What to Wear in Morocco: A Complete Morocco Packing Guide for Women

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When I was first planning my trip to Morocco, I spent time reading through tons of blog posts and packing lists about the country. While this wasn't going to be my first time in North Africa or in a conservative country (I'd been to Egypt previously), I had to reconcile the packing list I had in my head with all the photos I was seeing online of female travelers in Morocco – you know, the dreamy Instagram kind where they're all barefoot in dresses.

Yes, I wanted to get my own cute photos in Morocco. But I also wanted to be practical about my packing when I knew I'd be riding camels, climbing to the top of ancient sandy kasbahs, and spending a night in the desert. And, you know, I wanted to make sure I was dressing respectfully, too.

So what the heck DO you wear in Morocco as a woman in 2020?

Amanda in Casablanca
I've got you covered, ladies!

Luckily for you, I kept track of everything I packed for my first trip to Morocco and took copious notes on what I wore the most, what I didn't really need, and what I wish I would have packed with the express purpose of writing this Morocco packing list for you!

First, some observations on how women dress in Morocco, and what you should and shouldn't pack.

What to wear in Morocco: My top tips

1. Yes, you should dress conservatively

Morocco is a Muslim-majority country, and you'll find most women there dressed very modestly, usually wearing a hijab or other kind of headscarf.

Female tourists to Morocco are NOT required to cover their heads, though, and I didn't feel uncomfortable with my hair out. (Even when visiting the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, female tourists were not required to cover their hair.)

You also don't have to be covered head to toe as a visitor to Morocco. The basic “rules” are to cover your shoulders, knees, and chest. Most days I had my elbows covered, too, and made sure that my tops were long enough to cover my bum.

Amanda in Chefchaouen, Morocco
Showing elbows is fine!

In bigger cities (and especially in Marrakech, which is often filled with European tourists), you'll definitely see women walking around in shorts and strappy tops or dresses – but these are also the women that experience the most verbal harassment.

I'm not saying you have to hide your femininity in Morocco (or saying that sexual harassment is ever “deserved” based on what a woman is wearing). But I do recommend respecting that this is a conservative culture and dressing appropriately.

2. But keep comfort (and the temperature) in mind

It can get HOT in Morocco, especially if you're visiting in any month that isn't between November and March. For this reason, you'll want to stick to lighter layering fabrics and flowy dresses/pants when possible.

I visited in early spring, when it was still cool enough to need a jacket most evenings. I had no problem wearing more than one layer, or throwing on a scarf to cover my neck or to just add some color to an outfit.

Amanda at a riad in Marrakech
Layering at my riad in Marrakech

Definitely check the weather forecast as you're packing to make sure you know what temperatures to expect.

Most days in Morocco, I wore a dress with a long-sleeved layering top, pants with a t-shirt, or full-length leggings under a long tunic top. I was very comfortable most of the time!

3. Yes, you can pack a swimsuit

If you're staying in a riad in Marrakech (or anywhere else that will have a pool), it's fine to pack a swim suit – or even a bikini. Just don't go walking around in it in public.

Note: This packing list is based on what I packed and used during my first trip to Morocco, which lasted for 2 weeks. I did do laundry once halfway through my trip.

Complete Morocco packing list for women

Women in Morocco
Ladies from my Morocco tour group

My bag(s)

My bag for this trip was my trusty Osprey bag. I like the Osprey Meridian wheeled bag – it comes in 60L and 75L sizes, both with detachable day packs. I've had my Osprey for more than 6 years now, and these bags are made to LAST.

If you're looking for a carry-on-friendly bag, I like my carry-on size spinner from Delsey, or the Osprey Porter, which is a carry-on-friendly backpack with laptop sleeve.

For bags to use on the ground, I'm all about form AND function, and Pacsafe's anti-theft bags have become my go-to. I usually travel with a laptop and camera, meaning I need a sturdy backpack I can rely on, as well as a smaller shoulder bag.

In Morocco, I had my Pacsafe 17L camera backpack and my small convertible cross-body bag. For those who don't need to tote around a laptop and camera gear, I'd still recommend a small Pacsafe backpack (like this one or this one), since the theft-proof features will give you some added peace of mind.

RELATED: How to Keep Your Money and Valuables Safe on Your Travels

Clothing

On top

  • 2 long tunic tops
  • 2 tops with 3/4-length sleeves
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 tank tops for layering
  • 2 long-sleeved jersey wrap tops
  • 2 or 3 dresses (midi/maxi – I LOVE this maxi dress, which has pockets!)
Amanda at Ait-Benhaddou
My in one of my favorite dresses at Ait-Benhaddou

On the bottom

  • 1 pair of flowy pants (the mauve-colored ones you see in my photos are these ones, which I love)
  • 1 pair of capris (like these or these)
  • 1 pair of skinny jeans for evenings
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • OPTIONAL: 1 maxi skirt (if you like the flowy type of skirt, this one is an affordable option, though is very full; this one is shorter but will still cover your knees)

Under things

  • 2 bras
  • Breathable underwear (these ExOfficio ones are my favorite)
  • Jockey Skimmies for wearing under dresses (my fellow curvy ladies will understand the need for these in warm weather!)

Outerwear

  • 1 light jacket
  • 2-3 scarves (one a hidden pocket travel scarf)
  • 1 packable sun hat (I like this one and this one – the second one is the one I'm wearing in some of my photos)
  • OPTIONAL: Packable down jacket (recommended if you're staying overnight in the desert in winter)
Hiking near Midelt, Morocco
Hat, jacket, and hiking boots in Midelt

Shoes

  • 1 pair of sneakers (I love my SUAVS, which are lightweight, breathable, AND washable)
  • 1 pair of walking sandals
  • 1 pair of hiking boots (I brought these mostly for the desert, and probably would not have packed them if I hadn't been traveling in winter)
Sandals in Morocco
My trusty Teva Verras in Fes

Everything else

Toiletries

  • Travel toilet paper rolls (they take up even less room than tissues!)
  • Toiletries like sunscreen, contact solution, and moisturizer (OMG bring a good moisturizer or lotion – it is SO DRY in Morocco!)
  • Solid shampoo/conditioner – I like the solid bars by Ethique; you don't have to worry about liquid rules, AND they won't explode in your suitcase (plus, eco-friendly!)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit with Band-Aids, motion sickness pills, pain killers, Imodium, and rehydration salts in case you need them
  • OPTIONAL: Probiotics; I've been trying Travelan recently, and like it as a preventative to tummy troubles

Tech

Misc.

Amanda with a camel in Morocco
My camel-riding outfit

Insurance

I also highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for the entirety of your trip in Morocco. You may be covered under your regular insurance plan, but if you're not, I recommend buying coverage through World Nomads. They offer the most affordable basic travel insurance out there.

Portable wifi

If you don't want to rely on patchy hotel wifi, you might want to look into traveling with a portable wifi hotspot like a Skyroam. Skyroam works by connecting you to a local mobile network – but no SIM cards are required.

You can buy or rent a device, and then purchase day passes for your Skyroam, only paying for what you use. You can connect up to 5 devices to a Skyroam, which is perfect if you're traveling as a couple or a family. Learn more about Skyroam here.

(And, as a reader of A Dangerous Business, you can save 10% on Skyroam products by using the code ADBSKYROAM!)

Amanda at Volubilis
Me in the ruins of Volubilis

My top 5 must-haves for Morocco

  1. Flowy pants – The flowy palazzo pants I packed were perfect for Morocco. They were light and airy, but still provided all the coverage I needed. People were constantly asking about these in photos, too.
  2. Fun dresses – Morocco is such an Instagrammable place, and thankfully most of it is also suited to wearing dresses. You can't go wrong with maxi dresses with pockets, especially if they have fun patterns. I love these dresses because they make picking outfits a breeze!
  3. Comfy shoes – You'll probably walk quite a bit in Morocco, so having shoes you're comfortable in is important. Bonus if they're also cute like the SUAVS Zilker knit shoes I now take with me everywhere (seriously, I have these in 3 colors!).
  4. Multiple scarves – You can totally change the tone of any outfit by simply adding a colorful scarf! I took 3 with me to Morocco; 2 that were light and colorful, and one a hidden pocket travel scarf.
  5. Travel towel – You may not technically NEED a quick-dry towel in Morocco, since every hotel and riad will provide you with one. But I so wish I would have packed my own towel on my first trip to Morocco; most of the towels I encountered were super thin and scratchy. I recommend bringing your own if you're there for more than a few days!

Want more Morocco?

Want to read more about traveling in Morocco? Check out some of my top blog posts about traveling there:


What other questions do you have about what to wear in Morocco?

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"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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