For The Young & Curious
General Knowledge about Morocco
Practical knowledge about life in Morocco
General Knowledge about
Morocco’s cultural heritage reflects the influence of a long succession of
invaders and settlers including the Carthaginians, Romans, French, Spanish and
Arabs. The Berbers make up over half of the population and Moroccan society is
a fascinating melting pot of Berber, Arab, Jew, Muslim, African and European.
The late Hassan II, king of Morocco, compared the country to a tree with its roots
spreading deep into the heart of Africa, its trunk solidly set in the Arab-Islamic
world and its branches reaching beyond Spain, Portugal and France to the heart
Morocco is changing as a result of outside influences but its diverse culture
remains anchored in age-old traditions that stress community life and family values that are cherished and readily shared.
Hospitality is an essential element to Morocco’s culture. The people of Morocco are
extremely friendly and hospitable; they are kind, warm, and well known around the world for
Morocco’s climate varies from region to region and
time of year. The hottest time to visit the Moroccan
Sahara is midsummer when, in contrast, it is much
cooler on the coast or in the Atlas mountains; but there
are no set rules.
Spring tends to come late (April or May) and this is
the season to visit Rose Valley (Kelaa Mgouna) and
the Rose Festival. Winter days in the South can be
perfect, although the nights are cold.
Summer tends to come (From June, July to August)
Autumn tends to come (From September to
Winter tends to come (From November, December,
January, to February)
Published annual sunshine levels are more than 8hrs a
day in Fes, Marrakech and Ouarzazate with average
temperatures above 21c.
But if you feel too hot or too cold you can travel from
the snow of the Atlas to the heat of the Sahara
sands in one day - not that we advise you to move
with such haste when there is so much to explore and
discover along the route.
Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
Islam is the official religion in Morocco and peacefully co-exists alongside other religions.
Each day of the year is marked by five calls to prayer and the muezzins announce prayer
times from the top of the mosques' minarets.
Mosques in general are closed to non-Muslims however the Hassan II Mosque in open to nonMuslims every day except Friday, and is well worth a visit.
Traditional Food in Morocco
We LOVE food!
To get you started, here's a list of common
Moroccan food items you'll certainly come across
during your travels:
Amlou: sweet spread made from Almond
paste, honey, and Argan oil
Baghrir: spongelike pancake with little openair pockets on the top, similar to a large
Brochette: skewered meat grilled over a
Couscous: hand-rolled semolina grain
steamed until plump and fluffy
Harira: soup usually made from vegetable or
chicken stock with added chickpea and
Kefta: minced lamb or beef generously
spiced and either rolled into the shape of a
sausage brochette or shaped into meatballs
and cooked in a tagine
Mechoui: whole roasted lamb or beef
Msemmen: thin, oily, flat bread
Pastilla: flaky, phyllo pastry pie with a
savory filling of chicken, pigeon, or
sometimes seafood, topped with cinnamon
or sugar icing
Tagine: meat, seafood, and/or vegetable
casserole or stew, slowly cooked in a twopiece earthenware cooking vessel with coneshaped lid
Tanjia: earthenware urn stuffed with
seasoned meat and slowly cooked in the
embers of the local hammam
Morocco’s Festivals & Events
Moroccans celebrate a multitude of festivals – Ramadan, Eid Fitr, Eid Kbir
Festivals in Morocco are very joyfully celebrated, with special food to accompany each.
Marathon des Sables (The Sand Marathon)
The Rose Festival
Eid ul Adha ( Islamic Festival )
Ramadan ( Islamic Festival )
Essaouira Gnawa & World Music Festival
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco
Erfoud Date Festival
Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival
Marrakesh International Film Festival
Check out this link for more information:
Full Country Name: Morocco
Location: North Africa,
Capital City: Rabat
Dialing code: 212
Language: Dialectal Arabic, French, Berber, English, Spanish
Classical Arabic is the official language of education, the Civil Service and
Everyday language in Morocco is typically a Dialectal Arabic as well as
Tamazight (Berber) that is spoken in the Rif, Atlas and Souss - dialects vary
with the region.
Morocco was once a French Protectorate and most Moroccans speak
French; many speak Spanish and English in addition to German and
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Currency : Moroccan Dirham
Ethnic Make-up: Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%
Nightlife in MOROCCO !
Practical knowledge about life in Morocco
Tips while Travelling to Morocco
Safety Travelling in Morocco
Morocco is essentially a safe country to visit and
violent crime is rare, although petty theft is
recorded as fairly common. When travelling on
public transport, or in crowded places, you are
advised to keep an eye on your luggage and
personal possessions. Avoid walking alone at
night in unlit areas or along the beach.
Morocco is a friendly country and guests are
treated with respect. Nevertheless, it is better to
get too friendly with strangers. Always stay in
crowds and avoid isolated spots, unless
accompanied by trusted people.
Women often ask if it’s safe to travel alone.
Actually any woman travelling alone is likely to
be faced with some unwanted attention. My best
advice with regards clothing is to dress
and, even if you don't feel it, appear confident and selfassured; be polite but formal in response to uninvited
Although there is no need to overdo the dress code, and it’s
unnecessary to wear a scarf or veil, short skirts and tight
clothes are likely to attract more attention than you may feel
Traveling around Morocco
Trains, buses and grand-taxis are an easy way of getting
around Morocco, as is renting a car and driving at your own
However, if you have limited time, hiring a vehicle and
Moroccan driver is the ideal way to explore and learn about
the culture and, if you hire is a 4x4, you can avoid the busy
tourist routes and travel off-road across the pistes to
experience the hospitality and traditional lifestyle of the
Trains in Morocco
Trains run between Tangier, Meknes, Fez, Oujda, Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech and
are both safe and comfortable. The Moroccan national train service ONCF lists the schedules
and fares: http://www.oncf.ma/Index_en.aspx
Buses in Morocco
Buses owned by the national bus companies e.g. Supratours, CTM and SATAS run between
major towns and cities. Long-distance buses are comfortable and tickets are purchased at the
Taxis in Morocco
Taxis are either: Petit or Grande
The Petit Taxis are the ones you use to travel within
the city. These are various colors depending on the
city. Blue in Rabat, Red in Fez, Beige in Marrakesh
and so on.
In a petit taxi only four people are allowed (including the
driver, infants and small children). Petit taxis can also be
split between people. So if you see a petit taxi with one or
two people in it and it is going in your direction, you can
flag it down and ask for a lift.
Petit Taxis and the Meter: By law, petit taxis are required
to use their meter. If they don’t use the meter, If the meter
doesn't work, then you negotiate your price in advance.
At night the meter runs at a time and a half. On taxis with a
newer electronic meter, your final rate at night will be
The Grande Taxis are typically white/tan and they run between cities, to the airports,
within cities on fixed routes and are available for private hire.
Grande taxis cram in 7 people total including the driver, so that can make for a tight squeeze.
Grande Taxis and Payment: If you take a Grande taxi on a fixed city route, or a fixed in
between city route, you typically pay for a seat a certain fixed price.
Grand taxis (usually Mercedes saloons) are shared taxis but you can negotiate a price if you
want the journey to yourself
P.S: If you are in a highly touristic area, expect
most taxis to not use the meter. Now, depending on who you are and your holiday plans,
you can just roll with the punches or you can continue to look for taxis. If you can get away
from a highly touristic area, your driver will probably use the meter.
Dress respectfully if you do not wish to attract undue attention. This typically means covering
your body between your knees and elbows e.g. trousers, long shorts or skirt to the knee (at
least) and short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts.
In summer, loose clothing is comfortable in the heat and when travelling.
In spring & autumn, a warm fleece is needed for chilly evenings, and in winter, warm
clothing is essential.
In large cities such as Marrakech, Fes or Agadir, Moroccans dress as fashionably as they
would on High Street in Europe although, in contrast, you will also see women traditionally
dressed in “ derra “ (hood like scarf that covers all hair and is tied under chin) and “ jellaba”
(long-sleeved, ankle-length, flowing dress).
In rural areas women usually wear traditional clothes and you are encouraged to dress more
conservatively when touring.
Photographing landscapes or crowds-in-general poses no problem although I have been
challenged when using a tri-pod. If you want to photograph people e.g. portraits, you are
advised to ask permission first – sometimes you will be given the go-ahead, sometimes you
will be asked for dirhams and sometimes the answer will be no.
Restaurants usually have fixed prices but there is a huge difference between the ones
aimed at tourists and those catering to locals. In “ Zagora “ ( a city in Morocco ) , for
example, a side-street restaurant served us a “ tagine “ big enough for two people for less
than half the price of a one-person “ tagine “ being served around the corner on the main
street. Ask first if there’s no menu with prices listed.
Tips are expected in Morocco and here is a rough tipping
waiter in café 2-5 dirhams each
waiter in restaurant 5-10 dirhams each or 10%
curator or guardian 5 dirhams
The Moroccan Dirham cannot be exported or imported. On
arrival currency can be exchanged in the airport but, to save
queuing, carry small denomination Euro notes for the taxi to
the hotel. The Euro has replaced the US Dollar as the
currency of the Sahara and can be used on a daily basis for
goods and services.
Cash and Travelers Cheques can be exchanged at any bank
and there is a network of ATMs – retain your transaction receipts as they are required when
converting money back into Sterling, Euros etc.
Visa requirements are country-dependent, contact your
country’s Moroccan Embassy for up-to-date visa
information. On arrival in Morocco your passport must be
valid for 6 months beyond your intended stay.
You are advised to obtain travel insurance before setting out
on your holiday. This insurance must cover the loss,
expenses and damages arising from, including but not
limited to, the cancellation of the holiday (whether in whole
or in part), personal accident and injury, medical and
repatriation costs, loss of baggage and personal money and
belongings and flight cancellations and delays.
The voltage is usually 220v although older buildings may have 110v or a mix of both – if you
are unsure, ask. Sockets take 2-pronged European-style plugs and you may need to pack an
How are you?
Good, thanks be to God
AIESEC Morocco iGCDP Leaders Contacts