Although the region was made famous by “Casablanca,” the 1942 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, there’s so much to know about Morocco than the name of the largest city within the kingdom.
Did you know that it is ruled by a royal figure, not a political appointee? As you plan your trip to the North African city, test your knowledge of Morocco!
Moroccan Trivia and Facts
- Casablanca is the kingdom’s largest city, but it is not the capital. Morocco’s capital is Rabat, which is also the country’s second largest city, following Casablanca.
- The 30 million inhabitants of the country speak a variety of languages. Arabic is the most widely-spoken language and the official language, while French is considered the second unofficial language, because of its wide use in business. English, Spanish and Berber dialects are becoming more popular.
- From 1912 until 1952, Morocco was controlled by France and Spain. Although French interest in the region dates as far back as 1830, the “interest” of France related to the North African country led to a so-called crisis that was resolved in 1906 by making Morocco a region of special interest, entrusted to France and to Spain. Morocco became a protectorate of the two countries on March 30, 2012.
- Snails are a common dish. Although many think of high-priced restaurants with five star chefs when they think of escargots as a meal, in Rabat and around the kingdom, travelers will find snails available at roadside stands and in the souks.
- In 1960, the city of Agadir was leveled. The event killed 15,000 individuals. When it was rebuilt, the city was relocated approximately two miles.
- Primary education is free. In Morocco, youths must attend school until they are 15 – from early childhood education through the age of 15 schooling is free, although many (especially girls in rural areas) do not attend school.
- Morocco has more than a dozen public universities. Around the country, there are 14 public universities, including the Mohammed V University in Rabat.
- The Moroccan Dirham is a closed currency – you can’t bring much into the country or take it out. Your best bet for spending money in Morocco is to obtain the Moroccan Dirham when you get there. Many hotels and shops will take major credit cards, but not all.
- There are two types of taxis for travel in the country. You can use a petit taxi (for up to 3 individuals) within the limits of a city or town. A grande taxi suits larger groups of people or trips outside of the city or between towns.
For more traveling tips to Morocco, check out this post.
If we have piqued your interest and you would like to learn more about our special small group Jewish Heritage Morocco Tour, contact Gil Travel or email Sue E. at susane[at]giltravel.com for more information!