Morocco,  Nomad Life

Is Morocco A Good Destination For Digital Nomads?

We chose Morocco as a base for three months to escape the European winter. This time allowed us to fully experience this fascinating North African country. But would we recommend it for digital nomads? Read on for my in-depth, nomad’s guide to Morocco.

Morocco Info

Entry and Visas for Morocco

Morocco allows visa free entry for up to 90 days for citizens of 72 countries (plus an additional five with pre-approval), according passportindex.com.

We entered Tangier Med port after a 52 hour long trip from Genoa! If you’re considering that as option, check out my post, ‘how to take the ferry from Italy to Morocco‘, beforehand.

Culture, History and Stuff

Moroccan people are known for their friendliness and being extremely welcoming to tourists. They’re very generous and in our experience, honest. I’m not going to list all Morocco’s laws and rules; it’s important to do your own research but I’ll share what was relevant to our experience.

Morocco is a majority Muslim country. It’s the last remaining monarchy in North Africa. Most people we spoke to think highly of the king but it’s also a criminal offence to criticize the monarchy.

Amazigh or Berber?

Prior to the Muslim conquest of the region (in 6-700 AD), Morocco had been a Roman territory but consisted primarily of indigenous tribes. Despite Arabization, these peoples still make up much of the population of Morocco today.

Berber is the name given to them by Europeans and was a derogatory term. Amazigh is what they call themselves. Having said that, many Amazigh we met used Berber and Amazigh interchangeably and don’t seem bothered it. Even after 1300 years of Arab influence, the language and traditions are strongly present in Morocco to this day, which I think is pretty impressive. Numbers vary wildly with estimates from 28-70% of the population speaking the Amazigh language (Tamazight).

In addition to Tamazight, the main languages spoken in Morocco are Moroccan Arabic (Darija) and French. Most young people speak English. In some northern regions, Spanish is widely spoken. Moroccans are excellent at picking up languages and we found a lot of people also spoke German, Italian and even things like Finnish.

What to Wear in Morocco

It really depends where you are. In bigger cities, especially on the coast, people are liberal. Outside of touristy areas, I wouldn’t go around without shoulders and knees covered. No one is likely to say anything but people will look at you and you’ll stand out.

Weather and Climate in Morocco

Morocco’s climate varies depending on the time of year and where you are in the country. To the south is the Sahara desert which is very hot in summer (40+ C) and dry all year round. In winter, the temperatures are mild; in the daytime it’s around 18-25 C but nights quickly cool down.

The Atlas mountains have their own climate which is much cooler and less dry. There are even ski resorts. Further north, the area around Tangier and the Rif, has a more moderate climate which is comparable with southern Europe.

Facilities and Living

Accommodation

AirBnbs were our primary choice for accommodation in Morocco. The majority were pretty good. The quality and availability vary depending on where you are. In the bigger cities, it’s no issue to find good quality accommodation although, on the coast, it comes with a price tag. We had some bad experiences too – see Agadir and El Jadida. In the desert, and smaller inland towns, Airbnbs are not so readily available.

Traditional hotels are called Riads or Dars in Morocco. Dars tend to refer to a guesthouse whereas Riads are more fancy. We only had good experiences with Moroccan hotels. The traditional style buildings are incredibly beautiful with fancy tiles, wooden doors and original features. They’re usually very affordable and serve breakfast; this gets very repetitive though (it’s basically the same everywhere) and is full of sugar.

Wi-Fi and Mobile Internet in Morocco

Wi-Fi quality varies but in smaller cities, it’s often just a router running off LTE rather than actual broadband. Some places, especially bigger cities, have fiber.

There are three mobile internet providers: Maroc telecom offers the best coverage, Orange the least coverage and the cheapest is definitely INWI. Coverage is very good across the country and there was nowhere we couldn’t get online. Whilst we were there (2023/2024), INWI offered unlimited data was available for 50 Euro, 20 GB for 10 Euro. Maroc telecom charged 10 Euro for 10 GB.

Moroccan Cuisine and Dining Out

I couldn’t live somewhere for three months that didn’t have good food and luckily, Morocco did not disappoint! Typical Moroccan dishes include:

  • Tagine, coming in various varieties including chicken, beef, kofta (minced meat plus an egg), goat, vegetable, fish and prawn
  • Soups; harira, the national soup, bisara (my favourite), lubia (haricots), lentil soup (called aidis عدس)
  • Couscous, traditionally available on Friday although some restaurants have it every day. It’s usually enormous, comes with a pile of vegetables and spices, with or without meat.
  • Grilled meat and merguez sausages. Often there’s a grill place next to a butcher so you can literally pick your food and take it to the grill. You know it’s fresh!
  • Pastilla is a type of pastry usually with chicken and almonds. It’s delicious.

Something we didn’t really like was frakech, which is cow’s feet stew with chickpeas. It’s oddly greasy and fatty. Not for me. Somehow we ordered it twice though!

Outside of the bigger cites, there isn’t a huge amount of variety when it comes to food but personally I found Moroccan food varied enough. Pizza is fairly common though and usually very good. Moroccan bread is amazing.

Alcohol is not widely available, especially outside cities. It’s sold in some more expensive restaurants, hotels and a few bars.

Street food/snack shops

“Snack” shops are ubiquitous in Morocco and are where the cheapest food can be found. Just because it’s cheap are they by no means bad; we had some of the most delicious food from snack shops. They tend to serve soups, sometimes tagines, sandwiches (called bocadillos in the north) and French tacos (clue – they’re not tacos). They cook everything in house and it varies from day to day. Usually you’ll pay no more than 2-3 Euro per person. Go to snack shops, they’re great!

Tourist Restaurants

In medinas or close to tourist centers, you’ll pay more for food than outside. Usually the quality is good but prices will be in the range of 7.5-10 Euro instead of 2-3.

High End Restaurants

Morocco certainly caters to people with cash to spend too. We went to a few fine dining establishments and had a great experience. The bills come in anywhere from 30 to 100 Euro plus per person (it stacks up when you buy more wine).

Getting Around

Driving in Morocco

We negotiated car hire for 500 Euro a month in Morocco. It was very hassle-free and the guy was totally chilled. I’d recommend the company, Tsul cars.

Roads tend to be very good with occasional pot holes. Some of the mountain roads are unpaved. There are a few toll highways; these are well maintained.

The biggest pain are the police checkpoints. Sometimes they just ask to review your paperwork for no reason (or wanting a chat). Sometimes they wave you past. In total, we ended up with three speeding fines (150 Dirham/15 Euro each). The police are all over, the signage isn’t great for what speed you’re supposed to do and it changes all the time. We got told “oh it’s the end of the year. They’re trying to make extra cash right now so watch out.”. You might get off with a free pass – one guy said he wanted to go to Germany so he let Steffen off. Another guy kindly gave us a bottle of water. They’re not all bad.

Public transport

The only public transport we took was a packed minibus from Tanger Med to Tangier. This was very cheap – 15 Dh (1.50 Euro) each for a one hour journey.

Morocco has a good train network which it is in the process of extending. Currently, Tangier is connected with Rabat and Casablanca by high-speed rail. The line will eventually reach Marrakech and Agadir.

Regular rail currently connects Marrakech, Fes and Meknes, as well as the north-eastern cities of Nador and Oujda.

There’s also talk about a rail connection from Spain to Morocco before the 2030 World Cup but as that’s been under discussion since the 1920s, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

I always use Seat 61 for checking train route information as it’s kept impeccably up-to-date.

Morocco has a lot of airports – pretty much all major cities have them, and even remote places like Zagora in the desert. I haven’t any experience using them but if you need to get around in a hurry, it’s good to know.

Hitchhiking is a popular way or people to get around, particularly in rural areas. We picked up a lot of hitchhikers from old people to kids walking home from school. When you see how far they have to walk sometimes, it’s just crazy. Life in the desert is not easy.

Things to Do

Hiking and sports

The Atlas mountains stretch across the middle of Morocco and offer plenty of opportunities for hiking. Whilst we were there we particularly enjoyed:

Morocco’s highest mountain would be a great challenge. At 4,167m high, Toubkal is pretty big! New safety laws a few years back mean that you have to take a guide now so it’s also costly. We didn’t do it this time because we didn’t have the kit for hiking in the snow.

The Atlantic coast is a well-known surfing destination. Taghazout is very popular.

History and Ancient Sites

One of the main reasons people visit Morocco is to see the ancient, bustling city centres, known as medinas. Most of Morocco’s older cities have a medina. Fes medina is the largest (but not the nicest). Some of the less-visited places I’d recommend are Tetouan and Meknes. Both are pretty, well looked-after and not so touristy. You’re much less likely to get hassled!

It may be a surprise to hear that Morocco has ancient Roman sites too! Volubilis is a UNESCO world heritage site near to Meknes. Lixus is near to Tangier. Both are very impressive sites and interesting to visit. There are others as well; Cotta is an ancient city near Tangier but it seemed like it’s walled off – we were not able to enter. In Rabat, there’s a site called Chellah which was closed whilst we were there.

Tours and Other Activities

Morocco relies majorly on tourism and therefore has a ton of different activities you can do, tours to different parts of the country and cultural experiences.

Whilst we were in Merzouga, we took a desert tour, and spent the night in the Sahara. I’d say this is a must-do for Morocco; you will fall in love with the desert. Popular places to do tours from are Zagora or Merzouga, which are very far from major cities. Tour companies offer bus transfers from places like Agadir or Marrakech. Flying is an option too: there’s an airport in Zagora.

In the desert, traditional Amazigh music is really popular and most likely if you stay in a guesthouse, or take a desert trip, you will be treated to a performance or two.

Safety and Health in Morocco

Annoyances and Safety Concerns

We felt safe the whole time we were in Morocco. The only place I felt uncomfortable is Fes. Nothing actually happened but I just didn’t like it there; people were very pushy and I didn’t like the vibe. Fes particularly but also other parts of Morocco, has an issue with people demanding for payment for things like giving directions or taking a photo. They can get aggressive if you say no.

That said, even in Fes, people went out of their way to look after us. We forgot to lock our car. Luckily we’d chatted to the parking attendant for a bit and he’d remembered the name our hotel, brought the one bag that was in the car and told the hotel manager our car wasn’t locked. Obviously he wants to make some money but even so, it’s an effort on their part.

We saw one incident in the market in Tangier: a guy was being restrained by a couple of other people but he had massive knife in his hand (he was working on the fish stand). This was pretty shocking but we moved on quickly and it seemed the bystanders had the situation under control.

The roads are the least safe part of Morocco. The reason there are many police is that Morocco has a high rate of road accidents. There is a lot of bad driving and risky overtaking. Whilst I’m sure having the police checks is slowing people down, not only they take bribes but so do driving test instructors (1500 Dh!!).

Cars are not the only issue; in smaller towns and cities you share the street with donkeys, horses and carts, bicycles, scooters, old ladies and stray kittens. In Agadir, we dodged round a guy rollerblading across a three lane highway in rush hour.

Healthcare

Fortunately, we didn’t have a huge amount of experience with Morocco’s healthcare system however we heard enough to say – if you need a doctor, go to a major city. Try not to end up in hospital in a rural area.

Pharmacies are a good place to go if you know what you need already. They usually have French brands of medication. Private doctors appointments are cheap (I paid 40 Euro in Agadir, the doctor spoke some English). You can do some research on Google to find a good one.

Conclusion: is Morocco a Good Destination for Digital Nomads?

The answer to that is of course, it depends on what you’re looking for. We personally loved our time there. Morocco has the necessary infrastructure to make nomadding possible: good internet, availability of accommodation and a decent transport network. There’s a lot to do and see. However, we felt at some points like three months was too long.

Moroccan friendliness and welcome culture is unparalleled but you get a bit worn out from being the center of attention all the time. Because that’s what it is – in many places, you can’t leave the house without someone trying to sell you something, or just wanting to chat. Our landlady in Taroudant, Veronica (who was born in Congo to a Belgian family), says it never changes. People still tell her “welcome to Morocco” even though she’s married to a Moroccan and has lived there for 9 years. You will always feel like the outsider.

That being said, we had an unforgettable experience. I still have cravings for bisara long after leaving and not I’m not sure how I’m making it through the day without an atay (mint tea). Our time in Morocco, and the memories of the people we met there, will stay with us forever.

Do you have any questions on nomad life in Morocco? Is there something else you’d like me to include? If so, let me know in the comments or write to me on Facebook (Hopelessly Nomantic), Instagram (Hopelessly_Nomantic) or Twitter (HopelesNomantic). Thanks for reading!


Planning a Trip to Morocco?

Check out my other posts on our journey through Morocco from Tangier to Tetouan and Chefchaouen; south to Fes and Meknes; through the desert and finally along the Atlantic coast.


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