Beginners Guide To Morocco
Tantalising smells, an array of colour, a country of contrasting cultures and a favourable climate – Morocco is a truly wonderful place to visit. Immersing ourselves in new environments is what travel is all about, and with so many things to do and see, Morocco fits the bill perfectly.
So what do we know about Morocco? The land of couscous and tagine, trundling camels and bustling cities will amaze you. With a true blend of Arabian, Berber and European culture across the country, Morocco is a melting pot, to say the least. Part of North Africa by its own standards, Morocco is seen as cosmopolitan, yet to us is somewhere still perceived as mysterious and somewhat ancient. Despite this unknown perception, travelling Morocco is generally safe and welcoming for travellers.
On every corner exists something new and exotic in North Africa's most contrasting country. Here are the top things to do in Morocco.
Casablanca is one of the better-known cities of Morocco, typically due to the famous Hollywood movie of its namesake. Yet Casablanca has an underrated status. Visit Rick's Café just like in the movie for some food and drinks, but there are many other local places to try. The Old Medina is great for a daytime stroll through its winding streets there are plenty of fruit carts and mysterious doors. A good tip is to try some local and authentic Morocco street food where you can get tagine here for under $3AUD. With the largest mosque in the country, Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca holds its own culturally too. Casablanca isn’t as bustling as other Moroccan cities but it’s certainly one to enjoy.
If one Morocco city get’s all the limelight, Marrakesh is it. Bustling, cosmopolitan, intriguing and delicious all come to mind in Marrakesh. With an array of palaces, mosques, gardens and markets, Marrakesh has something for all. Moroccan food is the best here, and the options are seemingly unlimited at Jemma el-Fna square and marketplace. Marrakesh is a place where true haggling exists and is part of the culture here. If anywhere in Morocco is to meet your expectations about traditional city sub-urban life then Marrakesh is the place.
If you like to venture ‘off the beaten track’ then heading to the High Atlas Mountains will be right up your alley. The Atlas Mountains are eerily empty it seems, with rows of brown, pink and orange mountains that you’ll not want to take your eyes off. Staying with locals is a perfect way to feel totally immersed in the local village and mountain life. Pass by donkeys at work, walk by flowing streams and hike into the distance as you get to know the outer interior of Morocco.
Fes is the oldest city and has its very own Bali; Fes-el-Bali that is, the larger of Morocco's oldest Medina. Wander through the fabric market of the Medina and see how the dye is created to produce historical Moroccan fabric and clothing – whilst everything from carpet stores to golden antiques are available behind these walls. Fes, a World Heritage Site, is also home to the world's oldest continually running university, another must see in this fascinating Moroccan city.
Chefchaouen is many a traveller’s favourite stop on a Morocco tour. Vivid blue doors and curving village streets, the place is mesmerising, to say the least. You’ll find yourself taking a photo of anything and everything, wondering what lays down each street you glance down. Not only is Chefchaouen stunning there are then these towering mountains that surround the town and add to its awe. Chefchaouen is a place you want to get lost in.