Morocco is a country that should be on everybody's bucket list, but it is very different in many ways from what we are used to in America. To make sure you are ready for all eventualities, here is a list of everything you should know before traveling to the Western Kingdom.
Never agree to the first price
No matter where you go in Morocco, haggling is part of their traditions and it is considered rude if you just accept the first price.
Ignoring the people on the street won't make them leave you alone
No matter where you are in Morocco, the minute you step on the street, someone will be calling after you. They want to sell you something, they want you to come into their shop, they need money for food, they want your phone number, etc. If you tell them one word, they act as if you agreed to hear their whole life story and talk to them for a few hours or to see every single article in their shop. If you act like you didn't hear them, they'll just call after you louder until you can barely even see them anymore. And if you answer back, they get mad. I found that saying hello and walking away works best in most cases. Just be prepared to be bothered every minute of every day.
You will get lost
Getting lost in every single medina is part of the moroccan experience. Honestly, I am pretty good with a map and have a good sense of directions and we still got lost every single time. My best tip would be to leave early for everything. Embrace the fact that you are lost and take it as an opportunity to wander down less traveled roads. We managed to find our way back every time without asking for directions. If you have data, Google Maps works great, and if you are completely lost, don't get directions from someone offering them as they might make you take the long way through their store or restaurant. Ask someone yourself!
Morocco is safe for tourists, but still be careful
We never felt like we were in any danger in any of the places we visited. We sometimes felt uncomfortable with the people we met, but never like anything bad could happen. You should still be careful and let someone at home know your itinerary and where you are going to be staying.
Make sure you have money on you
There are very few places in Morocco where they accept credit or debit cards. You will find lots of ATMs in big cities, but none in small villages. I recommend always carrying about 1000 dirhams on you in case you need anything and can't find an ATM. Now, if you need to withdraw money, you can't withdraw more than 2000 dirhams at a time and, about 2 out of 3 ATMs did not work or did not accept our cards. Good luck!
The water might make you sick, but mostly because it tastes DISGUSTING
At first, we were very careful and only drinking purified water or drinking from bottles. In the end, we were drinking tap water without any concern. Unless you have a sensitive stomach, tap water will not make you sick, but it does taste pretty bad.
Don't let anyone give you anything unless you are ready to pay for it
Directions, jeep rides, camels made out of leaves, you name it. People will offer to give you anything and everything in Morocco... and then ask you to pay for it. My recommendations is to never accept anything or to ask the price before you even come close to it.
Bring toilet paper
Always carry a roll of toilet paper with you. Some places will have some available to use, but most places don't. It's always good to be prepared!
Expect huge meals
The food in Morocco is delicious and very healthy, but be prepared for huge meals. It feels like it never stops coming! At first there is a soup, then a salad (which is the size of a whole meal in itself), then the tagine (a traditional meal of veggies, meat, fish or eggs cooked in a clay pot), then dessert.
Buy bus or train tickets a day in advance
To make sure you will have a spot on the train/bus you need to take to your next destination, try to buy the ticket at least a day in advance. It usually is fine to buy them the day of, but there are not an unlimited amount of trips available.
Is Morocco a country you wish to see?
Other articles you might enjoy
Leave a Reply.