Ten Things I Loved and Hated About Morocco

Just back from Morocco a few days ago and reflecting on my time there. Earlier this year, I set a goal to visit at least two African countries this year and a visit to Morocco means I am only halfway through my goal.

No travel is perfect and Morocco came with its fair share of ups and downs – but it all made for a great and memorable experience in the end. – Ufuoma

At the Sahara Desert in Merzouga
Morocco came with its ups and downs but will I still recommend it? Absolutely. Here are some things I loved and hated about the country.

First, the great part. Five things I loved.

Morocco is an experience. If you are looking for rich and distinct culture, breathtaking views, great hospitality and energy, Morocco is the one.

1.) I loved the incredibly rich culture

Thoughts: “This is nothing like I have seen before!”

A Moroccan woman hard at work making argan oil

I like to refer to myself as a “culture junkie”. I am really drawn to countries that offer something unique in terms of culture – way of life, food, language and Morocco is THAT country. The culture, people, and food, I will probably not have access to authentically anywhere else in the world. This was my favorite part about Morocco.

2.) The unique and stunning architecture and attention to detail

Thoughts: “I can’t believe how detailed this place is!”

La Mamounia, Marrakech

Morocco’s architecture and attention to detail is like none I have ever seen before. Every detail is intricate, every architecture is stunning. I also particularly loved how well maintained it all was, especially because most of those buildings have been in existence for decades on end. If you want to see unique architecture, Morocco is the place to be!

3.) The wide selection of restaurant options

Thoughts: “I can’t decide. Where do we go to eat? So many options!”

La Trattoria restaurant

Sometimes when I travel, I have to put an incredible amount of effort in finding good restaurant options. Not in Morocco! Morocco is like a foodie’s heaven; there are so many great restaurants and the prices aren’t bad either. Whether you want authentic Moroccan food, Lebanese food, Italian food or even Thai food, Morocco has you covered!

4.) Shopping, shopping, shopping

Thoughts: “I hope I don’t regret these purchases when I get home!”

Handmade bags on display in Chefchaouen

While I don’t like to go ham with shopping while abroad, Morocco shook that principle a little bit. There’s lots to buy because they have such unique pieces that you will want to take home with you. I am talking spices, authentic essential oils, fabrics, leather goods, rugs, ceramic bowls, and so on. While I loved this aspect of Morocco, my bank account certainly didn’t.

5.) The hospitality and the people

Thoughts: “These people are so nice and warm. What do they really want from me?”

Served mint tea at the Berber village

This might be two-fold but Moroccans offer very great hospitality and are kind, warm people. I didn’t experience any harassment and this may be because I went during ramadan which was a “holy month”, or I didn’t go too deep into the medinas. However, I did experience great hospitality and kindness from the moroccans.

Now, to the not-so-great part. Five things I hated.

Hate is such a strong word but for the context of this article, let’s take it with a grain of salt.

If you like a more relaxing vacation, often get car sick, do not like to haggle for things, Morocco may not be for you.

1.) The long travel hours on the road

Thoughts: “Driver, when do we actually get there? My butt hurts!”

On our way to the Sahara

Now I’m here for a good road trip but when we start talking eight plus hours in a car, this is where we have to pull up. I spent an average of 40 total hours in a car while in Morocco and that was definitely my least favorite part. I didn’t have to, but my places of interest (Chefchaouen, Marrakech and Merzouga) were far apart. I wish they weren’t but that’s a hard price I had to pay.

2.) The extortion practise

Thoughts: “Who will win – my money with me or my money with you?”

Our tour guide in Chefchaouen

Not sure if it is extortion or survival of the fittest but I wasn’t too pleased with the fact that many moroccans tried to obtain money from me almost with a sense of entitlement. I even had a woman grab my handbag signalling for money. It all became a bit overwhelming but I understand the need, I guess.

3.) The “invisibility” of women

Thoughts: “Where my ladies at?”

A Moroccan woman I came across in Marrakech

Again, not sure if this was because of the ramadan season, but I do not remember interacting with any moroccan women, even though I was very keen to do so. It felt like they were either being hidden, or just weren’t participating actively in the day-to-day. I definitely did sense a more male dominated scene while in Morocco and I wasn’t too pleased. Again, this may have well been as a result of the ramadan season.

4.) Limited choices of Moroccan food

Thoughts: “Is there anything else on the menu besides tagine?”

The chicken tagine

I was really excited to try Moroccan food – especially Tagine as I had heard so much about it. What no one told me however, was that tagine was really the only option. Oh, and couscous. I enjoyed it but after a few days, I started craving something different.  There’s only so much tagine one can have.

5.) The Riad

Thoughts: “Why is everything so old and dated?”

Our riad for one night

This will be totally unpopular opinion but I preferred a conventional hotel to the riad we stayed at. I will not be dropping the name as I really bonded with Karim, the riad owner but I did not enjoy my one-night stay at the riad. Riads are traditional moroccan homes which mean they have been in existence for a long time. What this also means is that, things might be old and dated. I know a few people will enjoy a riad, or maybe I was just unlucky with the one I chose but I didn’t like this part of my morocco experience.

Conclusion

So, those are some of the things I loved and hated about Morocco. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything and I do have to say, the good outweighs the bad and I am thankful for the experience. If you are thinking of Morocco, I’ll say go for it. I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a little from it.

Starting next week, I will be sharing blog posts on my experience at Chefchaouen, Marrakech and Merzouga (The Sahara Desert). If you’ll like to follow along, subscribe to the blog here. There will be loads of stories, photos and tips and I wouldn’t want you to miss it.
Follow me on my social media as well. Instagram and Twitter for more updates and stories.
Have you been to Morocco? What did you love and hate about it? Is Morocco on your bucket list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

P:S: All photos on this blog are mine unless otherwise stated. If you’ll like to use any of them, please respectfully ask me for rights. Thank you.

Until next week,

Stay blessed, loves!

About the author
Working Professional by day, Travel Blogger by night. Here, I share my personal life and travel experiences as well as helpful tips to help readers start their own travel journey. Want to talk? Contact me on info@theufuoma.com. Don't be a stranger!

21 Comments

  1. Hello! I just recently found this blog while doing my research for upcoming trip to Morocco. I just want to thank you how informative and amazing the pictures and blog are. After reading this I may have to do a Morocco trip part 2 to see some of other cities as I will only be there a short time. Quick question, did you book sahara tour coming from Marrakech or a different city. Also what tour guide did you recommend? We are staying Marrakech for 4 full days and wasn’t sure if that was enough time to squeeze it in or keep it local Looking forward to reading more! Thank you in advance!

  2. I popped on by to read this from FTB’s BPS, hello! I truly enjoyed the vibrancy and candidness of your photos. It made me feel as if I was walking by while you gave your commentary.
    This is my first visit to your blog. I was very curious about your experience of the riad. Would you be posting a more in-depth review on what it was about riad’s that you didn’t take to? I’m curious if it’s something I would like to try or avoid. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I am glad you like the photos.
      I may not be posting specifically about the riad just because I don’t think it is worth that much real estate on my blog (very little photos, and basically just a bump in the road in my experience.)

      But I can tell you right here. With Riads, you have to be very careful. Because they are old (and usually in the old medina), it can be pretty much hit or miss. The riad had a nice aesthetic (as most riads do) but the finer details were old, rusty and really not fit for a comfortable stay. I am positive that there are really awesome, well maintained riads in Marrakech but they are either expensive, sold-out or both! You’ll have to book months and months in advance to reserve a spot because they sell out really fast. I wouldn’t have minded paying a premium for a good riad but as luck will have it, most of them were sold out by the time I was ready to book. Read the reviews well (I did in my case- so many positive reviews but it still ended up less than favorable.) A conventional hotel is definitely the safest bet. (Ah, I managed to write a full blown post here, didn’t I? lol) Hope it helps x

  3. Recently I’ve seen so many posts about countries like this and I’ve been craving going to visit somewhere like Morocco!

  4. Your photos are stunning! I’ve always wanted to visit Morocco. 🙂 I really love how you shared what you liked and didn’t, super honest of you! I’m a little bummed to hear there’s such limited options when it comes to local food, though!

    1. Thank you Caroline. I think the transparency is very important on my part. And yes, I was disappointed as well because it was something I looked forward to – trying out a variety of the local food. A bummer for sure but there’s so many good about the country that kind of compensates for that.

  5. I enjoyed reading this. You know what i love about your post? I read it and feel every emotion like i was there. 😭
    I didn’t see bag in the list of things you bought? Why????
    The Architecture, omg ❤️❤️❤️
    The invisibility of women. Pretty sad.
    Your pictures are everything sis.

    1. Haha I am glad you felt all the emotion – that’s the wholeeee point.
      I didn’t get a bag because my luggage was already full at this point. My sister did though, so maybe I can steal it from her?
      Lol thank you darling. Glad you enjoyed.

  6. I so envy you. I want to get to Morocco for the same reasons stated. And also explore their Palaces. Pity abt the guides but then that is true of any place .. Lovely pics

  7. I really want to go to Morocco. Earlier, it wasn’t on top of my list but lately I’ve seen just too many beautiful pics and read too many interesting stories. I have to get there! Beautiful pics, by the way!

    1. Thank you so much. I recommend the visit to Morocco at least once. It’s a beautiful and diverse country- there’s something for every kind of traveler. Thank you for stopping by, Anna.

  8. I love the way you write, how detailed you are .i can always feel the excitement , it’s almost like I was on the trip with you👍 👏❤️

    1. That’s so awesome to hear. I’m glad to virtually take you along on these trips, such a pleasure. Thanks Aderemi!

Leave a reply

%d bloggers like this: