Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Marrakech is a city that comes packed with intrigue and wonder. However, it can be quite chaotic and overwhelming for the first-time visitor. Morocco’s ‘Red City’ is a different world, so going in with some knowledge on what to expect will have you fully prepared for the adventure ahead!
Here are some of our top tips for visiting Morocco:
Expect to Haggle
Haggling is practically a national sport in Morocco and is actually expected when purchasing items in the markets. It’s important to keep in mind, that as you are a visitor prices will be inflated. However, don’t let this sway you when it comes to buying goods. Be firm, have a maximum price in mind that you’d be willing to pay and don’t be afraid to feign disinterest and walk away if you need to.
When using taxis, always make sure that you agree on the price of the journey with the driver before hopping into the car. As mentioned above, you will be quoted a tourist price on your ride, so it’s expected that you’ll haggle on taxi fares as well. Ask the hotel that you’re staying at what price you should expect to pay.
Photographing street scenes is fine, however if you take photos of a market stall or street performer (snake charmers/musicians/people in costume etc), be prepared to pay. Out of respect to local cultural beliefs, don’t take photos of locals (unless you have their permission) – Moroccans believe that pictures capture their soul.
Don’t drink the tap water
It is best to avoid drinking tap water in Morocco. Pack a reusable drink bottle and fill it up with filtered water, or buy a bottle that has a filter built into it.
While Morocco isn’t as conservative as other Arabian countries, it is still a Muslim majority country; you need to respect that culture. While it can be quite hot, avoid wearing any revealing clothing (mini-skirts/shorts/tank tops etc). Rather, try to stick to wearing bottoms that go over your knees and keep your shoulders covered.
Learn the language!
It’s always helpful to have some knowledge of key words when visiting other countries. In Morocco, there are two official languages (Arabic and Amazigh-Berber). However, many Moroccans also speak French as a second language. While a lot of people can speak English, knowing a few keywords will be helpful.
Make time for tea
When you’ve had enough of the hustle and bustle of the medina, head indoors to a nice riad courtyard or rooftop terrace to enjoy a favourite Moroccan pastime – drinking traditional mint tea. It’s impeccable and deliciously sweet!
Interested in exploring mystifying Morocco? Check out our tours here!