A friend of mine called me last week in panic after she realised that the holiday she booked to Morocco will fall during Ramadan, the month of fast. She was looking forward to exploring Marrakech, Essaouira and trekking in the desert for two weeks with her family during the Easter school break and was suddenly feeling deflated after she read somewhere that everything will be closed and they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the sights, the food and smells in the bustling markets. I laughed briefly then reassured her that none of that is likely to happen and if anything, she might be in for a unique cultural experience. This gave me the idea to write this blog post as I’m sure many travellers likely find themselves in my friend’s situation. This guide will help you delve into the essence of Morocco’s Ramadan experience through valuable insights, tips, and recommendations for planning a memorable trip.

Visiting Morocco during Ramadan

Understanding the significance of Ramadan in Moroccan culture

Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam and holds significant cultural and religious importance across the globe. Visiting Morocco during Ramadan offers a great opportunity to immerse oneself in the country’s culture, traditions, and see a different side to the one tourists usually see.

Moroccan tiles and blue fountain

During Ramadan, Muslims observe fasting from dawn until sunset as a form of worship and self-discipline. The fast, known as “Sawm,” involves abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs during daylight hours.

Ramadan is also a time for increased prayer, reflection, and devotion to God.

The significance of Ramadan in Morocco is deeply rooted in its history, traditions, and the spiritual fabric of its society. The month-long fasting period is marked by various customs, rituals, and festivities that reflect Morocco’s unique identity and culture.

Essential Tips for Travelling to Morocco During Ramadan

Before embarking on your trip to Morocco during Ramadan, consider these tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  • Respect Local Customs: Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking in public during fasting hours. As a non-Muslim, you are not expected to engage in fasting and many restaurants and cafes will be open and serving food to non-Muslims (usually indoors), however, it’s recommended to not eat or drink in public out of respect for those who are fasting. Not all restaurants and cafes will be open during the day, especially outside the major cities so try to make a list of the ones that will be open so you don’t end up wasting time and going hungry.
  • For an immersive experience, stay in a Riad (traditional Moroccan house). Some Riads have restaurants and cook traditional Moroccan cuisine in a communal setting for all the guests to eat together. They can also cook ad-hoc meals that you can eat in your room if you didn’t want to go to restaurants during the day. (make sure to call the Riad and enquire about this before you book).  Many hotels and guesthouses in Morocco offer special Ramadan packages and amenities, including iftar meals, traditional entertainment, and cultural activities.Beautiful Moroccan riad with a blue pool and a courtyard garden
  • Plan Ahead: Research the Ramadan schedule in Morocco, including prayer and iftar times, to plan your activities accordingly. The call to prayer at Iftar is the most important thing to a fasting Muslim. If you happen to be outside at that time, you may be surprised not to see a soul in the street as everyone rushes to their home to break the fast with their family. This can be a slightly alienating experience so plan to be in your accommodation or inside a restaurant at that time.night ambiance in Ramadan the busiest square in Morocco
  • Similarly, museums and landmarks will change their opening and closing times accordingly. Check the official websites to confirm the times or visit the tourism office for more advice.
  • Dress Appropriately: Dressing modestly and respectfully in Muslim countries is a must on any occasion but even more so during the holy month of Ramadan, especially when visiting religious sites or participating in Ramadan-related events.

Explore Moroccan Cuisine During Ramadan

Selection of Moroccan savoury and sweet dishes typically served in Ramadan

Moroccan cuisine needs no introduction but it takes centre stage during Ramadan, with special dishes and delicacies prepared for Iftar and Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) which add to the festive atmosphere.

Breaking the fast with a communal iftar meal is a cherished tradition in Morocco, with families and friends coming together to share delicious dishes and prayers. If you ever get the chance to be invited by a Moroccan family to join them during their meal don’t pass on this wonderful experience. This would most likely be the highlight of your trip.

Some Moroccan dishes that must be tried during Ramadan are the following:  

Harira : A thick and hearty soup made with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas and meat.

Dates and Milk: A traditional combination for breaking the fast.

Pastilla:  A savoury pie filled with meat and almonds or fish.

Chebakia : Deep-fried pastry coated in honey and sesame seeds often served with Harira.

Briouates: Delicate filo pastry stuffed with marzipan and coated in honey.


Take advantage of crowd free souks and landmarks

Typical moroccan market with craft shops and street vendors, fewer crowds in Ramadan Ramadan is one of the best times to visit the popular landmarks and markets as you’ll encounter fewer crowds ,particularly during the daytime when many locals are fasting. This can offer a more relaxed atmosphere for exploration and photography. But don’t ignore the evening atmosphere either. Some of these landmarks such as Jamaa El Fna in Marrakech or the old Medina of Fes take on a magical ambiance in the evening. It’s an opportunity to meet and interact with the locals and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s heritage.

Engage in a mindful and spiritual experience

Panoramic vue of the Mosque Hassan II in casablanca in Ramadan under a blue sky

Ramadan is a time of spiritual introspection and devotion for Moroccans, and visitors can join in this journey of self-discovery. Through fasting, prayer, charity, reflection, and community engagement, individuals are encouraged to cultivate mindfulness in their daily lives which creates a deeper sense of connection with themselves and others. This is one of the best ways to experience mindful travel. 

Travelling to Morocco during Ramadan can offer a unique and memorable experience. It’s a great way to gain insights into Moroccan culture and traditions, and engage in activities that promote self-discipline, spiritual growth, empathy and social connection.

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