6 tips for a trip to Morocco
Morocco may be a mere three-hour flight from London, but it’s a far cry from your usual getaway. Instead, it is a gateway to Africa, a country abuzz with exotic beauty and a world apart from the usual palm-fringed beaches and crystal clear waters. The bustling cities of Fez and Marrakesh are a maze of ancient trails and market places known as souks, selling all manner of lavish trinkets. When you move further from the main cities you’ll find mountainous terrain, miles of dessert and a rugged coastline. But, with so much to offer, how are you supposed to know simple etiquette when enjoying a meal? And in a country, that’s predominantly Islamic can you consume alcohol? Never fear, we have some tips and tricks to help you navigate your way through Moroccan culture. So, sit back and take a sip of sweet mint tea, from a silver tea pot and remember these simple tips to help enjoy a trip to Morocco.
Can I buy alcohol?
Although, Morocco is an Islamic country you are able to drink in moderation. You can buy alcohol in many shops, riads, restaurants, clubs, supermarkets and hotels. Apart from in Medinas, where most shops will not carry alcoholic beverages. It should be noted that it’s disapproved tp drink in public places.
Where is it appropriate to haggle?
You may have heard the many horror stories of brits trying to haggle when abroad and in Morocco negotiating a price is expected and an important part of the culture. It’s best to keep your haggling to market places and remember, know how much you’re willing to pay before you go in, appear hesitant and good-natured and you could get up to 50% off the original asking price.
Tipping is a practise that’s expected in modern-day Morocco. You should consider giving at least one Moroccan dirham in an average restaurant and between 3 to 5 in somewhere a little more extravagant.
The holy days are a big part of Moroccan culture and it’s best to be aware of the best times to visit. As it’s an Islamic country, Friday is their holy day and most things will be closed. It’s also best to avoid visiting during Ramadhan, as you may find it tricky to find places to eat and of course try to avoid Eid al-Adha as it is common practice to slaughter animals in the street.
Souvenirs for friends
Across the country there are market places known as Souks, that sell all manner of Moroccan themed trinkets. Why not purchase a new rug for your living room (if you can fit it in the suitcase) or some fragrances and oils, plus with your new haggling skills you can get them for a very good price.
Get cash before you travel
The cash points in Morocco can be a little temperamental, and being stranded in a foreign country with no money is a realistic worry to have. It’s advisable to convert all the money you will need ahead of time and make sure you have a little extra, just in case, as you never know when it might come in handy.