Women who drink alcohol are also frowned upon, so it is best and highly recommended that they avoid one of the cheap local bars in Marrakech. Some local bars generally do not accept women who enter their premises unless accompanied by men. Various supermarket chains such as Carrefour sell alcohol in Morocco. If you click on the image, an interactive map opens with the exact locations. It is known that the Quran forbids Muslims to drink alcohol, and over time and in terms of religion, alcohol is technically forbidden to Muslims and therefore is not a common commodity that you will find in Morocco. It is illegal to possess and distribute pornographic material of any kind, and access to this type of site is blocked from Morocco. If you buy alcohol in Morocco, you should always have your passport with you. Although you usually have no problem buying drinks from some shops or supermarkets, you will sometimes be asked to show your ID. If you want to bring your own alcoholic beverages into your riad`s lounge, make sure you know the score in advance. Some riads have their own bar and will refuse if guests bring their own alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is rarely consumed by Moroccans and does not have a very good image in the country. Many people see it as a Western drug with the potential to corrupt. It`s important to be aware of this and avoid drinking alcohol in public or walking around town while intoxicated.
This tip is especially relevant during Ramadan. Riads, as most are privately owned, may or may not have alcohol available to guests. If this is an important topic for you, be sure to ask before making reservations. One option is to take your own alcohol at home. Customs regulations allow you to bring one liter of spirits and the same amount of wine to Morocco. However, absinthe and anise-based alcoholic beverages are not allowed. However, I am not aware of any case in Morocco where tourists had to open their checked luggage at the airport customs counter to see what alcohol they had in their pockets. In accordance with our responsible tourism policy, please do not drink in public places that do not serve alcohol. You may want to buy duty-free spirits on your way to the country to drink at your accommodation.
Depending on where you are in Marrakech, I recommend taking a taxi or walking to one of the five Carrefour stores if you want to buy alcohol in a Moroccan supermarket. Be aware that some of these stores keep their alcohol on the basement shelves and it`s easy to miss it. Most notably, alcohol departments often have shorter opening hours during supermarket sales hours. Alcohol consumption laws — Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is available in much of Morocco. Many Moroccans – mostly men – drink, but in private. The legal age for Moroccans is 18, but for visitors, this is a grey area, as most establishments serve you regardless of age (within reason, of course). Moroccan bars, called brasseries, are usually smoky and seedy drinking caves frequented by Moroccan men and prostitutes. Many of the best restaurants and many guesthouses also offer alcohol, as do nightclubs in the resorts of Agadir and Marrakech. The opening hours of these establishments vary from city to city, but you`ll find that most restaurants are closed at 11pm and local breweries at midnight, while nightclubs and hotel bars can stay open until 4am or 5am, especially in tourist areas. To find a store that sells alcohol, it is best to ask at the reception of your hotel or find a branch of the national supermarket chains Acima and Marjane, which can be mentioned in the «Shopping» sections of this book. Drinking alcohol in public is frowned upon and downright ignorant when practiced near a mosque. The reason why alcohol in Morocco is sold almost exclusively in expensive bars, restaurants or hotels boils down to compulsory licensing laws.
An annual liquor sales licence includes a four-figure sum. Therefore, small restaurants simply cannot afford to serve alcoholic beverages, but in some cases, places will not abide by these laws by offering wine «under the counter» in neutral cups.