5 Things You Need To Be Aware Of In Morocco (Must Read)
5+ things you need to be aware of in morocco
Morocco, a berber paradise
Morocco is a small country situated in North Africa. Many beautiful cities often lure tourists from around the world.
However, a westerner can often find himself lost in crazy Moroccan traffic or haggling process which is a Moroccan specialty. If you want to enjoy your Moroccan vacation, just read this travel guide about what to be aware of in Morocco!
You can read my other posts from the spice markets of Morocco here:
1. Crazy Marrakesh Traffic And No Rules
You can find anything on the road in Marrakesh or any big city in Morocco. We saw rickshaw, donkeys with load, and horse-drawn carriage. There were also many motorbikes and cars, as in any other country.
However, there is a very different system of driving in Morocco. There are literally no rules. They don’t really care about traffic lights, about lines drawn on the road, even about the pedestrians.
When I was there, we were just normally crossing the road on a crosswalk. Suddenly our green light turned into red and all of the cars started to go on us, really fast. It was honestly quite scary. You really need to get ready for crazy driving skills here.
2. Morning Prayers in Marrakech
Morocco is a very religious country. Moroccans are mostly Islam believers. This means they need to pray 5 times a day. Their prayers are also quite unusual to Christian traditions.
There is always a loud bell going in certain times, such as at 5 o’clock. The loud noise is coming from every mosque and is signaling all of the Muslims to take out their praying carpet called sajjada, turn to the direction of Mekka and pray.
It’s quite interesting to watch, but some tourists and travellers are not very content about the loud noises waking them up early in the morning. It’s definitely something you need to count with.
3. Really Cold Weather During Some Months
Morocco has generally very nice and warm weather. However, even with a nice weather forecast, you need to pack warmer clothing. This is good advice especially for winter months (December, January, February).
I heard some people having amazing weather in December, so we were quite shocked when we arrived in rainy and cold Marrakech.
It was rainy only one day but so cold that I was thanking my mum who always advise me to take a parka. I even caught a cold when we were coming back from the trip and it was so strong I felt terrible. It’s not worth it at all, so just take your warmer clothes. Just in case.
4. Reconstruction Of Famous Mosques In Morocco
Reconstructions are happening all the time in many touristic places. And it’s really unfortunate when you cross all of the borders and fly for so many hours to see half of the sights from your itinerary are closed.
It’s always good to check on pages like TripAdvisor, where other travelers post their experiences. In most western countries, reconstructions take around a year or two. However, in Morocco, it’s 3+ years most of the time. So check before you book your tickets and hotels.
5. How To Choose A Good Restaurant In Morocco
Choosing the right restaurant in Morocco is a very important step to a happy and content vacation. There is always a possibility of getting sick in restaurants that might not indulge in hygiene.
It’s always good to choose on traveler’s favorite pages such as TripAdvisor (not sponsored but I wish haha) and see top-rated restaurants and also check for reviews.
6. Don't Touch Any Of Moroccans' Blankets Without Their Permission. It might be a praying rug
Touching a praying rug is very disrespectful for Moroccan (or Islamic) culture if you’re a non-Muslim. They are very accommodated to tourists in cities like Marrakech or Fez, but in more rural areas, you might get harder punishment than just a little warning. Maybe it seems like a quite harsh thing to say, but we need to realize they’re way different culture than westerners. Most will gently say something to you and you’ll feel embarrassed, but do you want to be?
It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but not really. The praying rug looks like any other rug they have so if you’re in a restaurant and want something to cover up it might seem like a good idea to take it. This literally happened to me, but the owner of the rug was very nice and just told me not to take it since it was for praying.
You might not be so lucky to stay away and always ask. Morocco has a totally different culture to ours and it’s incredibly amazing, but in order to enjoy it, you need to be respectful. Many westerners aren’t educated enough about this for various reasons. But I always feel like study at least a wiki page of a country you want to visit is the least you can do.
Morocco is a beautiful country with different culture. We need to realize that before travelling to Marrakesh or Casablanca. There are things you need to understand before going and get ready for it, just to maximize the enjoyment of your trip.
I enjoyed my short trip so much and I would love to go back soon. Hope I will and walk the red cozy streets of Marrakesh once again.
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