The Don’ts of Visiting Morocco
Whether you are heading to Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, the Sahara Desert, or the Blue City, Morocco has many incredible tourist things to do on a Moroccan vacation. Here are the things tourists should not do when they visit Morocco. In this article, we will cover some of the top don’ts of visiting Morocco. We hope this can help you with your travels to Morocco.
1- Don’t Expect to Be Able to Visit the Mosque Unless You are Muslim
There are many beautiful mosques around the country, but tourists don’t think you can go into the mosques. Access to the mosques is strictly for Muslims. However, there is one huge exception, the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, which is really worth visiting. Because it is gorgeous and actually does tours so you can go and explore it. It is just beautiful to see, but that’s one thing you should know. I think it would do with the religion as on Fridays; don’t expect everything to be going all day long on Fridays. Because Friday is a holy day, so some shops might be closed or shorter hours may apply. In places like Marrakech and Casablanca, you won’t notice so much, but it is one of those things you might want to consider. If you hear the call for prayer, take a pause, and just take a moment of respect. When you hear that the first time, it’s really kind of a pleasant experience.
2-Airports in Morocco
Don’t Expect to Get Through Customs Quickly
Customs takes a long time when you get to Morocco. Because they’re going to actually write a tourist number into your passport that you’re going to use, you go to hotels and register, so it does take some time. So, don’t be surprised if you do get through quickly and your ride isn’t there. Because they’re expecting that it will take you a couple of hours maybe to get through. Also, don’t think you can check-in online when you are traveling to Morocco. You will probably have to check-in at the airport, so just a heads up for that one.
Don’t Bring Drones
Also, I flying don’t I have for you don’t bring your drones. You’re not allowed to bring drones in Morocco and pass them around. So, if you have them, you might get them confiscated at the border or at the checkpoints. So just have a heads up for that.
4- Haggling in Morocco:
Don’t Expect to Not Haggle
When you are in Morocco, don’t expect to not haggle. Because when you’re in the souks and the Medina, it is all about bargaining, bargain, and bargaining some more. That’s how it works there. People aren’t really trying to scam you; that is just how it works. If you’re going to be bargaining, I would say the first price they give you pay between twenty-five to fifty percent less than what they start with.
Don’t Forget to Bargain with Your Taxi Driver
Bargaining scams are one of the things you might hear about, especially with the taxis. So, a very common don’ts of visiting Morocco is don’t forget to bargain with your taxi driver because you want to negotiate the price before you get in. When you’re going someplace, it’s kind of already set. That’s why if you’re going to go to your hotel, your riad or someplace, asked the taxi driver what the price should be, so you have kind of like the upper limit.
Don’t Think That You Bargain Everywhere
Don’t ever take the first price as the last price in bargaining situations. Because another don’t I have for you is don’t think that you can bargain everything here. But suppose you go into a regular store in Casablanca. In that case, you’re not negotiating when you’re going to Zara to buy clothes as that’s more of a straightforward purchase. So, you don’t always bargain but, when you do in other places, bargain when you can.
5- Money in Morocco:
There are also some tips that I have for you that has to do with money:
Don’t Expect to Use Your Credit Card Everywhere
Don’t think you can use your credit cards everywhere, even if they have the signs. Sometimes they might not like taking that kind of credit card, so do have a heads up for that because you do need to have cash in Morocco. Cash is king and definitely king when it comes to negotiations in Morocco.
Don’t Forget to Get Small Bill for Purchases & Tips
Also, don’t forget to get small bills because you’re going to be tipping people all the time, and you need to have small bills or coins to tip. When you go to the ATM, it gives you two hundred and one hundred, which is the 20s and ten dollars or euros. You don’t need that much, so make sure you can break some of that. The reason why you need those smaller bills is don’t expect people to have change.
6- Don’t Drink the Tap Water
When you are in Morocco, you can use the tap water to brush your teeth and other purposes, but don’t drink the tap water because it has many minerals. The locals are used to it, but for you, it is better to drink bottled water. That’s a better idea for you when you are in this North African country.
Some bathroom tips that I have for is I’d say don’t forget to bring some toilet paper with you. Not all public toilets will have toilet paper. So, what I recommend is always get yourself some T.P packets. Also, sometimes the public restrooms are the kind of squat toilets so just be ready for that.
7- Don’t Forget Usual Safety Precautions:
Some other safety things I’d warn you about as far as the top don’ts of visiting Morocco. You take your life into your own hands when you cross the street and go on rides and stuff like that because Morocco’s traffic is a bit crazy. So, make sure you’re taking extra special precautions and paying attention when crossing the street and driving around. This applies not only to the cities but also the Medina. You need to pay attention because donkeys are going by with construction equipment. There are mopeds going by and bikes and motorcycles and stuff, so make sure you stay to the side of the alleyways. So, don’t just wander and be all willy-nilly when you go through the Medina streets. Also, don’t think that everybody in Medina is going to be your friend. There are some pickpockets in the busy Medina like Marrakech and Fez. So, do have a heads up for that one.
8- The Top Don’ts of Visiting Morocco’s Medina:
Don’t Freak Out When You Get Lost in The Medina
The next tip that I have for you is don’t freak out when you get lost in the Medina. Because it does happen, that’s why I always take your map with you, always have your GPS with you so you’ll be okay. If you’re not sure, ask the shopkeepers where to go. They will help you even if you are not buying something. So do have a heads up for that one!
Don’t Trust Every Claim You Hear in the Medina
A few other tips when you are the Medina that you should keep in mind. First, don’t think that the argan oil or the saffron they’re selling you in the Medina is actually the real deal. If you do buy argan oil, put it in the freezer for about four hours. You’ll see it if it starts to separate, which means they mix different oils together. Also, when you put saffron in water, it should turn kind of gold-colored, not red.
Don’t Pet the Stray Cats
You will see tons and tons and tons of stray cats in Morocco. Don’t pet cats, alright! I know they are cute and adorable but just don’t, alright.
Don’t Think Everyone Helping You is Doing to Help You:
Don’t trust that everybody trying to help you is really trying to help you to just your benefit. Always have your eyes open, and your mind opens when people are offering your help or inviting you to do things. I am not saying that everyone is trying to rip you off! That is our next, don’t! Don’t think people are always trying to rip you off!
9- Don’t Be Surprised if Some Hop on Your Taxi:
Don’t be surprised if someone else hops your taxi as you go because that’s kind of the thing in Morocco. In other parts of Morocco might not happen; you won’t have that, but in Casablanca and Marrakech, that is very normal. Another don’t I have for you is don’t think that the grand taxi means excellent and fancy. All it means is big. So, if you’ve got a family of four, you need to take that grand taxi okay that has the space for it. Also, if you’re going to be taking a grand taxi to go to another town, it just means they’re going to get a lot more people in that taxi.
10- Don’t Forget to Tip:
Don’t forget to tip when you are in Morocco because tipping is part of the culture. So, if you are getting your bags taken somewhere. They guys push them in the big cart; yes, you’re going to tip that person. If someone is helping you as a guide or showing you where to go, people expect a tip. So, have the small coins and the small bills to tip people because you need to do that when you are in Morocco. That is how some people make a living. Another thing that has to do with the tipping is that you need to tip if you have your picture taken with the snake charmers or the monkey, your handlers in the market again. That’s how they make a living.
11- Don’t Take Pictures of Locals Without Asking:
Another thing as a tourist is don’t just take pictures of people. You need to make sure that you actually ask people if it’s okay. They might say no or say yes, or they might say oh for a tip. So, just have a heads up for it.
12- Few Cultural Thoughts:
Don’t Use Your Left Hand
I want you to watch out that you don’t use your left hand a lot of times for essential situations in Morocco. Do all your stuff, your handshake, and things like that with your right hand. So heads up for this don’ts of visiting Morocco.
Don’t Wear Your Shoes into Someone’s Home
If you’re invited to someone’s house, don’t wear your shoes in people’s homes. You always take them off when you go in there, so you do have a heads up for that. Also, if you do go, come to Casablanca. You go to the Hassan ii mosque. Don’t wear your shoes in there either, don’t worry, they won’t let you. They’ll give you a bag to put them in but just have a heads up for that.
Don’t Think Tajine is a Specific Food
When you are going out to eat, you’re going to hear the word Tagine and see many Tajine many times. You go, man, they just eating Tajine all the time. My tip for the Tagine is don’t think that Tagine is one dish. Tagine is actually the pot that they cook it in. When they bring your food, and it has that pile with a triangle on or the pyramid on top, they take off. That pot is the Tagine. Tajine can be very different, and it is fantastic.
There is an excellent rabbit, great beef, delicious chicken, and lemon, and it’s so good. You have all kinds of different tagines. So, don’t think that Tajine is just one thing. A lot of people believe that it’s all only one. Also, what’s great about those tajines and great about Morocco in general, is if you’re a vegetarian, Morocco is an excellent place for you. So, if you’re vegetarian, don’t worry about being hungry when you’re in Morocco. There are all kinds of great vegetable tajines that you can have.
Don’t Expect to Eat Quickly
Another don’t I’ll say what you’re going out to eat is don’t get in a hurry. The service takes some time to come to give you the menus, take your order, and bring your food. So just have some patience with her there, so if you’re traveling with your kids here. They’re starting to get hungry. I would go to eat earlier versus later because it’s not like you’re going to sit down. And the food will be in front of you. The bread will be there pretty quickly because they love it, but the regular meal might take a little time.
13- Don’t Worry About Busting Your Budget:
One of the things I really like about Morocco is don’t worry about busting your budget. I am not saying Morocco is cheap. I am saying that Morocco is a very affordable country; hotels, restaurants, and tours are reasonably priced. You can negotiate a lot of things down. So that is really cool.
14- Don’t Expect it to Be Easy to Get to the Sahara:
Another don’ts of visiting Morocco I’ve seen that some tourists getting upset about was the Sahara Desert tours in Morocco or the desert tours. Don’t think that the Sahara Desert is everywhere in Morocco. It is far away from Casablanca, and if you are in Marrakech, you are looking at an eight-to-ten-hour car ride down Sahara. A four-hour train ride or three-and-a-half-hour four-hour train ride from Casablanca down to Marrakech on to that. It will take you a while to get there, and many tourists don’t realize that. When some people say I will give you the desert tour, it might not be the Sahara Desert. It might just be the Agafay desert day trip near Marrakech. They might also just take you on a Marrakech Camel ride excursion, and I have heard many tourists getting upset with that. So, don’t think the Sahara is close. It is far away.
15- Don’t Think Morocco is Small Enough to See Everything in One Visit:
Don’t think Morocco is something you could do in one visit. Morocco is a vast country. There are four different regions. You have got the mountains, the plains, the coast, and you’ve got the desert. I recommend choosing one or two of the regions and focusing on those on your vacation. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a ton of time on the trains or a grant taxi instead of spending time enjoying Medina and enjoy the people and the food.
16- Don’t Expect Female Travelers to Be Treated the Same as Male Travelers:
The last thing to wrap up with is if you are a female traveling to Morocco, don’t expect a female traveler to be treated like male travelers in Morocco. I would recommend dressing a little more conservative when you’re in Morocco. Don’t let that keep you from visiting Morocco, but I want to give you the heads up for that anyway.
Top Don’ts of Visiting Morocco Closing Notes:
I hope our list of the “don’ts of visiting Morocco” helped you know a little bit more about Morocco before you visit. So, you know the things you shouldn’t do before you visit Morocco. Because you should definitely visit Morocco. We really hope you have a great time in Morocco. Now that you know what not to do and what to keep in mind when you are in Morocco, you can use this handy resource that tells you some of the best things to do in Marrakech.