Each year I try to nail down a country thats been on my bucket list. Morocco has been on mine for the LONGEST out of them all. I grew up reading and writing Arabic thanks to my Islamic background, and although I have no idea how to speak it, I have always been fascinated with Arab countries and studied them throughout college. I know Morocco is technically Northern Africa, but the Arab influence is seen throughout the country from the language to the culture and religion.
My trip to Morocco was about 4.5 days in total and below is a breakdown of where to stay, what to eat, how to dress, and experiences you have to partake in.
Languages Spoken: Arabic, French, and English
Currency: Dirhams. 100 US Dollars = 1,000 Dirhams
Best Travel Season: I chose to go in November which had absolutely perfect weather of mid 60 degrees. Summer is unbearably hot and locals usually travel to neighboring cities to escape the heat.
With limited time in Morocco, I did a ton of research before my trip to maximize on my time there. Everyday we had a jam packed itinerary of exploring, learning and indulging into the culture. For those of you that don’t enjoy a ton of planning, but love to explore I would highly recommend my schedule below.
Day 1: Majorelle Jardin, Yves Saint Laurent Museum , Museum of Marrakesh, Tour Guide through souks of Marrakesh
Day 2: Cooking Class at Maison Arabe, Scarabeo camp for day trip excursion of camels, atvs, and dinner in the desert.
Day 3: Hiked Atlas Mountains, lunch in berber village, drinks at la Mamounia, belly dancing at Comptoir Darna Marrakesh.
Day 4: Hammam (traditional Moroccan spa) and breakfast at Riad Moussika, followed by a quick peak at the architecture of the El Fenn Hotel before heading to the airport.
My A-type personality really comes out when I organize trips but it is so worth it! In the 4.5 days we were there, we managed to checkmark everything off our must see lists. All except hot air ballooning, but that was out of my hands. In Marrakesh, when the King is in town no one can do any activities in the air.
What to Pack:
The Dress code is moderate. Morocco is an Islamic country and it’s respectful to dress more covered, but as a westernized culture with high tourism you can get away with more revealing clothes.
Shop my travel wardrobe:
Where to Stay
There are two options that I explored on our stay, hotels and riads. The definition of a riad is a traditional Moroccan home with a central garden or courtyard that is converted to a hotel. Most of these Riads were built from the 12th century onwards and have been restored to hold many of the same architecture. Each option was great for different reasons.
This is a beautiful hotel located in the center of the Medina with great food and excellent service. It’s a five star hotel that is decently priced if you book in advance and I highly recommend it for relaxation. I truly felt like a princess here.
We stayed at this hotel on our first night in Marrakesh. It’s a family owned hotel/restaurant and the staff was beyond hospitable. They were attentive, welcoming and helped organize our activities and excursions. My pro-tip would be to bring bug spray, the mosquitoes are no joke.
Architecturally this hotel was my favorite and dated back to the 12th century and visited by intellectuals such as Winston Churchill. It has a deep design influence from the Moor era and is covered in marbles and colored tiles. I was in textural heaven in this place.
Other hotel recommendations:
What To Eat/Drink:
Tajine is the main dish of Morocco. It’s a wood clay pot used to cook either a mix of vegetables or meat in a warm stew. Traditionally its served with cous cous and is a staple in the city.
Tea is the national drink of the country. In Moroccan tradition, the man always makes the tea and serves it. They hold the tea high up to oxidate it and also to show off their impressive pour.
Bread is a staple of the country and you will see bread stands in every corner of the city serving fresh loaves of bread. Moroccans knead the dough at their own homes and then bring it to their local baker to use the community wood fired ovens.
I also went during pomegranate season and you’ll see fresh squeezed juice all throughout the souks.
Overall I would highly suggest Morocco to anyone. Since the country has little to no import/export business, they rely heavily on tourism and are extremely hospitable and welcoming to all guests. I am so happy I went and can’t wait to go back in the future.