For centuries, Morocco has inspired travellers with its colourful energy, fascinating history and a dazzling combination of Arab, European and African influences. But before you get on the plane, there are some useful travel tips you probably want to know…

What’s the local currency? Do they take credit cards?

The Moroccan Dirham (DEE-rahm) – Relatively speaking, the rate of the Dirham (MAD) is good and it’s steady, so there shouldn’t be a lot of surprises. Granted you can pay western prices if you go looking for them, but for the most part Morocco is a great travel bargain.
Also, if you want your debit/credit cards to work in Morocco, inform your bank before you leave. Most larger places will take credit cards; the souks (open-air markets) and smaller shops will probably still want cash, especially if you want to bargain for something. Cash is still king.

What language do they speak?

A fascinating mixture of Arabic, Berber, English and French.

Do I need a visa to get in?

Most visitors to Morocco do not require a visa and are allowed to remain in the country for 90 days. In all cases, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry.

What power converter do I need?

If you’re coming from Europe, it’s usually the same. If you’re coming from England, Australia or the US, you will need a power converter suitable for European sockets.

Note-worthy customs?

There are probably two things to note here. One is the idea of using your left hand to do anything socially important, like eat or shake hands. Muslims, Moroccans among them, feel that it’s unclean. Especially in public, just be aware of this cultural distinction.

The other thing is that women often dress modestly in Moroccan culture and the Western tendency to want to run around in tank tops and hot pants when it’s hot is a little outside of their custom. It really does depend on where you are, in the bigger tourist cities they are growing used to western ways and have seen women walking their streets in a variety of clothes. So while you can do it, I always like to err on the side of caution, especially if you are a woman travelling alone trying to avoid unwanted attention. Try as you might, you will probably hear cries of gazelle! and perhaps even get the odd marriage proposal, but the best thing to do is to avoid eye contact.

Got any advice you’d like to share with first-time travellers to Morocco? Let me know in the comments below!

For more travel tips and destination inspiration check out more of Back to Buckley‘s adventures.