Do: Explore the street food and restaurants of Marrakesh and surrounding regions. Moroccan food and food traditions are second to none. Try brochettes (kebabs), harira hamda (tomato based lentil and fava bean soup), fried sardines with chermoula paste, couscous, tagines and the wide variety of Moroccan salads. Moroccans often eat with their hands – using bread to scoop up food from a common plate. Dig in and enjoy!
Do: Make conversation with the locals. Moroccans are always happy to tell you about the rich history and culture of their country or to talk about the weather. The customary greeting is “as-salaam ‘alaykum” (peace be upon you) and the reply “wa ‘alaykum salaam” (and upon you be peace) and is a great ice breaker to show your interest in getting to know someone.
Do: If offered a glass of tea, it is customary to accept.
Do: Take part in tourist activities such as riding a camel, shopping in the souks, enjoying a calèche (horse-drawn carriage) ride and observing the sunset from one of the many cafés ringing the Djemaa el Fna square.
Don’t: Assume that photos of snake charmers, monkey handlers, water sellers, and performance artists on the Djemaa el Fna square can be taken for free. A tip is expected if you want a photo that includes any of these memorable characters.
Do: Dress is a culturally appropriate manner, especially in rural areas or places of religious significance.
Don’t: Visit rural areas or places of religious significance (shrines, tombs, mosques, synagogues, churches) with your (women) shoulders, chest, midriff, or upper legs exposed. This also applies as a precaution when visiting the city at night.
Do: Enjoy your stay and record your experiences with photographs of Morocco’s natural beauty, history and culture.
Don’t: Take pictures of Moroccan locals without their consent.
Do: Bring your friends and loved ones with you to create unforgettable and colorful memories.
Don’t: Engage in obvious public displays of affection. Couples checking into hotels are asked to provide legal proof of marriage and may be asked to room separately or be denied service if this cannot be furnished.
Do: Be wary of suspicious modes of transportation—legal taxis are well marked and have unique identification numbers. Unsavory individuals often work together to trick tourists into taking rides. Only take a taxi late at night if you are in a group, and never allow the driver to stop for additional passengers. Always ensure that the meter is running or negotiate the price before accepting a ride. Public buses are a safe and efficient mode of transportation, but be aware of your personal belongings on crowded buses.
Don’t: Travel alone, visit out-of-the-way places at night, go through dark and empty streets or alleyways, take directions at night from people you don’t know or leave your food, drink, or belongings unattended. Acceptable sources of local information are security personnel (police, soldiers, etc.), official tour guides, hotel and restaurant staff, travel agents, trusted residents or official travel websites.
Do: Be aware of your surroundings at all times and recognize that Marrakesh is a city like most others. Crimes of opportunity are not infrequent, and it is best to be aware of your person and belongings at all times. Cross-shoulder bags and backpacks are the most secure way to carry your personal belongings. It is best to leave passports and money in a hotel safe, rather than carrying them with you around town. Carry a photocopy of your identity documents instead.
Don’t: Be so overly engrossed in using your telephone that you lose track of where you are and who is nearby. Carry your bags facing in from the sidewalk’s edge and keep a hand on the straps at all times.