Local traditions and culture in Morocco

  • local drinking mint-tea Meknes
    local drinking mint-tea Meknes
    by EviP
  • tourist drinking mint-tea, Meknes
    tourist drinking mint-tea, Meknes
    by EviP
  • Moroccan olives
    Moroccan olives
    by EviP

Most Viewed Local Customs in Morocco

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Passport validity and Entry visa stamps

    by angiebabe Updated Feb 18, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hi,

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/morocco

    your replies here are in line with whats around the passport info sites but because Morocco has a max stay of 3 months a passport that is expiring after that 3 months is not too much concern generally...

    but as pointed out if you do have time to get it renewed then its always best to do so as anything unforeseen can happen to delay your return home...

    ive been travelling back and forth from Morocco for 10 years now (July 2013 was my 10 years anniversary of Morocco addiction!) with about 45 entries into Morocco, and on one occasion did at the airport notice my passport was expiring in something like 5 months but it was not at all an issue with the Moroccan police -

    the particular things they are a stickler about are making sure you have an entry stamp (Ive also experienced what happens if that happens - ie when my entrance stamp was in my Australian passport which I had left behind at a hotel halfway across the country but its my NZ passport that is the crucial passport that i fly back into the UK with so that side of things was okay) but thankfully the airport staff were very active in teeing up with the airport police to sort out an entry stamp to be backdated into my NZ passport in time to still catch my plane but it did take a bit of work...that is what is regarded as a visa for Morocco but is crucial so bear that in mind - and also if its by boat from Spain into Morocco you must go to the police on board for your entry stamp before you leave the boat!!!)....and that you dont stay longer than 3 months

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Sugar cane

    by solopes Updated Jan 5, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was not expecting to see sugar cane in what I supposed that it would be only desert, but in the coast, near Rabat there were large sugar cane plantations artificially irrigated.

    A surprise, for me, in Moroccan way of life.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • EviP's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Olives

    by EviP Updated Jun 4, 2013

    Olives, seasoned with herbs and spices, frequent at foodstalls in local food markets and souks can easily catch the eye....

    They are also offered as a welcome appetizer in restaurants

    Try the different varieties mixed with different herbs and enjoy a mediterranean treat with moroccan spice!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Language in Morocco

    by angiebabe Written May 23, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The 2 official languages of Morocco are modern standard Arabic and Berber - the Arabic spoken in the home and on the street by about 85% of the population though is really a Moroccan influenced dialect called Darija.
    Standard Arabic is learnt by Moroccans as a language used in mosques, official ceremonies and not in the home or on the street.

    It is estimated 50-65% of the population speak Berber and many of these people learn Arabic as a second language....Ive met quite a number of Berber especially older women who do not speak Arabic nor French and Berber is their sole language.

    About 5 million Moroccans speak Spanish - particularly in the areas in the north that were once colonised by the Spanish such as the Rif areas of Tetouan and Chefchaouen.

    French was made official in 1912 by the French colonisers of Morocco but with the reinstating of the Moroccan king and independence in 1956 Classical Arabic was made the official language.. French is still taught in schools from the 4th year and remains unofficially Morocco's 3rd language with many Moroccans using French as their 2nd language for business, commerce, education and in government.
    English is now for the past several years being taught from the 4th year at school and has been gaining popularity as the international language of choice.

    A fascinating survery was done 2000-2002 with interesting statistics gained from around the country by Moha Ennaji who wrote 'Multilingualism, cultural Identity and Education in Morocco'.
    His statistics give figures such as 33% of MOroccans speak French, 50-65% speak Berber, 85% speak Darija

    The mostly widely spoken Berber language is called Taselhit and covers the Souss-Massa-Draa area - southern Morocco from Agadir to Ouarzazate and down the Draa valley area.
    The 2nd major Berber language spoken is Tamazight which is the Middle and High Atlas area and just to the north. Riffian Berber and the Berber of the desert are different languages and most Berber will not be able to understand between these languages and areas. ....you will be surprised to learn how proficient many Moroccans particularly Berber with exposure to speakers of other languages will learn them very quickly and succinctly...so particularly many in the tourist industry do communicate between varying Berber languages and also speak Arabic, French, and often other European languages such as Spanish and therefore closely linked Italian, and German....many without having gone to school much past secondary school and therefore have not learnt written language skills but speak and understand with amazing proficiency!

    (so pretending to speak some other language from some other maybe obscure country will often not help you!...so just be honest and learn some polite Arabic such as La Shukran!!)

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Try the Poms....delicious apple flavoured drink

    by angiebabe Written May 15, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Along with the normal range of bottled fizzy drinks such as Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite or 7Up (if you ask for lemonade you will find you have been given lemon flavoured fizzy drink! so you have to ask for it by name such as Sprite or 7Up!) and other flavours such as Hawaii and which are popular with MOroccans to have with lunch or dinner - or you will also be offered Moroccan tea/atay or coffee or bottled water or perhaps orange juice - a flavour Ive not seen anywhere else except France is called Poms.

    Its been one of my favourite drinks during the years of visiting Morocco - it is rather sweet but does have a flavour very much like apple and I find it particularly refreshing when its hot or you are thirsty, tired and hungry!. You will see it for sale in the fridges of most small shops and supermarkets and most restaurants and cafes. If a place you are eating at doesn't have it they are bound to have the absolute ultimate Coca Cola! which is for sale everywhere!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    Patisseries - Millefeuille

    by angiebabe Updated Oct 7, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As an heirloom from the French, Moroccans love their patisseries and from the fact that each town and city will have their regarded as 'favourite' patisserie shops and from the number of them around you will see that they are an important part of MOroccan culture.

    Out in the country families may have almonds and small biscuits stored aside for special occasions such as special guests and long awaited visits from far away family and relatives.

    In the cities having patisseries for breakfast may be more common place but especially if its a special occasion such as a religious celebration or festival or family members are visiting.

    All the years Ive been visiting and travelling around Morocco, and buying patisseries for either myself to enjoy or take home in specially ribboned boxes as gifts, Ive seen what I know now is 'mille-fueille' but had thought were just 'custard squares' - ie extra fattening pastries with full fat custard.

    Since being served, what I found to be really delicious!, mille-feuille for desert when recently staying at Kasbah La Valee up in the Dades Gorge and had it explained to me and since seen that it is a highly liked patisserie by Moroccans in many places, even here in Tafraoute where I have been served it almost every day for breakfast! This is a delicacy that has to be eaten fresh to be at its best.

    Wikipedia have an interesting write up about it.

    Worth a try - especially if you see them served where you are dining!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mille-feuille

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Compromise

    by solopes Updated Sep 5, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Travelling inland is a good opportunity to see the hard compromise between desert and agriculture.

    Men try to extract all the possible resources from land, but the desert advances, and the dry scenery becomes inevitable as you go south.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • solopes's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Berber Dinner

    by solopes Updated Apr 10, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Touristy, no doubt, but a very easy and simple way to try (in comfort) a small experience of Berber life: in Marrakesh a typical restaurant is a meeting point for tourists to watch some horse and camel rides and enjoy a lamb dinner with folk dances.

    Artificial but nice, with the usual opportunity for the tourists to dress in local style, and not too expensive, if you think that all those perfomers are being paid.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Rural Life

    by solopes Updated Apr 1, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As everywhere, it's outside town that you can watch the most authentic way of life in Morocco.

    Some scenes are very appealing, some other... almost repulsive.

    One thing that hits our European look is the way that everything is sold in the roads. Meat hanging in the heat of the afternoon, exposed to dust, and flies, and... Don't look - you need to keep on eating until the end of the trip!

    Straight ahead there are more interesting things to look at.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Pastilla

    by angiebabe Written Jan 31, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A traditional sweet-savoury usuallly following the main dishes is pastilla - a tradition that could solve our problem with our over abundance of pigeons in London ha ha?! (and why theres not so many pigeons pooing all over Djma Elfna!?)

    Traditionally made with pigeon in many places this is now made with chicken instead - and its rather delicious. Layers of pastry with moist pigeon or chicken baked and then icing sugar and cinnamon served over the top.

    I went to a wedding in Casablanca last year and we had a pastilla with shrimps and fine noodles and other small bits of seafood - it was a very delicious version as well!

    Anyway pigeon or chicken pastilla is well worth taking the opportunity to try if you come across it on the menu. This photo is taken of a return to Cafe Toubkal at Djma Elfna recently and had pastilla and coffee again.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Schools and education in Morocco

    by angiebabe Written Jul 6, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The literacy rate is said to have been increasing especially the female literacy rate since the present King has been on the throne - by having more schools and that is including the remote areas of which there are many many people and villages in Morocco many miles from cities and with only small or minor road access or even only piste or 4x4 access - apparently more is being done to enable children to get to school but it is not to say that arent cases of children having to walk an hour and an hour home again to receive an education.
    Add to this that there are many people with very low incomes - enough to survive by herding goats all day or that is the job of the women and girls in the family while the husband stays away in town if hes found a job there - so there are many situations for a family to let their children go to school requires quite amotivation and to be able to continue on through the higher levels past the mandatory age may take even more sacrifice or effort.
    Then there is the cost of providing materials required for the children to be at school....beyond the basics and it may become costly or too costly for many families on subsistence income out in rural or remote areas.

    This is where taking packets of pens, pencils, exercise books....any types of stationery and even arts and crafts items can be great gifts to take to a school along your travels. bear in mind if its given quietly to a school teacher that your items maybe kept for his own children or his relatives or those in his click rather than distributed to the most needy in the class..so it can be a good idea to do when there are many eyes to see your donation.

    here in England we have excellent £1 shops with an excellent range of stationery items and even Sainsburys - I found 'Basics' brand packets of erasers 4 for 5p!! and packets of 20 biros for only 50p - all worth taking the opportunity to purchase and take with you.

    The Marjane supermarket chain to be found in all major cities around Morocco also has items that you can purchase for low prices such as exercise books, paints and watercolours, glue sticks, picture books in French and Arabic....

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Sahara Pizza - Rissani

    by angiebabe Updated Jun 25, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Found out this year the locals trick to getting Sahara Pizza - go to the souk and get all the bits you need such as the meat you want from the butcher you want (all the fat cut off if you want!), go to the vege stalls and get your red onions and coriander, go the nut stall and get some almonds!!, go to the spice stalls and get your 45 or 55 spices! then take it to who you know - maybe the butcher - and get them to chop or crush it all up in teeny bits and mix it - then take it to the bread man who has the dough and he will in about 2 minutes have your sahara pizza mix turned into a pizza cooking in the oven!

    Just a great delicious concoction for a start - and you know whats going into it - and its cheaper - a pretty big one that we made that gave 3 people 2 and 3 big pieces for only 70 dirham

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Food and Dining
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Left over fish? Feed the cat, dawg...

    by JamalMorelli Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Islam has a special place for cats and so, by proxy, Morocco.

    There is a story that a cat was sleeping on the sleeve of the Prophet when the call to prayer was heard. Rather than wake the cat to pray, he cut the sleeve off his jellaba so as not to disturb him.

    Old women will collect left over scraps and dump them somewhere the cats can get to them.

    SO! Be a cat defender: if any cafe owner has to impress you with what he thinks are your "western" sensibilities (or even expresses his own personal aggressiveness towards them) and is mean to Sidi Qatta bin Meow, fight back - and let him the cat's with you, boo.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Travel with Pets

    Was this review helpful?

  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Bargaining in Morocco, pt 2 - Winning the Game

    by JamalMorelli Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Winning a bargaining battle means you don't get mad.
    So, to lessen frustration and increase happy bargaining

    1)Know the price before you get there
    2)Pay only what you want to pay
    3)Don't allow emotions to sway you
    4)Learn arabic or french

    You are here to have a beautiful journey - don't get lost raging in the sooq. Rage in any language translates to some sort of incompetence. Prepare for your trip.

    For those who feel that preparing in advance should be done by the seller - well, as we helpfully say on the Riverwalk of New Orleans after you lose your first guessing bet, "Never play another man's game. You can never win at another man's game."

    Things you will say in this situation:

    HEAR MOROCCAN ARABIC: Salaam alikoom

    HEAR MOROCCAN ARABIC: SHUKRAN!

    HEAR MOROCCAN ARABIC: Smeheliya - excuse me

    HEAR MOROCCAN ARABIC: la bas?

    HEAR MOROCCAN ARABIC: Bishal Haddak? - How much?

    HEAR MOROCCAN ARABIC: Bzaaf!

    Bayti: Care for the Street Kids of Morocco
    Morocco
    Learn Arabic
    Bargaining pt 1

    Photos by Jamal Morelli, uploaded at Studio Shamharush

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    School Custom: Drop out

    by JamalMorelli Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In an effort to make the donor activities more responsive to Morocco’s education issues, USAID and the MNE chaired a very well attended session on the serious subject of school drop-out. While Morocco has made great strides in increasing first grade enrollment (92% average), much remains to be done to ensure that those students enrolled complete primary school, let alone middle, or high school. Some 400,000 children dropped out of school during the 2004-2005 school year, which is embarrassingly high (some 5 million total are in the system through high school).

    The final conclusion of the meeting was the need to create a national observatory, involving relevant parties, including those with field experience, as well as donors. Another outcome was to encourage regional MNE staff to organize “caravans” that would share experiences with the prevention of drop-out or their reintegration in the program. As a final comment, the MNE co-chair reminded the group that education until age 15 is compulsory by law, but that parents get away with not keeping their children in school

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Morocco Hotels

See all 1499 Hotels in Morocco

Top Morocco Hotels

Marrakesh Hotels
2238 Reviews - 6152 Photos
Agadir Hotels
251 Reviews - 758 Photos
Casablanca Hotels
519 Reviews - 1334 Photos
Tangier Hotels
477 Reviews - 1136 Photos
Fes Hotels
447 Reviews - 1157 Photos
Essaouira Hotels
522 Reviews - 1426 Photos
Rabat Hotels
507 Reviews - 1142 Photos
Tetouan Hotels
108 Reviews - 309 Photos
El Jadida Hotels
21 Reviews - 109 Photos
Merzouga Hotels
138 Reviews - 625 Photos
Chefchaouene Hotels
91 Reviews - 326 Photos
Tazenakht Hotels
See nearby hotels
Meknes Hotels
102 Reviews - 256 Photos
Zagora Hotels
112 Reviews - 296 Photos
Restinga Smir Hotels
See nearby hotels

Instant Answers: Morocco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

114 travelers online now

Comments

Morocco Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Morocco local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Morocco sightseeing.
Map of Morocco