5 Important Must Knows Before You Travel to Morocco in 2019

Morocco, that country so geographically close, and so far in culture, in art, in people. Traveling to Morocco by free is quite an experience, and also totally recommendable. 
From France, we are relatively close. So much so, that although we belong to two different continents, we can get here, by boat, by plane or by car. Not bad, right? Accompany me in the preparation of this trip to Morocco to get all the information and advice of this country that, surely, will not leave you indifferent. 
It is a fairly extensive country, and the time that I had was limited. So the route that we did crossed the Atlantic Coast passing through Rabat, Casablanca and El Jadida. Then we went to enjoy the beach and surf in Essaouira and Marrakech and the desert as the ultimate destination.


credits : Pixabay


1. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TRAVEL FOR FREE TO MOROCCO? 

- Passport 

According to the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you need a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months. The maximum stay allowed by tourism is 6 months, but in each period of 6 months you cannot be more than 90 days. - 

- Visa 

Spanish citizens do not need a visa if the reason for the trip is tourism. Other countries that do not need this special permit are: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru or the United States. - 

- Vaccines 

There is no mandatory vaccine to enter Morocco. If you are planning your trip to Morocco by free, you should know that there are some recommended vaccines such as Tuberculosis or Hepatitis A. But the best thing is that you go to the Ministry of Health in international travel of your Autonomous Community. - 

Medical and travel insurance 

Whenever you are going to travel abroad, especially those countries that the European Health Card does not cover, it is highly recommended, if not essential, the purchase of travel insurance. The same page of Foreign Affairs recommends the hiring of insurance before traveling. In large cities, medical centers have good specialists, often trained in Spain or France. In the case of rural areas, if hospitalization is required, they recommend doing it in the place of origin. Any of these procedures can be very expensive, so you must take out medical and travel insurance before traveling to Morocco for free.


2 - the Mondo insurer, advise you, very easy to calculate, personalized insurance and coverage of up to € 500,000 in medical expenses. In addition to many other advantages such as 24h medical consultation by WhatsApp for non-urgent cases, it is not necessary to advance any money and experts ready to answer any questions. The price they give is great . 



3 . RENT A CAR TO TRAVEL TO MOROCCO FOR FREE

As I'm sure you've already heard / read, Morocco is a good country to rent a car and do a roadtrip. The road network is mostly in good condition. Sometimes we wanting, sometimes by accident, discover another type of secondary (or tertiary) roads, with unpaved parts or sharing lanes with donkeys. But he gave us experiences that we can never forget. 

In general in the cities it is not difficult to drive. Of course, I advise against moving around Marrakech with your own vehicle. This city is a separate world and although, sure among them they understand each other, it is totally different from what we are accustomed to, and very stressful. 


As I have seen in the other websites the prices are similar, but Trocadero Car convinced us almost from the beginning. You can talk to them by email, so you can ask questions. You do not have to leave bail or credit card, the insurance is all risk without franchise and unlimited kilometers. You tell them the time and place of collection, in our case it was the Rabat airport and they come to pick you up. Right there you sign the contract and pay, in cash and in euros. I do not know to what extent he considers the legality and regulation of his business, but we were delighted and we did not have any problems. 

We rented a Ford Fiesta 4 full days, with everything included as I said before, with the extra cost of having to take the car to Rabat (as the head office is in Marrakech). The total price was € 200. If not, picking up and leaving the car at the same point, the car left at around € 26 / day. 

The day we had to deliver the car, we were summoned in the parking lot of a shopping center at the entrance to Marrakech. Still, we drove about 30 minutes on its chaotic roads. The boy arrived a little late. The problem for us was not unpunctuality, if not, having no mobile data, we could not contact them and we did not know if it was a delay or that they had forgotten about us. The driver very kind, found that the Ford Fiesta was in good condition and approached us by car to our hotel. He even telephoned the owner of the hotel where we were staying to come and pick us up. And thank goodness, because we were in the vicinity of the famous Jemaa el Fna square, and the first time there, it is not easy to get oriented.


4. THINGS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT TO TRAVEL TO MOROCCO FOR FREE

 As I said at the beginning, Morocco is very close to Spain geographically. But we differ in many things culturally speaking. I detail below things you should know or consider before traveling to Morocco by free


- Currency and change 

In Morocco they have a currency called Dirham. € 1 corresponds more or less between 10.50 or 11 dirhams. On my trip, I took money directly from the ATMs on the street with my bank card that did not charge me commissions abroad. 

It is important to know that a cashier or a store not only charges you commissions, but that they can apply different exchange rates. That is, in this case, my bank did not apply a commission, but the exchange rate was not favorable at all.

credits : Pixabay

- Clothing and climate 

When I went to Morocco, it was early December. Both because it is a coastal area (the one I visited) and because it is more to the south than Spain, Morocco's winter has milder temperatures. We could say around 15ºC. Sometimes, this temperature reached 20ºC, as in Essaouira. We stayed a couple of days in the Zagora desert, and here the night was quite cold compared to the rest of the days in other cities. So you must take this into account when making your suitcase.

- Culture and religion 

Morocco is a Confessional State whose religion is Islam. The practice of other religions is allowed but proselytizing is prohibited and persecuted. Proselytism is the effort or desire of a person or institution to convince or gain followers for a cause or doctrine. 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also cites some interesting data on "behavior". He says that it is convenient to know that, according to the current legislation, homosexual relations can be subject to criminal prosecution. 
He also advises dressing with discretion so as not to attract attention. I do not think there is any problem in the way of dressing but it is true that. as everywhere, the less tourists we seem (though we are) the less chance of having a setback. 
The followers of Islam, are not allowed to drink alcohol, so it will be quite difficult to find. Eye, it is not forbidden and they sell it in some places. It is not necessary to hide. We found beer in a hotel bar, in a separate area of a large commercial area and in a nightly pub / cocktail bar in Marrakech.

credits : Pixabay

- Bargaining 

As in many countries, bargaining in Morocco is another form of trade. In fact it is his way. There are people who say that if you do not bargain with them, they may feel offended. The truth is I do not think so, but good. The cost of living in Morocco is somewhat lower than in Spain. As in many places, tourist areas are more expensive. You can haggle in souvenir shops, some food or craft products (not supermarkets or restaurants). If you are going to hire a tour, or local guide, you can negotiate the price as well.

Those who are not used to doing it, haggling is an ordeal. Sometimes, the price is so cheap that we do not think it's worth negotiating. However, other times the prices are so high that we can even feel cheated, and we must bargain for the price. This happens in the souvenir stalls of the squares of the cities. For example in Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech, which as you can imagine, is one of the most tourist sites in the country, if not the most.


5. EAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO TRAVEL TO MOROCCO FOR FREE 

As I have made clear more than once, eating is one of my greatest pleasures. And that's why, when I travel I try to "research" a bit about the local cuisine and have the best places to eat. 
In the post of Where to eat in Morocco? I told you about the restaurants where we had dinner every day and what we ordered in each city we visited. A personal recommendation is that if breakfast is available in the hotels where you go, take advantage of it and include it, because it is very worthwhile. They are homemade products, well made and flavors different from our traditional breakfasts. The most typical dishes are couscous and tajin. Both dishes are usually accompanied by meat and vegetables. You will find accompanying the typical Moroccan bread that tends to be a bit sweet. You can also taste the "pills", which is a hamburger-shaped dough stuffed with spiced meat. All dishes absolutely tasty and delicious. This post is a summary of the tips you should know before traveling to Morocco for free, although I'm sure you'll leave me something or you still have questions. You can write me down in the comments.



credits : Pixabay