Things I Wish I Knew Before Travelling to Morocco

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Morocco is a stunning and vibrant country which is an absolute must-see for anyone who lives for experience. The balmy Mediterranean weather, rich cultural heritage, lip smacking food and so much more are on offer on your Morocco travel packages, which makes it a perfect vacation destination whether you are travelling there for your honeymoon or on spring break or with family. This country is a paradise for travellers as it has so much to offer that there is always something for everyone. The moment you step into the country it feels like you have stepped into the world of fairytale. If you are planning to visit Morocco on your next vacation, here are some tips that I wish I had known before I set off for this country.

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You have to deal with crowds

Marrakech is crowded. Period. Every season hundreds and thousands of tourists visit this city, which is a popular tourist destination of the country, and it has indeed fallen prey to its own popularity as it is always teeming with tourists from all over the world. While that does give the city a number of convenient services which are catered to tourism, it has definitely taken away that untouched thing. It is extremely beautiful, rich, colorful and absolutely a must-see place, but you might as well check out other destinations such as Fes to experience a more authentic local experience along with Marrakech. The lanes to the 1200-year-old Medina are narrow and less frequented by tourists as cars cannot travel through here, making hand drawn carts and donkey carts the good transportation service.  

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Keep a map handy

Take a walk through the narrow lanes and cobblestone roads to see the place like a local but be prepared to get lost as the cities here are a maze of lanes connected, interconnected and sometimes just ending in a dead end. It is difficult for a tourist to get a hang of the places without getting lost. While losing your way opens you up to priceless nooks and crannies that are not on the tourist map, it can be taxing on your schedule. Carry a map, be it a physical map or a map app on your phone in order to navigate your way through this beautiful land. I had to keep looking up the way on my phone map to reach my destinations.

Carry your cash

While most established shops, hotels, restaurants etc. in big cities do accept cards, you will have to rely heavily on cash if you are planning to travel, shop or eat locally. Look for a money exchange with a good rate and get ample Moroccan Dirham in cash to spend in the duration of your trip. Cash is the safest and your best bet because even if your credit card is accepted you might be charged extra transaction fees for cashless overseas transactions which can be easily avoided if you go for cash. I had to pay quite a bit on my card transactions as I had a bit of cash crunch on account of not carrying much cash. Moreover, there are many places which still do not accept card, especially if you choose to go off the common travelers’ grid.

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Shop with caution

Morocco has extensive shopping options which will leave you craving for more. It’s affordable, bright, colorful and everywhere but be careful while shopping, especially if you are planning on buying carpets and rugs. Tourists are often scammed by touts who take them to a carpet shop they have an underhand deal with, where prices are extremely inflated, and thus, even if you strike a hard bargain you end up paying more than you should have had to pay for the same carpet at an ethical dealer. The best way to avoid this is to do your research if you are buying carpets and rugs else simply keep moving.

Morocco is a beautiful country with a rich culture and heritage. However, much you read up on it, nothing will prepare you for the beautiful culture shock that you are about to experience, and it is totally worth every second!