Morocco: Our 15 top tips!

Morocco, Marrakech, koutoubia mosque

A few things worth knowing before you visit Morocco:

 

1) You may already live by this rule but if not, only brush your teeth in bottled water you may regret it otherwise and always remember a small bottle a hand sanitizer – this was a life saver when camping in the desert.  (Chances are if you go against this piece of advice you may find yourself using your International Health Insurance when seeking out the services of a local doctor!) 

2) Morocco has a closed currency so you have to change your currency once you arrive.  Try to avoid changing currency at the airports you will get a better rate in the cities.

3) Book into Riads and Kasbahs rather than hotels for an authentic experience (we can wholly recommend: Riad Laayoun in Fes, Kasbah Ellouze in Ouarzazate, Riad Cinnamon in Marrakech and our personal favourite in Marrakech, Riad Camilia)

4) Enjoy the food in the Riads – you will need to book in advance but it is definitely worthwhile.

5) If using a taxi set a price beforehand so that you are not challenged on price at the end of your journey (Only use reputation taxi firms – Petit taxis are countrywide and can be spotted by their colour: Blue in Rabat; Red in Fes, White/Cream in Marrakech and Ouarzazate).

6) Be aware of the street hustlers they work in groups but you will not realise this until it is too late.

7) You are in a Muslim country, so ladies respect their culture and dress appropriately.

8) Sit on a terrace as the sun sets in the city and listen to the call to prayer – this is a very different experience.

9) Check out the fixed price shops before heading into the Souks so you know what to aim for when haggling and most importantly have confidence.

10) Complete a desert camp – the simpler the better.  Relax and enjoy your surrounding and make sure you are up to watch the sunrise.

11)  Get yourself lost; it’s a great way to explore the cities.

12) Arabic and French are the two main languages – outside of the cities English is rarely spoken so make sure you learn some key phrases if you intend to go off exploring.

13) Ask before taking photos of people.  Many will oblige, others may ask for a few dirhams for the privilege.

14) Try the mint tea, even if you are not normally a tea drinker (I hate the stuff normally), it is quite refreshing.

15) Get use to the fact that you will probably be un-contactable – phone signals are pretty much no existent, but is that not a good thing?

Have you visited Morocco?  What tips would you have for your fellow travellers?

8 Comments

  • Alexandra says:

    I’ve visited Tangier in Morocco but I was only their for a short amount of time,I do remember them getting us to try the mint tea! I was wearing a dress which was knee length but had short sleeves, although in many other places a very modest dress, I did feel quite uncomfortable, it is probably worth wearing something that covers you up a lot more!

    • Hi Alexandra, thanks for your comment. Sometimes, wearing a knee length dress would almost be overdressed depending on which countries you are visiting, and I would say it is probably an appropriate length for Morocco as well. I felt more self conscious about my arms and shoulders for some reason, like you have mentioned. I think it is because most women have modestly covered their heads and I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb if I didn’t, especially in some of the more rural areas that we visited. Would you return to Tangiers? It is a part we have yet to explore. 🙂

      • Alexandra says:

        I was only there for a day, and visited the old town, aside from feeling ever so slightly uncomfortable about the way I was dressed, and the weather was extremely hot and humid so i’m not quite sure how I would have managed being covered up and walking around, I would possibly visit again, I think I had a bad first impression. I’m not sure if you get this elsewhere in Morocco but we had men come over to us and offer a tour around for ‘free’ just to be friendly, then at the end almost cornered us to pay him, was quite threatening and scary. If you were to do a tour I would recommend doing it in a group with a qualified tour leader you can trust. I guess being wary of this before you go can make sure you have a positive experience!

        • We only had one bad experience whilst in Morocco. One gentleman wanted to show us the tanneries in Marrakech and we were heading off to the flea markets our Riad had told us about, he blocked our way and refused to let us through, telling us it was his road and actually got quite nasty saying that we had to use him or turn around. In the end unfortunately we turned around and never made it to the flea market. I wouldn’t let your one experience put you off returning to the country, I was more annoyed with the male than scared and had I been in many other countries I would have spoken my mind but my husband just pulled me away. I think it is important to remember that the majority of people want to genuinely help you and its only one or two that are in to conning you – I think you are right though and arranging tours is often helpful. If staying in a Riad ask the team there as they will provide you with local guides at a reasonable price rather than going through a pricy tourist trap booking.

  • Amber Ray says:

    I’ve been dying to go to Morocco for awhile now, I’ll keep these tips in mind when I finally get there! Thanks!

  • Some great tips I hope to use! I already live by the rule of not drinking/brushing teeth with water from certain countries to prevent being sick the rest of the trip!

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