Backpacking Morocco

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!

It's time to finally explore Africa! If you prefer a more relaxed approach to travelling, then backpacking in Morocco is for you. On this short trip, you’ll get to explore one of the continent’s most beautiful regions, as Morocco embodies everything – culture, history, and nature. If you’re looking for an exceptional country, this is it! Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it?

This northern African country may only be a stone's throw away from mainland Europe, but there is a world of difference between them. It’s also sunny, warm, low-priced, safe, interesting, diverse, and has loads to offer backpackers. Morocco’s infrastructure is very well developed, and the country can be explored by train, bus, and collective taxi. Discover the country on your own and see a lot in a relatively short period of time. Moroccans are friendly and very helpful, hostels are affordable, and the food is absolutely delicious (try sweet dates, aromatic couscous, and fresh almonds!).

Moreover, Morocco is not only attractive for budget travellers but also for nature lovers, as the country packs in extreme contrasts in a small area: snow-covered Atlas Mountains, endless sand dunes in the Sahara Desert, beautiful white beaches on the Atlantic coast, and green forests and valleys in the country’s interior. You can go hiking, mountain biking, surfing, sand boarding, and even skiing during winter. Discover big cities with traditional architecture, colourful markets, mosques, and Moorish flair, as well as centuries-old mountain villages and picturesque port cities. Morocco is the perfect African country for an unforgettable backpacking adventure.


Since the country is relatively popular among tourists, you’re almost guaranteed a warm welcome. Get to know the locals and discover a whole other side of Morocco.

Morocco’s backpacking highlight is the Sahara Desert. The Sahara is often directly associated with Africa, and you, like many travellers, probably dream of seeing it with your own eyes. Make this dream come true and travel into the vast desert – that alone should make backpacking in Morocco worthwhile.

In conclusion, Morocco is a great introduction to Africa and encompasses a completely different world that will change your perspective on many things. The country is colourful and wild, yet calm and relaxing. After travelling here, you’re sure to find exactly what you are looking for: inspiration from unfamiliar cultures and experiences that will test your comfort zone. Backpacking in Morocco not only enriches your bucket list, but also enriches you as a person.

See below for the perfect Morocco itinerary for an unforgettable trip:


Important Basics

Official Language

Arabic

Basic Vocabulary
EnglishArabic (Moroccan dialect)
HelloSäläm
GoodbyeBslamah
ThankyouShukran!
YesÄh
NoLa
Capital City

Rabat

Form of Government

Constitutional Monarchy with Parliamentary System

Phone Country Code

+212

Currency

Moroccan Dirham

Climate

Highest temperature by day: 17-32 degrees Celsius

Highest temperature at night: 7 to 20 degrees Celsius

Summer: June-October, winter: December-February

Fun Fact

The most expensive spice in the world, Safran, is cultivated and produced in Morocco.

Cities

Marrakech

This vibrant metropolis lies between the Atlas Mountains and is a true feast for the senses. Marrakech is very stimulating with its bright colours, attractive scents, narrow dusty streets, and musical sounds.

The city’s most beautiful attraction is the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, which is sometimes translated as “assembly of the dead.” Let yourself be entertained by countless musicians, acrobats, dancers, and snake charmers or buy exotic souvenirs, alleged miracle cures, and culinary delights. Take a stroll through the medina’s (old town’s) maze of crowded alleys dotted with small shops. Watch donkeys haul big loads and allow yourself to be swept away by the Maghrebi charm of this bustling city.

Discover the highlights of Moorish architecture, such as the Bahia Palace or Ben Youssef Madrasa, the country’s most beautiful Koranic school. Also, we encourage a visit to the modern French district of Guéliz (also known as Ville Nouvelle) and the bold and exotic Majorelle Garden. We also recommend an excursion to the Ourika Valley where you can hike to picturesque waterfalls and Instagram-worthy viewpoints.

Stay in a six-bed dorm at a city hostel for €10.

The Sahara Desert

A desert tour is an absolute must on every Morocco trip.

Experience the Sahara Desert’s unique landscape on a three-day safari. The tour begins in Marrakech, and highlights include driving across the High Atlas and visiting the famous Kasbah of Aït-Ben-Haddou and Ouarzazate, also known as The Gateway to the Sahara Desert.

Don’t forget to visit the impressive rock formations of the Dadès Gorges and the oasis town, Tinghir. Ride on a camel over Erg Chebbi’s endless dunes and experience a breathtaking sunset over the soft sand. Spend the night in a traditional Bedouin camp and enjoy authentic Moroccan food under the stars.

This unforgettable experience only costs €110 per person and includes transfer, an English-speaking guide, accommodation, and meals.

Casablanca

Take a bus from Marrakech to Casablanca for about €10.

Casablanca is not only the country’s biggest city, but also its economic centre.

Take a stroll through the medina and check out the Hassan II Mosque, which claims to have the tallest minaret in the world, towering 210 meters high. This mosque is one of the city’s most famous sites and was partly built over the sea so that the water is visible through the glass floor. More than 25,000 worshipers can gather in the huge prayer hall, and even non-Muslims are allowed to enter.

Other things to do include visiting the Casablanca Cathedral, taking a stroll along the Atlantic coast, discovering cosy traditional restaurants, or diving into the city’s vibrant nightlife.

A centrally located hotel offers overnight stays for €18 in an eight-bed dorm.

Fez

Travel to Fez by train for €10.

This once royal city offers countless cultural sights. With over 9,000 winding alleyways, magnificent mosques, fountains, and colourful souks, this old town is considered the most splendid medina in Morocco.

Fez’s highlight is the traditional tanners’ and dyers’ quarter where leather is treated and coloured according to traditional medieval methods. Discover the beautiful secret gardens hidden behind crumbling walls and relax between tiled fountains and exotic plants.

The Jewish quarter of Fez al-Jadid, founded by the Marinids in the Middle Ages, is also worth a visit. You can even walk to the Marinid tombs – the area has the best panoramic view over Fez’s medina and city walls. If you have a little more time, take some day trips to Moulay Idriss or Volubilis.

In Fez, you can stay in a five-bed dorm for €13.

Asilah

Take the train to Asilah for about €12.

This beautiful coastal town is quiet, calm, and not yet overrun by tourists. Its small medina is surrounded by an old stone wall, and its alleys have a charming atmosphere – perfect for a relaxing stroll without worrying about large crowds or pushy traders.

The ruins of the old Roman city of Lixus lie to the south of Asilah and are situated on a hill offering magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and modern seaport, Larache. This small village has a remarkable medina and numerous traditional fish restaurants.

Asilah also has two beautiful beaches to relax and take some time enjoy the sun. If you want to have a beach all to yourself, take a day trip to the remote Paradise Beach.

An overnight stay at a hostel will cost you €10 for a six-bed dorm.

Tangier

The last stop on your journey is Tangier, situated on the North African Coast.

The charming port city, considered the gateway to Spain, is easily reached by train for only €5.

Tangier’s main attractions are the beautiful Kasbah in the medina quarter and the restored Art Deco Cinéma Rif on the Grand Socco. Explore the medina’s bright, winding alleys, go souvenir shopping at colourful markets, and discover cosy cafés.

The city’s magnificent Sultan's Palace offers a fantastic view over the Strait of Gibraltar, the port, and the old town. We also recommend a trip to Cap Spartel’s lighthouse and to The Caves of Hercules, where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet.

There are several beautiful beaches around Tangier, so be sure to sleep near the sound of the waves. A stay in a seven-bed dorm costs only €9 a night.


Marrakech

Marrakech

This vibrant metropolis lies between the Atlas Mountains and is a true feast for the senses. Marrakech is very stimulating with its bright colours, attractive scents, narrow dusty streets, and musical sounds.

The city’s most beautiful attraction is the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, which is sometimes translated as “assembly of the dead.” Let yourself be entertained by countless musicians, acrobats, dancers, and snake charmers or buy exotic souvenirs, alleged miracle cures, and culinary delights. Take a stroll through the medina’s (old town’s) maze of crowded alleys dotted with small shops. Watch donkeys haul big loads and allow yourself to be swept away by the Maghrebi charm of this bustling city.

Discover the highlights of Moorish architecture, such as the Bahia Palace or Ben Youssef Madrasa, the country’s most beautiful Koranic school. Also, we encourage a visit to the modern French district of Guéliz (also known as Ville Nouvelle) and the bold and exotic Majorelle Garden. We also recommend an excursion to the Ourika Valley where you can hike to picturesque waterfalls and Instagram-worthy viewpoints.

Stay in a six-bed dorm at a city hostel for €10.

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert

A desert tour is an absolute must on every Morocco trip.

Experience the Sahara Desert’s unique landscape on a three-day safari. The tour begins in Marrakech, and highlights include driving across the High Atlas and visiting the famous Kasbah of Aït-Ben-Haddou and Ouarzazate, also known as The Gateway to the Sahara Desert.

Don’t forget to visit the impressive rock formations of the Dadès Gorges and the oasis town, Tinghir. Ride on a camel over Erg Chebbi’s endless dunes and experience a breathtaking sunset over the soft sand. Spend the night in a traditional Bedouin camp and enjoy authentic Moroccan food under the stars.

This unforgettable experience only costs €110 per person and includes transfer, an English-speaking guide, accommodation, and meals.

Casablanca

Casablanca

Take a bus from Marrakech to Casablanca for about €10.

Casablanca is not only the country’s biggest city, but also its economic centre.

Take a stroll through the medina and check out the Hassan II Mosque, which claims to have the tallest minaret in the world, towering 210 meters high. This mosque is one of the city’s most famous sites and was partly built over the sea so that the water is visible through the glass floor. More than 25,000 worshipers can gather in the huge prayer hall, and even non-Muslims are allowed to enter.

Other things to do include visiting the Casablanca Cathedral, taking a stroll along the Atlantic coast, discovering cosy traditional restaurants, or diving into the city’s vibrant nightlife.

A centrally located hotel offers overnight stays for €18 in an eight-bed dorm.

Fez

Fez

Travel to Fez by train for €10.

This once royal city offers countless cultural sights. With over 9,000 winding alleyways, magnificent mosques, fountains, and colourful souks, this old town is considered the most splendid medina in Morocco.

Fez’s highlight is the traditional tanners’ and dyers’ quarter where leather is treated and coloured according to traditional medieval methods. Discover the beautiful secret gardens hidden behind crumbling walls and relax between tiled fountains and exotic plants.

The Jewish quarter of Fez al-Jadid, founded by the Marinids in the Middle Ages, is also worth a visit. You can even walk to the Marinid tombs – the area has the best panoramic view over Fez’s medina and city walls. If you have a little more time, take some day trips to Moulay Idriss or Volubilis.

In Fez, you can stay in a five-bed dorm for €13.

Asilah

Asilah

Take the train to Asilah for about €12.

This beautiful coastal town is quiet, calm, and not yet overrun by tourists. Its small medina is surrounded by an old stone wall, and its alleys have a charming atmosphere – perfect for a relaxing stroll without worrying about large crowds or pushy traders.

The ruins of the old Roman city of Lixus lie to the south of Asilah and are situated on a hill offering magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and modern seaport, Larache. This small village has a remarkable medina and numerous traditional fish restaurants.

Asilah also has two beautiful beaches to relax and take some time enjoy the sun. If you want to have a beach all to yourself, take a day trip to the remote Paradise Beach.

An overnight stay at a hostel will cost you €10 for a six-bed dorm.

Tangier

Tangier

The last stop on your journey is Tangier, situated on the North African Coast.

The charming port city, considered the gateway to Spain, is easily reached by train for only €5.

Tangier’s main attractions are the beautiful Kasbah in the medina quarter and the restored Art Deco Cinéma Rif on the Grand Socco. Explore the medina’s bright, winding alleys, go souvenir shopping at colourful markets, and discover cosy cafés.

The city’s magnificent Sultan's Palace offers a fantastic view over the Strait of Gibraltar, the port, and the old town. We also recommend a trip to Cap Spartel’s lighthouse and to The Caves of Hercules, where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet.

There are several beautiful beaches around Tangier, so be sure to sleep near the sound of the waves. A stay in a seven-bed dorm costs only €9 a night.

Morocco Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Marrakech
Home - Marrakech
Flight
50
six-bed dorm
10
2. Marrakech
Marrakech
-
six-bed dorm
10
3. Marrakech - Sahara Desert
Marrakech - Sahara Desert
Tour
Tour Accommodation
4. The Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert
-
Tour Accommodation
5. Sahara Desert - Marrakech
Sahara Desert - Marrakech
-
six-bed dorm
10
6. Marrakech - Casablanca
Marrakech - Casablanca
Bus
10
eight-bed dorm
18
7. Casablanca
Casablanca
-
eight-bed dorm
18
8. Casablanca – Fez
Casablanca – Fez
Train
10
five-bed dorm
13
9. Fez
Fez
-
five-bed dorm
13
10. Fez
Fez
-
five-bed dorm
13
11. Fez - Asilah
Fez - Asilah
Train
12
six-bed dorm
10
12. Asilah
Asilah
-
six-bed dorm
10
13. Asilah
Asilah
-
six-bed dorm
10
14. Asilah - Tanger
Asilah - Tanger
Train
5
seven-bed dorm
9
15. Tanger
Tanger
-
seven-bed dorm
9
16. Tanger- Home
Tanger- Home
Flight
50

Total price.

Flights 100,00
Transportation 37,00
Tours 110,00
Accommodation 153,00
Total400,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Beghrir: These semolina pancakes are usually served with butter and honey, accompanied by almond syrup – the perfect way to start your day!

Soups

Harira: This soup consists of lentils and chickpeas and is especially popular during Ramadan.

Main Courses

Pastillas: This dish is like a meat pie and consists of puff pastry and minced meat or seafood and is sprinkled with cinnamon.

Ferakh Maamer:  Stuffed chicken that is seasoned with aromatic spices.

Briouats: Deep-fried pastries that are filled with minced meat and cheese.

Couscous: In Morocco, this pearl-like pasta is traditionally prepared with vegetables and meat.

Tajine: A traditional slow-cooked Moroccan stew cooked with vegetables, meat, and herbs. It’s a popular dish for family celebrations.

Drinks & Snacks

The à la menthe: This is the most consumed tea – a green tea with mint leaves.

Café au lait: This classic espresso with milk is a must-drink in Morocco.

Morocca

The exchange rate for 10 Moroccan Dirham is around €0.10 (as of February 2020). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of Living 

Food

Free time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Dress modestly: For religious reasons, it is very important that your shoulders and knees are covered in Morocco.

Take off your shoes: Before entering a room or (occasionally) a shop, you should always take off your shoes.

Respect the culture: Be as respectful as possible towards the locals’ culture, as it is very important to them.

Don'ts

Do not give money to begging children: Handing them money supports child labour.

Do not show the sole of your foot: In Morocco feet are considered impure, which means you should always leave yours on the ground.

Do not show public displays of affection: This is unacceptable, so keep your hands off each other!

Do not enter a mosque: In Morocco, these holy places are taboo for non-believers.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

Not necessary

Vaccine

Yes

Additional Remarks.

Your travel documents must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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