things to know before traveling to Morocco blog

The Kingdom of Morocco is located in Northwestern Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This is a hustling and bustling country. Coming to Morocco, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful islands or get into the bustle of the vibrant markets, and also bear in mind the following list for a perfect holiday. Let’s discover top 15 things to know before traveling to Morocco with Living Nomads below.

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One amazing kingdom in Northwestern Africa. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

1. Know that coffee is an essential part of life

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Coffee is the essential part. Image by: things to know before visiting Morocco blog.

For Moroccan people (especially men), coffee shops are considered the most familiar venues. They often gather here to enjoy a cup of joe or strong mint tea and chew the fat. Hafa and Baba are considered two of the most popular coffee shops there.

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Well-known Hafa Café
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Here is Baba Café. Image by: things to know before visiting Morocco blog.

2. Study the fact that the mosques do not welcome the pagans

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Moroccan mosque

Nearly 99% of the Moroccan population is Muslim. Therefore, mosques are built ubiquitously. However, most churches here do not allow non-Muslim visitors to visit, except for Hassan II. Located in the city of Casablanca, the Hassan II Mosque was completed in 1993 and accommodates 150,000 people. With a mix of tradition and modernity, Hassan II is truly a unique piece of art.

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These site usually do not welcome pagans

3. Learn that Morocco is a multi-lingual country

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Many languages are used there. Image by: things to know before visiting Morocco blog.

Do not be too surprised if you hear different languages in Morocco. In addition to the official Arabic language, people can speak many other languages such as French, Spanish and some dialects like Tashelhit, Tamazight, Tarifit, etc.

4. Take in cumin or you may be left starved

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Cumin powder stirs up all our senses

Egypt’s cumin is considered to be the main spice in Moroccan cuisine. This type of spicy powder is used in sundry dishes. Therefore, if you are not a fan of fennel, chances are, you may be underfed.

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Pan-seared salmon with cumin powder. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

5. Get on cheap, safe and convenient trains

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Morocco’s train station

Moroccan trains are affordable, safe and extremely convenient. If possible, out-of-towners should book seats in the first class. Although it is more expensive than economy-typed ones, it is well worth every penny you spend on the services offered. That’s the reason why ONCF’s trains are dubbed the best in Africa.

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Train is the best vehicle in Morocco

6. Taste couscous – which is served every Fridays

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Couscous in Morocco

Couscous ( Wheat cooked with meat or gravy, a dish of North Africa) is a typical Moroccan dish. However, because it takes a lot of preparation time, this viand is usually only served on Fridays.

7. Watch out when hearing”balak”

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“Balak” means “watch out”. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

The narrow streets of Moroccan markets are crowded with merchants and motorcycle racers. So, whenever someone cries out loud “balak” (ie, get away), you have to pay close attention to avoid a collision.

8. Try out public bathroom service

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The first of this type in Morocco

Public bathrooms appear in near and far in Morocco. This is a very popular service in this country.

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Public bathroom in Morocco. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

9. Enjoy the sunset on the rooftop of “riad”

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Afternoon tea is serve here

Traditional Moroccan houses (riad) always have a rooftop. People dry their clothes there, enjoy afternoon tea and even watch the sun gradually buries itself under horizons.

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It’s romantic to spend time on rooftop at dusk

10. Bargain

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You should bargain with these merchants. Image by: things to know before visiting Morocco blog.

To Morocco, you will mainly walk to explore, discover famous destinations, visit the bustling traditional markets. However, when shopping for any item, you have to bargain ardently.Initially, start to bargain with just 1/10 of the declared number and then gradually raise it to the affordable price. Visitors must stay true on your point, sensitive enough to win this “challenging mind game”.

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Chafchaouen village
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Confidently wonder about the declared price

11. Wear proper costumes

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When in Rome,… Image by: things to know before visiting Morocco blog.

When traveling to this Muslim country, you also need to follow their customs and culture. Women should not wear dresses or clothing that are too short, men are not allowed to wear the tanktop. Even if you go to the beach, you also need to don extra cloaks outside the swimsuit if you do not want to be noticed. In particular, you should choose sandals that are comfortable to walk, watch and admire the beauty of Morocco.

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You should don polite costumes in this country

12. Have knowledge of common phrases

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Don’t worry too much about language barrier in Morocco

Arabic and French the two most predominant languages in this multilingual country. Then you need to master these 3 Arabic words because they will be extremely useful for your trip. Choukran (Thanks); La Choukran (No, thanks), pronounced “Shokran”; Feen (Where), pronounced “fin”; Hello (Salam Alikome), this phrase is used as a cordial welcome.

13. Take photographs

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You should ask for locals’ permission first to take photos. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

You will not be allowed to capture pictures without the consent of the local people. You don’t have the right to take pictures of monkeys/snakes in the main square also unless you are willing to pay a big amount of money to get indigenous folks’ nods. According to the Moroccan culture, they believe that each image is reflected their souls, and thus, you will only be photographed with the permission of the locals. Ideally, you should consider and be careful when taking photos during your Morocco trip.

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Taking photos in this land is not plain sailing. Image by: things to know before visiting Morocco blog.

14. Learn currency and exchange tips

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MAD – currency of Marocco

Moroccan also uses the dirhams as Arab countries, but it is Moroccan dirham (MAD), 1euro ~> 10MAD. Your best bet is to change money at the airport. If you have not changed, you can change at the banks. You should refer to the bank with the high exchange rate. You should retain the bill each time so that if you do not use all MAD, you can redeem it.

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Morocco’s bank

15. Check for the right time to travel

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Beautiful Morocco in fine weather. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

Situated on the coast adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, from June to September are the best months for visitors to Morocco. Though it’s slightly wet this time, the weather is quite warm, it is less rain and the highest temperature is only about 20 degrees Celsius. Deep inland areas rain all year round and are quite hot. In the central area, the most pleasant periods are from March to June and September to December. In the high mountains, the weather is much colder than anywhere else. Several high peaks are covered with snow from November until June.

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A beautiful country to visit
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Choose the right time to travel to Morocco. Credit: things to know before traveling to Morocco blog.

Read more Morocco travel guide at here.