Are you planning to make your Moroccan dream become a living reality? Are you ready to wander through Morocco’s ancient medinas, climb its rugged mountains, and savor the exotic flavors of its very rich cuisine? Before you pack your bags and get your ticket, here are 11 things you must know before visiting Morocco to secure an unforgettable adventure. From cultural etiquette to culinary delights, let us unlock the magic of Morocco together. Get ready to embrace the enchantment of this North African magical world!
11 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Morocco
Morocco’s Diverse Landscapes
Morocco is known for its diverse breathtaking landscapes. From the golden sands of the Sahara Desert of Merzouga to the lush greenery of the Atlas Mountains, this country has a stunning variety of natural environments that will leave you deeply attached and amazed. The key to making the most of your visit to this beautiful country is to be prepared to visit all these diverse landscapes. If you plan to explore both the coastal cities and the interior regions, then you should pack accordingly.
In the coastal areas like Casablanca, Agadir, and Essaouira; you can expect a Mediterranean climate, while in the mountains and the desert, you can expect extreme temperature fluctuations. If you are looking for a practical approach that allows you to adapt to different weather conditions throughout your journey, then dressing in layers is the one.
Morocco’s Cultural Etiquette
Morocco is known for its warm hospitality, but understanding and respecting this country’s cultural norms and values is very essential. Even though major cities like Casablanca and Marrakech are more cosmopolitan and lenient when it comes to the dress code, it is advisable and preferable to dress modestly, especially when you visit smaller towns and rural areas. If you are a woman, you can start by covering your shoulders and knees. If you are a man, you should avoid wearing shorts in such areas. You can also show respect through greeting with “Salam” (peace) because it shows appreciation for the local culture and helps forge positive connections.
Language in Morocco
Moroccan Arabic and Amazigh (Berber) are the official languages of Morocco, but you will also find many Moroccans who speak French and English fluently, especially in tourist-heavy areas. While learning a few basic Arabic or French sentences can enhance your experience and help you communicate with locals, don’t worry too much if you’re not fluent. Most Moroccans in the tourism industry are accustomed to conversing with visitors in multiple languages to make communication more accessible and easier.
Currency in Morocco
The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the official currency, but you will be able to find currency exchange services at airports, banks, and exchange offices. Credit cards are widely accepted in Moroccan hotels, restaurants, and shops, especially in major cities like Agadir and Marrakech. However, it is still a good practice to carry some cash for smaller purchases and in more remote areas where card acceptance might be limited. Don’t forget to make sure to notify your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with international transactions.
Moroccan cuisine is a real sensory delight thanks to its aromatic spices and flavorful dishes. If you come to Morocco, you should make sure to savor its extraordinary traditional dishes like tagines, couscous, Rfissa, and Moroccan mint tea. These are not just meals; they are rich cultural experiences in themselves.
Moroccan cuisine is globally known for its beautiful blend of flavors and tastes. Every Moroccan dish tells a different epic story of so much taste, flavor, and richness. If you really want to make the best of your visit to Morocco, make sure to taste every dish’s story and enjoy every single bite of it!
Read the following article to learn more about the uniqueness of Moroccan cuisine:
Haggling in Morocco
Haggling, or bargaining, is a customary practice in Moroccan traditional souks. While it may seem unfamiliar or even intimidating to some visitors, it is actually an essential part of the Moroccan shopping experience. Sellers in Morocco often quote higher initial prices because they expect customers to negotiate. Don’t be shy about haggling, but do it with respect and a very big smile. It can be an enjoyable and rewarding way to connect with locals and score some unique souvenirs at reasonable prices.
While you explore the never-ending delights of Morocco, be mindful of food safety to ensure your trip remains comfortable. Street food is tempting, but you should always exercise caution when choosing what to eat. Make sure to opt for busy stalls with a high turnover of customers because it can be a sign of freshness. Also, try to stick to bottled water to stay hydrated because tap water might not always be safe for consumption.
Transportation in Morocco
Morocco has an extensive and affordable network of trains, taxis, and buses that can take you to various regions of the country. Trains are a comfortable way to travel in Morocco, and they offer different classes to suit every budget. Buses are also a viable option for reaching smaller towns and are often a bit cheaper.
Within cities, taxis are the primary mode of transportation. While taxis are readily available and relatively inexpensive, it is essential to agree on a fare with the driver before starting your journey. Locals often do this by negotiating a price rather than relying on meters, so be prepared to haggle. Small taxis are generally used for short trips within city limits, while grand taxis can take you between cities and are shared with other passengers.
Nowadays, more revolutionary ways of transportation have occurred in Morocco. If you want to have an Uberlike experience within Morocco boundaries, then you should opt for the Indriver application.
Morocco is a generally safe destination for tourists, but like any other place, it is very essential to take common-sense precautions. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, can be a concern in crowded areas. That’s why you should keep an eye on your belongings. Avoid displaying valuable items in such crowded areas or in the streets, and try to use a money belt or hidden pouch to store important documents and money. If you’re exploring at night, stick to well-lit and busy areas. This way, you can secure your safety and enjoy every single minute of your trip.
Tipping is a customary practice in Morocco, and it is appreciated by service providers who often rely on tips as a significant part of their income. In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the bill or even less. In hotels, you can tip staff who provide you with extra services, such as porters, housekeeping, or concierge assistance. Small denominations of Moroccan Dirhams are handy for tipping and showing appreciation.
One of the most enriching aspects of visiting Morocco is the opportunity to engage with the local culture. Make sure to take the time to learn about the history, art, and traditions that make this country unique and different. Consider visiting museums and cultural centers to gain a deeper understanding of Morocco’s past and present. The Moroccan artisan tradition is incredibly rich, so don’t forget to explore the craftsmanship of local artisans. Participating in traditional music and dance performances or even trying your hand at cooking Moroccan dishes is also an immersive way to deeply connect with the culture.
Building friendly relationships with the local people will enhance your Moroccan experience and will make your trip even more enjoyable. So immerse yourself in the Moroccan culture and enjoy being part of this rich community.
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