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Morocco uses the dirham (DH), currently trading at 11 per Euro, 13 per pound and 9 to the dollar approximately. It is not allowed to bring in or take out Dirhams from Morocco, so you have to change money once here and spend everything before you leave.
Where to change money
In Banks, airports or hotels, although the latter will give a worse rate. We suggest you change in the airport. It is safe and comfortable or use ATMs, although your bank may charge commission.
Accepted in major cities, in malls, supermarkets and hotels, but otherwise Morocco is a cash economy. As mentioned, there are ATMs which give out Dirhams in big cities.
The art of bargaining
Bargaining is an art that not everyone is capable of mastering, however the key is to know what you are prepared to pay, not show too much interest and be clear on what you believe is a fair price. But we must not overdo it either by offering a pittance. Otherwise the merchant may take offence. We all know that nothing comes free and local arts and crafts may well have had a lot of work go into them, so a derisory offer may well hurt local pride.
A valid passport is required for a stay of up to 90 days and EU, Swiss and Canadian citizens do not need a visa. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the time your trip ends.
Embassies and consulates
We recommend you note down the address of your embassy/consulate and make a copy of the photo page of your passport just in case of loss.
Consular emergency phone
It is an emergency line that is available 24 hours a day, exclusively for those citizens who are in emergency situation in Morocco (accidents, robberies, border hold ups, hospitalizations, conflicts violence, etc.). Consular emergency phone Marrakesh from Morocco:
UK: +212 537633333 or 05376 33333 using a Moroccan SIM card
US: +212 661131939or 0661131939 using a Moroccan SIM card
Canada: +212 537544949or 05375 44949 using a Moroccan SIM card
Australia: +61 2 6261 3305 or +61 421 269 080 (Consular hotline) o UK number extension 6
New Zealand: +34 915 230 226 (Embassy in Spain which handles consular affairs for NZ)
You must fill in the arrival document that the Moroccan authorities require upon entering and leaving the country. Normally, on the plane, the hostesses hand out the document to the passengers.
What do you need to know before you catch your flight?
At the airports of Morocco, you must arrive ideally 3 hours in advance, as you will have to pass numerous police/immigration checks with queues.
Arabic is the official language of Morocco, with French having co-official status, although there are many Berber and Arab dialects. In areas which receive visitors, many speak English and/or Spanish.
Health and hygiene
When travelling we change our routines and are often more susceptible to infection as we adapt to change. To make sure we all keep well, it is best to wash your hands frequently, drink a lot of mineral water, avoid ice cubes etc. Most stomach upsets stem from poorly cooked, kept or washed food or water.
What toiletries and medicines should you bring?
Sun block, insect repellent, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, Fortasec or similar for diarrhoea, and Urbason if you suffer from allergies.
The Moroccan cuisine is made thinking with sharing and enjoying in mind, whether by the family or accompanied by friends, around the table and together.
The essence of gastronomy is based on spices, vegetables, meats and the constant blend of sweet and savoury and in the blog, there are some examples, although the national dish is the tajine.
What is a riad?
Tucked away in the alleys of the medina, Marrakesh conceals true architectural treasures; the riads.
The word in Arabic means Eden, a garden that surrounds the house, whose rooms are distributed around an inner courtyard, and the centre usually highlights a fountain, where ornamental plants, palm trees and orange trees abound.
Generally, the riads have 5 to 6 rooms, distributed over two floors maximum; each room is decorated with exquisite taste.
The last floor, is used as a terrace, an ideal place to dine or have breakfast.
For your peace of mind, we strongly suggest you take out at least basic travel insurance, even though you may be on just a day excursion out of Marrakesh.
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