Hints, Tips & Essential Practical Information

Marrakech is also known as Morocco's "Pink City", “Rose City” or “Red City”
Marrakech, the jewel of Morocco, has been the epicentre of culture and trade for many ages. It can be incredibly overwhelming, and whilst you can visit without any prior knowledge, we would like to provide you with some hints, tips and practical information about the beautiful city and hoping to make your visit all that more enjoyable.


Flight Time
3hrs 40mins (from London Airports)
There are a large number of low-cost flights now from most of the UK airports to various cities in Morocco. With the short flight time you are there before you know it. There are direct flights on airlines such as easyJet, Tui Airways and British Airways to, Marrakesh from UK airports, and Royal Air Maroc operates direct flights to Casablanca from Manchester and London Heathrow.
Below you can find a list of alternative airports to Marrakech (RAK). The nearest airports to Marrakech (RAK) are Ouarzazate (OZZ) and Essaouira (ESU).
OZZ - Ouarzazate, Morocco 81 mi / 130 km

ESU - Essaouira, Morocco  98 mi / 158 km

BEM - Beni Mellal, Morocco 114 mi / 184 km

AGA - Agadir, Morocco 121 mi / 194 km

CMN - Casablanca, Morocco 124 mi / 200 km






Entering the Kingdom of Morocco

Visa Requirement
For UK passport holders, no visa is required to enter Morocco.


As long as you are not planning to stay more than three months then a visa is not necessary for British, Irish, US and Canadian citizens, just a passport that is valid for the length of your stay. (If you’re not a citizen of these countries please check with the Moroccan consulate or your government’s foreign office).
You will be given your visa stamp at passport control. Make sure you get your passport stamped when you enter Morocco or you may encounter problems when you try to leave. Please ensure that you have the details of where you are going to stay and the purpose of your trip to hand.
Should you wish to stay longer than three months then you’ll need to apply for an extension, which can be done at the local police station.

Language in Morocco

Many languages are spoken in Morocco


The main languages of Morocco are Moroccan Arabic (which is quite distinctive from Classical Arabic and the Arabic spoken in much of the rest of the Arab world), Berber (there are a number of Berber dialects spoken, all being derived from the main Amazigh language), and French.
English is spoken, but not that widely, and unlikely not outside of the main cities, but most people will speak a few words, for getting along on a day-to-day basis. French is very helpful unless you happen to speak Moroccan Arabic or Amazigh!
List of some of the main languages are
Moroccan Arabic
This is the official language of Morocco. Though it is somewhat different from most other types of Arabic, most Moroccans can understand conventional Arabic.
Standard Arabic
Most Moroccans can understand this form of Arabic which is spoken and written much throughout the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. Most Arabic television programs are in this form of Arabic.
Due to the post colonisation of Morocco by France.
Over 20 000 people in Morocco are capable of speaking Spanish. Besides being only a short distance away, Spain also acted as a protectorate of Morocco for a while after 1912. This resulted in Spanish influence in culture and language.
3 to 4 million of the people of Morocco speak this form of Berber.
Central Atlas Tamazight 
This is also spoken by roughly 3 million of the inhabitants of Morocco. It is a dialect of Berber.

Handy Words & Phrases

Embrace the surroundings
A little goes a long way..


A little effort to speak the local language goes a long way so here are some useful phrases to help you on your way:
  • Labass – How are you?
  • As-salaam Alaykum – literally means peace be with you, but is used as a ‘hello’.
  • The correct response is Wa Alaykum As-salaam
  • Beslama – Good bye
  • Iyah – Yes
  • Lla – No
  • Ma’arft – I don’t know/I’m not sure
  • Kayen – Do you have?
  • Jiblia – can I have / give me
  • Afek – Please
  • Shukran – Thank you
  • La deed – Delicious
  • Rally bizef – Too expensive (a good one to remember when bartering!)
  • Shwiya – little (small amount)
  • Attay – Mint Tea
  • Atini – I would like
Also there is always google translate


Doctor in the house
As we’re not medical experts we feel it is essential you contact your G.P. regarding vaccinations and the like for travel to Morocco.


No additional vaccines are required to visit Morocco, though you should make sure all your routine courses and boosters are up-to-date. There are no certificate requirements under International Health Regulations (2005).
There are numerous pharmacies in Morocco, though it is advised that you get a prescription from your doctor before you leave if you need regular medication. If you feel ill but don’t think it’s serious enough for a hospital, visit a pharmacist will usually be able to help you, and recommend a doctor. As always, ensure you carry details of your travel insurance and any medical information with you.

Money & Tipping

The "Moroccan Dirham (MAD)"
Is the currency of Morocco, it is  a closed currency so in most cases, you are not able to get money in your home country; nor can you exchange it back so make sure to do this before you leave Morocco.


Remember the flavour of choice in Morocco is "cash".
Most hotels accept credit and debit cards, but many shops and restaurants do not, so you will need some cash which is a preferred method of payment.
ATMs are readily available in towns and cities of almost any size - just ask your driver to find one for you. It’s easy to purchase your cash in Morocco from a local bureau de change (plenty at the airports), bank, or use an ATM. Many hotels also offer this service. Exchanging money in the street is illegal however, so please avoid these unofficial schemes.
It is a good idea to keep your receipt when buying dirhams as you will need it to convert any remaining dirhams to your local currency before you leave. Please be aware – you will not be able to change Scottish or Northern Ireland bank notes and it is also very difficult to exchange travellers’ cheques.
Tipping is ubiquitous and expected for almost any service rendered. As well as the usual 10-15% in restaurants and cafés, tips will be anticipated by porters, drivers, guides, shoe shiners, vendors, and so on. Try to keep a stash of small Moroccan coins (exchange as many as you can early in the trip - enlist your drivers help in this) to give out for the inconsequential services.
We will give you guidelines on how much to tip drivers and service vendors before you leave for your holiday.

Haggling, Bargaining, Barter

Let the game begin....
Its part of the culture and locals expect it.
Haggling is an integral part of the shopping experience in Morocco, especially in the souks. There’s no hard and fast rule as to what price you should eventually settle on given the initial price asked – but you should never accept that first price! Start at 20% of the asking price and work your way to a compromise with the seller. Consider what it is you want to buy, decide how much you’d be happy to pay for it, and walk away if the vendor won’t come down to that price.
It is a game, don’t get highly offended if someone offers you something at ten times its value, make a counter bid! It’s the way business is done and there are numerous tactics both sides can employ.
Here are some of our favourite haggling tactics:
1) Always take your time and don’t be rushed into anything.
2) Play it cool. When you see something you want, pretend you can take it or leave it, even if your inner consumer is screaming “Buy it, buy it, buy it NOW!” If the vendor knows how much you want something they’ll have the advantage.
3) It’s a big souk, let the vendor know that you can get the same item far cheaper at a different stall.
4) Generally speaking, you should go in with a bid that is a third to a half less than the merchant’s opening offer. You’ll probably get laughed at but let that (fake) derision grid your bargaining loins and get stuck in!
5) Don’t fall for any X Factor-style sob stories. No vendor will ever sell you anything if they’re not making a profit, it’s another selling tactic.
6) As the customer you have the ultimate power – the ability to walk away. Best used as a last resort, this is something you have to commit to, there’s no going back. But if the price is wrong and the vendor isn’t shifting, it’s time to go. If they are serious about selling it to you then they will follow you across the souk and reduce the price to complete the sale. If they don’t, then all you’ve missed out on is being overcharged.
7) Most importantly....HAVE FUN

Dress Code

Clothing is a must
It's hot but clothing is a must!
Morocco is a relatively conservative Islamic country, but is liberalising.
Please note that during your visit, If you’re visiting any religious monuments it’s polite to cover arms and legs, especially for women.
Almost everywhere else, shorts and t-shirts will be acceptable. Going topless, for men (except by the pool / beach) and women would be considered very insensitive and should be avoided.
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