Morocco Vs. Egypt Travel Guide (2024)

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Morocco Vs. Egypt: Decide Which Destination Is For You?

North Africa is a vast and varied region with plenty of interesting and unique countries to explore. But two of the most popular spots are Morocco and Egypt. While they sit on opposite sides of the continent, these two hot spots are often pitted against each other as potential picks on travelers’ itineraries. 

Both offer a gateway into the sprawling Sahara Desert, access to ancient villages and historical sites, and plenty of incredible food and flavors. And while there are definitely similarities between these North African icons, there are also a lot of differences that you should take into consideration when deciding between the two. 

If you can, you should aim to explore both countries. Alas, if you’re short on time and have to pick between Morocco and Egypt, this guide will help you compare key differences between the two. One is not inherently better than the other – it’s just a matter of personal preferences, your budget, and what types of attractions and activities you want to experience during your trip. 

Attractions and Activities

Morocco vs. Egypt. Which one has the better attractions and activities? This is all about your own predilections, as both countries offer tons of incredible historic sites, bustling cities, and natural landscapes to admire. 


Morocco is most famed for its vibrant souks, or bustling outdoor markets with vendors selling spices, handcrafted goods, jewelry, and more. These are especially popular in the Djemaa el Fna (central square) of Marrakech, though you’ll find them in city centers across the country.  

The Medieval city of Fez and the blue city of Chefchaouen are also must-sees, in addition to the famed coastal city of Casablanca and its massive Hassan II Mosque. 

If you enjoy hiking, the Atlas Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to numerous trails, and there are plenty of luxurious yet affordable Riads (accommodations with courtyard gardens and pools) to relax in after long days of exploring. 

You’ll also have easy access to the Sahara Desert from Morocco, and there are tons of tours that will bring you into the sandy expanse and allow you to ride camels, explore the dunes by dune buggy, and sleep in a traditional tent.


Egypt is renowned for its ancient Egyptian culture and archeology, specifically the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx. The capital city of Cairo also boasts a collection of ancient mosques and the fabulous Egyptian Museum.

There are plenty of other impressive archeological sites outside of Giza and Cairo. Other must-sees in Egypt include the famous Abu Simbel Temples along the western bank of the lovely Lake Nasser, the Valley of Kings and the Tomb of Tut in Luxor, and the Roman Philae Temple in Aswan

But it’s not just impressive archeology that makes Egypt a great destination. Outdoor lovers can take a cruise down the Nile River, go scuba diving in the Red Sea, or go camping in the White Desert National Park


Desert landscapes tend to dominate general thoughts about both Morocco and Egypt, but you’ll likely be surprised by the diversity that exists in these two North African Countries. Both boast beautiful coastlines, mountain peaks, and lush valleys, in addition to the vast desert landscapes that draw visitors from near and far. 


From the otherworldly sand dunes and towering mountain peaks to sandy beaches and verdant valleys, Morocco’s landscape packs a big punch for such a small country. 

The Atlas Mountains are home to the highest peaks in Northern Africa, so high in fact that they are covered in snow for much of the year. Parts of this region are still inhabited by the traditionally nomadic herders (Berbers) who live in mud-thatched and stone villages along the mountainside.

Morocco’s southern reaches are claimed by the red sands of the Sahara Desert, where dunes can reach up to 150 meters, and further north, the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea kiss the shores of major cities like Casablanca, Rabat, and Nador


Egypt is best known for its arid desert landscape, but there’s a lot more to this mesmerizing country than the sun-drenched sand dunes of the Sahara Desert

Two stunning seas border the north and east – the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, respectively. Both offer gorgeous golden sand, beautiful blue water, and great diving opportunities off of colorful coral reefs. 

There’s also the Nile River (the longest river in the world), providing water to the lush landscapes that meander through central Egypt. 

Climate and Weather

Thanks to the large swaths of desert that encroach on much of the landscape, both Egypt and Morocco are fairly arid countries.


Like its landscape, Morocco’s weather and climate vary a lot depending on where you are in the country. Overall, it’s dry and hot for much of the year, though it is a bit cooler than Egypt thanks to the cool breezes that come off of the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. The mountainous regions of Morocco are lush and cool in the spring (mid-March to May), creating the perfect atmosphere for hiking and trekking. 


Egypt sees a bit less rain than Morocco, with a dry, hot climate year-round. Summers are especially warm, so you may want to stick to spots along the Mediterranean or Red Sea if you’re visiting between June and August. More mild temperatures persist from September through April, so aim your visit for these months if you want to avoid peak temperatures. 


In terms of cuisine, the Morocco vs. Egypt debate is a tough call. You’ll find heaps of mint tea on offer in both countries, plus influences from local cultures and religions, and plenty of unique spices and flavors. One thing both countries have in common is their Islamic influences, so you will likely find it hard (not impossible) to locate pork and alcohol. 


Moroccan cuisine blends flavors and fresh ingredients from a variety of influences, including French, Andalusian, Mediterranean, and Arabian cultures. You’ll notice bold flavors from unique spices in every dish, including cumin, turmeric, ginger, and black pepper. Famous dishes include tagine (a slow cooked meat stew served with couscous), hummus, and Harira (a lentil and lamb soup usually served to break fasts during Ramadan).


Egypt sits at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, and thus, its cuisine is quite unique. Egypt relies heavily on the legumes, vegetables and fruits grown in the Nile Delta. You’ll see a lot of beans (specifically fava, chickpeas, and lentils), bread, and spices like dill, saffron, coriander, cumin, and bay leaves. Famous Egyptian dishes include  Koshary (a mixture of rice, pasta, lentils and spicy tomato sauce), ful medames (mashed fava beans), and fiteer baladi (Egypt’s take on pizza).

Prices and Currency

If the overall cost of your trip is a big deciding factor when considering Morocco vs. Egypt, then you’ll have to look a bit deeper beneath the surface. Overall, both countries are fairly affordable and have similar daily costs. 

Unless prices are listed, you can barter at markets, and there are accommodation options for both luxury travelers and those on a tight budget in Morocco and Egypt. That being said, costs do shake out a bit differently between the two countries. No matter which destination you choose, be sure to bring a debit card so you can take out cash, and hang onto your small bills – many people don’t like to exchange large bills. 


Currency: Moroccan Dirham (MAD)

Morocco wins budget points for cheaper activities and accessibility to tourists. It’s possible to travel around the whole country on your own, whereas in Egypt, you basically need a guide for many of the attractions and simply getting around the country. 


Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)

In Egypt, tours and eating out are a bit more affordable than in Morocco. That being said, you’ll need to take the extreme tipping culture (baksheesh) into account here. Tips are not technically required, but they are expected for just about every service rendered, from the officer stamping your passport to the person collecting your bus ticket. 


Transportation is a bit of a toss-up between Morocco and Egypt, and you’re in for an adventure no matter which country you end up in. Both countries are considered large transportation hubs in Northern Africa, so you’ll find plenty of international flights to and from Cairo (Egypt) and Casablanca (Morocco). Once you arrive, be weary of taxi drivers looking to scam tourists out of some serious cash. Always negotiate a price before you get in, or keep things simple and order an Uber!


You can fly into Morocco fairly easily from anywhere in the world, and the largest aviation hubs here include the Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) in Casablanca and the Menara Airport (RAK) in Marrakech. You could also take a ferry from southern Spain to a few different cities in Morocco, including Tangier, Nador, and Melilla.  

Public transportation within the country is available but limited, with a rail service connecting Marrakech with the coast and various bus routes connecting smaller towns and cities. The best way to get around Morocco is by renting a car. You’ll be able to reach more far-off destinations this way, and while there are quite a lot of police checkpoints, tourists tend to be let through without a lot of hassle. 


Egypt’s largest aviation hub is the Cairo International Airport (CAI), which is actually the busiest international airport in all of Africa. There are a few other international airports across the country, but you will most likely be flying into Cairo. 

Getting around Egypt is a bit of a hassle, mostly because of all the police checks. No matter if you’re driving yourself or taking a bus, you can expect to be stopped multiple times for passport checks and sometimes luggage checks. These checks can end up eating into a lot of your time, so try to stick to local forms of transport like trains and public buses. A rail line links the Nile Valley, Delta, and Canal Zone, and buses and shared taxi services link smaller cities around the country. 


Both Morocco and Egypt are predominantly Islamic countries. Western travelers may find both Morocco and Egypt more conservative in a number of areas, specifically dress codes and manners. You’ll want to dress more conservatively in both countries, with loose-fitting clothing that covers your knees and shoulders. You should also take into account that on certain holy days, restaurants and attractions may close early or shut down completely, specifically during Ramadan.

The main difference in religion between Egypt and Morocco is that Egypt has a large Christian (Coptic) minority, which you’ll likely see evidence of in large cities like Cairo and Alexandria. 

Another contrast between these two North African countries is that in Morocco, you won’t be able to enter most mosques unless you are a Muslim. With the exception of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, mosques here are not open to tourists or non-Muslims. In Egypt, you won’t have a problem entering most mosques, with a few exceptions in Cairo, including Sayyida Zeinab mosque and Al-Hussein Mosque.


Who is Morocco better for?

Morocco is better for independent travelers who want to explore colorful towns, visit vibrant marketplaces, or hike glorious mountain trails. Morocco is also great for those who like to travel in comfort, as there are more mid-scale and luxury hotels and restaurants. Lastly, if you want a place that’s easily accessible to tourists, Morocco is a better fit. There are more lenient police checkpoints, the rail system is easy to figure out, and you likely won’t need a visa if you’re traveling for less than three months. 

Who is Egypt better for?

Egypt is better for those fascinated with history and archeology. Both countries have incredible ancient sites, but Egypt is one of the top historical travel destinations in the world thanks to its unbelievable collection of pyramids, temples, ruins, and museums. If you love an organized tour where you don’t have to worry about the logistics, Egypt is the better pick for you. There are tons of tours across the entire country, allowing you to explore deserts, national parks, the Nile River, and more with an expert guide at fairly affordable prices.

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