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Best Morocco Travel

Alcohol in Morocco: What You Need to Know

Alcohol in Morocco: What You Need to Know

alcohol in Morocco

Is alcohol in Morocco legal? Yes, it is legal to consume alcohol in Morocco, despite its Muslim-majority population. However, there are certain restrictions and limited availability compared to Western countries. Understanding local customs and laws related to alcohol consumption is essential for a respectful and enjoyable visit. For more insights, refer to a detailed guide on alcohol norms in Morocco.

Can You Drink Alcohol in Morocco?

While alcohol consumption is legal in Morocco, it must be confined to licensed hotels, bars, and designated tourist zones. Larger supermarkets also sell alcohol in designated sections. Public alcohol consumption is generally prohibited and could lead to legal issues. Most licensed bars have no windows to prevent outsiders from seeing in. A few bars allow public drinking for tourists, often near the beach in places like Agadir. However, Morocco maintains a strict stance on drinking and driving with zero tolerance. To ensure a smooth experience, stick to licensed venues and avoid public alcohol consumption.

alcohol in Morocco

How is Alcohol Perceived in Morocco?

While alcohol consumption is allowed in Morocco, it’s important to understand the cultural context. Alcohol doesn’t have a positive image among locals, often viewed as a Western indulgence. In a predominantly Muslim country where Islam is the state religion, alcohol is discouraged. Islam forbids alcohol consumption, considering it an intoxicant associated with negative influences. In the Quran, intoxicants are considered the work of Satan, rendering alcohol consumption “haram” or prohibited for Muslims. Travelers should be respectful of this cultural and religious perspective when consuming alcohol in Morocco.

Do Locals Drink Alcohol in Morocco?

In Morocco, Muslim Moroccans are prohibited by law from purchasing alcohol, although recent studies indicate increased consumption. However, this is often done in secret. While alcohol is legal for non-Muslims and tourists, it’s advised to be discreet and avoid public intoxication to respect local customs.

Beer

Alcohol During Ramadan

During Ramadan, a few establishments in Morocco may still offer alcohol, but it’s limited to non-Muslims with foreign passports showing non-Muslim names. Such purchases might be recorded. While Morocco is open-minded about tourists drinking, following local rules is essential. Tourists can bring up to 1 liter of alcohol into the country. If you’re planning a tour, consult your guides about alcohol policies beforehand. For a tailored Moroccan vacation, feel free to contact us to create a personalized tour package. Your dream Moroccan trip awaits!

Where can you Buy Alcohol in Morocco?

Marrakech offers a range of options for purchasing alcohol, including licensed bars, restaurants, supermarkets, and liquor stores. Other major cities like Marrakech, Agadir, Fes, Tangier, El Jadida, Casablanca, Rabat, and so many places provide it, also provide access to alcohol through hotels, liquor shops, and supermarkets such as Carrefour and Atacadão.

Keep in mind that alcohol availability is limited in the medinas (old city quarters). For a wider selection, explore the new town areas. Note that alcohol is less accessible in rural areas or off-the-beaten-path locations.

Morocco provides a variety of alcoholic beverages, encompassing beer, wine, gin, and tequila. While alcohol is available, respecting local norms and regulations is essential for a smooth and respectful experience during your visit.

alcohol in Morocco

Locally Produced Alcoholic Drinks

Indeed, despite alcohol being prohibited by Islam, Morocco has its traditional alcoholic beverages. Here are a few examples:

Moroccan Beer

The introduction of beer by the French in the 20th century has led to the development of a variety of local beers in Morocco.

Casablanca Beer, named after the country’s largest city, is often regarded as the premium beer in Morocco, known for its quality. While it might be slightly pricier than other options, it’s considered one of the best beers available in the country.

Flag Speciale and Stork are also popular beer choices among Moroccans. These beers are produced and distributed by the Société des Brasseries du Maroc, a subsidiary of the international brewing company Heineken.

Keep in mind that alcohol availability in Morocco can differ, particularly in rural or conservative regions. If you choose to consume alcohol, it’s best to do so discreetly and in authorized establishments like licensed bars and restaurants. This ensures you’re respecting local customs and regulations.

Moroccan Wine

Indeed, the history of wine production in North Africa dates back to the Phoenician era, more than 2,500 years ago. Over the centuries, wine production in Morocco has seen significant growth. Today, the country holds the distinction of being the second-largest wine producer in the Arab world.

Morocco is home to five major wine regions: Meknes/Fes, the East, the Northern Plane, Rabat/Casablanca, and El-Jadida. While the majority of the wines produced (about 75%) are red, there’s also a production of “grey wines,” a variation of rose. White wines constitute a smaller portion, accounting for only around 3% of the country’s total wine production.

It’s important to note that, given Morocco cultural and religious context, the consumption of alcohol, including wine, is subject to certain regulations and limitations. It’s advisable to enjoy alcoholic beverages discreetly and in designated areas, such as licensed establishments.

Mahia

Mahia, meaning “water of life” in Moroccan, is a spirit crafted from dates or figs with the addition of aniseed. This drink originated around 1900 among Moroccan Jews. Despite its cultural significance, Mahia can be difficult to find due to the decline in its production after the departure of the Jewish population. However, some enthusiasts continue to produce it at home, and limited quantities can be found in certain liquor stores. This unique spirit provides a glimpse into Morocco history and the interplay of its cultural influences.

Is Alcohol Expensive in Morocco?

The cost of alcohol in Morocco can vary depending on your home country’s standards. Generally, alcohol is relatively more expensive in Morocco due to high taxation. It’s also pricier compared to other beverages available in the country.

For instance, a 25 cl domestic beer might cost around €1.20 to €2.50 ($2.90 to $4), while a 33 cl beer could range from €4 to €6 ($4.65 to $7). Prices tend to be higher in bars and restaurants, so opting for supermarkets or liquor shops can offer more budget-friendly options. While alcohol costs more in Morocco, it’s important to consider this aspect when planning your trip expenses.

Bringing Alcohol to Morocco

Bringing your alcohol from home can be an option. Moroccan customs regulations generally allow you to bring one liter of spirits and an equal amount of wine into the country. However, it’s important to note that certain alcoholic drinks like absinthe and anise-based beverages are not permitted. While there aren’t many reported instances of tourists having their luggage checked for alcohol at Moroccan airports, it’s still advisable to adhere to the country’s regulations to avoid any potential issues during your travel.

How to say Cheers! in Morocco

Absolutely, in Morocco, where the drinking culture is not as pronounced, you can still join in a toast using the local phrase “Bessaha!” Whether you’re raising your glass for a drink or sipping tea, this term, similar to “Cheers,” conveys the wish for good health. Importantly, you might encounter “Bessaha!” in diverse situations beyond drinking, as it holds a wider meaning of well-wishing.

Information About Your Trip to Morocco

If you are planning a trip to Morocco, make sure to explore reviews and discover fantastic accommodations. Interested in a guided tour? You can secure your spot on my recommended Morocco tour. For exciting day excursions during your stay, explore excellent choices at bestmoroccotravel.com. And don’t overlook the value of a Morocco guidebook and an essential customs and culture guide to enhance your experience. If you require more advice or assistance, feel free to reach out to us!