Featuring a mixture of influences from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Moroccan culture is unlike anywhere else in the world.
From the nomadic tribes of the Sahara and Atlas Mountains to the cosmopolitan city dwellers of Marrakech and Casablanca, Moroccan culture is varied but interesting throughout. Here are some of my top tips to get the most out of your Moroccan experience.
Talk to the Locals
As with any city, town or country you will ever visit, no one knows it as well as the locals! The official languages of Morocco are Berber and Arabic, with French also spoken for business. However, English is at least a little understood and you will be able to communicate with ease. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with that shopkeeper, merchant or just the person next to you at a café. They are some of the friendliest in the world and would love to show you what Moroccan culture is about.
Eat the Food
Featuring influences from North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, Moroccan food is unlike anything you will find elsewhere. A fusion of so many different styles leads to a number of unique dishes that are simply must haves. Fill your empty stomach with couscous, tagine, and finish your meal with a delicious mint tea. Afterward, hit the markets and souks to collect spices of your own! I would recommend trying a cooking class to get a true understanding of Moroccan food. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to meet other travellers and locals alike.
Learn the History
Its geographic location at the center of so many medieval tales means Morocco has a tumultuous and varied history. Moroccan history features cultures that roamed the Sahara region, Roman conquests, and medieval power battles. As a result, Morocco has seen a great number of different dynasties battling for control over its territory and each has contributed to Moroccan culture. This is can be seen in the Spanish influenced areas in the north of the country and the medieval merchant center of Marrakech, through to the traditional tribes of the Sahara and Atlas Mountains. Take the time to visit museums and galleries along the way to view artifacts and learn about this incredible nation.
Stay in Local Accommodation
An absolute must for any trip to Morocco is a stay in a traditional riad. One of my favourite building styles in the world, a riad features a central courtyard in the middle of the building with multiple levels built up surrounding it. This results in a communal vibe as you have breakfast with other residents and guests in the courtyard. It also means you can’t help but cross paths with others throughout the day. Some of the more Instagram-worthy ones even have a central pool for you to lounge beside in the Moroccan sun! Check out Airbnb for some great local places to stay.
The best tip I can give to experience Moroccan culture is to just go and immerse yourself in it. Walk the streets rather than taking taxis and you’ll see regular people going about their lives and business. Eat at the stalls that the locals are eating at and sit at the cafes to watch the world go by. It’s only through doing things the local way and talking to the person next to you that you can truly learn and understand a new culture.