Morocco is a beautiful place, with many incredible historical landmarks, architectural feats, delicious food, friendly people and breathtaking scenery. It is also an incredibly popular place to visit because it has two distinct sides to it – the Old Town and the New Town, which means there’s something there for every type of visitor to enjoy.
However, like any country, Morocco does have it’s own way of working, and it’s worth knowing a few things before you go so you understand the etiquette and are able to make the most of your trip.
Here are some tips for travelling to Morocco:
In general, there is no particular ‘rule’ when it comes to tipping in Morocco, however, there are a few things it’s good to be aware of.
In more upmarket restaurants you may have a 10% charge added to your bill, which means you should be ready to pay a bit extra when opting for these restaurants.
When you catch a taxi, it is generally accepted you should round the cost up to the nearest 5 dirhams. It’s also worth noting many taxis might not reset the meter before your journey starts, so ask them to reset it at the start of your journey, or ask how much your journey will cost.
In hotels, staff carrying your bags or bringing you room service do expect to be tipped, and cleaning staff will also appreciate a tip if they do a good job.
One of the areas you are most likely to be asked to pay money is in the Old Town where a local person may offer to show you around, and then expect to be tipped for it. In general, if someone seems friendly and starts leading you round, avoid that situation and pull away. If you want a proper guide taking you around the Old Town, opt to hire a professional one or take part in a Medina day trip with Moroccan Views – this is the safest option.
Morocco is a Muslim country, so make sure you are respectful of that at all times. Women are expected to cover up (within reason), drinking and getting drunk on the streets is not acceptable, and public displays of affection are not a good idea either. it’s also worth being careful when taking pictures of Moroccan people. Some may ask you for money for the picture and others may simply not be happy you’re just taking a picture of them. Either way – ask first.
It’s also worth learning a few Moroccan Arabic phrases before you go as well, which shows you have made a bit of an effort to communicate there.
If you choose to visit a hamam, bear in mind that water wastage is considered rude, and exfoliating a stranger is considered polite and friendly so don’t be offended if someone starts scrubbing you!
Summer and Winter are rather brutal times of the year in Morocco where the temperatures are extreme. Visit in Spring when the temperature is comfortable and the scenery is lovely and green. If you’re thinking of travelling during Ramadan be aware it is a is culturally interesting time to visit, but is slightly restrictive in the fact lots of tourist attractions and amenities are closed down.
The best accommodation to stay at in Morocco is a Riad. These are traditional Moroccan houses which have internal gardens. They are often incredibly beautiful inside and enable you to feel like you’re experiencing the best of Moroccan architecture and design up close.
Don’t Refuse The Mint Tea
Whether you’re chatting to a Souk merchant or simply speaking to a local person when you’re out and about, if you’re asked to sit down and enjoy a mint tea don’t decline. Mint tea is basically a sign of Moroccan hospitality so if you’re offered it and decline, it is seen as incredibly rude.
These are just a few tips to help you make the most of your trip to Morocco. Remember to check the latest tourist information available on Direct Gov before you go (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco) and look up tips and tricks from people who have visited recently. It really is a beautiful country and putting in a little time researching local traditions, customs and rules can only enhance your overall Moroccan experience.