20 things to know before travelling to Morocco

1. Follow moderate fashion
Morocco is a Muslim country and we should respect the local people. If you love crop tops or tight mini dresses, but I would suggest to eliminate these and leave this clothes home. As with any occasions and anywhere you go, dress accordingly to the situation and circumstances. Best to pack loose plants, long dresses and skirts, jumpsuits or linen clothing. Always take a cardigan or a scarf with you so you can cover yourself up if needed. Especially if you will be travelling to villages or smaller cities, dress accordingly to avoid any gazing or harassment. Bellow are some suggestions on what to pack with you:

2. Don’t forget to pack sun cream, gel sanitizer and oil off sheets
These were my main travel necessities wherever I go! Sunglasses or a hat would be great addition. However, in short, always protect your skin against sunshine so SPF creams are your must before you leave the hotel! Secondly, gel sanitizer are great helpers for ocassions when you can't find bathrooms to wash your hand with soap. Lastly, oil off sheets are perfect beauty necessity for summer! It helps you to clean your oil excess from face without you smuggling your hand on your face and without leaving you shine from oil the whole day.

3. May/June is Ramadan time
Usually Ramadan falls from May to July and it is a month long fasting religious event for Muslim. This means, that if you happen to travel to Morocco during their Ramadan time, expect people to be more slower, attractions may open later and close earlier, and some restaurants may be close until evening. It is also respectful to not eat outside when people are fasting. Muslim people fast from dawn to sunset. Therefore, is smaller cities and villages, you may not be able to find food until the sunset is down. In more commercial cities, like Marrakesh, it is more open and more accommodated to tourists.

                              20 things to know before travelling to Morocco

4. French and Arabic is their main language
Moroccan people speak very limited English. They may know just few basic worlds to negotiate with you or to offer you something. However, Arabic and French are their main languages, so you will get along if you would speak at least French. In addition, street signs and other signage outdoor are written in both French and Arabic, so don't worry about not being able to orient yourself. In certain areas, especially at the north of Morocco, closer to Spain, people do speak Spanish as well.

5. Get your cash out
Morocco is still not tech advanced, and still prefer using cash rather than cards. However, in many restaurants you are able to pay by card, but it is always better to withdraw or exchange to Moroccan Dirham and use cash. Check your exchange rates prior so you know the value.

6. Always negotiate and bargain on markets
Skills yourself up with bargaining on markets. Always know the max price you are willing to pay and negotiate with traders. Be respectful towards the value, craftmanship and don't try to negotiate when you see the price written down on a product.

20 things to know before travelling to Morocco

7. Buy water or snacks when you can, as there are limited supermarkets on the street
You won't be able to see supermarkets on every corner as elsewhere. Therefore always buy water or snacks when you can so you don't need to suffer during your way.

8. Taxis don’t have meters
Taxis don't have meters in their cars, so always ask and negotiate prices before getting into a taxi. Do you research and know the distances between where you are and where you want to go. It is also worth to know, that Medina streets are tiny and taxis won't be able to get you into Medina. Roughly, from Rabat airport to Medina gate, I have paid about 100 Dirham and from Marrakesh Medina to Marrakesh airport I have paid 80 Dirham.

9. Don’t ask for price in a market unless you are willing to buy something
Simple as that, don't come to the shop to try out everything and ask for prices when you don't wanna buy anything at the end. Show interest if you really are interested, otherwise Moroccans can be very rude and disappointed if you leave without anything.

10. Morocco is one of the few countries where you can’t go into mosques unless you are Muslim
Unfortunately, you can admire the mosques from outside only, as you are not allowed to go in if you are not Muslim. It is still beautiful to admire the architecture, mosaics and the rituals from outside.

20 things to know before travelling to Morocco

11. Morocco is not really the ideal destination for families
I would say that Morocco is rough and busy country and not the best for family trips. Unless you maybe want to stay in a resort or something like that. Streets are small, busy and packed with motorcycles.

12. And neither for people seeking for perfect beach days
Morocco doesn't have the best beaches, if you are looking for some beach vacation. There are plenty of other countries great for this.

13. Muslims pray couple times per day, so be respectful
You will find that Muslims pray number of times throughout the day, so be respectful. I always see tourists watching Muslims praying, as it would be a show. And personally, I am not fun of this and don't understand why. So if possible, avoid taking pictures of them during pray times and don't stare at them as they are doing something extraordinary.

14. Morocco is safe to travel
A lot of people ask whether Morocco is safe place to travel. And yes, it is, as long as you use your common sense, be respectful and plan your way around, it is safe.

15. Learn to say no
You will come across many people coming to you and telling you the way to go or offering to show you around. It is okay to reject them, because they either will try to scam you or will ask you for money.  Especially young boys would approach you with these offers.

20 things to know before travelling to Morocco

16. Don't pet cats on a street
You will see so many cats on the streets of Morocco and it is tempting to go cuddle with them or save them all. Don't touch street cats. You don't want to get any infections from them, so admire them from distance.

17. Be prepare to get lost
And it is totally fine. Especially in Median, the streets are small and not necessary always captured correctly on your maps, so you may find yourself walking in a circle or turning somewhere randomly. Be courage and get lost in order to find the best peaks of local living and things you may necessary think of when planning an itinerary. At the end of the day, you can always ask a local to point you to the right direction.

18. Fridays are holy days and holidays
Friday is a sacred weekly celebration time during which Moroccans gather and practice their respective religious duties. However, it doesn't mean that everything will be closed on this day. Especially in larger cities, attractions and restaurants will be still open as usual.

19. Be aware of pick pocketing
As with any place of travelling, be aware of pick pocketing and scams. Especially in places where it is crowded with people, always carry your bag in front of you so you see on it at all the time.

20. Moroccans love sweet breakfast and sugar in their teas
What I have noticed during my travels to Morocco, is that Moroccans love sweet breakfast and drink their traditional mint teas with a lot of sugar. Always ask for no sugar or for savory dishes if you want.

20 things to know before travelling to Morocco