A few words in Arabic will go a long way, as will tipping as it’s the local custom. Always check travel warnings for Morocco as there have been attacks on Western interests in the country. For the lowdown on this North African country, here’s the basics.
Australians traveling to Morocco on holiday will need to obtain a tourist visa before entry but be aware, entry 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.
Flavour, aromas and colours define Morocco’s cuisine, influenced by the native Berber, Arabic, Andalusian, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Spanish and French cultures. It is a regional affair, but dishes generally contains scents of saffron, cumin and coriander. There’s loads of couscous and a local favourite, pastilla (pigeon pie with egg, almonds and honey), is 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.
Show respect for a Muslim culture, like dressing appropriately, and an enjoyable nightlife is found in the cities of Morocco. They can be bizarre and bedazzling, like in Marrakech where the UNESCO site Jemaa el Fna Square comes to life with cafes, snake charmers (complete with cobras), storytellers and fortune tellers mesmerise tourists and locals alike. Alcohol is free flowing in Marrakech’s new city – international clubbing chain Pacha is practically its own neighbourhood with a nightclub complex in Zone Hôtelière de l'Aguedal. Elsewhere in Morocco, check out Tangier for the hottest nightlife in the summer months, the Ain Diab area in Casablanca for upscale bars and clubs, and the beach resorts for laidback night-time soirees.