Hours and Holidays in Morocco

Opening hours and holidays in Morocco vary according to Morocco’s religious or civil feasts and holidays. Religious holidays are moving holidays, meaning they change dates every year.

Please note that these holidays are days when museums or access to monuments may be closed, especially in Fez.

In Morocco, shops and boutiques typically stay open until late at night, around 8:30 p.m. (with later hours in summer), including Sundays. On Friday, the special day of prayer, some shops close during prayer time, especially around 1 p.m. It’s important to note that in Fez, all shops in the medina are closed on Fridays.

Hours And Holidays In Morocco

In Morocco, the typical business hours for shops and businesses are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with a break for lunch from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. However, some businesses may open earlier and close later, especially in larger cities and tourist areas.

In terms of holidays, Morocco observes both Islamic and secular holidays. Islamic holidays are based on the lunar calendar and therefore move forward by around 11 days each year. Some of the major Islamic holidays in Morocco include:

  • Eid al-Fitr (which marks the end of Ramadan)
  • Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice)
  • Islamic New Year (also known as Hijri New Year)
  • The Prophet’s Birthday (also known as Mawlid al-Nabi)

Secular holidays in Morocco include

  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)
  • Labour Day (May 1st)
  • Throne Day (July 30th)
  • Revolution Day (August 20th)
  • King Mohammed VI’s Birthday (August 21st)
  • Youth Day (November 18th)

During some of these holidays, government offices and some businesses may close. It’s always a good idea to check ahead of time if you are planning to visit Morocco during a holiday.

Public holidays or celebrations in Morocco 

New Year, January 1

Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto 1944 January 11

Labor Day, May 1

End of Ramadan – Eid es-Sghir May 3-4

Throne Day July 30

Oued Ed-Dahab Day August 14

King and People’s Revolution Day 1953, August 20

Birthday of Mohammed VI, August 21

Festival of the sacrifice – Festival of the sheep – Aïd el Kebir 10-11 July

Hegira New Year July 30

Achoura (a bit like Christmas for children) – non-holiday August 7-8

Anniversary of the Green March 6, November

Independence Day, November 18

Birth of the Prophet – Eid-el Mouloud October 9

Events or festivals in Morocco

– the Meknes International Animation Film Festival at the end of March

– the Mediterranean cinema festival in Tetouan (near Tangier) June 2022

– the Festival of Sufi Culture in Fez in mid-April

– the Jazzablanca Festival in Casablanca in mid-April

– the Printemps des Alizées of classical music in Essaouira mid-April

– the Rose Festival in KaLaa Mgouna (near Ouarzazate) on the 2nd weekend of May (depending on the maturity of the flowers)

– the Mawazine Festival (great concerts and rhythms of the world) in Rabat at the beginning of June

– the Marrakech Festival of Laughter in Marrakech June

– the Fez Festival of Sacred Music at the end of May

– the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira in mid-May

– the Timitar Festival in Agadir at the end of July for an Amazigh (Amazigh) meeting and world music

– the Jawhara de El Jadida Festival in August, which brings together concerts with big names from the Moroccan scene as well as exhibitions, theater, and street entertainment

– the Twiza festival in Tangier at the end of May with concerts and exhibitions related to Amazigh (Amazigh) culture

– the Jazz au Chellah festival in Rabat in mid-September presents works that mix European and Moroccan artists in a superb place

– the engagement of Moussem of Imilchil in mid-September

– the Festival of popular arts of Marrakech September

– the saffron festival in Taliouine (between Taroudant and Tazenakhte) at the beginning of October – Agadir region

– the Date Festival in Erfoud (near Merzouga) mid-October – Errachidia region (south-east)

– the Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques in Essaouira at the beginning of November, around the Judeo-Arab musical heritage of the Maghreb.

– the Cinema and Migration Festival in Agadir in mid-November

– the Marrakech International Film Festival December

the time difference in Morocco

Morocco follows the universal time of Greenwich; therefore, a 1-hour difference (less) from France in any season because Morocco switches to summertime at the same time as Europe.

On the other hand, if Ramadan is in the summertime, Morocco will switch back to wintertime throughout Ramadan, so there will be a 2-hour time difference. This period extends from the Sunday before Ramadan to the Sunday after the end of Ramadan.

Take off 1 or 2 hours when arriving in Morocco and add 1 or 2 hours when leaving.

Ramadan in Morocco

Ramadan is an exceptional time of year. It takes place over a month but never at the same time of year (11-day shift each year). It is a sacred moment for Moroccans who practice this fast from sunrise to sunset, which means that each day the schedules change little by little. Families often meet and visit each other with particular cuisine and cakes for Ramadan.

It is an exciting period to discover but not recommended for a first trip (or taking only a few days during Ramadan and the rest of the stay outside). Indeed, few restaurants are open for lunch and for local transport. It is difficult to find a taxi when the fast is broken because everyone wants to go home at the same time…

Some families do not host during Ramadan, but most of our host families are ready to share this particular time of year with you. Travelers take their evening meal with the family, either at the time of breaking the fast (ask for the timetable) or at the next meal, which is much later, around 10:30 – 11:00.

Breakfast is served but not taken with the family.

Those who want to experience Ramadan like Moroccans can enjoy breakfast taken very early, just before sunrise…

There is no restaurant or cafe for lunch outside serving food or drink during the day, except restaurants for tourists, but only in very touristy towns. Grocery stores and markets are open as usual.

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