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How to Dress in Morocco: Cultural Sensitivity & Comfort Tips

Morocco is a country with a rich cultural heritage and a diversity of traditions. When visiting Morocco, it's important to dress appropriately to show respect for the local customs and ensure comfort in the varying climates.

How to Dress in Morocco?

Here are some tips on how to dress in Morocco:

1. Respect Local Customs and Religious Sensitivities

Morocco is predominantly a Muslim country, and modesty is highly valued in Islamic culture. It is respectful to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites or interacting with locals. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Covering Shoulders and Knees: Both men and women should aim to cover their shoulders and knees. Avoid wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, or skirts that are above the knee.
  • Loose-Fitting Clothing: Choose loose-fitting garments that are not form-fitting, as they provide comfort in the warm climate and align with local norms.

2. Layering for Varying Climates

Morocco experiences a range of climates, from hot desert regions to cooler mountainous areas. It's essential to pack and dress in layers to adapt to these varying conditions. Here's what to consider:

  • Lightweight Fabrics: Opt for breathable and lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen to combat the heat in most parts of Morocco.
  • Long-Sleeved Shirts and Pants: Long-sleeved shirts and pants protect against the sun and help with modesty. Choose light colors to reflect the sun's rays.
  • Scarf or Shawl: Carry a scarf or shawl, especially for women, to cover the head or shoulders when needed, particularly in more conservative areas.

3. Footwear and Accessories

Choosing appropriate footwear and accessories can enhance your comfort and overall experience in Morocco. Consider the following:

  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: Morocco involves plenty of walking, so wear comfortable shoes that can handle uneven terrain and long hours of exploration.
  • Sun Protection: Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the strong Moroccan sun.
  • Bags and Backpacks: Opt for secure and sturdy bags or backpacks to keep your belongings safe during your travels.

4. Adapting to Different Regions

Different regions in Morocco may have their unique styles or requirements. Here are a few examples:

  • Desert Regions: When visiting the Sahara Desert or similar areas, consider loose, breathable clothing that provides sun protection. You may also want to bring a scarf to shield your face from sand and wind.
  • Coastal Areas: Coastal cities like Casablanca and Essaouira have a more relaxed dress code due to their exposure to international influences. While still being mindful of modesty, you can be a bit more flexible with your clothing choices.

5. Cultural Sensitivity and Etiquette

Respecting Moroccan culture goes beyond clothing choices. Here are a few additional etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  • Public Displays of Affection: Avoid excessive public displays of affection, as they may be considered inappropriate in some areas.
  • Removing Shoes: In certain situations, such as entering someone's home or a mosque, it is customary to remove your shoes. Pay attention to local customs and follow suit.
  • Greetings and Politeness: Familiarize yourself with common greetings and basic Arabic phrases as a sign of respect. Moroccan people appreciate when visitors make an effort to learn a few words of their language.

By following these dressing guidelines and respecting local customs, you can ensure a more enjoyable and culturally sensitive experience while visiting Morocco.

How to Dress in Morocco?

What can female tourists wear in Morocco?

Female tourists in Morocco can wear a variety of clothing options while being mindful of local customs and cultural sensitivities. Here are some guidelines to help female tourists dress respectfully and comfortably in Morocco:

  1. Modest Tops: Opt for tops that cover the shoulders and have at least short sleeves. It's advisable to avoid low-cut or revealing tops. Loose-fitting tunics, blouses, or shirts are great choices.
  2. Bottoms: Choose pants, skirts, or dresses that cover the knees. Loose-fitting trousers or maxi skirts are popular and comfortable options. Avoid wearing shorts or miniskirts, as they may be seen as inappropriate in certain settings.
  3. Layers and Scarves: Layering is practical in Morocco, as it allows you to adapt to varying temperatures. Carry a lightweight scarf or shawl to cover your head, shoulders, or chest when visiting religious sites or more conservative areas.
  4. Fabrics and Colors: Opt for breathable and lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen, as they are comfortable in Morocco's warm climate. Light colors reflect the sun's rays and help keep you cool.
  5. Swimwear: When visiting coastal cities or resorts, it is acceptable to wear swimsuits in designated beach areas. However, it's advisable to cover up when leaving the beach or pool areas to show respect for local customs.
  6. Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or sandals are ideal for exploring Morocco's cities and sites. Keep in mind that you may encounter uneven surfaces or cobblestone streets, so choose footwear that provides support and stability.

Remember that there can be some regional variations in dress norms within Morocco. While larger cities like Marrakech and Casablanca tend to be more liberal in their clothing styles, it's still important to dress modestly and be respectful of local customs throughout the country.

By following these guidelines and being aware of the cultural context, female tourists can dress comfortably, respect local traditions, and have a more enjoyable experience in Morocco.

How to Dress in Morocco?

Is there a dress code for tourists in Morocco?

While there isn't a strict dress code enforced by law for tourists in Morocco, it is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully, particularly in areas with strong religious and conservative traditions. Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, and adhering to local customs and cultural sensitivities is appreciated. Here are some considerations:

  1. Covering Shoulders and Knees: Both men and women should aim to cover their shoulders and knees. Avoid wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, or skirts that are above the knee.
  2. Loose-Fitting Clothing: Choose loose-fitting garments that are not form-fitting, as they provide comfort in the warm climate and align with local norms.
  3. Head Coverings: While female tourists don't need to wear headscarves (hijabs), it is respectful to carry a lightweight scarf or shawl to cover your head or shoulders when entering religious sites or visiting more conservative areas.
  4. Beachwear: It is acceptable to wear swimsuits and beachwear at designated beach areas or resorts. However, when leaving these areas, it is courteous to cover up with a sarong or beach cover-up.
  5. Respecting Local Customs: It's important to be mindful of local customs and traditions. Take cues from the local population and adapt your clothing choices accordingly, especially in more rural or conservative regions.

While larger cities like Marrakech and Casablanca are more accustomed to international tourists and have a more relaxed dress code, it's still recommended to dress modestly out of respect for local culture. By dressing respectfully, you show consideration for the customs and traditions of the Moroccan people, which can lead to a more positive and immersive travel experience.

Can females wear shorts in Morocco?

In Morocco, it is generally advisable for females to avoid wearing shorts, especially in public or conservative areas. While larger cities like Marrakech and Casablanca may be more tolerant of Western-style clothing, it's still respectful to dress modestly to align with local customs and cultural sensitivities.

Instead of shorts, consider wearing loose-fitting pants, capris, or skirts that cover the knees. This shows respect for the local culture and helps you blend in with the local population. Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics to stay comfortable in Morocco's warm climate.

If you plan to engage in outdoor activities or visit the beach, you may find more leniency in dress codes. However, even in those contexts, it's advisable to have a cover-up or sarong to wear when you're not actively participating in water activities.

By dressing modestly, you not only show respect for the local customs but also enhance your own comfort and cultural immersion during your visit to Morocco.

How do people in Morocco dress?

The way people dress in Morocco varies depending on various factors, including their location, cultural background, and personal preferences. Here are some insights into the typical clothing styles in Morocco:

  1. Traditional Clothing: Many Moroccans, particularly in rural areas and older generations, still wear traditional clothing. For men, this often includes a long robe called a djellaba, which can be worn with a hood. Women may wear a kaftan, a long and loose-fitting dress, often accompanied by a headscarf.
  2. Urban Fashion: In larger cities like Casablanca, Marrakech, and Rabat, you will find a mix of modern and traditional fashion influences. Moroccans living in urban areas often dress in modern Western-style clothing, including jeans, t-shirts, dresses, and suits. Younger generations, in particular, tend to embrace global fashion trends.
  3. Islamic Dress: As a predominantly Muslim country, you will see many Moroccans, especially women, wearing Islamic dress that adheres to modesty standards. This can include headscarves, known as hijabs, as well as niqabs (face veils) and abayas (loose-fitting robes). However, it's worth noting that not all women in Morocco wear Islamic dress, and personal choices can vary.
  4. Professional Attire: In work and business settings, professional attire is common, similar to what you might find in other countries. Men often wear suits, dress shirts, and ties, while women opt for business suits, dresses, or modest formal wear.
  5. Festive Attire: During special occasions, such as weddings or religious festivals, Moroccans often dress in elaborate and ornate traditional outfits, including intricately designed kaftans and jalebis (robe-like garments). These outfits are often adorned with embroidery, sequins, and vibrant colors.

It's important to remember that Morocco is a diverse country with a range of clothing styles influenced by cultural, social, and individual factors. In urban areas, you will encounter a mix of modern and traditional attire, while more conservative and rural areas tend to observe stricter modesty norms. As a visitor, it's respectful to dress modestly and be mindful of local customs, particularly in religious sites and more conservative regions.

What's the best currency to take to Morocco?

The official currency of Morocco is the Moroccan dirham (MAD). It is best to take Moroccan dirhams with you when traveling to Morocco to ensure you have the local currency readily available for your expenses. While some major tourist areas and hotels may accept major foreign currencies such as the Euro or US Dollar, it is generally more convenient and cost-effective to use the local currency.

Here are a few options for obtaining Moroccan dirhams:

  1. Exchange Currency Before Traveling: You can exchange your home currency for Moroccan dirhams at your local bank or currency exchange service before traveling. It's advisable to compare exchange rates and fees to get the best deal.
  2. ATMs: Once you arrive in Morocco, you can withdraw Moroccan dirhams from ATMs using your debit card or credit card. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas. Check with your bank or card issuer to ensure your card will work in Morocco and inquire about any foreign transaction fees.
  3. Currency Exchange Offices in Morocco: There are numerous currency exchange offices (bureaux de change) throughout Morocco, particularly in airports, major cities, and tourist areas. These offices offer currency exchange services, and their rates may vary, so it's a good idea to compare rates and fees before making an exchange.
  4. Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, upscale restaurants, and larger shops in urban areas. Visa and Mastercard are more commonly accepted than American Express or Discover. However, it's still advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments, markets, or areas where card payments may not be accepted.

It's always a good idea to have a mix of payment options available when traveling to Morocco. While credit cards offer convenience and security, having cash in Moroccan dirhams is essential for transactions in local markets, small establishments, and rural areas. Be cautious when exchanging money or using ATMs, and keep your currency secure throughout your trip.


Dressing appropriately in Morocco is not only a sign of respect for the local culture and customs but also ensures your comfort in different climates and environments.

Remember to prioritize modesty by covering your shoulders and knees, opting for loose-fitting clothing, and considering layering for varying temperatures. Pack comfortable walking shoes, sun protection, and appropriate bags or backpacks.

Be mindful of the specific dress requirements in different regions, such as desert areas and coastal cities. Embracing cultural sensitivity and observing local etiquette will further enhance your experience in Morocco. Enjoy your trip while immersing yourself in the beauty and traditions of this captivating country.