This article is comprehensive enough to guide you during your trip to Morocco. It will be of great help to you to enjoy an unforgettable stay in North Africa. Infra, I give you a little insight on transport, security and food in Morocco. I will also be sure to recommend the cities that you should definitely visit.
Traveling involves a lot of travel. This section will give you a general idea of the means of transport in Morocco, in this case small taxis, large taxis, train, plane, car rental …
Small taxis in medium and large cities use meters. The minimum payable is generally set at 7 Dirhams (DH) (= $ 1). A 4 km trip will cost you around 20 DH (= $ 2), more or less, depending on the traffic. In this article I will be using the US Dollar to give you an approximate price.
Small taxis have different colors, depending on the city. Ex: Small taxis in Casablanca are red. Small taxis in Rabat are blue.
Small taxis in Morocco cannot embark more than 3 people per car. If you are more than 3 people you would be forced to separate.
The service is generally not too luxurious but very adequate.
The company that operates on the railways is the ONCF (Office National des Chemins de Fer).
It is not necessary to book a train ticket in advance, you can go directly to a train station to buy the ticket on site, but you have to visit the site http://www.oncf.ma/pages/accueil.aspx to check train departure and arrival times. Plan for delays!
If you visit the ONCF site, in the Products and Services section, you will find interesting packs, as an illustration a travel card for Tourism travelers (discovery trips, escape, hiking, MRE and foreign tourists … ). Cards called: – RAIL PASS – WEEK END card – Group travel… This service will cost you less and will allow you to avoid queues at certain train stations.
A high-speed TGV train connecting the northern city of Tangier to Kenitra is already operational. Casablanca -Tanger, a 350 km trip in just over 2 hours.
It is also convenient to travel by plane if the journey is far. For example from the North of the country (City of TANGIER or surroundings…) to the South of the country (City of EDDAKHLA and surroundings…).
However, to get to the airport, located a bit far from city centers, the grand taxi is usually the only solution. Except for Mohamed V airport in Casablanca, which has a train station in the basement of Terminal 1. Large taxis are in most cases white in color. A trip to the airport will cost you 300 Dh, or $ 30. A large taxi can take up to 5 people.
The main aviation company in Morocco is RAM (Royal Air Maroc) https://www.royalairmaroc.com/ma-fr. It is always better to buy tickets directly on the company’s website or at RAM agencies.
It is possible to take the coach for travel from town to town. Luxury coaches like STCR http://www.stcr.ma/ and CTM http://www.ctm.ma/.
You can rent a car, either by going directly to a rental car agency, a travel agency or online.
I just visited this comparator on the Internet http://www.liligo.fr/location-voiture-maroc.html. Renting a small gasoline car costs $ 10 / day. But generally the price goes from $ 15.
A typical Hyundai i10 car will cost you $ 20 to $ 30 per day. A large SUV SUV like the Volkswagen Touareg can cost up to $ 150 a day.
However, if you rent a car and drive yourself, be aware of the speed limits. In motorways in Morocco, the maximum speed is limited to 120 km / h. 80 km / h or 100 km / h in national roads. In the city, the speed varies from 50 to 60 km / h. If you have a problem on the freeways, call 5050. Ask the rental car agency for the numbers you need for assistance.
Above all, watch out for pedestrians who can cross the road any way. Don’t pay too much attention to those honking behind you. Be careful when parking in prohibited areas. We can put a yellow shoe in the wheel to block the car. The procedure can be a bit long. Always call the car rental agency for assistance.
It is very dangerous to break down on an isolated road at night, especially if it is a national road and not a highway. If assistance is slow to arrive, leave the car and wait in a safe place: cafe, hotel, gas station …
Usually, car rental companies ask for a guarantee of $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 before they sell the car to you.
If you commit an offense, the trial price goes from 300 Dh ($ 30).
If you have never driven in Morocco or a similar country. The possibility of renting a car with driver is also considerable.
The cash in Morocco
Cash in Morocco is the most used means of payment. However, in large shops, malls, supermarkets, your bank card can do business. But it is necessarily very important to always have cash on you in Dirhams.
If you have dollars to convert, it is better to go to a bureau de change than to a bank. The exchange rate in a bureau de change is much better than in banks. the hotels and bazaars generally located in the old Medinas can also make you the change but beware! Double check the banknotes and the exchange rate. Always take your time to properly count your money in front of the manager and put your money in a safe place before leaving the store.
Some sellers are not honest, they will charge too high a price because you are a foreigner. You must always negotiate even if the prices are displayed.
Security in Morocco is not lacking. However, it is best not to wander the secluded streets at late hours of the night.
You must always take care of your belongings, your luggage when you drop them somewhere far from you. They are in danger of being stolen. I can exaggerate a bit but the important thing is to always be careful. When an incident occurs, the procedures for appealing to the police and security services are lengthy and sometimes inefficient.
Here are the emergency numbers in Morocco:
- Firefighters: 150
- Police: 190
- Gendarmerie: 177 (equivalent to police in rural areas)
- Ambulance: 150
- Morocco Assistance: 0522 30 30 30
The food in Morocco
Morocco is an agricultural country although government efforts tend to industrialize it.
You can go to supermarkets such as MARJANE, CARREFOUR MARKET, ACIMA, LABEL VIE, BIM … to buy everything you need. You can also go to traditional souks to find more choices of fruits and vegetables. These places are popular. Which means you have to watch out for prices and petty theft.
The restaurants also offer attractive prices. There really is nothing to worry about with the food. The food is good and not expensive at all.
You can also go to pastry shops to taste the Moroccan cakes and petit fours. French and Italian pastry is also present.
The most popular dishes in Morocco are: couscous, Tajine, Tanjia, Pastilla. Olive oil, bread, and mint tea are ubiquitous.
The cities to visit
In Morocco, I like to visit the most traditional and authentic places. That’s why I also prefer to stay in Riads.
The city of Casablanca
It is the economic capital of Morocco. The cost of living is a bit higher compared to small towns. In Casablanca, you can visit Africa’s largest mosque, the incredible Hassan II Mosque, built on the Atlantic Ocean coast. But other than the markets and the mosque, there isn’t much to see. In my opinion, if for a matter of time or budget, you have to remove a city from your itinerary, it will be Casablanca. You can still plan a day trip from Marrakech, around 2.5 hours by train.
The city of Rabat
Rabat is the administrative capital of Morocco. It is a very clean and well-appointed city. The police are everywhere and the streets are safe. Rabat is a very beautiful city which mixes between modernity and traditional. Many places of interest such as the Hassan Tower, the Kasbah des Oudayas and others …
The city of Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is located in the North of Morocco. It is called the blue city, a very small town entirely blue. Many people visit the city as part of an excursion from Fez. The journey from Fez to Chefchaouen lasts around 4 hours by coach. Explore the central square and walk to the Spanish Mosque. You will admire the amazing view of the city and the blue streets are really adorable.
The city of Ifrane
Ifrane, called the European city or Little Switzerland, is one of the cleanest cities in the world. It is cold there during the winter and it snows a lot. The temperature in this city in the month of December varies from -5 ° C to 10 ° C. If you’re used to the cold, western architecture, and attic houses, I don’t think Ifrane is your destination.
The city of Fes
The spiritual capital of Morocco is home to the Kingdom’s famous smelly tanneries. Fez is a must-see destination! Take the hour-long flight from Marrakech, or else it’s a journey of around 7 hours by train. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of streets of the old medina. Visit the Chouara tannery and admire the authentic architecture of the Al Attarine or Bou Inania madrasas.
Here is a detailed article on the city of – Fez –
And heading south, Marrakech, Essaouira, Ouarzazate …
The city of Marrakech
Marrakech, the ocher city, you will admire the Jamaa El Fna square which does not sleep. Day and night, you will find snacks everywhere and street performers …
Marrakech is indeed my favorite stop. It’s colorful and crazy, beautiful bustling markets and amazing architecture. The souks are filled with spices and lanterns. Don’t miss the tagine and tanjia (a spicy stew cooked in a clay pot). Then relax in a SPA hammam and stay in a riad.
The city of Essaouira
If you think you are exhausted by the heat of Marrakech, plan a day in this seaside town. About 2.5 hours by car or 3 hours by coach you will relax on the beach. You can also take a walk in the medina. In the fish markets, do not miss the fresh and delicious seafood. You can also visit the Skala du Port, known to be a film location.
The SAHARA desert
The desert is about 10 hours drive from Marrakech. If you plan to drive, be aware that there are dangerous bends like the Tizi n’Tichka, spread over about fifty kilometers, very beautiful to contemplate but vertiginous.
In case, you don’t have enough time to go to the desert, visit the Agafay desert, just 1 hour from Marrakech. Granted, it is a rocky desert, not a sandy desert, but it remains beautiful and all activities are permitted including glamping.
In the city of Ouarzazate, the Kasbah of Tifoultoute, the gorges of Dades and the Cinema museum are unmissable.
In the desert, there are travel agencies that will rent you 4×4 SUV cars and now is the time to get your revenge. It’s your turn to have fun driving your SUV on the golden sands.
The Sahara Desert is pure magic. Wake up early to admire the sunrise from the dunes. If you can’t wake up, the sunset is also one of the best times of your life. If you are going in a group, go glamping and spend your night in the middle of the desert in a pleasant luxury tent with king-size beds. You will get there by camel. At night, it’s an evening of Berber dancing. Have fun and watch the stars. They seem very close. It’s incredible !
You don’t have to worry about the weather in Morocco, even if it’s cold, it’s sunny and the weather is nice. The month of October is also a good choice. It’s not high season, not a lot of people and the weather is still good.
You will make your choice depending on the quality / price ratio. Don’t go for the cheapest deals because there are some travel agencies that will guide you to specific restaurants or shopping spots to get you to buy. In my opinion, if you select an offer, it is better if it is full board.
You can also go to Spain. It’s very close! You can cross from the city of Tangier by FERRY or take a low-cost plane with airlines such as Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, jetcost…