Marrakech Basic Information
A few words in Arabic will go a long way as will tipping, as it’s the local custom in Morocco. Always check travel warnings as there have been attacks on Western interests here in the past. For more about Marrakech, read on.
Australians traveling to Morocco on holiday will need to obtain a tourist visa before entry, but be aware - conditions do change. Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. This information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Morocco.
The currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham. It is illegal to export the Moroccan Dirham. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and Moroccan Dirham fluctuates constantly, so it’s a good idea to monitor the rate before buying cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
The cuisine in Marrakech is influenced by the native Berber, Arabic, Andalusian, Turkish and Middle Eastern cultures, and also by the French. There’s loads of couscous and favourites like pastilla (pigeon pie with egg, almonds and honey) and hot snails are worth a try for the adventurous. Other tasty treats include meat briouats (pastries), harira (lentil and chickpea soup) and tajine (meat stew with fruit and veggies). It’s rude to knock back a traditional mint tea so if you feel comfortable, go for it. Olives are one of Morocco’s main exports and you’ll find ‘em served with everything. You’ll also find that Middle Eastern staple, falafel, at street stalls everywhere.
Show respect for a Muslim culture, like dressing appropriately, and night-time is a fun affair in Marrakech. Nights can be bizarre and bedazzling, like in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site Jemaa el Fna Square where night comes to life with cafes, snake charmers (complete with cobras), storytellers and fortune tellers mesmerising tourists and locals alike. Other after-hours hotspots can be found in Pacha, an outpost of the Ibiza chain and a major complex that can pack in up to 3,000 clubbers; Thêatro, a former theatre now crowded bar; and Comptoir for a cheesy party with belly dancers at night.