Morocco Local Customs

  • 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

Morocco Local Customs

  • Djellabas and kaftans

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    The traditional Moroccan dress for both men and women is this long hooded garment known as a djellaba. It seems very practical – the body is protected from weather and from the dirt of the street, and the hood can be pulled up to give warmth at the start and end of the day, or shade from the intense midday sun. Men mostly choose a neutral shade...

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  • Bargain!

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Some people love the challenge of haggling, others find it an unwelcome stress. It's best to try and enjoy it if you plan to buy something in the souks, and the best strategy is to stay firm and calm, and preferably keep a smile on your face. It's hard to give a guide to what to offer if you don't know the value of it yourself. Rough guides like...

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  • Henna Ladies

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Moroccan ladies desperate to paint henna designs on foreigners' hands and feet seem to be everywhere in the Medina, with the biggest concentration in el Djemaa el Fna. There are two types: natural brown henna and a chemical dye known as black henna. The latter lasts longer, but it is dangerous, as it can cause bad skin reactions and even...

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  • Moroccan Wine

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Despite the huge growth in tourism in Marrakech, it's still surprisingly difficult to find places selling alcohol, especially in the medina. On our last night in the city, we wanted to get some wine for a meal on our rooftop terrace. The only place we could find it was in a shop in the Ville Nouvelle, which we remembered from our last visit to the...

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  • Taking Photos

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    People in Morocco often don't like having their picture taken, although as long as you don't stick your camera in someone's face you probably won't have a problem in Marrakech. There are some people who expect money, even if you accidentally take their picture. Most of them are hanging around Djemaa el Fna, like the colourful water Sellers, the...

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  • Public Baths

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Hamman Ziani is just down the road from Palais Bahia. It is a traditional style Hamman catering for tourists. 80Dh for Hammam, Steam, Gommage and Soaping - compared to 150 Dh at our hotel spa. I took a 280 Dh package including massage and algie wrap - excellent value and eveything was first class. It seemed to cure my aches and pains and a week...

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  • Moroccan music

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    The Jmaa El Fna square is a UNESCO heritage site, largely due to the story tellers that pass on stories in Arabic, but also note the musicians and various other stalls. However, be prepared to pay a small tip of 5-10Dir whenever taking pictures/videos of their performances. These interesting performers are most commonly spotted at night. During...

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  • Water man

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Around the Medina and some of the historical sites you will see men in funny looking attire with brass cups hanging off them. These are water men who supply the locals with water usually from local wells in goatskin bags. To announce themselves they ring their bells. I’m not sure that these guys are the real deal to the locals or more for the...

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  • The Pink City

    Marrakesh Local Customs

    Well all the houses inside and, nearly all outside are pink ... why??? well the material with wich the outside wall makes the wall be pink, ... nowadays people MUST by law paint their houses that way ... to preserve the name of the "Pink City" ... I like that because its make Marrakech a unique place in the planet ... as I like andalucian villages...

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  • Passport validity and Entry visa stamps

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

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  • Sugar cane

    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.

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  • Olives

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

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  • Language in Morocco

    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...

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  • Try the Poms....delicious apple...

    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...

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  • Patisseries - Millefeuille

    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...

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  • Compromise

    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.

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  • Berber Dinner

    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...

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  • Rural Life

    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...

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  • Pastilla

    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....

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  • Schools and education in Morocco

    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...

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  • Sahara Pizza - Rissani

    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!...

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

    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...

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  • Bargaining in Morocco, pt 2 - Winning...

    Winning a bargaining battle means you don't get mad.So, to lessen frustration and increase happy bargaining1)Know the price before you get there2)Pay only what you want to pay3)Don't allow emotions to sway you4)Learn arabic or frenchYou are here to have a beautiful journey - don't get lost raging in the sooq. Rage in any language translates to some...

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  • School Custom: Drop out

    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...

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  • Bargaining in Morocco, pt 3

    This one requires you to be tough, but I'm starting to think you may not be the hopeless wuss everyone makes you to be.1) Fix the price in your head and get the money ready2) Take the item and Hand the amount of money without talkingNow, he doesn't know what you know. He is most likely going to either take all of it or give you change. If he asks...

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  • Have a massage in Marrakech

    While visiting this medical herbs shop, we've got full information about the healing qualities of different medical herbs and oils. If you like you can even get an inexpensive massage.Herboristerie Avenzoar and Ibn Bayas Phone 212 44.42.67.28 212 44.39.14.47 Rue sid el yamani Kssour - Marrakech Medina - Maroc

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  • Music in Morocco

    Get involved with Moroccans - whether they are Arab, Berber or from wherever around Morocco - and you will discover they love music!and in Morocco the music has such a rich range. Berber music, itself with a range from tribe to tribe and thus area to area - and not only the diversities between the Mountain and Desert Berber tribes You can find...

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  • Moroccan plugs and sockets

    For the on going questioning in the forums as to what adaptor plugs to use in Morocco for your battery and laptop chargers etc:Plug sockets in Morocco use the french 2 pronged plugIn some places you might find that the on off switch is the same for the socket and for the light bulb in the room so take care that the switch is left on if its...

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  • ELECTRICAL PLUGS IN MOROCCO

    Morocco uses a ‘Type C’ European 2 round pin electrical plug. Electricity in Morocco is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If your appliances and digital devices use 220 Volts, you may need a transformer rather than a converter. What is the difference? Converters are lightweight and usually rated at 50-1600 Watts. They are good for...

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  • Finding Gnaoua music in Morocco

    Hi Deneen, well with the amount of time you have its about time you went down and visited the sahara at merzouga! YOu would defiinitely get to see and hear Gnaoua music there - with the Gnoua Association at Khamlia just south of Merzouga - also though - and im mindful of it myself - is checking out the dates of the Marriage festival at Imilchil -...

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  • Travelling in Morocco during Ramadan

    Ive lived in Morocco during Ramadan times in both city and country villages - some people may say here on VT that you shouldnt expect much or that you shouldnt do this and that but really the Moroccans do not mind and quite accept visitors and tourists to eat and do what they would normally do, such as eating and drinking during the day and in just...

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  • Travelling in Morocco during Ramadan

    Ive lived in Morocco during Ramadan times in both city and country villages - some people may say here on VT that you shouldnt expect much or that you shouldnt do this and that but really the Moroccans do not mind and quite accept visitors and tourists to eat and do what they would normally do, such as eating and drinking during the day and in just...

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  • A nice glass of tea, aka 'Moroccan...

    Although it's usually mint, sometimes the tea is made with other herbs: it depends on season, mood and time of day. Allegedly. Vervain was mentioned by one waiter, but language is treacherous. By default it's tooth-rottingly sweet.It's everywhere. There was a near thirty year gap between my first and second visits to Morocco. The memory of the...

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  • Semi-Nomads

    The semi-nomads move every 6 months. They live in a house in the mountains for 6 months of the year, and spend the other 6 months in a tent in the Sahara grazing the sheep. When it is time to move, they have special trucks with compartments for everything. We saw several of these trucks go by--There were sheep in a pen on top of the truck. We could...

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  • Berber Alphabet & Language

    Our guide’s father is Berber and his mother is Arab, so both of those languages were spoken at home. He can’t read written Berber though—the written alphabet has only been commonly used for about 5 years, and he hasn’t learned it. Since 2003, children in Moroccan primary schools have been taught to write with the Tifinagh alphabet.The three groups...

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  • The Fatima hand

    The Hand of Fatima is a symbol of good luck and protection. The hand usually has a design on it. The story behind it, according to our tour guide:Fatima was the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. When her sons went off to war, she put her hands (with henna designs) on their shoulders, leaving handprints on them. They always came back safely.

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  • Adobe construction

    Adobe construction in Morocco isn’t the same as other places I’ve been. Instead of making mud/straw bricks and then stacking them, the walls are made in place using metal molds. The walls are 3 ft. thick, with palm wood planks between layers.

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  • Veils and jelabas

    We saw a wide variety of dress in Morocco. Many women just wore scarves; others wore veils that covered everything but the eyes; still others wore veils that covered their mouths but exposed the nose. Aziz explained that the women were from different regions—northern women had their noses out, but the southern region is more conservative and their...

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  • Slogans on the hillside

    In several villages, and out in the countryside, we saw Arabic words spelled out in white rocks on top of a hill. It was the country’s motto—“God, Country, King.” One time, however, it looked different, and I asked Aziz. That one said, “The Sahara is ours!” (Morocco and Algeria have been in a disagreement for years over a part of the desert they...

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  • Berber cemeteries

    Berber cemeteries in the desert look a lot different than cemeteries in the city. The grave is marked only with an upright piece of basalt at each end. Most of them had no name or any other marking—the families just remember which one it is. The basalt slabs are parallel on men’s graves, and at right angles for females.

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  • Angels & Dogs

    Angels don’t like dogs—Who knew? This is what our Muslim guide told us:If there is a dog around when somebody dies, it gets chased off. If a dog is there, the angels won’t come. Muslims have two angels watching them. One writes down everything good the person does; the other writes everything bad. When the person dies, the angels get together to...

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  • Wedding contracts

    We had the opportunity to visit a village Imam (the friend of one of the tour company's officers) and he produced a mock wedding contract for one of the couples in our group. He didn't speak English, but our guide translated. Some of the questions would be standard in the U.S. (name, age, place of birth, etc.) but others were pretty interesting—Do...

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  • Henna

    Henna isn't just for weddings and other special occasions. A woman might invite her friends over for a henna party with refreshments, or just go have it done for herself.The henna is mixed to the consistency of frosting or soft putty, and applied through a large blunt-tipped syringe. The henna artist painted it on freehand, from memory, and worked...

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  • Gaining respect from the locals.

    People will respect you much more if you don't drink alchohol.I dressed a little more conservative than usual in Morocco, because i realised that if you look like a backpacker you will constantly be approached by dope dealers.This a conservative country in many ways, but you can enjoy it as a non conservative and be respected if you just think a...

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  • Faux guides in Morocco - particularly...

    As per all the previous posts Virtual Tourist is also providing travellers experiences and recommendations via their Travel Pages - so hope youve found them already - I have quite a bit of info in my pages for both Merzouga and Zagora but I would recommend Merzouga dunes as the best and most accessible.All the auberges do their own camel trips -...

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Morocco Local Customs

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