Morocco’s culture is a fusion of Arab, Amazigh, Jewish, African, and Western European influences. It both represents and reflects the convergence of historical influences. This field may include, for example, personal or collective behaviors, language, customs, knowledge, beliefs, the arts, legislation, gastronomy, music, poetry, architecture, and so on. While Morocco began to be stably predominantly Sunni Muslim in the 9th–10th centuries AD. A significant Jewish population contributed to the shaping of Moroccan culture during the Almoravid empire period. In antiquity, from the second century A.D. to the seventh, a rural Donatist Christianity coexisted with an urban Roman Catholicism that was still developing. All of the cultural superstrata rely on a multi-millennial aboriginal Berber substratum that is still very much alive and dates back to prehistoric times.
Visiting Morocco? Here is a list of 25 travel tips you must know before visiting.
More and more people are visiting Morocco every year. Here we are providing the most significant travel tips before traveling to Morocco.
1. Dress appropriately.
Dressing conservatively is important in Morocco, particularly for women. Morocco is a Muslim country with conservative social norms, so local customs and traditions must be respected. Women should cover their shoulders and legs and avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing. Women should wear long skirts, loose pants, and long-sleeved shirts, and it’s also a good idea to bring a scarf to cover your head if necessary. Men should also dress conservatively, with long pants and shoulder-covering shirts. It’s important to note that while dress codes in tourist areas may be more relaxed, it’s still important to respect local customs and traditions.
2. Currency and cost
Morocco’s official currency is the Moroccan dirham (MAD), and having some cash on hand for small purchases is important because many places do not accept credit cards. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange bureaus, and some hotels, but it’s a good idea to compare rates and fees before doing so. ATMs are widely available throughout Morocco, particularly in larger cities and tourist areas, and they typically offer competitive exchange rates.
Morocco is a generally inexpensive travel destination, but the cost of your trip will depend on your travel style and the activities you choose. Budget hostels and luxury hotels are available, as are mid-range accommodations. Food is generally inexpensive, particularly if you stick to regional cuisine and street food. The cost of admission to tourist attractions and activities varies greatly, but many historical sites and museums have reasonable admission fees.
3. ATMs can be hit-or-miss.
While ATMs are widely available in Morocco, their functionality and dependability can be hit-or-miss. Some ATMs may be out of cash or out of service, particularly in more remote areas, and some ATMs may be vulnerable to card skimming and fraud. It is critical to use ATMs in well-lit public areas and to cover your hand when entering your PIN.
To avoid problems with ATMs, bring some cash with you and exchange money at reputable exchange bureaus or banks. It’s also a good idea to notify your bank about your trip ahead of time. So they know you’ll be using your card in Morocco and you don’t have to worry about your card being blocked due to suspected fraudulent activity. Finally, have a backup plan in place in case you can’t withdraw cash from an ATM. Such as bringing a backup card or traveler’s checks.
5. Learn to negotiate (haggling).
Haggling is common in Morocco, particularly in markets, souks, and medinas. Vendors may quote you a higher price than they are willing to accept when shopping for souvenirs, clothing, or other items, expecting you to negotiate a lower price. When negotiating, it’s important to be respectful but firm and to remember that haggling is a cultural practice and a way of doing business in Morocco.
When haggling, start by offering a price that is lower than the vendor’s initial quote but still reasonable. If the vendor is unwilling to meet your price, be prepared to walk away, as they may call you back and accept your offer. Remember that haggling is a two-way street, and you should be willing to compromise and meet the vendor halfway.
Haggling can be a fun and rewarding experience, but remember that vendors rely on these sales for a living, so be courteous and avoid aggressive bargaining tactics. Also, keep in mind that haggling is not always appropriate, such as in restaurants or when purchasing necessities.
7. Be wary of local guides
While Morocco has many reputable and knowledgeable local guides, there are some who may take advantage of tourists by overcharging for services or taking them to places where they receive a commission. Anyone who approaches you on the street and offers to be your guide should be avoided because they may not be licensed or trained.
If you want to hire a local guide, you should do your research first. And book through a reputable agency or hotel. Check that the guide is licensed and has positive feedback from previous clients. It’s also a good idea to agree on a price ahead of time and to clarify what services are included. If you’re not sure about a guide or are uncomfortable with their behavior, go with your gut and find another one.
You can also explore Morocco on your own, planning your itinerary with guidebooks or online resources. Many cities and attractions offer audio guides or guided tours on a drop-in basis, allowing you to learn about Moroccan history and culture without committing to a full-day tour.
8. Avoid walking alone at night.
It’s generally a good idea to avoid walking alone at night in Morocco, especially in unfamiliar or isolated areas. While Morocco is a relatively safe country, there have been reports of theft, harassment, and violent crime in some areas. Especially after dark.
If you must walk at night, it is best to stick to well-lit and busy areas and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuable items. It’s also a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, try to find a public place or seek assistance from a reputable source, such as a hotel or restaurant.
Traveling in a group is generally safer, especially at night. If you’re traveling alone, consider taking a taxi or ride-sharing service rather than walking, especially if you’re going to an unfamiliar area. If you need transportation at night, most hotels and accommodations can arrange for a taxi or private driver.
9. Avoid public displays of affection.
Public displays of affection are uncommon in Morocco and can be considered inappropriate or disrespectful, particularly in more conservative areas. Holding hands or hugging in public is generally frowned upon, and kissing in public is frowned upon even more.
To avoid offending locals or attracting unwanted attention, avoid public displays of affection while in Morocco. This is true for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Save affectionate gestures for private spaces like your hotel room or a restaurant.
It’s also worth noting that homosexuality is not widely accepted in Moroccan society and can be illegal. It is best to avoid public displays of affection if you are in a same-sex relationship.
10. Respect local customs.
Morocco has many customs and traditions that may be unfamiliar to you. Even if you don’t fully understand these customs, it’s important to respect them. For example, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a mosque. Greeting people with a handshake or “Salam” (hello) is also very polite.
11. Ask before taking photos.
While Morocco is a photogenic country, it is critical to obtain permission before photographing people, especially women, and children. Taking photos without permission can be considered rude or disrespectful in some cases.
12. Souvenirs to Bring Home
Morocco has a rich and diverse culture, and you can bring home many unique souvenirs to remember your trip. Here are some suggestions:
- Moroccan rugs and textiles: Morocco is well-known for its exquisite rugs and textiles, which are handcrafted by skilled artisans using traditional techniques. From small woven baskets to large carpets, they are available in a variety of styles and sizes.
- Leather goods: Morocco is also known for its high-quality leather goods, such as bags, shoes, and jackets. Marrakech has many leather shops and tanneries, making it a great place to shop for leather.
- Spices: Moroccan cuisine is well-known for its use of aromatic spices such as cumin, cinnamon, and saffron. These spices can be found in local markets and make excellent gifts for foodies.
- Pottery: Morocco is home to many talented ceramic artists, and hand-painted plates, bowls, and vases can be found in the markets. Fez is particularly well-known for its pottery.
- Tea sets: Moroccan mint tea is a staple of Moroccan hospitality, and beautiful tea sets and glasses can be found in the markets. These are both great souvenirs and practical ways to serve tea at home.
- Argan oil: It is a natural oil extracted from the nuts of the argan tree, which grows in Morocco. It is known for its nourishing properties and is used for a variety of purposes, including cooking and skin care.
- Traditional clothing; Moroccan clothing is colorful and vibrant, and traditional garments such as kaftans, djellabas, and babouches (slippers) can be found in markets. These make excellent souvenirs and are also enjoyable to wear at home.
13. Don’t touch or pat animals,
It is important to respect animals in Morocco and avoid touching or patting them, especially if they are working animals. Donkeys, horses, and camels are examples of animals that are commonly used for transportation or labor in rural areas.
While it may be tempting to photograph or pet an animal. You have to keep in mind that these animals may be overworked, malnourished, or mistreated. Approaching or touching them without permission is also risky because they may react unexpectedly.
If you want to interact with animals in Morocco, look for reputable animal sanctuaries or conservation organizations that care for and protect animals. Many of these organizations provide tours and educational programs that allow you to learn about the animals. Also their habitats in a safe and responsible manner.
14. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes.
Morocco is a fascinating country to visit, with its many historic sites, bustling cities, and stunning natural landscapes. As a result, bringing a pair of comfortable shoes is essential if you want to fully enjoy your trip.
Comfortable shoes are essential for exploring the winding streets of Marrakech’s medina or hiking in the Atlas Mountains. If you intend to do a lot of walking or hiking, choose sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good support and traction.
When selecting your shoes, keep the weather and terrain in mind, in addition to comfort. If you’re visiting in the summer, for example, you should wear breathable and lightweight shoes. But in the winter, you should wear waterproof or insulated shoes.
Finally, keep in mind that Morocco’s streets and sidewalks can be uneven and occasionally dirty. Therefore wear shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty in. A good pair of walking shoes will not only keep your feet comfortable and safe. But will also allow you to fully appreciate everything Morocco has to offer.
15. Bring a good camera.
Morocco’s colorful markets, intricate architecture, and breathtaking natural landscapes make it a visually stunning country. Having a good camera with you will allow you to capture all of these memorable moments and bring them home with you.
Having a good camera can make a big difference in the quality of your photos, whether you’re a professional photographer or just a casual traveler. A DSLR camera with a variety of lenses will provide the most flexibility in capturing various types of shots, but even a high-quality smartphone camera can produce excellent results.
Some of Morocco’s must-see attractions, such as the blue city of Chefchaouen, Merzouga’s desert landscapes, and Marrakech’s historic monuments, are particularly photogenic and will provide ample opportunities for stunning shots.
In addition to a good camera, bring spare batteries, memory cards, and a protective case or bag to keep your equipment safe and secure while you’re on the go. And don’t forget to enjoy the scenery without the lens of your camera!
16. Bring sunscreen
When visiting Morocco, it is critical to protect your skin from the harsh Moroccan sun. Because the country has a hot and dry climate with long hours of sunlight, bringing sunscreen is essential to avoid sunburn or other skin damage.
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 for the best protection. At least 15 minutes before going outside, apply it liberally to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, arms, and legs. Apply again every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
It’s also a good idea to bring a hat, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing for extra sun protection. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
The sun can be especially harsh in Morocco during the summer months, so take extra precautions during this time. With the proper protection, you can enjoy everything Morocco has to offer without having to worry about sun damage to your skin.
17. Drink only bottled water.
When traveling to Morocco, it is critical to be cautious about the water you drink. Tap water is not recommended for drinking in Morocco because it may contain bacteria or other contaminants that can cause illness.
To avoid becoming ill from the water, drink only bottled water, which is widely available across the country. Look for a reputable brand of bottled water that has been sealed. If you’re unsure, ask your hotel or a local where you can find safe drinking water.
In addition to drinking bottled water, use it to brush your teeth and avoid swallowing water while showering or swimming. You can also clean fruits and vegetables with bottled water before eating them.
You can avoid getting sick and fully enjoy your trip to Morocco by being mindful of the water you drink.
18. visiting mosques
If you want to see a Mosque while in Morocco, you may be disappointed unless you are Muslim. The only mosque that is open t non-Muslims is the massive Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. For the others, you will be able to take pictures from outside. However, you will have a chance to visit some of the Mederasses in the Medina of Marrakech, and Fes, which more or less were schools and mosques at the same time.
19. Be open-minded
When traveling to Morocco, it is critical to maintain an open mind. As a visitor, you may encounter cultural differences and customs that are unfamiliar to you, but approaching these differences with an open mind can make your trip more enjoyable and rewarding.
Trying new foods and drinks is one way to be more open-minded. Moroccan cuisine is well-known for its spices and flavors, and there are numerous traditional dishes and beverages to sample. Be daring and try new things, even if they are unfamiliar to you.
Learning about the local culture and history is another way to be open-minded. Morocco has a diverse cultural heritage that draws on Arabic, Berber, and European traditions. Learn about the country’s history and traditions by visiting museums, historical sites, and cultural events.
It is also critical to respect local customs and beliefs. In more conservative areas of Morocco, for example, it is important to dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection. You can avoid offending locals and demonstrate your interest in their culture by being respectful of their customs.
You can have a more immersive and enriching experience in Morocco if you keep an open mind and respect local customs.
20. Try the local food
Trying local food is an essential part of experiencing the culture of Morocco. Moroccan cuisine is known for its rich and aromatic flavors, and there are many delicious traditional dishes to try.
Some popular Moroccan dishes include tagine, a slow-cooked stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices; couscous, a fluffy and flavorful grain served with vegetables and meat; and harira, a hearty soup made with lentils, chickpeas, and spices.
In addition to the main dishes, there are also many delicious Moroccan snacks and desserts to try. These include pastilla, a sweet and savory pastry filled with meat and almonds; msemen, a flaky and buttery flatbread; and chebakia, a sweet and crunchy sesame cookie.
When trying local food, it’s important to be adventurous and try new things. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from locals or try street food from vendors. However, it’s also important to be cautious and make sure that the food is prepared safely and hygienically.
21. Do I need a visa or vaccines?
The need for a visa or vaccination to travel to Morocco is determined by your nationality and travel plans. Following are some general guidelines:
Visas are not required for citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union, to visit Morocco for stays of up to 90 days. However, it is always a good idea to confirm the latest visa requirements with the Moroccan embassy or consulate in your home country.
Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required for entry into Morocco. It is, however, recommended that you consult your doctor or a travel health clinic before your trip to ensure that your routine vaccinations are up to date. Depending on their travel plans and medical history, some travelers may choose to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and/or rabies.
It’s also worth noting that Morocco has been working to control the spread of COVID-19, and visitors may be asked to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival. Before your trip, make sure you are fully prepared by checking the most recent travel restrictions and requirements.
Overall, it’s critical to do your research and double-check the most recent visa and vaccination requirements before traveling to Morocco to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.