Traveling to Morocco for the first time, our 10 tips
If you are traveling to Morocco for the first time, we are sure you have a thousand questions in your head to organize the trip, so let’s see if we solve your doubts with our 11 essential tips to enjoy the country.
Essential tips for traveling to Morocco
Traveling to Morocco with cash
Although in hotels you can use your credit card, in most places (especially souks and street stalls) you pay in cash, as it is very rare that they have dataphone.
The Dirham is the official currency of Morocco and is not quoted in Spain, so what we do is to change a small amount at the airport upon arrival (30 euros for example is fine) and the next morning go to any of the exchange houses, where they will apply better conditions than at the airport.
You do not need a passport or any other documentation to change money. For example in Marrakech, next to the Jemaa el Fna square (Passage Prince Mulay Rachid) there is a branch of the Credit Agricole Du Marco with good change.
On the other hand, if you are going to travel on your own, assume that they will try to make everything work with small tips. If they explain something to you on the street they will try to get you to pay them something or for entering some toilets.
However when it comes to paying for food, you pay the exact price. It is not one of the countries where it is usual to tip for service.
Travel card for Morocco
Except in hotels, it is not a country where you will use the card a lot. But if you are looking for a practical card for traveling, the Bnext card is great.
It is a prepaid VISA that does not charge you commission for paying in any currency other than the Euro and also allows you to withdraw cash from any ATM without commissions for currency exchange up to 3 times a month.
Take a trip to the desert. You will be amazed
If in addition to visiting Marrakech you want to visit the desert of Morocco, our recommendation is that you do it with a local guide.
We did a 7-day tour of Morocco in a 4×4, and it was one of the most incredible experiences we have ever had.
We leave you several options. All tours depart from Marrakech:
We always say that seeing is not the same as knowing what you are seeing. We have been clear about this for years, and that is why our advice is to do the tours in Spanish, to get to know better everything that surrounds you.
Traveling to Morocco with first aid kit and travel insurance
One of the reasons why we are sure that we did not like Morocco the first time, was that we were with gastroenteritis and so there is no one who takes a good memory. Therefore, make sure you take a basic first aid kit with serum and stomach protectors. As for the antidiarrheal, they say that the best thing to do is to cleanse the organism.
✎ And in capital letters, as in every trip, we advise you to take a good medical insurance in case you have any unforeseen event. So our recommendation is that you take your own insurance, which in the end is a minimal cost added to the expenses of the trip.
We use IATI, which has a permanent 24 hour service where you will always be attended in Spanish. In addition with a 5% discount.
💡 Recommendation: If you have doubts about what type of insurance to hire to travel to Morocco, contact us.
Always use bottled mineral water for brushing your teeth and drinking if you are traveling to Morocco.
Drink only bottled water, even for brushing your teeth. It’s not that water is bad, but if you try it, your stomach is likely to resent it and it can keep you sitting on the toilet for a few days. Also avoid salads or washed fruits. Bottled water is cheap, so don’t worry about the price.
💡 And yes, beware of the orange juice stalls in Marrakech’s Jemaa el Fna square. Check that they squeeze the juice in front of you, that they don’t pour it out of the jar they have already prepared because it is usually juice mixed with non-mineral water. It has happened to us and we think that’s where our problems came from. So, prevention does not cost anything.
As for tea, very common in Morocco, in principle, it should not be a problem if the water is well boiled.
Do I need a power adapter to travel to Morocco?
If you come from Spain, you will not need it. In Morocco the plugs are the same as in Spain.
Bring light and breathable clothes and shoes for the day and warm clothes for the night to travel to Morocco.
Although you think you are going to a super hot country, if you do it outside the summer season, at night it cools down, especially in the desert and the coastal area.
Check the weather forecasts and especially the temperature changes when the sun goes down, to pack a fleece or similar.
Leave room in your suitcase for shopping and be patient for bargaining.
The souk in Marrakech is amazing and shopping in Morocco is safe. There are real wonders that will surely fill those empty spaces you left in your luggage.
As for prices, it is very rare that they are fixed. Be prepared to haggle with a smile. Reach at least a third of what they ask, which is the fair price for you and for them.
But don’t lose your mind in saying the last word. Think about what that same thing is worth in your country and above all make the change to your currency if in the end what you are trying to lower is one euro or less
Except in hotels, it is difficult to find WIFI in Morocco.
What we used to do was to buy a SIM card at the airport when we arrived, but lately, we are carrying Holafly cards from home.
INTERNET SIM card with 5% discount if you buy it from here.
They are sent to your home before departure, and the only thing you have to do when you arrive at your destination is to put it on your phone and surf!!! In addition to Morocco, they have it available for a lot of countries.
Try the local food in Morocco
The quantities to eat in Morocco are usually plentiful, and many times you get a small plate of olives and a small tapa as a starter.
You can eat well-ordering a plate for two even if you are a good eater like us. It is always accompanied by bread.
Except in coastal areas, it is not usual to find alcohol on the menu. Forget about a glass of wine or beer for lunch.
Try as much as you can. If you like Mediterranean food, you will like Moroccan cuisine. It is cooked a lot with bell pepper, tomato, and potato.
In tajines, the most popular dish, everything is baked in a clay pot and you can usually find them with chicken, meat, fish, or vegetables. You will find them all over the country.
Sleep in riads in Morocco
The riads are small hotels with few rooms and lots of charm, in the purest Moroccan style. Originally the word refers to houses with a courtyard and garden while the Dar would be the same but without a courtyard. However today most of them are called Riad.
In Marrakech we recommend you to choose one inside the Medina, there are a lot of them and it is where it has more charm, at least for us Morocco Desert Tours