8 Things to Know Before Going to Morocco
You may know I am a freak when it comes to organizing a trip, so I knew quite well what I was diving into when booking holidays in Morocco, but as always, there were still some surprises waiting for me. Below are some of the things I wish I knew before leaving Europe.
1. Tap water is drinkable in certain cities.
In all guidebooks you’ll be advised not to drink tap water. We found it to be perfectly fine in some cities, like Fes and Chefchaouene. Rabat’s tap water, on the other hand, was terrible. I couldn’t make more than a sip because of the taste. At most places it’s still smarter to buy bottled water (and it’s really cheap too – 1.5 liter costs €0.5-1). Try to check with the locals before deciding.
2. Morocco is very safe.
Police are everywhere. While driving, you’ll be stopping almost at every village to go through the police control. In the cities, you’ll see many police officers – and that alone will make you feel secure – but what you can’t notice are the hundreds working undercover.
3. You’ll get lost. Often.
While Google maps and Sygic helped us A LOT, we still found them to be quite useless in the medinas. Which brings me to a very important point: get a Moroccan SIM card. It’ll cost you €5, but it’s lifesaving. Do not (by any chance) go anywhere without one. You’ll need to make calls every day, asking owners of the riads to come meet you somewhere.
4. Bargain when there’s no price displayed.
When the price is clearly written, it’s set. Don’t try to lower the price in the supermarket for example.
5. Roads are in a great condition.
One of my biggest fears was how bad the roads are in Morocco. I couldn’t be any more wrong. The roads are well maintained and can be compared to the ones in any other European country.
6. You point it, you own it.
Never point at the product you’re talking about. The vendors are very persistent and once they see your interest, they go all in. Find another way of communicating with your travel buddy (it’s a fun game actually).
7. Everything is sweet.
Moroccans are addicted to sugar – they put it into everything, even the things that are normally not sweet. Jure once got his milk sweetened.
8. Knowing some French is really useful.
My French is terrible, but I was still glad I knew the basics. Let’s get something straight: not everyone speaks it, some know just Arabic. However, the majority of people we met were fluent in French (and many knew no English words).