French continues to be widely spoken in cities; foreigners are often addressed in this first. Spanish is still spoken in Tangier.
There are also three main dialects spoken by the country's Berber majority: Tashelhit, Tamazight and Tarifit.
You'll be able to get by with English in the main tourist hubs, although "La, shukran" ("No, thank you" in Arabic) is one phrase to master.
Don't get stuck in Marrakech
Marrakech is justifiably popular, but there's so much more.
Fez tops the list for its maze-like medina, fabulous foodie scene and annual Festival of World Sacred Music.
For a slice of the Sahara, there's the desert town of Merzouga, near the impressive Erg Chebbi sand dunes, accessible via camel treks.
Active types can hike between Berber villages in the High Atlas or head to the blue-hued Andalusian town of Chefchaouen to explore the Rif Mountains.
Beach bums will love laid-back Essaouira and Sidi Ifni on the Atlantic coast, while surfers often head south to Taghazout.
For quiet contemplation, Morocco's holiest town, Moulay Idriss, is hard to beat. Plus, you'll have the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis pretty much to yourself.
If you don't like cumin, you may starve
Cumin is one of the main spices used in Moroccan cooking. This pungent powder is used to flavor everything from tagines to mechoui (slow-roasted lamb).
Cumin is used as a condiment on most Moroccan tables, along with salt and chili. It's also a popular natural remedy for diarrhea.
"Cumin has anti-parasitical properties, so if you've got an upset tummy, a spoonful of cumin knocked back with water will help," said food guide Gail Leonard with Plan-It Fez.
Trains are cheap, comfortable and reliable
Train company ONCF operates one of the best train networks in Africa, making it the easiest way to travel between cities.
It's worth paying extra for first class, which comes with a reserved seat and A/C.
First class carriages have six-seat compartments or open-plan seating. Stock up on snacks, or buy them onboard, as it's customary to share food.
When it comes to traveling to smaller towns and villages, buses and grand taxis, usually old Mercedes sedans that can seat six (at a squash), are best.
Couscous is served on Fridays