My boyfriend and I are looking at taking a couple of weeks' backpacking in morocco this september, but this is the month of Ramadan. We read that it is disrespectful to eat or drink in public during this time and that shops and tours, as well as travel and ships across to spain, will be reduced. Has anyone got any info to help us decide if it's worth going in Sept? Anyone who's been in Ramadan? We love eating in markets and being very spontaneous with our travelling so if we have to really plan our meals and travel too much around Ramadan we'll be gutted. Any info on the reality of travelling Morocco during Ramadan is very much appreciated!!
I did Tunisia years back during the ramandan...and have been many times to Morocco.
The simle rule, is respect people around you....this means not eating much and drinking in public...but let be honest...the country live on tourism, nobody will find it offensive if you take your bottle of water out of your backpack.
At the same time, Ramadan is a period of great joy for Muslims...and once dawn come....it's very close to party time. This aspect only is wonderful.
You may find restaurant close for lunch, just pack a little ahead...but that will only hold for non-tourist areas.
So do go...it wil be a different experience, but a great one!
I am not sure how it will be in Morocco, but I have spent Ramadan in both Turkey and Egypt and it was a magical experience. I didn't notice any major travel slowdowns - There may have been fewer buses, but there were also fewer travelers. In places the street food was a bit difficult to find during daylight hours, but I just ate light snacks during the day and partook in the huge feasts that happened when the fast broke every evening. It was an amazingly festive time. Everyone was happy and more open than usual. Nobody expected you to fast, but they did appreciate it if you were discreet when eating and drinking - It was never difficult to find a hidden corner to eat a bit of food and drink some water. After the sun set people would fill the streets and food and drink of qualities that were hard to find normally were abundant. In my opinion, the month of Ramadan is the finest time to travel in the area, especially if you are a spontaneous traveler.
Growing up in Indonesia (the biggest Muslim population in the world!), I know that it is a matter of respecting others not to eat in public for anyone, period - very well said responses by Pierre-Alexandre and Keith about fasting and food.
But also keep in mind to dressing up modestly, especially for western gals - a big no no for anything too revealing in a Muslim country, ESPECIALLY during the Holy Month of Ramadan. This includes anything along the line of - topless (!!), bikinis, mini skirts, skimpy shorts, and even no sleeve or uncovered shoulders. Basically anything that you would not wear to go to church/being scolded by the Swiss Guards at the Vatican or to meet your conservative future mother-in-laws.
Also a big no-no to swear - non English speaking population always understand basic swearing in English, too!
There are also a lot of festivals and distant hospitality during Ramadan (people dress up more religiously and treat you rather differently too in a kinder way).
There are celebrations in mosques and public squares to break the daily fast, and if possible, be there for the Idul Fitri (the end of Ramadan) when major celebrations happening. Every country celebrates it differently, and Indonesia always has the 'ramadan' special food delicacy of ketupat (steamed rice inside weaved coconut leaves container) and tasty lamb curry - yummy.
My wife and I did Ramadan in Morocco last year and had a really great time. Everyone is a little grumpy during the day but it actually, in a way, makes for a better and more interesting environment. 1st off no one smokes during the day which is a plus in Morocco. Second off you get to eat food that is only prepared during Ramadan which is amazing. My wife even lucked into breaking fast with a family one night. they invited her into their life's traditions and it was a great experience. I'd definitely go back and so should you!!
Hi, we spend 25 days during Ramadan in Morrocco at 2003 year. We had great time. At not turistic areas we don´t eat during days, maybe just at room, but after sunset was everything great and more friendly. At turistic areas Essaouira, Marrakes, Casablanca is no problem to eat outsite during day. Travelers, kids and pregnant wimin can eat during day ... Don´t worry to go to Morrocco at Ramadan time - you will see differend world! Enjoy it!
I was planning also to go to Morocco during Ramadan this year but things happened and I cannot make it.
All muslims will ask you is just respect their faith and the holy month of Ramadan. Don't east, drink, smoke during the fasting time. Also, wear something elegant during the month of Ramadan.
hello i am a moroccain i work in one hotel here in desert for travling here in morocco in ramadan no problem juste the poeple in the some place get up not earlly but in all th restau its open then u find to eat and drinking
yes muslims fast durring Ramadan but there are places where you can eat ( i mean restaurantes open it's doors as usual for tourists) you won't have any trouble durring your stay in marakech . i belive that morocans know that diference about relegions and all that stuff so no worries.
at any hotel/auberge/kasbah poeple serve tourist as usual even they fast ramadan they work and that's what they do to make money.
Visiting Morocco in Ramadan is a great experience. There's no harsh restrictions for tourists. Moroccan people know tourists and their believes. they will not bother you because you have to eat or drink. Just by respect avoid eating, drinking or smoking in front of them while you can do it somewhere not in front of them.
there's restaurants open to tourists, so don't worry you will not be starving or dying of thirst. except if you choose to fast and wait for the sunset to eat. after the breakfast (sunset) everything is open to general public.
Please note that most of the liquor stores and bars are closed during this holly month.
unless you planning on getting drunk every night, I don't see why Ramadan will interfere with your travel.
Have a nice trip.
first your welcome to morocco my friends
for the ramadan ...it is no problem to visit morocco in this periode...
ok for all organization and information you can contact us ...
Morocco is a wonderful country the rest of the year - but in Ramadan it closes.
It's an absolute nightmare.
(I lived there in 2005 - Ramadan came and I just didn't recognise the place any more. Sadly that was the time I'd planned to tour round, because everyone had said 'Ha - Ramadan - no problem.' They were wrong, so wrong.)
Even places like Marraketch are practically closed in the day - ALL of the atmosphere completely disappears, and because Ramadan is a family time most of the family cafes stay closed at night as well as in the day.
Somewhere like Fes, one of the most vibrant and incredible places in the world, just evaporates during Ramadan.
Truly - avoid at all costs. I would NEVER go to Morocco in Ramadan again.
Just want to clarify: Ramadan is a great family festival. No question. But from a tourist point of view it's a time to avoid: partly because you won't know the impact of Ramadan until you arrive in a particular town or city. E.g. I spent ages getting from Fes to Taroudant only to find that everything (and I do mean everything) was closed all day except for my hotel - the same was true of Al Hoceima: one food place open, even in the evenings - a fish cafe - and I'm a veggie... bit of a non-starter...
If, like me, you go to Morocco because you want to experience the incredible vibrancy of the country then you'll be much better off going at a time of year when the souks are bustling, when local people are chatty, when the local buses are running properly - when just existing is exciting.
Ramadan's a family time, and so everyone's much more family focussed, which of course that means tourists drop way down the priority list. Quite rightly.
If on the other hand you just want the tourist life, travelling on tourist buses, going to posh hotels etc. then I dare say life is pretty much the same.
i'm also planning a trip to morocco during ramadam, i'm hirring a motorbike from marrakesh and touring in-land up to fez then to the coast,south and back to marrakesh. my main concern is petrol stations, will they be open during the day??? also does anyone have any good ideas for where to stop/see/stay along the basic route i have said???? anyone done a trip on a bike there before, and have any tips????
HI, most of the touristy hotels and restuarants will still run as normal and you will not really notice too much of a difference if you are in a resort in Agadir or something. However you metioned you were backpackers, so it might be tougher for you. I would suggest maybe going somewhere touristy until its over, or if you are like mejust go with the flow and go anyway!