Important tips for before and during your vacation in Morocco
Morocco is a wonderful country that tempts you to visit. You will find it noisy but beautiful, crowded but wonderful, old but modern. You will find in Morocco anything that comes to your mind, from markets, ancient cities, to coastal destinations.
Pack your bags and head to this beautiful country that suits everyone, all ages, and all budgets. But before that, here are things you should know before traveling to Morocco in order to have a comfortable and a happy visit.
Currency and cost of living in Morocco
There are many things that you must consider when traveling to Morocco, and perhaps in the forefront with regard to currency and costs, you must know that while many shops in Morocco accept credit cards, most of the street vendors, small markets, and taxis do not. Make sure that you have enough local currency (Dirham) to cover the costs of your activities there. Keep in mind that prices in Morocco are not so cheap but not expensive as well.
Bargaining in Morocco
If you are shopping from the local markets (Souk), you should learn how to bargain to avoid spending a lot of your money. The sellers in the Moroccan markets usually overestimate the prices to tourists, and by bargaining, you will save a lot of money and you will get the stuff that you want at reasonable prices. Always try to lower the prices offered by a seller, and if he refuses, pretend that you do not care anymore and start walking away, then the seller will call you and accept the deal you offered. This method works all the time.
Pickpocketing in Morocco
Most people in Morocco are honest, kind, and friendly. Locals are willing to help you enormously, but we also recommend that you be careful when you shop at crowded and popular places such as local markets, so as not to fall victim to pickpocket.
The languages spoken in Morocco
Moroccans speak different languages, including English, French, Arabic, and Berber. However, you will be able to communicate easily if you speak English which is commonly used especially in hotels and touristic spots. But in rural areas, you will need an interpreter or a guide.
Local Guides in Morocco
The local guide plays a great role in helping you get to know the country, especially when visiting the mazes of the ancient cities. However, be aware that some local guides are tied to many different shops, and they will likely take you there to buy some souvenirs at high prices. Don't be fooled when they say they try to help you get the best prices because you can get better prices without them easily.
Ask before you take photos in Morocco
When you walk through the markets in Morocco, try to not take photos of people and shops unless you buy something from them, they may get angry for that and ask for money in exchange for the pictures. So In order to avoid trouble, it is a good idea to first agree on a specific price before taking a photo, or just ask for permission at first if you are photographing private properties and locals.
Souvenirs in Morocco
Leather and carpets are well known in Fes. While perfumes, oils, and spices (such as saffron) are popular in Marrakesh. Although, if you are buying saffron or anything else, make sure that you are getting the authentic product and not the imitation. Authenticity can sometimes be a problem in Morocco.
The ancient cities of Morocco (Medina)
In the Moroccan cities and other cities in North Africa, the old cities include many narrow winding alleys and narrow streets, so it is best to be aware of the place well so as not to get lost in a maze. Also, do not hesitate to ask the locals if you need anything, and do not mind asking them about the best tourist places and hidden monuments.
Visit a Berberian village
Around Marrakech for example, there are hundreds of villages scattered all over the mountains that surround the city, and for a small fee, you can hire a tour guide who will lead you to a Berberian village and arrange a one-night stay for you with a Moroccan family in the village.
The Moroccan cuisine
When visiting Morocco, you should not miss eating in the night markets and in the cafes that overlook the main squares, all of which offer delicious food and are much cheaper than eating in famous restaurants that are mostly located in downtown or in luxury hotels. You should also try the traditional Moroccan mint tea which is very popular in Morocco.
More about Morocco
In just few hours from the main Arab and European cities, Morocco opens its doors to all kinds of visitors to enjoy the amazing colors and architecture of the Moroccan cities, the bustling markets, the stunning mosques, the white and blue coastal cities that adorn the sea, the medieval city centers, and the stunning panoramic views that differ from mountains covered with snow in the High Atlas mountains to the endless sand dunes of the Moroccan desert.
Casablanca may be the most famous city among the Moroccan cities, and is home to a huge number of wonderful tourist attractions such as the Hassan II Mosque which is the largest mosque in Africa.
As for the city of Marrakesh which is known as “The Red City”, you will be able to experience the real authentic Moroccan life and enjoy unforgettable adventures, as you will spend most of your days in an exciting maze between the live markets, ancient buildings and places, gates and incomparable defensive walls. Also, do not forget to visit the Koutoubia Mosque and the Jemaa Fna Square which is the largest square in Africa.
Fes is also a beautiful ancient city that will offer you an exciting journey and experience. The city of Fes is known for its narrow medieval streets, beautiful ancient gates, and leather tanning factories that are very popular in the old town.
The city of Meknes is often called "The Versailles of Morocco" for its beauty. It will enable you to experience a unique cultural and historical journey, and enjoy stunning architecture that dates back to the 17th century.
For a more relaxing experience away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, you can head to coastal cities like Asilah and Essaouira. The blue city of Chefchaouen is also a great choice if you like the mother nature and the mountains.
Lastly, don't miss out the camel rides on a golden sand dune in the Moroccan desert, and try to spend a night in a desert tent under the glittering stars.