Learn some important tips for tourism in Morocco and enjoy your trip to one of the most unexpected destinations in North Africa
One of the most exotic and fascinating places on the African continent, Morocco it is one of the great surprises for those who are looking for an unusual and out-of-the-ordinary destination. Millennial cities form truly authentic landscapes and are still very well preserved to this day. Traveling to Morocco is like stepping into a time machine that takes you directly to over a thousand years of human history. Check out our tips on Morocco and learn how to plan everything before visiting the country!
It may seem like an exaggeration, but it's impossible not to look at the imperial cities without remembering some biblical scenario or some fable in the best Aladdin style. In big cities we find a busy country and very safe to travel between tourist areas and central regions. Always with many people on the street, shops, restaurants, small family businesses and tea houses scattered around the neighborhoods and corners of the cities.
In Morocco, walking through the streets of the chaotic and surprising Marrakech or during a visit to the medinas and fortified imperial cities, protected by walls, you can already have a good idea of how different it is to travel to a country of Arab influence, with extremely old. Ait Ben Haddou, for example, is one of the best-known imperial cities in the southern region of Morocco and its foundation dates back to the year 757. The country is one of the most coveted by historians and European travelers seeking a trip through Africa.
Tips about Morocco: what to know before going?
Everything is different in Morocco. Starting with its centuries-old architecture and imperial cities that remain intact. The pastel colors are created by the buildings made of adobe, they are buildings and houses in the shape of kasbahs, showing a bit of Arab engineering and the great influence of this culture that perpetuated in the country in times gone by, forming an epic scenario worthy of being photographed.
For those who are looking for tourism tips in the Moroccan country, we have separated in this publication a complete guide to morocco with the main questions and other important information you need to know before traveling across the country.
Tips about Morocco: the what to do and where to go?
The Sahara is one of the most popular tourist attractions for travelers looking to discover the driest desert in the world. This is the third largest desert area on the planet, after Antarctica and the Arctic, the first two are polar regions, with minimal human influence. Perhaps this is one of the biggest reasons people all over the world want to do tourism in morocco for so long, but it is worth remembering that the country is not just desert - even if this is one of the maxims of your trip, even more so if you want the experience of sleeping in the Sahara Desert, which is simply fantastic and a good choice for the your script. We talk more about it in the post Morocco: Sleeping a night in the Sahara desert.
But, far beyond the desert, Moroccan cities are also worth every moment of the trip. Even if you are not an aficionado of history and different cultures, certainly the energy of being in an African country, totally different from your own, will provide enriching experiences. In addition to the Sahara, other destinations are also unforgettable to experience a little of the essence of this eccentric country. These and many other places make Morocco one of the most different countries to travel, forming an exotic and truly diverse destination.
Tips about Morocco: How is the culture in the country?
In addition to the Arab customs, Morocco also carries in its history the African strength of the Berber culture, an ancient ethnic group originating from the peoples of the Sahara desert, concentrated especially in the northern region of Morocco and Algeria. The main merchants of the time also lived in this area, who used Morocco's strategic position as a starting point for products from Africa to Europe. The Tuareg were a Berber people who controlled the caravans that crossed the Sahara desert. Much of the history of the African continent we know today was spent on board these long crossings.
The trade routes for salt, gold and even slaves generated a large population and mixture of ethnicities in the country. In Marrakech and many other Moroccan destinations, you can find the tradition of these shops in the famous souks, a kind of popular markets with several stores. You can find everything in these markets: handicrafts, clothes, spices, home products and a multitude of things from Arab and African culture. Some souks they are very old, like the one in Jemaa el-Fna, the main square in Marrakech. This market, for example, has been in existence for over a thousand years.
How to get to Morocco from Brazil
For direct flights, the Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc offers weekly departures from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, with an estimated duration of 10 hours from São Paulo to Morocco and 11 hours from Rio. After boarding, just wait for the crossing, arriving on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
How to get to Morocco from Spain or Portugal?
Even located in Africa, its location and proximity to Europe facilitates access for tourists who include Morocco on a tour of the Old Continent.
If you are in Europe, there are different ways to get to Morocco. If you are in any European capital, there are flights offered by Royal Air Maroc with the option of a direct flight to Morocco or with stops in Spain. The most affordable prices for flights are from Spain, as this is the closest European country to Morocco. It is even possible to make this crossing by boat, connecting Tarifa (Spain) to Tangier (Morocco). If you want to make the trip that way, we detail it in the publication Traveling from Europe to Morocco.
How is religion in Morocco?
As it is an extremely religious country, with a large part of the Muslim population, Morocco's calendar is different from ours, as are its beliefs, customs and rituals. Their faith is based on the Quran manuscripts. Islam is an ancient religion, created by Muhammad, called Muhammad by Muslims, in the 6th century. Some aspects are much stricter than Christianity, such as the requirement for proper clothing for women, strict fasting and a much more intense religious dedication.
Mosques and grandiose temples are all over the country and can be seen from afar. Even at airports there are spaces reserved for prayer, which is always done without shoes, crouching with knees on the floor, aligned in the direction of some mosque. A curious, systematic and perfectly disciplined custom. Traveling to a country where belief is different is something inexplicable. The best opportunity to learn about the great diversity of religions, cultures and customs present in human history. Many of them are still alive today.
In Casablanca, the Hassan II mosque, the largest in the country, boasts the tallest minaret in the world. Its tower reaches 200 meters in height and is considered one of the main examples of Moroccan architecture in the city. More than 10,000 artisans worked on the construction, composing the walls with textures and adornments. In the details it is possible to appreciate the symmetrical mosaics that fill much of the temple and the great gates. Depending on the time of day, you can hear the calls to prayer from afar that come from the top of the minaret and echo throughout, about 5 times a day. An energy that moves anyone, regardless of belief. Another curiosity about this great temple is that the Hassan II Mosque has the capacity to receive 105 thousand worshipers, about 27 thousand people more than the capacity of the full Maracanã stadium.
Tips about Morocco: Is it safe to travel to the destination?
Doing tourism in Morocco is very safe. Despite religion being very present in the country, Moroccans are not radical as in more dangerous countries, in fact Morocco is far from it. The country does not experience any religious conflict, in addition to being very touristy and prepared to receive people from all over the world. In less than an hour and a half by boat, you arrive from the European continent to Morocco. In 2018, Marrakech was chosen as the best destination in Africa by readers of the TripAdvisor. Morocco is also one of the most visited countries in Africa, that is, there is always movement of people in the most touristy places. Moroccans are also totally kind and considerate among themselves and with foreigners, the country has the essence of trade and movement of “outsiders” has been going on for hundreds of years.
Tips about Morocco: cHow do women have to dress?
The use of veils is common in Muslim culture and each country or community uses a style with different colors and formats. Almost always the shades are dark, women cover themselves from hair to foot with these long fabrics, in some cases, only the eyes are visible. The origin is given to the call hijab, a term that refers to the act of covering oneself or being covered. A centuries-old culture means that even today women follow the same customs. Men also cannot show from the belly button down, that is, they cannot be shirtless in public and it is advisable to wear such dresses called jalabiyah and hat, just like Mohammed. The Prophet even said: "The distinction between us and the polytheists is the turbans on our heads." A religious belief that has become culture over the years.
In big cities, at the airport or wherever you go, you'll find plenty of them. In most cities, dark shades of black, gray and navy blue predominate in the clothing. In big cities like Casablanca and Marrakech, you can see veils of lighter and softer colors, and it's even possible to catch young people and adults with their faces uncovered without any problem.
The Islamic veil is a cultural custom and there are several types of them, and just like women, there are also men dressed with the body covered up to the feet and Tuareg around the head or small hats. Nowadays, and especially in larger cities, women have the option of wearing a veil or not, but because of an ancient tradition, many of them choose to follow this custom as a sign of respect. Female tourists are not required to wear clothing if they are only touring Morocco.
How can a tourist dress in Morocco?
For tourists, clothing is not an issue, clothes are not a rule or a concern that you should have. Moroccans are very used to foreigners and no one will glare at you if you're not wearing a veil. However, as a sign of respect, it is important that tourists wear appropriate clothing when entering mosques and religious temples.
Disregard, for example, entering a mosque in a tank top or shorts, in addition to being prohibited for men and women, this would be disrespectful to them. Even more so when visiting a country where religion is taken very seriously and the culture is totally different from ours. As a precaution, if you are a woman and wish to travel in Morocco, it may be recommended to wear a veil if you are traveling alone or passing through smaller cities.
How is the language in Morocco?
Most Moroccans learn three languages: Arabic, Berber and French. Tourist guides and merchants are super prepared to receive tourists, but as it is a country close to Spain, speaking Spanish is enough to travel peacefully in big cities. In inland communities, going with a bilingual guide is highly recommended.
How is the currency in Morocco?
The official currency of Morocco is the Moroccan dirham (dirham). The Brazilian currency is basically twice the value of the country's currency (July/2018). In the country of handicrafts and Arab rugs, you can buy home items and gifts at great prices. You can find well-crafted souvenirs for less than 20 reais. The pashmina (made in noble fabrics) cost an average of 25 reais. An Arab lamp with leaked details and handmade, costs an average of 35 to 90 reais. Rugs are more expensive, precisely because they are handmade, in a process of patience and extreme care.
What currency to take to Morocco?
Exchanging reais for Moroccan dirham is practically impossible. For safety, if you are going to take cash, the most recommended thing is to take dollar coins, as it is more accepted. Once in Morocco, you can exchange currencies for dirhams or use dollars in the main tourist sites. Hotels also often offer currency exchange for guests. In trades in general, they do not differentiate between the euro and the dollar, being the same price for them. So the most recommended thing is to take the dollar due to the exchange rate variation.
Tips about Morocco: bBrazilians need a visa to enter the country?
Brazilians do not need to obtain a visa in advance to enter Morocco. However, a passport in good condition and within the validity period (10 years) is required. The tourist visa for Brazilians is issued at the entrance to the country and has a period of stay of 90 days.
* This trip was made at the invitation of the Official Delegation of Tourism in Morocco in collaboration with the airline Royal Air Maroc Brasil.
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