Morocco is known for many things. It is famous for its food, its culture, and history. Morocco is also known for its people. Today, many people want to visit Morocco, especially Marrakech. If you don’t know much about Morocco then this is a great place to start. These are 10 interesting, unique, and significant things that you need to know about Morocco!
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Due to the current health situation, there might be travel restrictions for visitors to Morocco. Make sure to check regularly for changing travel guidelines on the government websites. You can also take a look at Flatten the Curve website for information on travel restrictions about Morocco.
1. Marrakech, Morocco’s Red City
The city of Marrakech is one of the most iconic cities in the world. It is clearly the ambassador of Morocco. One cannot truly experience Morocco without visiting Marrakech. This city is among the oldest and famous cities in Morocco. It was inhabited by Amazigh tribes for centuries and it was known as a place of trade and gained prominence due to its strategic location, linking the trade routes of South-West Africa and the Northern Mediterranean coastal belt.
Still, we can only assume that there was more to this city. Something so special that the mighty Almoravid Empire chose Marrakech as its imperial capital in the 11th century. This is when the Almoravids really put Marrakech on the map. As a capital, it became a glorious center of education, trade, and prosperity. Due to the Almoravid dominance in Al Andalus, or Muslim Spain, Marrakech also benefitted from the technological and cultural advancement that came out of Spain.
As time went on, Marrakech would continue to be of importance for several religious, cultural, and political reasons. Today, Marrakech is a symbol of all those 100s of years of trade, conquest, cultural exchange, and the list goes on. Every street, alley palace, mosque, and Riad have a story to tell. While Marrakech is no longer a capital it still retains its imperial charm and historical significance, which lives on. No one can really pinpoint what keeps people attracted to Marrakech. It is just one of those places that people are naturally attracted to.
Love it or hate it, Marrakech is here to stay.
Read More | Marrakech Morocco, Top Things to Do
2. Hassan II Mosque, Morocco’s Biggest Mosque
Morocco is known for Hassan II mosque. The Hassan II Grand Mosque in Casablanca is the 2nd largest mosque in Africa and the 7th largest in the world. Pictures really do not do justice to the immense, dominating presence of this humongous mosque. It stands above the Atlantic Ocean, solid like a rock. The entire complex covers a serious 9 hectares and can accommodate at least 105000 worshippers. The design and architecture are of course top-notch. It was made to be the mosque that everyone in Morocco would look up to and they really have to, literally. Its iconic square tower is one of the world’s tallest minarets, standing at a height of 210 meters.
It is a timeless work of art, showcasing a blend of Islamic architecture from different Moroccan periods and influences while also remaining contemporary. The interior is meticulously decorated with marble, wood, mosaics, and the best of what Morocco has to offer. The construction reigned in all of the best artisans from all over the country, needed to complete this ambitious project.
3. Couscous, Morocco’s National Dish
In addition to having a strange sounding name, couscous is a staple food in North Africa. It is said to have become popular in the region of Morocco and Algeria around the 11th centurey but there are historical traces that suggest that is was consumed by the Amazigh peoples even centuries before then. What we do know is that Morocco is considered as the undisputed home of couscous.
Couscous is a common dish served on Friday for lunch with a variety of veggies and meat. It is especially useful since rice is not commonly eaten in Morocco.
4. Tagine, Morocco’s Signature
The tagine is the name given to both the cone-shaped cooking utensil and the meal itself. An iconic meal that Morocco is well known for Morocco, it is the daily dish of rich and poor alike in Morocco. The tagine pot consists of a bottom plate and a rather big, cone-hat-shaped lid. Both parts are made of baked clay.
The food tagine is basically the meal that is cooked in the tagine pot. However, as I have come to learn the hard way, cooking the Tagine is an art. One cannot just throw together anything and cook it in a tagine. The tagine is especially good for cooking tender, saucy meat with vegetables.
Read More | 30 Best Foods to Try in Morocco
5. Mint Tea, Morocco’s Whisky
Many know of the refreshing hot drink, Moroccan mint tea. This drink is the combination of Chnese green gunpowder tea and fresh mint leaves. It is argued that Moroccans were the first to add mint to tea. In Morocco, tea is the first thing you drink when you get up and the last thing you sip before you go to bed, and many cups are enjoyed in betweeen. Moroccans are tea crazy, outdone only by the Turks, those guys are on anothe level.
This obsession with tea, which only became mainstream in Morocco in the 19th century, quickly became cemented in the local culture. If that still hasn’t got you convinced that you need to be drinking Moroccan mint tea, perhaps you would be interested to know that green tea and mint have several health benefits and should be a part of your daily diet. If you would like to know more about Moroccan mint tea and the secret to making the perfect cup.
Read More | Moroccan Mint Tea Guide & Recipe.
6. Argan Oil, Morocco’s Liquid Gold
Coming all the way to Morocco and not buying the Argan oil would be a huge mistake. Morococo is known for Aragn oil production, a treasured oil that is called by many the liquid gold for its uncounted benefits. The pure Moroccan argan oil is used for hair, skin and even cooking. If you have dry hair and skin go no further than a few bottles of this magical oil. Unfortunately, Argan oil is very rare and hard to produce, thats why its pure form is quite pricey.
Read More | Try these 7 Beauty Products of Morocco
7. Sahara Desert, Morocco’s Treasure
A large portion of Morocco comprises the Sahara desert, which is the largest and hottest desert in the entire world. It covers the whole of North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt. This cruel and unforgiving landscape has been home to several tribes over the ages, forming a diverse culture. The Sahara has previously been inhabited by Toureg, Amazigh, and even Arab tribes. Historically, the Almoravids originated from the shadows of the Saharah. They later formed the Almoravid dynasty, a highly influential movement, one that transformed Morocco into a regional force.
8. Chefchaouen, Morocco’s Blue Pearl
I’m sure you’ve come across pictures of the blueish town in Morocco. That’s Chefchaouen, the blue city that Morocco is known for. Chefchaouen also called Chaouen is a small city nestled in the Rif mountains. It is famous among tourists for its blue-washed buildings, narrow streets, and laid-back vibes. Chefchaouen is absolutely one of my favorite cities in Morocco.
Read More | Meet The Blue Pearl of Morocco, Chefchaouen
9. Leather Tanneries, Morocco’s History
Leather Tanneries and leather production are some of the many things that Morocco is best known for. Located in the imperial city of Fez, Chouara tannery is the largest and one of the oldest in Morocco. The process of producing leather in these old-fashioned tanneries is arduous, tedious, and stenchy but the outcome is always a beautiful handmade leather souvenir to buy from Morocco.
10. Hammam Spa, Morocco’s Tradition
Morocco is well known for Hammam spa. Similar to the Turkish Hammam, the Moroccan Hammam is a steamed room where Moroccans go on a weekly basis and spend a few hours to deep-clean themselves. However, now the Moroccan Hammam has become more of a cultural experience among tourists due to its popularity. The rituals and treatments during a Moroccan Hammam vary from place to another but in overall they will include steaming, scurbing, skin masks, massages.