Six Things You May Not Know About Traveling to Morocco
1. Morocco is a Safe Country, Even for Solo Travel
As an aspiring solo traveler, you’ll discover that there is an (over)abundance of cautionary tales on the internet. Many of these shared stories are meant to scare people out of traveling or make them feel they shouldn’t venture into foreign lands without an entire entourage of companions. Like anything else, travel advice that incites fear and foreboding should be taken with a grain of salt.
Travel in Morocco isn’t at all as scary as some people wish to make it out to be. There’s no reason to avoid traveling to the destination of your dreams because of someone else’s real or perceived bad experiences. The best way to travel to other countries and experience cultures unlike ours is to go forth with curiosity, respect, and confidence.
As with anywhere else, know that if anyone makes you uncomfortable, you can leave the situation. If you encounter pushy salespeople in the markets, for example, be firm but polite and walk away. There’s no reason you should ever feel uneasy or overly pressured under any circumstance. Instead, trust your gut instinct and confidence as a budding solo traveler!
Being aware of your surroundings is always a good idea, whether you’re in Manhattan or Morocco. Have a plan for your day, listen to your gut feelings, and be present in the moment! This is the place you’ve been longing to visit! Enjoy every single magical second of your journey!
2. Dressing Conservatively Doesn’t Mean You Have to Cover Up Completely
In fact, in many larger cities, local women dress in a modern fashion. However, this still means dressing modestly out of respect for traditional culture. Long, loose-fitting pants and skirts are preferred, but jeans are acceptable, too. As long as they aren’t skin-tight or heavily torn, you’ll be fine.
It might be best to leave your tank tops, deep, cleavage-revealing V-necks, and cropped shirts at home. Your favorite tee shirt or button-up is perfectly acceptable.
This is better not only for social purposes but also to keep your skin covered from the sun. There is no need to cover up completely, though. You may see foreigners dressed like back home anyway, but being dressed in more revealing clothes in a modest society could garner some unwanted attention. Tourist cities are welcoming places for visitors, just remember to be mindful and respectful.
3. Women Tourists Do Not Need to Cover Their Hair
There is no requirement for women tourists to cover their hair in public places. However, it is advisable to bring a scarf or two along. Early mornings and evenings can be quite chilly, no matter what time of year you are visiting. A scarf can be a lifesaver for those brisk moments without needing a bulky coat or sweater.
It’s also a lovely accessory to add a pop of color or change up your look from day to evening. And it’s nice to have along, just in case, too. If you ever need to cover your hair, you can simply drape the scarf and go about your day.
4. Morocco is a Wonderful Place to Find Your Creative (Wildlife) Muse
There’s no denying the absolute splendor that is a Moroccan landscape. There is much to do in the fabulous ancient cities, into the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains, and beyond. But did you know that Morocco is an amazing place to view and sketch birds and other wildlife? There are over 500 species of birds alone waiting to be observed here!
If you’d like your wildlife and landscape viewing to be elevated to the next level, Morocco is the place! Here you’ll see feathered beauties like the Atlas Horned Lark, endemic to the Atlas Mountains, the intriguing Northern Bald Ibis, and the lovely and elusive desert sparrow. If you enjoy lavish scenery alongside your artistic expeditions, add Morocco to your bucket list! You will not regret it!
5. Active Mosques Are Just as Beautiful From the Outside
…And you don’t have to be Muslim to enjoy them! Despite what you may have been told, Moroccan Mosques are not tourist destinations. No active mosques allow non-Muslim visitors to enter the sacred buildings.
But there’s no need to fret. There are many stunning structures and historical buildings you can visit freely. And there’s no reason you cannot admire the magnificent exterior of the mosque! So bring your sketchbook to draw and paint all of the incredible architecture that surrounds you every step of the way!
You don’t need to be disappointed, though. Tin Mal has a non-functioning mosque that allows visitors every day except Friday. It is a UNESCO site in the Atlas Mountains. So, if that destination is part of your trip, then this ancient mosque is a must-see. Just remember that it’s not fully renovated and has no roof, but it is likely the only chance you’ll have as a non-Muslim to freely view the interior of a mosque in all of Morocco.
In Casablanca, there are guided tours of the Hassan II Mosque. Still, the interior has been noted as a bit of a letdown compared to the glorious exterior.
If you must see the inside of a complete and functioning mosque in Morocco, this is the place, but it might not be all that you’ve hyped it up to be. Stick with the abundance of other magnificent architecture to fulfill your artistic and photographic dreams!
6. Morocco Is an Artist’s Dream
These curated retreats will pamper you with premium accommodations, tantalize your tastebuds with delicious food and drink, and invigorate your senses with tours to tranquil beaches and vast deserts, traditional tea ceremonies, and exciting expert-led art classes!
Whether it be within the city or in the grandeur of the desert or mountains, you’re sure to be inspired to create! Whether you’re an old hand full of a lifetime of experience or a fledgling artist just getting started, there’s no limit to the possibilities these exclusive art retreats can offer you!