Fact file: Morocco

Did you know?
The film Casablanca was shot in Hollywood. But famous films that were actually shot on location in Morocco include Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and Gladiator.
Language
Arabic with Berber dialects, French, Spanish (in some areas) and English.
Visas
None required, just a passport valid for at least six months.
Getting there
International airports at Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir — air links are good. You can also drive through Spain and get a car ferry or jetfoil.
Flying time from London
Three hours (Tangiers).
Getting around
If you have the cash, the internal flight service is efficient. Car hire is expensive and road blocks are a constant hassle. The trains are modern and far better than the buses. Bigger cities have their own bus services and taxis.
Currency
Dirham, divided into 100 centimes.
Costs
As a rough guide: litre of petrol 50p, 4-mile taxi ride about £2, bottle of beer £1, moderately priced restaurant meal with wine £10, roll of film £1.50.
Weather
Unless you're used to the overwhelming midsummer heat (daytime temperatures in August average 40C) travel outside that month. Winter temperatures rarely fall below 15C, rainfall is minimal all year round.
Time difference
None from the UK.
International dialling code from the UK
00 212.
Voltage
Mainly 220 volts but in some parts of the country still at 110 volts. Sockets are European two-pin variety.
Opening hours
Shops tend to open from 8am to 6pm, often closing for a few hours in the heat of midday. Some close on Fridays, the Muslim holy day. Most museums are closed Tuesdays. In cities, banks usually open Monday-Thursday 8.30am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm. On Fridays the midday break is longer to allow for prayers.
Health — before you go
No jabs required but hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended. Take out a good travel insurance to cover medical costs.
Health — when you are there
Drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes. As a rule, don't eat anything that isn't cooked, boiled or peeled. Busy restaurants are less likely to make use of reheated food. Some malaria lurks on the north coast but generally health risks are minimal.
Warnings
Avoid pointing your camera at anything vaguely military, including government buildings or airports. Beware unofficial "guides" who may harass you with tales of hardship. Official guides have government approved badges and ID cards. Penalties for drugs are severe. And remember to change back any Moroccan money before leaving.
Emergency
Police tel 19. British Embassy: 17 Ave de la Tour Hassan, Rabat. Tel 07 720905
Customs
Morocco is a Muslim country, however liberal. So cover up and avoid open displays of affection and/or drunkenness. Ask before you photograph people — they may not like it.
Pets
It's not a viable proposition to bring your pets as animals would have to go into quarantine to re-enter the UK.
Tipping
Ten per cent in restaurants. Elsewhere tipping is a big part of everyday life.
Tourist office
Moroccan National Tourist Office, 205 Regent Street, London W1B 4HB. Tel 020 7437 0073.
Did you know?
Famous films that were actually shot on location in Morocco include Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and Gladiator.
Language
Arabic with Berber dialects, French, Spanish (in some areas) and English.
Visas
None required, just a passport valid for at least six months.
Getting there
International airport at Agadir — air links are good. You can also drive through Spain and get a car ferry or jetfoil.
Flying time from London
Three hours.
Getting around
If you have the cash, internal flights are efficient. Car hire is expensive and road blocks are a constant hassle. The trains are modern and far better than the buses. Bigger cities have their own bus services and taxis.
Currency
Dirham, divided into 100 centimes.
Costs
Prices vary greatly, but as a rough guide: litre of petrol 50p, 4-mile taxi ride about £2, bottle of beer £1, moderately priced restaurant meal with wine £10, 24-exposure camera film £1.50.
Weather
Morocco has a wide variety of climatic conditions. Coastal weather is tourist friendly all year, but it can get chilly at night. The country's interior can be scorching, especially when desert winds blow in.
Time difference
None from the UK.
International dialling code from the UK
00 212.
Voltage
Mainly 220 volts but in some parts of the country still at 110 volts. Sockets are European two-pin variety.
Opening hours
Shops tend to open from 8am to 6pm, often closing for a few hours in the heat of midday. Some close on Fridays, the Muslim holy day. Most museums are closed Tuesdays. In cities, banks usually open Monday-Thursday 8.30am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm. On Fridays the midday break is longer to allow for prayers.
Health — before you go
No jabs required but hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended. Take out a good travel insurance to cover medical costs.
Health — when you are there
Drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes. As a rule, don't eat anything that isn't cooked, boiled or peeled. Busy restaurants are less likely to make use of reheated food. Some malaria lurks on the north coast but generally health risks are minimal.
Warnings
Avoid pointing your camera at anything vaguely military, including government buildings or airports. Beware unofficial 'guides' who may harass you with tales of hardship — official guides have government approved badges and ID cards. Penalties for drugs offences are severe. And remember to change back any Moroccan money before leaving.
Emergency
Police tel 19. British Embassy: 17 Ave de la Tour Hassan, Rabat. Tel 07 720905
Customs
Morocco is a Muslim country, however liberal. So cover up and avoid open displays of affection and/or drunkenness. Ask before you photograph people — they may not like it.
Pets
It's not a viable proposition to bring your pets as animals would have to go into quarantine to re-enter the UK.
Tipping
Ten per cent in restaurants. Elsewhere tipping is a big part of everyday life.
Tourist office
Moroccan National Tourist Office, 205 Regent Street, London W1B 4HB, tel 020 7437 0073.
Did you know?
The film Casablanca was shot in Hollywood. But famous films that were actually shot on location in Morocco include Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and Gladiator.
Language
Arabic with Berber dialects, French, Spanish (in some areas) and English.
Visas
None required, just a passport valid for at least six months.
Getting there
International airports at Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir - air links are good. You can also drive through Spain and get a car ferry or jetfoil.
Flying time from London
3 hours (Tangiers)
Getting around
If you have the cash, the internal flight service is efficient. Car hire is expensive and road blocks are a constant hassle. The trains are modern and far better than the buses. Bigger cities have their own bus services and taxis.
Currency
Dirham, divided into 100 centimes.
Costs
As a rough guide: litre of petrol 50p, 4-mile taxi ride about £2, bottle of beer £1, moderately priced restaurant meal with wine £10, roll of camera film £1.50.
Weather
Morocco has a wide variety of climatic conditions. Coastal weather is tourist-friendly all year, but it can get chilly at night. The skiing season lasts from December to March. The country's interior can be scorching, especially when desert winds blow in. Marrakesh can get up to 40C (104F).
Time difference
None from the UK
International dialling code from the UK
00 212
Voltage
Mainly 220 volts but in some parts of the country still at 110 volts. Sockets are European two-pin variety.
Opening hours
Shops tend to open from 8am to 6pm, often closing for a few hours in the heat of midday. Some close on Fridays the Muslim holy day. Most museums are closed Tuesdays. In cities, banks usually open Mon - Thurs 8.30am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm. On Fridays the midday break is longer to allow for prayers.
Health - Before you go
No jabs required but Hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended. Take out a good travel insurance to cover medical costs.
Health - When you are there
Drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes. As a rule, don't eat anything that isn't cooked, boiled or peeled. Busy restaurants are less likely to make use of reheated food. Some malaria lurks on the north coast but generally health risks are minimal.
Warnings
Avoid pointing your camera at anything vaguely military, including government buildings or airports. Beware unofficial 'guides' who may harass you with tales of hardship - official guides have government approved badges and ID cards. Penalties for drugs are severe. And remember to change back any Moroccan money before leaving.
Emergency
British Embassy - 17 Ave de la Tour Hassan, Rabat. Tel: 07 720905, Police Tel 19.
Customs
Morocco is a Muslim country, however liberal. So cover up and avoid open displays of affection and/or drunkenness. Ask before you photograph people - they may not like it.
Pets
It's not a viable proposition to bring your pets as animals would have to go into quarantine to re-enter the UK.
Tipping
10% in restaurants. Elsewhere tipping is a big part of everyday life.
Tourist office
Moroccan National Tourist Office, 205 Regent Street, London W1B 4HB. 020 7437 0073.


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