Morocco Travel Tips: Things To Know Before You Visit
Visiting Morocco? We have a put together some helpful Morocco travel tips and a list of things to know before your visit to Morocco that any first time traveler to Morocco should read!
We want to make sure you’re prepared and ready for your trip ahead!
Morocco Travel Tips
1) Dress Appropriately
The first of our Morocco travel tips is to dress appropriately. The majority of Moroccans are Muslim, meaning Moroccan woman dress conservatively due to their Islamic beliefs.
As tourists, woman specifically, you should pack appropriately. Woman should have their knees and shoulders covered. For Lauren, she packed long dresses and linen pants to cover her knees and brought a scarf to wrap around her shoulders for the tops that didn’t have sleeves.
You are visitors in Morocco, so be respectful.
Is rooftop culture a thing? Well if it’s not, it should be, and everyone should follow Morocco’s lead.
Multi-level cafes line the street and when you go in, make sure you go to the top. This is probably one of our most enjoyable morocco travel tips and a must!
The rooftop provides epic views of the city. Sit back, relax, order some food and mint tea. Sound good?
3) Brush Up on Your Arabic
Another important Morocco travel tip that will make you a hit with the locals is to learn how to say a few words in Arabic.
Arabic is the national langue of Morocco so brush up on it before visiting. Trust us, saying hello and thank you will get you plenty of smiles and a lot of laughs
- Hello / Greeting:: As-salamu alaykum (ah-sah-lamma-lake-em)
- Thank You: Shukraan (sook-rhan)
- Delicious: Bneen (ben-eeen)
3) Riad vs. Dar
When visiting Morocco, you should definitely stay in a Riad or a Dar. What is a Riad and a Dar, you ask?
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan home comprising of a garden. The word Riad is Arabic for garden – just a little FYI for ya.
A Dar on the other hand is very similar to a Riad except it doesn’t have a garden. Instead, a Dar is a Moroccan home that has a courtyard. Rule of thumb, Riads are usually bigger than Dars. Both are several stories high with a rooftop terrace.
Remember, rooftop culture is a real thing in Morocco!
5) Dirham Over Credit Cards
The national currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham. The bills are dirham, the coins are called santimat and the abbreviation for the Moroccan Dirham is MAD.
Be sure you have plenty of MAD on you as credit cards aren’t widely accepted at restaurants, shop. There are ATMs in Morocco and can be easily found with the help of local pointing you in the right direction.
6) Mint Tea – A Moroccan Staple
If Morocco had a national beverage, it would be Mint Tea or Moroccan Whiskey as the locals call it. It’s the typical greeting drink the Riads, Hotels and Dars offer their guest. You have the option to have it with or without sugar.
Warning, if you say with sugar, well, let’s just say your drink will be really sweet. Trying Mint Tea is a must and the way it is poured is pretty impressive too.
7) Be Aware of Morocco’s Scams
One of our more important Morocco travel tips is on scams.
Now, these scams are nothing super new to you if you’ve traveled before. The typical stuff of don’t give money to kids, beware of pick pocketing and locals offering tours.
In terms of tours, you’ll get approached by people on the street and get pitched this great tour. The tour usually compromising of a guide or a driver taking you to all the “must see spots.”
However, be wary. These tours are usually overpriced and the guides cannot be the best. To be on the safe side, head to trip advisor to get a recommended tour agency or book through your accommodation.
8) Drink Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Everyday
Never in our lives have we had fresher or sweeter orange juice than during our time in Morocco. Visit a street stall, hell visit 10 and get your fill of that fresh squeezed deliciousness.
Seriously, trust us on this one.
9) Fridays Are Holy Days
Reminder, Morocco is an Islamic country and Fridays are their holy days.
Think how Sundays are holy days for Catholics and how Saturdays are holy days for Jews, Fridays are holy days for Muslims.
On Fridays, shops and souks close down so if you want to see the souks and shops in full swing, make sure you visit another day besides Friday.
10) Ask Before You Take Photos
Locals will usually happily oblige in letting you take their photo, if you ask before taking the pictures. If not, they may ask you for a few Dirham or hold their hand up, which blocks the picture you want.
For instance, if you want a picture of a Snake Charmer in Jemaa el-Fnaa, you’re going to have to buck up a few Dirham for it. If you don’t ask to take a picture, you may end up with some locals telling you to “get out of here.”
11) Tipping In Morocco
Unlike some countries, tipping in Morocco is a thing.
First, check the bill to make sure the restaurant or establishment didn’t add a tip on the bill already. If they didn’t, it’s typical to leave a few Dirham behind.
12) Street Cats
First and foremost, we’re dog lovers. Cats are cute and all, but dogs rule.
If you’re a die-hard cat lover, Morocco may be a challenge for you. Undernourished street cats roam the alleyways and roads of Morocco. From big cats to small kittens, you’re sure to see your fair share. Even for us dog lovers, it was pretty heart breaking.
13) Visiting Mosques
If you’re looking forward to visiting a mosque, sorry to burst your bubble, but non-Muslims aren’t allowed. It doesn’t matter how appropriately you’re dressed, if you’re not a Muslim, no entry.
Still, you can visit the outside of the mosque, stand at the gates and get a glimpse of the inside.
14) A Souvenir Shoppers Paradise
If you have a shopping addiction, well let’s just say, Morocco isn’t going to help with it.
From handmade crafts like leather bags and shoes, to hand painted ceramics and hand sown rugs, Morocco is a souvenir haven. Essential oils like Aragon oils and those oh so fragrant spices are just a few things that you can fill your bags with.
When buying souvenirs, don’t be afraid to haggle! And haggle hard because Moroccan shop keepers are pro’s at the haggle game.
15) Alcohol & Drugs
As part of Islam, intoxicants such as alcohol and drugs are forbidden. Typically, the Riads and Dars you stay at will not offer alcohol.
However, there are places like larger hotels and a few bars where you’ll be able to find beer, cocktails and maybe even some shisha (hookah).
Also, drugs, specifically hashish is a huge export of Morocco, so don’t be alarmed if you get approached by locals in the street to purchase.
While it is not illegal in the country, it is definitely looked down upon.
16) Is Morocco Safe?
One of our final Morocco travel tips is on safety in Morocco. Please know that you’re never in real danger. Just like any other place you travel to, you should travel smart. What do we mean by that?
Be aware of your surroundings. Place your items in safe places – zipped up and out of sight. Be wary of friendly sellers, more than likely, it’s a scam. If you are woman, make sure you don’t travel alone at night.
While we were in Morocco, we never felt in danger or had anything harmful happen to us. Be respectful and be aware and you’ll be just fine.
17) The Moroccan People
We could go on and on about the Moroccan people, but it would turn into a long ramble of how much we love them. We’ll keep it short and sweet. These people are so kind, welcoming and genuinely excited you are here.
We can’t tell you how many times we thought we were going to get asked to buy something, but the person ended up genuinely wanting to talk to us. Countless people welcomed us to their country. So many smiles that we lost track. The warmth they exuded was contagious.
It is impossible not to fall in love with these wonderful people.
Where to Stay in Morocco
From Marrakesh to Fes to Chefchaoun and all the other amazing cities and towns there are to experience in Morocco, check out the latest places and prices below to secure an unforgettable Moroccan accommodation.
Travel Insurance for Your Morocco Holiday
Whether you’re hiking in the Atlas Mountains, riding camels in the Sahara Desert or heading to your next Moroccan destination, World Nomad Travel Insurance is a great way to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch!
The travel insurance from World Nomads protects not only your gear and trip, but the most important thing, it protects you. Travel with peace-of-mind and check out travel insurance from World Nomads.
WANT MORE INFORMATION ON MOROCCO?!
Things You Must See & Do When in Marrakesh
8 Foods You Must Eat When Visiting Morocco
6 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Fes
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)
Lovely and such a helpful blog post! Thanks for sharing! And yes, I totally second your point on cats…I am a cat lover (dogs are cute but cats rule haha) and I struggled in Morocco. I even cried a few times and tried to feed them my left over cous cous. It is very hard to see any animal there skinny: dogs, cats, monkeys, etc. Be prepared for this, and perhaps take along some treats!
Hi Jessie – Fantastic tip and we can’t agree more! We wish we would have know to pack snacks for the cute little kitties.
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