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Since before Humphrey Bogart made the small country of Morocco famous in the movie Casablanca people have been travelling there to experience the food, history and culture. Even though the movie was not filmed in Morocco, it has built a romanticism of this North African country that just won't go away. Morocco is located on the upper western part of Africa, just south of Spain, and is bordered by Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south. Morocco holds nearly 1,140 miles of gorgeous deep-blue ocean water and sugary white sandy beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea. Morocco also hosts a rich culture of history and cuisine that has been developing for nearly 8,000 years.
From working in the travel industry for years I have had many chances to experience just a fraction of everything Morocco has to offer. If you are planning to travel to Morocco there are a few things that you must know to make the trip a success.
Getting into Morocco is easy if you are from one of the pre-authorized countries such as The United States, Canada, England or The European Union to name a few. When you get to Morocco they will stamp your passport which gives you 90 days to explore the country. Your passport must be good for at least six months after the date that you enter. Morocco is a Muslim country so please be respectful of their laws and customs. A few things to think about before you go are that women should dress conservatively and not show off too much skin. This will help you blend in and avoid any uncomfortable situations. Also, homosexuality is considered a crime in this part of the world and can get gay travellers into a bit of trouble if there is too many public displays of affection. However, it is common to see men holding hands in Muslim countries. It is considered a sign of friendship and draws less attention there than in other parts of the world.
If you have to experience Moroccan food in The United States or Europe and though it was good just wait until you make it to the "real deal". Because of Morocco's location, they have been developing some of the most diversified culinary marvels in the world. The culinary arts have been influenced by African, Mediterranean, Spanish and European foods and flavours for centuries giving them a style all their own. As you stroll through the cities and towns you will find new and amazing food around every corner. When eating out and about the main thing to keep in mind is to watch where you get your water. Most of the people that live there are immune to the water and the government is improving water supplies however as a foreigner your body may not be accustomed to the potential bacteria. Bottled water is always your best bet.
The art and the historical sites are too many to mention here but don't worry, as you plan your trip to Morocco you will find more things to keep you busy than you can keep up with. If you're visiting one of the larger cities such as Marrakech or Casablanca and it's in your budget I recommend hiring a full-time guide to show you around. These cities are large and noisy and hectic. As you go around you will experience sensory-overload with the salespeople, snake charmers and fire jugglers. If in Marrakech one of the most coveted places to stay is a riad, which is basically a hotel with a central courtyard; they are a nice quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When packing for your trip to Morocco you will want to throw in the usual items plus a few not so normal items. Because of the water issues, it's always smart to take an anti-diarrhoea medicine, like Imodium and water treatment tablets or a good water filter if you are in places that don't sell bottled water.
Just remember to be safe and respectful and you should have a great time in the truly unique country of Morocco.