apart on the map.
Winter In Morocco
If packing for Morocco in winter, still consider layers, but bring extra layers if traveling to the dessert or the Atlas Mountains. It can get cold at night. Even in October, the temperature dropped to the 40s at night. It can get colder than that in winter. Bring a heavier scarf, light gloves, a hat, and a jacket. Also, bring closed-toe shoes and socks and leave the sandals at home unless only traveling to Marrakech. Marrakech does remain warm even in winter.
Summer In Morocco
Packing for Morocco in summer means preparing for the hot temperatures. This means bringing a collapsible travel hat and a lightweight travel scarf, perhaps one with SPF or sun protection. One long-sleeved shirt is sufficient for evening temperatures and can also help keep away the sun. Keeping in mind that women should avoid shorts, a few pairs of capri pants could be a good alternative.
Spring And Autumn In Morocco
For spring and autumn in Morocco, it just means adding some extra layers to the summer wardrobe. In the summer, you can get away with one long-sleeved shirt to cover up if needed. In the fall, I added a cardigan and a hooded zip-up pull-over. We had unseasonably warm temperatures and I never used my cardigan and only used my zip-up in the Atlas Mountains. The main thing about traveling in these shoulder seasons is to prepare for warm weather during the day and a drastic change in temperature in the evening.
Travel Scarf Or Wrap
I always carry a lightweight scarf in my bag. Unless traveling to Morocco in winter, a lightweight travel scarf is fine. This can be used for cooler evenings or to cover up from the sun. It also makes a great travel accessory to spice up an otherwise neutral travel wardrobe. It’s also a great accessory to use when visiting any mosques in Morocco. Consider bringing a travel scarf that you can use to carry cash or credit cards to keep them safe.
Wearing Wool For Travel In Morocco
We’ve recently started traveling with more wool in our wardrobe. This was a great idea when we traveled in Scotland over the summer. Wool&Prince is our go-to wool travel clothing specialist. Everything we own from WoolAndPrince is either wool or a wool blend. It was perfect for the Moroccan weather. Best of all, because the clothing is made with wool, it doesn’t need to be washed as much as cotton or cotton blend, making it perfect for travel!
On this trip, Eric packed three merino wool t-shirts, one short sleeve henley, and one long sleeve henley, all from Wool & Prince. He wore each one at least two or three times without washing and they held up really well. Definitely consider packing a few wool pieces when planning outfits for Morocco.Check out all the Wool Travel Clothing at Wool & Prince
What To Pack For Morocco – Beyond Clothing
Planning for a trip to Morocco is different from planning a trip to Spain or Italy or any other city break in Europe. Here are a few things to pack for Morocco beyond clothing and accessories.
I am also including a few other tips for planning a trip.
Accessing Money In Morocco
We are often spoiled by doing a lot of our travel within Europe. This means we don’t need to worry about accessing money. We always have easy access to ATMs. In Morocco, things are a little different. Morocco uses the Moroccan dirham. We use XE.com to check out currency rates for new destinations. We also have the app on our phone to translate on the go. During our visit, 100 dirham was about $10 making the currency exchange really easy to understand.
We brought some Euros with us to change money if need be, but we didn’t have to. We always recommend using an ATM instead of exchanging money. We used the ATMs in larger cities as we went. Our Intrepid guide was great in telling us which cities had ATMs and when we could use one. He told us which ones worked best and even made some pit-stops on the way for folks to access cash.
The ATMs we used only allowed for withdrawals up to 2000 dirham, or about $200. Because we were on a tour and a lot of our expenses were covered, we only withdrew about 5000 dirham during our 12 day trip. We didn’t use a credit card at all other than to make one souvenir purchase.
Money Belt or Passport Belt
A lot of people put a money belt or passport belt on their list of things to bring to Morocco. We generally don’t travel with one in Europe, but I think they are helpful in Morocco to feel more secure.
If you would feel more secure using a money belt, we recommend this neck wallet. It includes an RFID blocker, which means that your credit cards are more secure. It also has room for a smartphone to keep it secure as well.
Packing Cubes For Morocco
Packing cubes can help travelers organize clothing, either by color or by function. For a trip to Morocco, they can help keep things organized when your itinerary keeps you moving every day or two. They cal also segregate wet or sandy clothing from the clean stuff in your bag.
Eye Mask For Sleeping
Many of the accommodations in Morocco are pretty simple. There are few western hotel chains, particularly outside of the bigger cities. Most hotels don’t have black out curtains and there might be security lights or street lights just outside your windows. If you have difficulty sleeping when it is light outside, I would recommend an eye mask for traveling.
I definitely recommend bringing some ear plugs to Morocco. There can be street noise in cities, particularly if staying in the Medinas. Walls might also be a little thin.
Sunscreen or Sun Cream
Even if visiting outside of the summer, Morocco is hot, dry, and sunny. Ensure you have a high factor SPF sunscreen, preferably in a smaller bottle so you can carry it through the day and reapply if needed. Definitely buy a bottle at home because sunscreen in Morocco can be very expensive in comparison.
Tissues and Wipes
I’ve become accustomed to traveling with tissues in my bag because, well, you just never know, even in Europe. Many public toilets in Morocco don’t have toilet paper. Carry some tissues with you.
Another great thing to carry are travel wet wipes to wash your hands during the day. I don’t tend to think hand sanitizer is needed, but in the middle of a warm day sightseeing, having some wipes to clean your hands or face can make you feel like a whole new person. It can also help at restaurants that don’t have great napkins.
If you do want to carry hand sanitizer, look for the type that clips to your bag. It’s more convenient and means you will be more likely to use it. We didn’t pack wet wipes for this trip and I really wished we had.
Imodium or Pepto or Alka-Seltzer
This goes into the better safe than sorry. We want you to enjoy all of the great Moroccan food and that means street food too! If you have a sensitive stomach, consider packing one or more of these: Imodium, Pepto, Alka-Seltzer, or whatever you tend to like in the family of antacids and digestive health. Just remember to pack tablets or capsules instead of liquids if you are traveling carryon only.
Purifying Travel Water Bottle
We do try to avoid buying plastic water bottles when we can. It’s not always possible. It’s not a good idea to drink tap water in Morocco. Whereas when traveling in Europe we normally recommend a Brita water bottle, in Morocco I recommend a purifying water bottle like this one from Lifestraw.
* Intrepid Travel supported us on our trip through Morocco. Learn more about their Morocco Real Food Adventure here.
FAQs - Travel Essentials for morocco
Public displays of affection, even for married couples, are frowned upon. Although we don’t tend to be super affectionate in public anyway, we avoided kissing or holding hands in public and even at hotels and restaurants.
Of all the places we visited in Morocco, Marrakech is the most liberal because of the number of tourists. Generally, shorts in Morocco are not worn. If you are only traveling to Marrakech, shorts are more acceptable. For women, I would still recommend shorts that go to the knee or just above.
It is not recommended to drink the water in Morocco. See our recommended travel water bottle above. This also means avoiding ice or salads unless you are dining at a recommended restaurant that uses clean water. See our Morocco Food Guide for more information.