Can You Drink in Morocco? What You Need to Know Before Raising Your Glass
Can You Drink in Morocco as a tourist. Discover where you can drink, legal age limits, rules for Muslims, and etiquette for responsible drinking.
Known for its intricate mosques, engaging souks, and stretch of Sahara desert, Morocco exudes an exotic allure. As an Islamic country, you may wonder what the rules around alcohol are as a tourist. While Morocco is conservative, it still allows the sale of alcohol – presenting visitors with a more nuanced alcohol culture compared to neighbors like Saudi Arabia.
The reality is that drinking is common and easy for tourists visiting major cities and resort areas. Yet it helps to understand guidelines for responsible drinking, respecting local customs, and where you can freely indulge. As an Islamic society, public drunkenness is still unacceptable, so moderation is key. With insight into Moroccan sensibilities, adults can readily enjoy wine, cocktails, and beer without issue.
This guide will cover everything you need to know before enjoying Morocco’s bars, restaurants, nightlife, and local spirits as a visitor. You’ll gain perspective on drinking age limits, where drinking is acceptable, rules for Muslims, etiquette tips, and how to drink responsibly. We’ll demystify the complexities around alcohol so you can relax and confidently raise a glass when traveling this North African gem. Cheers to that!
Is Alcohol Legal in Morocco?
Yes, alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and spirits are legal for tourists to purchase and consume in Morocco. However, some important nuances exist:
- Muslims are can’t purchase or publicly drink alcohol. It is only legal for non-Muslim foreign visitors.
- Tourists can freely drink in larger cities, tourist areas, hotels, restaurants and bars. Drinking is more discreet in rural areas.
- The sale of alcohol stops during certain Islamic holidays. Some restaurants temporarily stop serving alcohol.
- Bootleg or homebrewed alcohol is illegal given health risks. Only licensed stores and venues can sell alcohol.
So visitors don’t need to abstain from alcohol while visiting Morocco. But moderation and respect for cultural norms is a good thing, especially away from tourist hubs.
Where Tourists Can Drink in Morocco?
Popular places for tourists to buy and consume alcohol include:
- Hotel restaurants, bars, and lounges – Almost all serve alcohol freely to foreign guests.
- Nice restaurants in major cities – Alcohol is readily available in cosmopolitan areas.
- Grocery stores, liquor shops – You can buy wine, beer, and spirits in liquor stores.
- Nightclubs and bars – Morocco has a lively nightlife scene in cities like Marrakech.
Drinking alcohol openly should be avoided in rural villages and conservative areas. As a visitor, it’s best to see how local Moroccans behave regarding alcohol and follow their discretion.
Drinking Age and ID Requirements
Morocco’s legal drinking age is 18, but minors may buy alcohol in some establishments. In practice:
- The drinking age is loose, especially in tourist areas. Some places don’t ID.
- Bringing a passport or photo ID is recommended but not always required.
- Local teens may be prohibited from buying alcohol even if served in restaurants.
- Travelers who appear under 25 may be asked for ID at some venues. Provide if requested.
- Individual businesses enforce age limits as they see fit. Upscale places are more strict.
- It’s best for 18-20 year olds to drink only in reputable tourist spots, not seedy clubs.
Rules for Muslims and Alcohol
As practicing Muslims, Moroccans don’t drink alcohol. But most don’t have issues with tourists drinking:
- It is socially unacceptable for Moroccan Muslims to publicly drink or show drunkenness.
- Moroccan owned restaurants and hotels will still serve alcohol to foreign tourists.
- Some Muslims choose not to work in places that serve alcohol due to religious norms.
- During Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight – so tourist drinking is more discreet.
- In rural areas, avoid openly carrying alcohol out of respect for local customs.
So feel free to drink as a non-Muslim, but be mindful that attitudes differ, especially outside big cities.
Alcohol Etiquette and Safety Tips
To drink respectfully and avoid issues, keep these etiquette and safety tips in mind:
- Don’t overindulge. Getting drunk and disorderly can offend locals and attract unwanted attention. Know your limits.
- Be discreet with alcohol in public. Dress and behave conservatively when drinking away from tourist areas.
- Only buy alcohol from licensed bars, restaurants, hotels, and stores. Avoid shady establishments or bootleggers.
- Getting help for public intoxication is difficult. Police may detain severely drunk tourists. Arrange a sober friend or guide.
- Never drink and drive. Car accidents are a leading cause of death. Use registered taxis to get home safely.
- If someone spikes your drink, seek police or medical help immediately. Always watch your drink being made.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Try
Morocco also offers many delicious non-alcoholic beverages:
- Mint tea – Morocco’s signature sweet mint tea is widely served and sipped daily.
- Fresh juices – Orange, grapefruit, pomegranate, and avocado juices are freshly squeezed.
- Smoothies – Fruit smoothies with bananas, mangoes, strawberries, and milk are refreshing.
- Moroccan tea – Herbal teas like zaatar, verbena, and sage tea are flavorful.
- Coffee – Moroccan coffee with spices is strong. Espressos and cappuccinos are easily found.
- Milkshakes – Chocolate, vanilla, banana and avocado milkshakes are creamy treats.
With so many tempting non-alcoholic options, be sure to also drink up Morocco’s amazing local beverage culture!
While an Islamic country, Morocco has a relaxed approach to alcohol compared to some neighbors. As a tourist, you can freely enjoy wine, cocktails, and beer in major cities, tourist hubs, hotels, restaurants and bars. Yet moderation and discretion are still important out of respect. Avoiding drunkenness in public prevents potential issues given religious and cultural norms.
Understanding Morocco’s nuanced relationship with alcohol allows travelers to make informed choices. Visitors should feel comfortable indulging while being mindful of when drinking is best done more privately. With so many tempting local non-alcoholic drinks as well, Morocco offers the chance to happily imbibe or abstain. So research area customs, know the guidelines, and use common sense – then relax and responsibly enjoy discovering Moroccan culture through a glass, or not!
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Yes, alcohol is legal for tourists to drink in Morocco, but with some cultural considerations. Muslims are prohibited from drinking publicly.
The official drinking age is 18, but it’s loosely enforced. Many places serve alcohol to those appearing older than 16, especially in tourist areas.
No, it is considered socially unacceptable for Moroccan Muslims to publicly drink alcohol due to religious norms.
Hotels, tourist restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and liquor stores in major cities. Drinking is more discreet in rural areas.
Signature Moroccan drinks to sample include mint tea, fresh fruit juices, smoothies, herbal teas, coffee, and milkshakes.
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