Morocco vs Turkey travel

Turkey vs Morocco travel: Which country should I visit?

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Trying to choose between Turkey or Morocco for your next trip?

These popular destinations share some similarities, but they also have plenty of differences. 

While Morocco’s infrastructure is less developed than Turkey, this Northern African nation steeped in culture and history and offers an incredible diversity of landscapes from Sahara Desert to beaches and Atlas Mountains

Traveling in Morocco has some challenges when it comes to language barrier, as not many people speak English besides hotels and tour agencies. In Turkey, you will find many people speaking English and many other languages.

Morocco is just a short ferry ride from Tangier, while Turkey links Europe in Asia. While people in Morocco and Turkey are friendly and welcoming, you should always follow their customs, as they are both conservative Islamic nations. 

I visited both countries, and loved my time there, but comparing Turkey and Morocco isn’t necessarily fair, as they offer very different experiences. In this article, we will take a look at both destinations, so you can figure out which one you should visit. 

Should I go to Turkey or Morocco?

Should I go to Turkey or Morocco?

If you want to visit historic sites under the open sky, spend time on the beaches and have more comfort, choose Turkey. But if you want more exotic experience with colorful souks, diverse landscapes, and also don’t mind dealing with limited amenities and occasional language barriers, go to Morocco.

Where is Turkey?

Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Its northwestern boundary is defined by the Aegean Sea, the northern boundary by the Black Sea, and the southwestern boundary by the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of Turkey is Ankara.

Where is Morocco?

Morocco is situated in the northwest corner of the African continent. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to the west and north. To the east and southeast, Morocco shares borders with Algeria, while to the south, it is separated from Western Sahara by the vast Sahara Desert. The capital city of Morocco is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca.

How far is Turkey from Morocco?

The distance between Turkey and Morocco varies depending on the cities you are considering, as well as the mode of transportation. However, the straight-line distance between Istanbul, Turkey, and Rabat, Morocco’s capital, it is approximately 2,550 kilometers (or 1,584 miles).

Why visit Turkey?

Should I visit Turkey or Morocco

✅ Rich history and culture

Turkey boasts a history that spans thousands of years, with a diverse cultural heritage influenced by civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. The country has many ancient ruins like Ephesus, Troy, and Hierapolis, as well as architectural wonders such as the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the largest city of the country that straddles Europe and Asia.

✅ Culinary delights

Turkish cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse dishes, including kebabs, mezes (appetizers), baklava, and Turkish delight. Popular destinations in Turkey have plenty of street food and restaurants where you can try traditional and modern interpretations of Turkish cuisine.

✅ Affordable travel destination

Turkey offers good value for travelers thanks to affordable hotels, transportation, and dining options compared to many other destinations in Europe and the Middle East.

✅ Diverse experiences

Whether you’re interested in exploring bustling bazaars and vibrant city life, relaxing on stunning beaches, or trekking through rugged mountains, Turkey offers a wide range of experiences, so you will find something you will love!

✅ Unique shopping

Turkey is famous for its vibrant markets and bazaars with for traditional handicrafts, carpets, spices, textiles, and souvenirs. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, that offers a fun shopping experience.

Why visit Morocco?

Best things to do in Morocco

✅ Rich cultural heritage

Morocco’s history is rich and diverse, as it’s influenced by Berber, Arab, and European cultures. Ancient cities like Fez, Marrakech, and Meknes have their unique architectural wonders, vibrant markets (souks), and historic medinas (old towns).

✅ Stunning landscapes

Morocco boasts a diverse and breathtaking natural landscape, ranging from the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert to the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains and the picturesque coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco offers opportunities for hiking, surfing, and relaxing on beautiful beaches.

✅ Exotic souks and markets

Morocco is famous for its colorful souks (markets), that offer incredible sights, sounds, and smells of Moroccan culture. From handcrafted carpets and leather goods to spices, pottery, and traditional clothing, Morocco’s markets are treasure trove of souvenirs.

✅ Delicious cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is renowned for its aromatic spices, flavorful tagines, couscous, and freshly baked bread that’s sold on many cities’ streets. You can sample traditional Moroccan dishes at local restaurants, as well as trying street food specialties like pastries, kebabs, and mint tea.

✅ Accessibility from Europe

Morocco is just a short ferry ride from Spain, making it a convenient destination for travelers looking for a taste of North African culture without venturing too far.

Should I go to Istanbul or Marrakech?

Go to Istanbul if you like want to spend time in a cosmopolitan city that offers a blend of cultures, good nightlife and connections to many cities in the world. Visit Marrakech if you want to see the historic medina (old town), with its labyrinthine alleyways, bustling markets, and take a tour of the Sahara desert.

Morocco highlights 

  • Marrakech: Known as the “Red City,” Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most iconic destinations. Its bustling medina (old town) is home to vibrant souks, historic palaces like the Bahia Palace, and the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
  • Fes: Fes is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and the largest medina in the world, Fes el-Bali. Here you can explore the labyrinthine streets, visit the University of Al Quaraouiyine (considered the oldest continuously operating university in the world), and marvel at landmarks like the Al-Attarine Madrasa.
  • Chefchaouen: Nestled in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is famous for its striking blue-washed buildings, winding streets, and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a photographer’s paradise and also offers opportunities for hiking in the surrounding countryside.
  • Sahara Desert: A visit to Morocco wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the vast and mesmerizing Sahara Desert. Travelers can embark on camel treks to watch the sunrise or sunset over the dunes, spend a night in a traditional Berber desert camp, and immerse themselves in the stunning desert landscape.
  • Atlas Mountains: The Atlas Mountains offer breathtaking scenery, with snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and traditional Berber villages. You can go hiking along the dunes, or simply enjoy the stunning views from vantage points like Tizi n’Tichka Pass.

Book popular tours in Morocco

Turkey highlights 

  • Istanbul: As Turkey’s largest city and cultural hub, Istanbul is home to a wealth of iconic landmarks, including the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. Visitors can explore the city’s rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and vibrant culinary scene.
  • Cappadocia: Known for its surreal landscape of fairy chimneys, rock formations, and underground cities, Cappadocia offers unforgettable experiences such as hot air balloon rides, hiking through scenic valleys, and exploring ancient cave churches and dwellings.
  • Pamukkale: Famous for its cascading terraces of white travertine mineral pools, Pamukkale (“Cotton Castle”) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the ancient city of Hierapolis. Visitors can bathe in the thermal waters and explore the ancient ruins.
  • Antalya: Located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, Antalya is known for its stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and well-preserved historic sites. Highlights include the old town of Kaleiçi, Hadrian’s Gate, and the ancient city of Perge.
  • Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Göreme National Park is known for its unique rock-cut churches and monasteries adorned with intricate frescoes, offering insight into the region’s Byzantine history and religious heritage.

Popular tours in Turkey

Morocco vs Turkey: vacation cost 

You can easily visit Morocco on a budget, especially if you skip Marrakesh, where prices are higher than in the rest of the country. Morocco is a poor country with plenty of cheap food, hotels and tours. Turkey is not as cheap as Morocco, but the upside is that it has better infrastructure and higher level of comfort in Morocco.

Is Turkey more expensive than Morocco?

Turkey is more expensive than Morocco, but if you stay away from expensive restaurants and hotels in tourist zones, you can also visit Turkey relatively inexpensively. Morocco is more poor than Turkey, and cheaper options often come with limited comfort, as the country’s infrastructure is still developing. 

Outside of Marrakech, where you will find plenty of expensive riads (traditional Moroccan homes made into hotels), and restaurants serving western-style dishes and tours, Morocco offers great opportunities for budget travel with low prices on food and accommodations.

Which is safer, Turkey or Morocco?

Turkey is safer than Morocco. While neither country has a high level of crime, Turkey is overall safer than Morocco. In recent years, Turkey has seen a number of incidents linked to extremist groups, most of which have occurred in major cities and southeastern part of the country, but none of them were targeting tourists. 


Is Morocco safe for solo female travelers?

As a solo female traveler, I didn’t always feel comfortable in Morocco. As I walked around markets, I experienced a fair amount of unwanted attention from men, and also found overall environment to be less relaxed than in Turkey. Navigating the areas in bigger cities like Marrakech and Tangier wasn’t always easy, due to chaotic traffic, and crossing streets in Morocco was often challenging, as not many drivers were stopping at pedestrian crossings.

✅ Whether you want to visit Turkey or Morocco, get World Nomads insurance that will protect you in case of lost or stolen luggage, accidents, hospital visits and many other unforeseen events. 

Morocco safety tips 

Morocco safety tips

➡️ Respect local customs and culture

Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country with conservative values. Respect local customs, traditions, and dress codes, especially in rural areas and religious sites.

➡️ Drink only bottled water

Tap water is not safe to drink in Morocco, and you need to drink bottled water to avoid getting sick.

➡️ Stay informed

Stay informed about the current situation in Morocco, including any travel advisories or safety concerns. Monitor local news sources and government travel advisories before and during your trip.

➡️ Be vigilant in tourist areas

Tourist areas, markets, and transportation hubs can be crowded and attract pickpockets and petty thieves. Keep your belongings secure and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuable items.

➡️ Use licensed guides and tour operators

When exploring tourist sites or embarking on excursions, use licensed guides and reputable tour operators. Verify credentials and agreements before booking any tours or activities.

➡️ Be cautious of scams

Be cautious of scams and hustlers, especially in tourist areas. Common scams include offers of assistance, fake guides, overcharging for goods or services, and distraction techniques. Politely decline unwanted attention and avoid engaging with shady people.

➡️ Use reliable transportation

When using public transportation or taxis, choose reputable providers and agree on fares in advance. Avoid unofficial taxis and use licensed, metered cabs whenever possible.

➡️ Avoid risky areas

Exercise caution when traveling to remote or isolated areas, especially near the borders with Algeria and Western Sahara. 

Is it safe to go to Turkey 2024?

Turkey is a relatively safe destination, and besides several isolated incidents of extremism, there haven’t been any major safety issues. Istanbul is one of the safest places in Turkey for tourists, but you should always be aware of tourist scams and steer clear of political demonstrations.

Is Morocco safe for Americans?

Morocco is relatively safe for Americans, but you need to be careful in busy areas, be extra cautious when crossing roads and be aware of tourist scams.

Turkey vs Morocco: nightlife 

Turkey has a better nightlife than Morocco. You can find plenty of bars and night clubs in popular destinations like Istanbul, Alanya, Bodrum, and Marmaris. Nightlife in Morocco is very limited. Marrakech offers the most nightlife in Morocco with rooftop bars and nightclubs where you can enjoy live music. A coastal city of Agadir also has some options along the beach where you can enjoy a drink with a view. 

Turkey vs Morocco: food

Best food in Morocco

Morocco food

As you travel around the country, you will try delicious Moroccan cuisine with its vibrant and aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric that add incredible flavor to Moroccan dishes. I enjoyed Moroccan cuisine, and as a plant-based eater, was able to find plenty of options.


Perhaps the most iconic Moroccan dish is the tagine, named after the earthenware pot it’s cooked in. Tagines are slow-cooked stews typically made with meat (often lamb or chicken), vegetables, dried fruits like apricots or prunes, and a blend of spices. They are cooked slowly over low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.


Couscous is a staple in Moroccan cuisine. It is made from steamed semolina grains and typically served as a base for a variety of savory stews or as a side dish with meat, vegetables, and broth.


Pastilla, also known as bastilla, is a traditional Moroccan pie made with thin layers of flaky pastry filled with a savory-sweet mixture of spiced meat (usually pigeon or chicken), almonds, eggs, and sometimes herbs. It’s often dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon.


This hearty soup is often served during Ramadan to break the fast. It typically contains tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and lamb or beef, flavored with spices like cinnamon, ginger, and saffron.

Mint Tea

Moroccan mint tea is a ubiquitous drink enjoyed throughout the country. It’s made with green tea, fresh mint leaves, and sugar, and is often served in small glasses, poured from a height to create a frothy top.

Turkey food

Turkish food or Moroccan food


Turkey is famous for its wide variety of kebabs, which are grilled or skewered meats often served with rice, vegetables, and bread. Some popular types include Adana kebab (spicy minced meat), shish kebab (grilled meat on skewers), and doner kebab (layers of seasoned meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie).


Meze refers to a selection of small dishes served as appetizers or alongside drinks. Meze can include a wide range of items such as stuffed grape leaves (dolma), yogurt-based dips (cacık and haydari), eggplant dishes (such as baba ghanoush), and various salads.


Börek is a savory pastry made with thin layers of dough (phyllo or yufka) filled with ingredients like cheese, spinach, or minced meat. It can be baked or fried and is commonly enjoyed as a snack or breakfast item.


Pide is a type of Turkish flatbread similar to pizza. It is typically topped with ingredients like minced meat, cheese, vegetables, and herbs, then baked in a stone oven. Pide can be folded over or served open-faced.

Turkish Delight

Known as “lokum” in Turkish, Turkish delight is a traditional confection made from starch and sugar, flavored with various ingredients such as rosewater, lemon, or pistachios. It’s typically dusted with powdered sugar or coconut.

Turkey vs Morocco: transportation

Turkey is a bigger country than Morocco with a more developed infrastructure. Morocco has a well-established travel route with popular destinations like Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fes, and Marrakesh but public transport in Morocco is not always fast or comfortable. The fastest way to get around Morocco is an airplane but it’s also the most expensive option. 

Getting around Morocco 

While Morocco has a well established travel route, public transportation isn’t the fastest way to get around the country. Many tourists in Morocco opt for private transportation to get around between cities as it’s more comfortable. That being said, buses in Morocco are great if you are on a budget and have extra time. 

  • Trains: Morocco has an extensive railway network connecting major cities like Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat, Fez, and Tangier. Trains in Morocco are much faster than buses and have several classes, but they are also the more expensive. 
  • Buses: There are several bus companies that offer short and long-distance routes. CTM and Supratours are two of the most reputable companies with comfortable buses connecting major cities and smaller towns.
  • Grand Taxis: Grand Taxis are shared taxis that operate on fixed routes between cities and towns in Morocco. They are usually older Mercedes cars and can be found at taxi stands. You can negotiate the fare with the driver or wait until the taxi is full.
  • Petit Taxis: The most common taxis in Morocco that operate in cities like Marrakech, Fez, and Casablanca. They are colored red and can be hailed on the street. They are suitable for short distances within the city.
  • Car rentals : Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore Morocco at your own pace, especially if you want to visit remote areas not easily accessible by public transportation. However, driving in Morocco can be challenging due to traffic congestion, road conditions, and navigating through narrow streets in the medinas. I don’t recommend renting a car in Morocco unless you have very good navigation skills and can handle basic mechanic issues on the road like changing your own tire.
  • Shared minibuses: In addition to larger buses, there are shared minibuses (known as “grands taxis” or “louages”) that operate on popular routes, providing a cheaper alternative to private taxis.
  • Domestic flights: If you’re traveling long distances within Morocco or want to save time, you can consider domestic flights. Royal Air Maroc and other local airlines operate flights between major cities.

Getting around Turkey

Turkey is a bigger country than Morocco, and if you want to travel around the country, you will need to cover much bigger distances than Morocco. If you want to travel around Turkey, booking flights might be the best option, especially if you have limited time.

  • Domestic Flights: Flying in Turkey can be the quickest way to cover long distances. Turkish Airlines and other regional carriers operate flights between major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, and others.
  • Intercity Buses: Turkey has an extensive network of intercity buses, operated by companies like Metro Turizm, Pamukkale, and Kamil Koç. These buses are modern, comfortable, and offer various amenities, connecting cities, towns, and even remote areas.
  • Trains: Turkey’s rail network is improving, with modern high-speed trains operating between major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, and Eskisehir. There are also regional and overnight trains serving other destinations. The Turkish State Railways (TCDD) operates most train services.
  • Dolmuş: Dolmuş are shared minibusses or vans commonly used for short-distance travel within cities and towns. They follow specific routes and can be hailed from designated stops. Dolmuş are a cost-effective and convenient way to get around locally.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in cities and tourist areas. They are relatively inexpensive compared to Western countries, but it’s essential to ensure the meter is running or agree on a fare before starting your journey.
  • Metro and trams: Major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir have metro and tram systems, offering a fast and efficient way to navigate within the city. Istanbul’s metro network, for example, is extensive and connects various neighborhoods.
  • Car rental: Renting a car can give you the flexibility to explore Turkey’s more remote areas at your own pace. Roads are generally well-maintained, but driving in cities can be chaotic, and parking can be challenging to find in urban areas.
  • Ferries: Ferries are a popular mode of transportation for crossing the Bosphorus in Istanbul and traveling between the European and Asian sides of the city. They also operate between mainland Turkey and various islands, such as the Princes’ Islands near Istanbul or between the mainland and destinations like Bodrum or Izmir.

What is the difference between Turkey and Morocco?

Turkey and Morocco are two distinct countries with differences in various aspects including geography, culture, history, and demographics. 


  • Turkey is located in the Middle East and partly in Southeast Europe, bordered by eight countries and surrounded by several seas including the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea.
  • Morocco is situated in North Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, with Algeria to the east and the disputed region of Western Sahara to the south.


  • Turkey has a diverse culture influenced by its historical interactions with various civilizations including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Turkish culture is known for its rich cuisine, traditional music, and architecture.
  • Morocco has a distinct North African culture influenced by Berber, Arab, and French colonial heritage. The country is famous for its vibrant markets (souks), traditional cuisine like couscous and tagine, intricate handicrafts, and Islamic architecture.


  • In Turkey, the official language is Turkish, which is a Turkic language using the Latin alphabet.
  • In Morocco, the official languages are Arabic and Tamazight (Berber). French being widely spoken and used in business and education.


  • Turkey has a long history dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. It was a significant player in the medieval and early modern periods as the center of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
  • Morocco also has a rich history, with ancient Berber kingdoms, Islamic caliphates, and later periods of Spanish and French colonial rule.


  • Turkey has a population of over 80 million people, with a predominantly Muslim population, although it has significant ethnic and religious diversity.
  • Morocco has a population of around 36 million people, with a majority being Sunni Muslims. It also has a diverse population including Arab-Berber ethnic groups.

Morocco vs Turkey: FAQ’s

Is it worth it to go to Morocco?

Morocco boasts a fascinating blend cultures offers a wealth of historical attractions like Ait Benhaddou, the Kasbah of the Udayas in Rabat and 

Morocco’s diverse geography encompasses rugged mountains, sweeping deserts, and picturesque coastline. Shopping in Morocco’s markets is one of the most incredible experiences for travelers. 

Morocco or Turkey to visit in September?

Morocco is a great place to visit in September if you are looking for smaller crowds and milder temperatures, especially if you want to visit the desert. September is also a perfect time to visit Turkey, especially if you want to score better prices on hotels in popular resort areas. 

Morocco or Turkey to visit in December?

December is a low season in both countries. While you can still enjoy both Turkey and Morocco in September, you will be somewhat limited when it comes to activities, as not many companies do tours during this month. Morocco is better to visit in December if you are want to enjoy a warmer climate and get good deals on local tours and hotels. 

Morocco or Turkey, which is better? Final Word:

Both Morocco and Turkey offer incredible experiences and attractions. Consider your interests, travel preferences, and available time and resources when making your decision. To get a better sense of what country you like better, I recommend visiting both of them, as they are both too good to miss.