For my birthday in December the hubby took me to our first country in Africa – Morocco! It has been on my bucket list for so long and it definitely did not disappoint. We received some cautionary advice about travel there, but still decided to go and just do thorough research. So here’s the top 5 tips if you’re planning a trip to Morocco!
Definitely make it out to the desert
If you have the time to – you must must must make it out to Merzouga and stay a night in the desert. There are other options such as Scarabeo Camp. It is closer to Marrakech and a good option if you’re short on time. HOWEVER, it won’t be like the photos you see with the gorgeous rolling red hills of sand. If you are planning to make it out to the desert, be aware it’s a 10 hr drive from Marrakech to Merzouga. (And the first couple hours are windy). BUT IT’S SO WORTH IT! I booked it through Desert Luxury Camp. It’s pretty pricey about $500 pp, but that includes 2 nights stay, all food included, a private driver to pick us up and take us back to Marrakech, AND stops to see some sights along the way. Our driver was the nicest and the camp was beautiful. More on that later…
How to get around
For travel within the city there will be the Petit Taxis (usually red colored) run in the city but not in the medina since the centres are usually foot traffic only. And there are the larger (light yellow) colored taxi’s that will take you further distances – such as to the airport. We found that even though there are meters – it is really hard to get drivers to turn them on. Out of all the rides we took – only one ride was metered. So that being said, it is always best to negotiate the price before the driver goes too far. You should definitely always insist on turning on the meter once you get in. If that doesn’t work – say how much then? And almost always they will say some ridiculous amount but if you’re going nearby (within the city) it should cost you MAX 40dhs. Try to get it as close as 20 dhs as possible. Once you come to an agreement, then you are on your merry way! We have also had really nice drivers that are just like “whatever you want to pay me is fine”.
If you want to get a SIM card while in Morocco go with Maroc Telecom. After doing some research, they have the best network according to some reviews on TripAdvisor. You can get them at the airport once you exit the terminal. SIM CARDS ARE FREE. You should not pay for a SIM cards, just to load them. If you miss them at the airport you can buy them at the supermarket type shops as well. You can get about 10 GB of data for 10USD (100 Dirham).
In Morocco they speak Arabic, Berber, French and in the northern parts near Spain – Spanish. Since moving to Europe I’m so impressed by how multi-lingual most people are. So here’s a cheat sheet to help you with some useful phrases. We used thank you the most and it’s pronounced – SHOKE (choke with a sh) AH – RAHN.
Foods to order
And last but not least, what should you eat. If you eat meat, definitely lamb tajine. A tajine is the earthenware pot that it is cooked in, and basically is like a pressure cooker or dutch oven. The dish (can be meat or veggies) is left in there for hours with spices and herbs. We had lamb, seafood and also veggies like eggplants and such. Another “dish” I liked to order was the Moroccan salad. But instead of one bowl with mixed veggies and dressing – its usually a mix of small plates tapas style and a variety of vegetables and beans prepared different ways. Always delicious hehe.
Hopefully this post helps you to feel more prepared for a trip to Morocco! If you have any more questions keep an eye out for my upcoming posts or leave a comment below! 🙂