Mosques around the world are often highly decorated with gorgeous scrollwork, mosaics, and beautiful carpets. From Albania to Turkey and beyond, we have been to a handful of Muslim-dominant countries and always marveled at the mosques we visited. Often, they required special coverings and removing your shoes was always mandatory, but we were allowed in, even as non-Muslims. That’s not the case in Morocco.
For Americans, the requirements for traveling to Morocco are easy. No visas are needed, and no vaccines are specifically required. The CDC does recommend Hepatitis A and Typhoid shots, but they’re not a must. We’re a little fanatical about getting what’s best for us, and luckily we were covered from a previous trip to Africa.
Bread is a staple in Morocco. It’s at every meal, covered in argan paste, used to mop up sauce from tanjia, or even used as a replacement for cutlery.
In Morocco, families often bring their dough to neighborhood bakeries to be baked during the day and picked up before dinner time. There’s a constant stream of loaves going in and coming out of the large ovens.
You’ll also see vendors rolling their carts full of hot loaves through the streets. Don’t be afraid to stop one of them for an inexpensive snack.
Muslims observe holy days on Fridays, which means that almost everyone goes to the mosques to pray. As a result, business hours may vary from other days of the week, especially in the afternoons. Souks will certainly be quieter and many businesses will be closed.
In the evenings, however, things can get quite busy—especially in places like Jema el-Fna square in Marrakech—after prayers are over.
Before traveling to Morocco, I read lots of flowery accounts of people saying that visiting the desert in Merzouga was one of the best things they’d ever done—a once-in-a-lifetime highlight. My expectations were set very high for a magical experience.
What happened was a little more down-to-earth. Don’t get me wrong—we had a great time. The sand dunes were spectacular, and our desert camp was luxurious and exactly what we’d hope for.
The bigger medinas in Morocco have hundreds of shops, workshops, and food stands not to mention thousands of residents and visitors going about their daily lives. To say there is a lot of activity is an understatement.