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What Does Respectful Etiquette Look Like for Tourists in Morocco?

Get tips on What Does Respectful Etiquette Look Like for Tourists in Morocco?. Learn about dress codes, public behavior, interacting with locals, food customs, asking for photos, and more.


As you prepare for an incredible journey exploring Morocco’s storied treasures, it’s natural to have questions about how to be a respectful tourist. Navigating cultural nuances helps avoid misunderstandings or inadvertently offending during your travels. With insight into local etiquette on matters of dress, behavior, interaction, and customs, you can immerse yourself smoothly and sensitively. Showing regard for Moroccan culture will make you a welcome visitor.

This guide outlines tips on conducting yourself mindfully as you discover Morocco’s natural and historical wonders. You’ll learn about appropriate attire when visiting sacred places, ways to engage with welcoming locals, customs for photographs, and much more. Walking through Morocco with open eyes, ears, and heart will provide the most rewarding experience. Keep this advice in mind not as strict rules, but as guidance to help you appreciate Morocco’s cultural riches through gracious integration and observation. Get ready to let the warmth of this fascinating country and people sweep over you!

Dress Code Considerations

Dressing conservatively shows respect in this modest society:

  • Cover shoulders, midriffs, and knees when in public. Avoid very tight, sheer or revealing styles.
  • In sacred places like mosques, headscarves and modest dresses or pants are required for women.
  • Men should not go shirtless and avoid shorts except at beaches. Beach coverups are advised.
  • Research and honor any dress code for entering holy sites ahead of time to avoid issues.

Showing sensitivity through clothing choices will be appreciated. Most tourist areas are relaxed, but dress modestly when venturing beyond.

Mindful Public Behavior

Keep etiquette top of mind when out and about:

  • Avoid public drunkenness and loud, disruptive actions. Moroccans take pride in composure.
  • Keep public displays of affection discreet. Hand holding is fine but avoid passionate intimacy.
  • Firmly say “No, thank you” to persistently aggressive vendors; don’t feel pressured.
  • Wait your turn in lines patiently and don’t cut ahead. It’s customary to not rush others.

Blending in demonstrates respect for local norms and prevents drawing excess attention.

Photographing People and Places

Exercise courtesy when capturing Morocco’s beauty:

  • Always ask politely before photographing local people, especially women. Some may decline.
  • Don’t snap photos of military areas, government buildings, and airports to avoid suspicion.
  • Capture culture and landscapes artfully; avoid glorifying poverty and exoticism.
  • Learn if payment is expected for taking portraits; some Berber villagers pose for a small fee.

Thoughtfully Interacting with Locals

Moroccans are welcoming, but observe some pointers:

  • Greet locals respectfully with “salam” or “as-salamu alaykum”. Use honorifics.
  • Avoid forceful handshakes; touch between genders is restricted. Wait for them to extend hand first.
  • Don’t assume gender roles; women work professionally too. Include them in conversations.
  • Bring a small gift if invited into a home for tea or a meal. Pastries, flowers, and sweets would be perfect.

Dining Etiquette and Customs

Moroccan food culture has some unique etiquette:

  • Use only your right hand for eating or passing food as the left is unclean according to religious beliefs.
  • Don’t take excess food at buffet-style meals; it’s normal to leave a little behind on your plate.
  • When sharing main dishes like tagines or couscous, taste a bit of everything served rather than sticking to one.
  • Moroccans use bread to scoop food instead of utensils in some traditional settings. Follow your hosts’ lead.

Immerse yourself in Moroccan food culture while observing local dining norms.


Traveling to Morocco with an open mind and gracious attitude will unlock doors to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. While you needn’t follow strict rules, adopting local customs shows your eagerness to connect and understand this complex culture. By dressing modestly, interacting respectfully, and honoring religious sites, your considerate conduct will be appreciated. You are welcome into intimate settings and conversations not accessible to the average visitor.

Approaching new environments with patience and humility allows you to positively represent your own origins too. We all have much to learn from each other through thoughtful cultural exchange. Let your journey through Morocco strengthen your sense of our shared humanity beneath surface differences. This land has endured by embracing tradition alongside progress. Go forth with that same spirit of respect and you’re sure to forge lasting bonds between distant worlds.

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What is the dress code for tourists in Morocco?

Travelers should dress modestly by covering shoulders, knees, and cleavage. Loose, lightweight clothing is ideal. More conservative dress is required for entering sacred sites.

Is it OK to take photos of people in Morocco?

Always ask permission before photographing people, especially local women. It’s courteous to have a conversation first and obtain consent.

What are some cultural greetings in Morocco?

Common greetings include “salam” or “salam alaykum”. Use honorifics like “madame” and “monsieur” until invited to use first names.

Is it acceptable for couples to hold hands in public?

Hand-holding and chaste displays of affection between couples are generally fine, but avoid passionate kissing and intimacy in public.

What are some dining etiquette tips for Morocco?

Use only your right hand for eating or passing dishes. Avoid overfilling your plate at buffets. Taste a bit of everything if sharing tagines or couscous.


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