Can you buy alcohol in Morocco? Its an interesting question, and the answer is: It depends.

Let me explain. If you are a western visitor to Morocco, then technically, there is no problem with you purchasing and drinking alcohol.

However, finding alcohol to buy can be a little more complicated. Your best bet for buying alcohol in Morocco is to try the larger hotels, Moroccan resorts or tourist-oriented restaurants. There you will find an array of local and imported wine and beers, and imported spirits on sale. Many will also let you buy alcohol to take away with you. Morocco makes many wonderful wines, most notably whites and rosés. The local beer is called 'Flag' and is a pretty decent brew.

Morocco also has off-licenses (take-outs), but these are often well hidden and difficult to find, without a local. And because many locals are devout Muslims whose religion forbids alcohol, they may not be willing to help you find these places.

Moroccan regulations around alcohol are complicated. Muslim Moroccans are forbidden to drink by their religion and being caught in the act (or even being suspected of drinking) earns them an overnight trip to the police station. Yet they can freely buy alcohol in bars, restaurants and off-licenses. How crazy is that? Theoretically, the Government allows the sale of something forbidden, which they can be arrested for!

While most Moroccan Muslims don't drink themselves, some will quite happily help foreign visitors to purchase alcohol. At guest houses, Moroccan villas (known as Moroccan Riads), you can often ask your host to pick up some alcohol for you, at a small charge. The more devout Muslims, on the other hand, will refuse to handle the alcohol at all, although most people in the service industry in Morocco are used to and happy to help with these requests.

Where you may struggle to find alcohol in Morocco are the more remote villages and towns. If you venture into the real Morocco, many of these will not have a bar or local take-out, so if you are intending to open a bottle there, be sure to buy your alcohol in one of the main cities and take it with you. Be sure to carry a bottle opener too, as these can be hard to come by.

In Marrakech, if you are looking for an alcoholic drink, the best central places to try are the Hotel Tazi, just off the Djemma el Fnaa. Otherwise head to the Gueliz area, where many bars serve it. In Essaouira, only a few restaurants and Moroccan beach resorts serve alcohol – try the Sofitel on the seafront. In Agadir, most of the larger luxury riads, beach resorts and hotels on the main drag serve alcohol.

If you know of other places that sell alcohol in other Moroccan cities, please add to this information by leaving a comment.

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