Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Moroccan currency called, where can I get the best rate?

The Moroccan monetary unit is called the dirham.Rates vary little between banks, but some banks charge a fee per traveler’s check which can add up to a considerable sum with the smaller denominations. Look for banks which don’t charge a fee or bring the money you are sure to spend in large denominations.
Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and almost all shops. ATM cards can be used in many cities even in the south.
Use a money belt for all your valuable papers, checks, passport and credit cards.
For an up to date currency conversion see the website www.oanda.com.

What language is spoken?

The official language is Moroccan Arabic which is quite different from the Arabic of the Middle East. French is the second language of the country with Berber spoken by the Berber peoples especially in the south. The Moroccans seem to have a finely tuned ear and can mimic the speech of almost anyone. Those who come into contact with tourists have taught themselves to converse in all the major languages. You will be humbled by their abilities especially if you have taken a language course and still can’t carry on a conversation in anything other than your mother tongue. To put it plainer, you really don’t need to speak French or Arabic, but there will be times when life would be much easier if you knew a few words. Bring a French or Moroccan Arabic phrase book.

What should I wear?

Covered is better. Moroccans appreciate respect shown for their culture. The Moroccans are covered and they look quite attractive. Loose, draped clothing enhances the human figure which too often needs all the enhancing it can get. Just compare a family of plumpish, pink, skimpily dressed tourists as they trundle about in the hot sun getting pinker and pinker to a Moroccan family dressed in flowing garments.
Men should avoid going bare-chested and neither sex should wear very short shorts. Walking shorts are fine for both sexes (knee length). Rather than sleeveless blouses or dresses, women should wear short sleeves. Skirts or jeans are equally accepted. Good walking shoes are necessary. Take only the jewelry you can’t do without.

What is the food like?

In a word, delicious. Salads are lovely; fresh, succulent vegetables served with a light vinaigrette on the side. Harira is the Moroccan word for a thick vegetable soup. A particularly delicious one contains a bread dumpling. Main courses are usually one of the following: grilled meat on skewers often served with French fries; couscous, either vegetarian or meat with vegetables; and tagine, the Moroccan stew, usually meat, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and spices. Moroccan cooks use a mélange of spices such as cumin, turmeric, paprika, saffron and pepper for a subtly flavored cuisine. In the Sahara you can find ‘Berber pizza’. This is a double crusted pie filled with meat, hard boiled eggs, almonds and spices. Sometimes rather peppery, Berber pizza is best eaten with glass after glass of hot, sweet, mint tea.
Every seaport has freshly caught fish prepared by the fishermen on or near the piers. Do not miss this treat!
Fresh fruit is served for dessert; pomegranates, melons, bananas, apples, oranges and dates all produced in Morocco and all bursting with flavor.

Will I be able to photograph the people?

It won’t be easy. If you have the time to wait until you become inconspicuous, you will probably get what you want. However, even if your subject is not aware of your camera, someone else will be and he/she will warn that person. Then you may be the recipient of a lecture or a demand for money. You can either leave or ask the person to pose in exchange for a small amount of money. Make sure that they understand that you will take several exposures for that agreed upon sum. Otherwise, they will expect that amount of money for each exposure.
It is somewhat daunting to go through this procedure every time you want to take a picture. If you have a guide, he can intercede for you, approach the subject, help with any negotiations concerning money and translate your instructions regarding posing.
It is difficult if not impossible to photograph women unless they are unaware of you. Sometimes they will agree if you offer to pay. However, oftentimes their husband will appear out of nowhere in high dudgeon and demand that you stop. This you must do. According to Islam, he is her lord and master and she must obey him. Women can be frightened of the camera for fear of what her husband will say or do if he finds out that she has allowed her picture to be taken. Even a guide cannot help you here.
Do not be discouraged. With charm and sincere appreciation of their culture, Moroccans can change from seemingly hostile to hospitable in seconds. It’s up to you to bridge the gap.
Although many professional photographers feel that they should not have to pay for any photographs they have taken, it seems only fair to compensate some people who have in reality ‘modeled’ for you. You have paid a great deal of money to travel to Morocco in order to have some unique photos, why not compensate the people who have made this possible.

Travel in Ramadan to Morocco

Ramadan is the ( month) in which was sent down The Quran, as a quide to mankind, also clear ( signs)for guidance and judgement( between wrong and right). So every one of you who is present (at his home)during that month should spend it in fasting. But if any one is ill, or on a journey. the prescribed period ( should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you to difficulties( he wants you) to complete the prescribed period and glorify him, in that he has quided you.And perchance you shall be grateful.
Fasting Ramadan is to stop eating,drinking, and sexual actions between married couples from dawn time to sunset to satisfy god. First fasting is a big proof how much you love god. then give the stomach (your body)a chance to rest during day hours, this is annually chance which will benifit human systems. and the last purpose to make the person feeling by the pain of the hungry people all around the world, because every muslim should feel by his brother in faith and then by all humans.
Ramadan hardly impacts tourism in Morocco. The only changes you will notice are that some tourist sites, shops banks close earlier , so this should be taken into account. Hotels and restaurants will still be serving food to tourists all day. As a matter of respect don’t openly eat, drink or somke in public.
Visiting Morocco in Ramadan is a great idea as it is less crowded and moreover is an interesting experience to add to your cultural knowledge of the country

Women travellers Morocco

In Morocco, women traveling alone is generally safe, but there are thing to bear in mind; dress conservatively and specifically means cover shoulders, stomach and keens and avoid fitting clothes, there is no need to cover your head, try to use your common sense for example when dealing with men avoid overdoing eye contact with unkown men probably as Western women would be easier to wear sunglasses then to lower the eyes.

Its considered safe for pregnant, however there are certainthing you should take into account when traveling.
– Don’t forget that you should see your doctor who can help if the rsiks of the trip are ok to take and for medical advice before heading off for a trip overseas.
– There are cetain activities that you should completelty avoid while pregnant for example Camel, Horses and ATV riding and Jet Skis.
– Its highlighly recommended to take breaks every two hours while traveling by car for walking around.

Things to buy

If you’ll like to impress your friends or family with exotic gifts, Morocco is an excellent place of what you are looking for! There are many wonderful things to buy, from the colourful spices markets to the fabulously designed carpets, handcrafted brass, copperware, cedarwood pots … Please bear in mind that the quality of the goods is variable, so it’s very important not to buy the first thing that you come across and remember that discussing the price is a way of life in Morocco so get ready to bargain.

When to visit Morocco ?

The Mild winter that lasts from September to April is the best time to visit Morocco. Throughout the days are warm and nights are cool…

Travel with Children in Morocco

Morocco is one of the easiest countries in which to travel with Children, simply because the Moroccans love children and they are the central aspiration in every Moroccan family, having a young child can help you to open up opportunities for getting to know people. Don’t forget to bring your child’s favourite teddy bear or equivalent like colouring pencils and books that will keep the child occupy during long trips..
Food poses no problem just try to avoid as much as you can the stree and stall, if you can’t see any suitable on the given menu just ask the restaurant staff to prepare something specially for children, also its a good idea to carry some snacks and Bananas…

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