It’s time to get Scrub’d up! Order now. 

by Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya 


Morocco has always been on my travel bucket list. Having seen beautiful pictures and videos of the bustling Marakkech souks, the quaint town of Fez and the millions of beautiful tile collages, I was hooked.

After leaving my job, I decided to take a month off work. A month to refigure my life – find my passion for medicine again, decide on my career pathway and most importantly travel. Having recently got married, a honeymoon destination debate lead me to Morrocco. My husband who loves the cold and I, who loves the sun, finally compromised on Morocco which has a bit of both in the months of November/December.

We flew to Casablanca after transitting in Dubai, but as soon as we landed we headed straight to Marrakech, a literal oasis in the middle of the desert. As soon as I got to Marrakech I fell in love with the utter chaos of the city. The souks are initially a bit confusing, but soon we got to know the never-ending maze of the souks very well (Google maps is not as useful as having a hard copy of the map). They speak a mixture of Arabic and French so I had to put my middle school French into good use. The people are warm and friendly, but as with any country, you do get the hustlers so be vigilant and say no when required!

After our time in Marrakesh, we moved onto Fez for a couple of days – but wish it could have been longer! Fez was so quaint and beautiful with a walking-only souk that had an old worldly charm. Much quieter and calmer than Marrakech for sure! We thought that as we were flying from Casablanca, ending our trip with a few days there would be ideal however there really wasn’t much to do and I wouldn’t recommend Casablanca to anyone except to see Rick’s cafe (iconic from the movie).

Listed below are my top 5 things to do in Morocco:

  • Take a guided walking tour of the Souks in Marrakech

Most riads in Morocco will offer this experience and you can book it even the day before. Even though it is a little expensive, a private walking tour can be tailored to what you want to see. We got to see the essential landmarks within the old medina and learn a bit about their history/culture. Our guide also took us to some carpet shops, herb shops and leather shops – but remember you don’t have to buy anything!

  • Experience Marrakech by night – Jemaa al Fnaa

This really is a sight! The square completely transforms from the snake charmers/Mehendi artists during the day to a continuous line of food stalls with loud intrusive music. The aroma with all the Arabic spices is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Again, watch your belongings and if you don’t have a strong stomach, don’t taste test the food.

  • Splurge on a night out with belly dancing

It doesn’t get more Arabic than belly dancers – with some insane belly movements that look like they might have dislocated their hips and the loud flute playing, it really is a unique experience. I can highly recommend Comptoir Dana which even though a bit expensive, will definitely give you a 5-star dining/entertainment experience. The food is absolutely divine (especially the lobster ravioli) and the entertainment super fun! A definite must-try!

  • Eat some lamb, lamb and more lamb!

Lamb in Morocco is like rice and curry in Sri Lanka – it’s everywhere, and for good reason! The Moroccans know how to cook lamb to perfection where the succulent meat just falls away from the bone. The portions are also huge! I’m not a fan of couscous which is their staple diet, but the lamb can be ordered with absolutely anything.

  • Get lost in the smell of leather and noisy ceramics in Fez

An important rule – Do NOT buy leather or ceramics in Marrakesh because Fez offers a wider range for much cheaper! You’re not disturbed by the constant motorcycles and cars trying to get through the narrow alleyways like in Marrakech as in Fez you can only walk through the medina (excuse the occasional donkey though!). Instead of going all the way to the stinky Tanneries (which is one of the sites you have to see in Fez), some leather shops will let you go all the way up to their rooftop in order to get a view of the famous Chouara Tanneries if you make a purchase at their shop.

If you ever do make a trip to Morocco, I hope you go with an open mind and a readiness to embrace their culture. Do let me know if you have any additional tips because I will definitely want to make a trip back there someday!

Some little tips –

  • Change a bit of money (we took US dollars) into Moroccan Dhiram in Dubai so you have enough money in the event of an emergency, once you get to Morrocco, you can change the rest of your money (the rate is better).
  • Haggle like your life depends on it – it is a huge tourist game and most shops sell the same items so don’t stress just leave if you don’t get the item you like and if the shopkeeper doesn’t come running behind you, a shop a little walk away most likely will have the same goods.
  • When booking accommodation be very careful – read the reviews and check the surrounding area because it is important. We had a mess up in Fez at the beautiful Riad we were supposed to stay in so we had to stay at the Movenpick hotel which wasn’t as cultural, but ended up being the best choice in that moment.
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Hi there!

Hi there! Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya is a medical doctor in Sri Lanka, currently training in Family Medicine. Navigating the healthcare system in Sri Lanka is no easy task and this website was created to help guide other foreign medical graduates and junior doctors. This website also helps demystify life as a doctor in Sri Lanka and also combats medical misinformation circulating amongst the general public!