6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to Morocco

I learned a lot in a fortnight in Morocco – an overland odyssey that took in the ancient city of Fez, the blue city of Chefchaouen and Tangier, a port city on the Strait of Gibraltar.


Photo © Ian Neubauer

Hollywood inspired me to go to Morocco. Tense psychological dramas like Babel and Allied, the 1942 classic Casablanca and action epics like Troy and Gladiator. Those who are old enough won't easily forget footage of The Rolling Stones galivanting around Morocco in the 1960s or that riotous episode of Absolutely Fabulous when Edina and Patsy fly to Morocco and nearly get arrested at the airport.

Yet these films can't tell you what it's like to travel in Morocco. To begin with, it's an Islamic country so the laws and social norms are very different from the West. Alcohol, while not illegal, is hard to come by outside touristy areas and can only be consumed inconspicuously. Showing too much skin outside a beach or hotel pool is definitely not a good idea, and under no circumstances should a non-Muslim ever enter a mosque. Half the country shuts down on Fridays, the day of the Muslim sabbath, while restaurants only open late at night during the holy month of Ramadan when observant Muslims fast from sunup to sundown.

Here are six other things I learned while traveling through Morocco.

1. Marrakesh is Overrated, Head to Fez Instead

Over the past few years, many of the biggest travel guides and websites have named the desert oasis city of Marrakesh, and the labyrinthine alleyways of its medina (or old city), the world's best destination.

But Marrakesh has become a victim of its own success and is suffering from over-tourism. A record two million people visited in 2017 – outnumbering locals by nearly two to one and taking away from the medina's authenticity.

Fez, 185mi (297km) east of Casablanca, is as authentic as they come; its 1,200-year-old medina is said to be the best-preserved old city of the Arab world. Cars can't possibly fit through the tall narrow archways of the medina's fortified walls, so locals use handcarts and donkeys to carry stuff around instead.

You'll probably get lost while exploring Fez medina's 9,500 cobblestone alleyways and dimly lit pedestrian tunnels. But getting lost is part of the experience; a road to discover a handmade leather bag you must have or a hole-in-the-wall pastry shop crammed with exotic sweets and pastries. And, with the World Heritage-listed city now bearing the fruits of a decades-long restoration program, Fez has to be Morocco's best-kept open secret.

2. Moroccans Don't Like to be Photographed

With mosques, houses, police stations and even lampposts and bins painted in an electric shade of blue, the blue city of Chefchaouen, 125mi (200km) north of Fez on the foothills of the Rif Mountains is a photographer's wet dream. I gave myself three days to photograph Chefchaouen and its 500-year-old medina, but the job took more than twice as long because Moroccans really don't like to be photographed.

Looking over Chefchaouen before sunset. Photo credit: Ian Neubauer

I'll never forget the time a man who was just a smidge in my camera's frame shouted 'NO PHOTO!' at me from a block away – from the other side of the road! Or the time a hawker dressed in colorful headscarves allowed me to take his portrait – simply because he was the first and only person in Morocco to do so.

There are, of course, ways around it. You can always photograph people from the back, from the side, from balconies and rooftops. Sitting patiently in a plaza or cafe and snapping a photo when the opportunity presents itself also yields good results, while wading into a situation with a selfie-stick doesn't.

Due to the long history of tourism in Morocco, locals are used to being asked for photographs, and sometimes there is an expectation that they will receive a tip. Tipping a subject for a photo will help get their permission, however once you pay for a photo the subject is no longer in situ; they are modelling and the photo will rarely feel authentic.

3. The Magic Carpet Scam

In the Middle Eastern fable One Thousand and One Nights, the hero Prince Husain buys a magic carpet. Carpet sellers in Morocco will try to convince you their antique handwoven wool rugs are magical, too – that you should buy an expensive one as an investment to resell it at a huge markup back home.

As ridiculous as it may sound, visitors to Morocco fall for this trick all the time. It starts with a curious look inside one of 10,000 identical carpet stores, where you are 'befriended' by a local who offers to walk you to the only honest carpet dealer in town but in truth, it's his brother, cousin or friend.

Once inside, you'll be offered glass after glass of tea and a story about the hundreds of hours tribespeople in the small village of so and so spent weaving the pattern – the first of a well-practiced repartee of legitimate and underhanded tactics that will be dispatched like Exocet missiles until you crack.

A Moroccan carpet in the making. Photo credit: Ian Neubauer

Just say ”la shukran (no thank you) and walk away. If you're serious about buying a rug in Morocco, do your research first, find a few reputable dealers and be prepared to bargain hard because prices are inflated right off the bat.

Moroccan blogger and rug collector Amanda Mouttaki, who admits she paid “way too much” for her first rug in Fez, suggests buyers should drop the first offer “by as much as two thirds and work from there.

4. Don't Bother With Planes, Get the Train Instead

With most attractions concentrated along the coast and in Morocco's northeast, rail travel makes a lot of sense. Trains are safe, punctual, cheap, comfortable and a great way to see the county.

At Casablanca Airport, I paid US $17 for a first-class train ticket to Fez. The journey took five hours, the desert scenery was stunning and the train chugged within spitting distance of Roman ruins from the third century on the outskirts of the city Meknes.

A train journey from Marrakesh to Fez takes 10 hours and costs US $30 for a first-class ticket or US $20 for second class. You don't have to book a ticket online; you can just buy one at a station and hop aboard the next service.

Driving around Morocco. Photo credit: Ian Neubauer

Grand taxis are another novel way to get around the country. Not to be confused with petit or regular taxis, grand taxis are big old Mercedes Benz saloons from the eighties – part of an ad-hoc national network that connects every city and town in Morocco. Grand taxis have four passenger seats in the back and two passenger seats in the front, and generally, they only leave after all six seats are taken.

But, why wait when you can hire the entire grand taxi for much less than it would cost you back home. You can buy all six seats in a grand taxi traveling between Chefchaouen and Fez – a distance of 125mi (200km) – for only US $50. When I did the trip I was traveling solo, so I hired the two front seats for US $16.

5. The Food is Bloody Amazing

Want to lose weight? Then forget about Morocco. Servings are huge and most meals are quite cheap. Morocco's national dish is the tagine – a hearty North African stew combining lamb, chicken or fish with potatoes, peas, beans, nuts and spices like saffron, ginger as well as cinnamon and dried fruits that typically cost around $3 to $6.

I went to a restaurant set inside a 14th century villa in Fez where every meal begins with flatbread and 10 separate dips – zucchini marinade, rice with herbs, beans in garlic, sweet carrots, diced potatoes, Moroccan salad, olives, aubergine dip and scolymus (a herb like spinach). Then comes the main – meshwi – barbecued lamb with couscous – followed by dessert.

Views over homes in Morocco. Photo credit: Ian Neubauer

The best meal I had in Morocco was a grilled chicken sandwich from a shabby-looking food van parked outside the medina in Tangier overlooking the sea. Inside the van, behind a long grill, were three heavyset men. One cooked and chopped up a small mountain of chicken rubbed with salt and spices like paprika and cumin. The second chopped and cooked an equally large mountain of green olives. The third toasted baguettes, filled them with chicken and olives before drizzling garlic, tomato and chili sauces on top.

6. Get Used to the Smell of Hash

It's hard to describe, but the moment a waft hits you there's no mistaking the intensity of burning hashish, a marijuana byproduct that looks like black rubber. Hashish has been produced on a small scale in Morocco for centuries and a lot of Moroccans, both women and men, toke in public.

Figures on consumption are murky, but The Economist ranks Morocco as the world's largest supplier of the drug. So, if you're outright offended by marijuana or cannot tolerate any kind of second-hand smoke, you may want to go somewhere else or at least scratch Chefchaouen off your to-do list. The blue city is surrounded by the Rif Mountains, the epicenter of hash production in the country.

Dealers on the street will invariably try to sell you some, but buyer beware. Despite appearance and what some locals may tell you, hashish is still illegal in Morocco and Moroccan police are not known for their light-handed touch.

Who needs it anyway? Morocco is already one of the most colorful and psychedelic destinations on Earth.

Narrow alleyways in Morocco. Photo credit: Ian Neubauer

What do you wish you'd known before going to Morocco?

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  • October Mis said

    This is a scam that a foreign student alerted me to in Casablanca. A man approached a female tourist and pretended to want to practice his English and take her to a restaurant for a cup of tea. She agreed and the man who was older 40s or 50s indicated that he needed some change. She gave him 200 dirham and he disappeared into the night never to be seen again.

  • Anya said

    I wish I had known that there were mosquitos that bite and infect you with Leishmania. It is like a flesh eating thing. I was bitten and it made me sick for a year and now I have scars on my face and back. There is no treatment for it in Morocco. I had to come back to Australia for treatment.

  • doudi said

    moroccan people are nicer in north cities like tanger and tetouan and chefchaouen ... but generallyy all moroccan people are nice because that's what they were rased on in their religion "islam" . but you should be careful around crowded ereas , not everyone is good.. also , some awesome places are unknown there , so if you reallyy want to know morocco , a gide won't be enough .
    and most of moroccan people speak either french or english or spanish .. and maybe all of them sometimes :D

  • Anthony Keaveny said

    I have driven to Morocco every winter in my RV for the last 25 years. No more.!! The fun is over. Supermarkets have stopped selling booze, so more illegal and cheap homebrew vodka, Highway Robbery by Police who stop and rob, (Not BMW 7 Series with blacked out windows). Only poor Moroccans and tourists.Think Tunisia. The next outrage will be in a tourist village in Agadir.

  • sara jay said

    Morocco is best destination since last year , it was really good experience in mountain Rif

  • Azami Voyage said

    Touring Morocco with Azami Voyage as one of the best Moroccan travel Companies will enable you to live a unique experience and truly get to know the people,culture,places and history of the country. We ensure all ground arrangements for your private and luxury Morocco tours.


    We are travelling to Morocco from Australia ,& have been told we can only take 1000,of their local currency in.Can we take in more .Know we can use arm's ,& credit cards
    Thanking you

  • rowena afuang said

    In Morocco casablanca, They said that travelling together wid ur friend, bf/gf is not allowed, unless you both are married?? Is this true? Also when an artists mobbed by a fans there? Is it prohibited?

  • isaml said

    I do not like Morocco 212+0679210865

  • chayma said

    To rowena afuang: Nope that is not true. Only thing not allowed is to share the hotel room with your bf/gf, need to be married, but this law applies only to Moroccans/Muslims (and it is not even that strict). So no you are not concerned.
    Enjoy your trip!

  • chayma said

    I am Moroccan and I somehow ended up in this page reading comments with a friend who was curious about Morocco. So giving some insights:
    SANDRA SEMKEN: 1000 dhs (local currency) is something like 100 EUR so obviously that can't be true :).. you can take as much money as you want. i mean what country wouldn't allow money to come in!
    If you are planning to go to nice restaurants and stay in hotel you can use your credit card there, also in supermarkets. the local small restaurants and shops usually dont take cards so better to have cash on you. ATM's are everywhere

  • SALMANE said

    Hello! We are offering our driving services complete with a car for your stay in Morocco. Whilst we are based in Agadir, we also can take you to other cities which include Marrakech and Casablanca. Please see our page for further information and prices. Thank you


  • Abdul said

    Hi there.
    I've been to Morocco and did a complete tour from Fez to Marrakesh by train. Really enjoyed it. For the money, I just used the ATM. It's practical and safe. Charges maybe a bit more, but much more safer then carrying money. Regarding the transportation, trains are great, Driving just ensure you talk with the driver first and then he's someone that was recommended to you.
    Note that 5 star hotels sometimes are not what they seem. But ensure you talk to a travel agent before that can cross check your options with a local agent before you travel. I was advised to get some guidance from fasotravel.co.uk and they were very useful. In the beginning of year, the tickets are always much cheaper if you're travelling in a low cost carrier. It's a great country with many different kind of things to do. Enjoy the experience.

  • Emma said

    Dont come to Marrakech for a long time unless you plan to visit outside places it's expensive and the Medina is overrated. Generally expensive and not good quality place, totally disappointed tourists are on the decline.

  • Shaun said

    I'm concerned on safety with terrorism is this something I should be concerned with here?

  • Jerry said

    We went to Marococo in April this year and had a wonderful time. Took basic precautions.
    My friend and I wore wedding rings.
    My friend wore a light shawl
    We brought steri tabs for tap water.
    We booked a qualified local guide and asked him questions about our concerns.
    I speak french, and we used a few arabic words to break the ice.
    We found everyone friendly and helpful, we were cautious but open and had an amazing time.

  • Neil said

    I am planning to go to senegal(cant figure out how to fly there) or morocco to study french for three months. My platonic female friend will be joining me for the same thing.

    Can anyone recommend a cheaper/friendlier city to accomplish this in?


  • Terri said

    I have booked a trip to Morocco for October 2017 with a good travel company. I'm getting nervous that I made the wrong decision. I wanted something different. Maybe this is going to be to different. I would say it is a toss up as to how many people liked it and how many people didn't. Any advice?

  • Vicky said

    I have just booked to go to marrakech with my husband and 5 children 2 teenage daughters my son is 22 and 2 young daughters will be 6 and 9 . We are going in July next year the hotel seems to have everything you need but I also want to go sight seeing is there anything for young children to do , is it safe for them ? Don't want to be confined to the hotel but want my girls to see different cultures and not just the typical Spanish.

  • Vincent DeLorenzo said

    A few months ago I traveled to Morocco and loved the country. I ended up driving a car through the Atlas mountains from Marrakech to Sahara desert. It an inspiring journey I will never forget. Camping in the desert was one of the best moments of my life. One should be careful in the markets and walking at night. Except for the occasional aggressive shop owners or minor touts everyone I met was very nice to me. Truly and amazing adventure, culture, and experience.

  • Hala said

    Being a Moroccan myself, I came across this forum and thought I could share my insights.
    Just like in any other country, caution is advised as Morocco is not 100% safe (no country is btw), and you can come across pickpockets, or malignant people.
    With that being said, such things are present all around the world (having lived abroad in 5 countries so far). In fact, there are no particular threats, be it on safety level or health for foreigners who wish to visit or even move to Morocco.
    The proof is, Morocco is a touristic destination that welcomes huge numbers of foreigners all year-long. And a lot of Europeans ( mostly French and German ) even live there.
    Of course, there are poor and unsafe areas, just as there are modern areas and luxurious and immaculate places, as well as authentic and historical sites.
    Regarding the dress code, it varies a lot, since Moroccans themselves range from conservative to less conservative or not at all, and a lot of us dress modernly and follow fashion trends. Of course, when in a religious place, for instance in mosques and churches, you should dress accordingly.
    And dressing vulgarly is not accepted anywhere anyways, so you’ll be fine I promise.
    For food, as I said before, you can find cheap and healthy, cheap and unhealthy, high gastronomy, etc. The possibilities are infinite, and It’s up to you to choose whatever suits you. And with a little research and a good guide or a friend’s help, you can plan a magic and unforgettable trip to Morocco, get immersed in the culture and soak up some vitamin D, and enjoy the savory food ! You can surf in breath-taking beaches in Agadir, then go to the Sahara, then party in Marrakech …

  • Zakaria said

    I was working on some stuff that is related to the stereotypes given on Morocco when I randomly dropped on this website.
    I am Moroccan.
    There are some things that a person should do before visiting Morocco in order to have a real good visit. For example, do not rely on movies that tackles the Moroccan life which are given by Hollywood. Those are not but stereotypes, but I recommend you to watch movies that are made by Moroccans, those movies give you glimpse on how Moroccans lifestyle which actually diverse significantly.
    Let's go back to Hollywood, the movies that would pop up instantly in your mind would be "Babel"or "Mission impossible 5: Rogue nation" these movies portrays a false image about Morocco.
    The country is not Saharan or rural, there are some places of course but if you were planing to go to Casablanca or Marrakesh you will be surprised.
    If want to know the depth of the Moroccan society and the reason why we are considered a third world country, the best movies to watch would be the ones that are not made or funded by the Moroccan government, because the government has a certain agenda.
    Here are some movies that are made by private Moroccan producers, and not allowed to been seen in national television channels:
    -Ali Zaoua.
    -They Are The Dogs.
    -Much Loved.
    -Starve Your Dog.
    If you to see movies that shows the bright side of Morocco, the ones that shows the happy life, what those that were allowed by the government to be seen in national television channels.
    Here are some movies on the good side of Morocco:
    -Road to Kabul
    -Dallas (for this one make sure to write "Dallas film marocain" and not just the name.)
    If you want to knows how Morocco was in the twenty century check the movie The Blind Orchestra.
    All in all, Moroccans are generous and humorous.
    Bare in mind that when it comes to a tourist, people will try to take as much money from as they can. So, try to be smart in consuming it.
    I hope you enjoy you trip in Morocco.
    I tried to be as much honest as I could.

  • Zeynep said

    I will be travelling to Morocco ALONE in March 2017 and although I feel super relax about it, people are trying to give me some worries especially for safety. The stuff I've read here are precious and I will definitely apply some of them, such as wearing a wedding ring :)
    I am Turkish, my appearance is said to be Turkish-Greek-Spanish-Colombian, and EVEN FILIPINO. So I think I will fit perfectly in Morocco, too :)
    I always hear that Moroccans see the Turkish as their brothers/sisters and they love us. Is that really true? If yes, do I have less risk to be scammed/treated as a cash cow? Unfortunately I know the mentality of shopkeepers from my home country as well. Some of our restaurants even give different menus with different prices to tourists to get as much of their money as possible. So, when it comes to bargain, I guess I can survive it but it would still be good to know if they see the Turkish people the same.
    As I will be travelling solo, I will have a lot of flexibility and I want to experience as much as possible. However, is it fun at all to join the dessert tour and camping there at night while I don't know anyone there?

  • Helen Rogers said

    I want to visit Morocco to meet my future husband for the first time .we have been together 1 year now but I have been so worried about traveling there as I have bad anxiety and read so much bad things about Morocco do I have anything to worry about . I am from the UK and want to travel this year in march to his family home as his family have been very patient to meet me .

  • Cinnamon A said

    Hello to all, I am planning a solo trip to Morocco in March, 2017. I am an Nigerian American Women, and I would like to know if I should travel to Marrakech or stay closer to Old City, Tangier, Chefchaouen area for safety purposes. I am not looking for a touristy experience, I love people and their different cultures, and I am what some would call a "Free Spirit" I enjoy life. I would like to bring a couple of keep sakes back home with me, and I am looking to do some shopping, but much. This will be my first trip abroad, and I want it to be enjoyable. I only plan on spending 2-3 days in Morocco ( I have a couple of other country hungers to feed) :) Please assist with any advice you may have for me. My key goal is Safety, but I want to enjoy every savoring minute of this planned trip. And if anyone have any ideas on meeting a future husband, I will take that advice as well :) Love to Love, Cinnamon!

  • MobileLou said

    Morocco is a wonderful place!!
    I have been travelling to Morocco twice a year for the last 6 years, and love it!!
    Don't get me wrong, it has its trouble-makers & less savoury places to go....just like pretty much every other city in the world. There are plenty out to make a buck, but if you've got some commonsense then you'll be able to call their bluff & they'll even have a laugh with you about it.
    Bad things can happen wherever you go, at home or in a foreign land....but by the same token, so can lots of good things!
    In my experience, Morocco is a fantastic mix of modern & ancient life. On the whole, the locals are very friendly & generous, the food wonderful & the scenery spectacular.
    Just go! Enjoy!! xxxx

  • Hellno Helen said

    Helen, you have never met your future husband who is from Morocco? I do not advise going there alone especially if you never met him. How have you been together one year if you never met him? Be extremely cautious as this might be a scam and you might get sex trafficked. To do go alone to Morocco, do not go to Morocco without a male companion and do not go to Morocco to meet a man you met online. It is a dangerous situation.

  • l said

    Does anyone know if RAMADAN effects morocco?? what different? We will be traveling in a group of 5 white english speaking girls, will we stand out lots if there are less people there because of ramadan?

  • sarah said

    My husband and I traveled to Morocco in January 2010. We flew from USA to Madrid, Spain then spent couple days there before flying to Marrakech from Madrid. When we landed in Marrakech we did not have any issues. We had reserved a rental car a few months in advance through Rhino car and we picked it up from a little family run kiosk right inside the airport. We inspected the car well as it was rather old; my husband insisted that they provide spare tires as we read the roads where we were travelling may be bumpy. They obliged and we headed out. Note: we took numbers for the American embassy and several others in case any problems occurred. We headed out of Marrakech immediately toward Essaouira, a beach town. The roads are slow to travel and it was very desolate driving there; luckily our biggest problem were the police who harrassed us two separate times - writing tickets and demanding that we give them money on the spot. We had it to give and maybe 300 dirham at the most. But they were not friendly nor helpful. They spoke French and Arabic. We spoke neither.
    About 5-6 your drive to Essaouira, we arrived and parked outside the walled medina. An elderly gentleman approached to solicit us to take us where we needed to go on foot. The dear man put our things in a wheel barrel and we gave out address. He took us to our Dar (hotel.) We paid and tipped well for services like this, and impromptu tour guide's who approached - always at the right time and much needed/ appreciated. The people were indeed very friendly and generous in Essaouira. We stayed at a wonderful place called Madada Mogador. Location: 7 bis, rue Youssef El Fassi, Essaouira Medina. Beautiful view of the UNESCO heritage port from their rooftop - we had breakfast there each morning. Wonderful restaurants and food , enjoyed monkfish in one near our hotel. The man who guided us at the ports did not speak much English but had a big smile and warm heart. He was so informative, and had drawings of the fishing techniques, taught us how fishing is done, how boats are made and a little history. Loved it! The children / teens approached friendly saying 'America,' and no they did not pick our pockets or ask for anything. The souks were full of haggling, but I had read you should pay what it's worth to you instead of trying to win. They started a bit higher for us Americans I'm sure, but my husband got us a fair deal on things we wanted to take back, which included: a rug, jewelry (loved the half Berber half Twarig man we met named Omar! Forever a friend!!!) and tea, spices, including saffron, and a tea pot. We rode camels on the beach for a small fee. When we checked out after 2 nights, we drove along the beach , looking for a quieter spot and came across a beach with just a few people on it. We collected shells, watched a surfer, and traded some cigarettes for some neat hand made beads. There, we ran into some folks who had a ranch/ stable so we followed them to their ranch and rented horses to ride on the beach. I fell off and got hurt so don't recommend this.. But was a lasting memory. They tried to fix me up so I wasn't hurt which was sweet. After that, we found some surf shop where we had drinks and food. Then headed back toward Marrakech . driving at night was not bad but wished we had got an earlier start - got another ticket from police. Stopped at a stand in the middle of nowhere and bought and mp3 player from a young teen. He even loaded a bunch of music on it for me, taking requests for whatever I liked. People there were nice, except the police.
    Got into Marrakech, had read we would be haggled about parking so my husband was prepared to bully back which he had to do. Not saying it's safe, but he is kind of crazy and I think he 'gets it.' nothing violent broke out just a little yelling match WHICH we won by not handing over cash. In Marrakech we stayed at a great place called Dar One. Derb jamaa el kabir n 19 hay salam, medina Marrakech, phone: 212(0)61306328.
    Had a lovely rooftop area offering nice views of the souks in Marrakech. From here we walked to the Tombes de Saadian (Sadian Tombes) and shopped in the souks. We were solicited for massages which We agreed to and both had a massage. Looking back not so sure it was a good idea to follow the kid back to the massage house, but We did and enjoyed it. MarraKech souk is the famous one with monkeys and snake charmers, very busy and interesting. I did not wear anything on my head in 2010 But I probly would now as I've heard more and more about extreme Islaamists joining Isis out of Morocco. We went to a restaurant with belly dancers and then to a dance club at night. The next day we drove from Marrakech to Ouikameden in the High Atlas mountains. Driving through Marrakech in mid morning was crazy. It was floods of pedestrians in tight alleys ...you just have to go real slow. The red roads to the atlas were beautiful. Again, rather desolate but not a bad drive. Absolutely amazing scenery . bought some lychee fruits roadside as they grow here in the atlas. Made our way to the Strange Lake of Ifni. It was surprisingly busy at the 'ski resort' of Ouikameden. We didnt plan to ski - not great skiing - just wanted to see it. Was possibly the best drive of our trip in Morocco. I highly recommend Esaouira for a laid back beach visit in Morocco. We escaped the noise & traffic of big city Marrakech for few days and got to enjoy the Moroccan culture at a slower less intimidating pace. This made the trip for me. The owners at Dar One were French and spoke English. They helped a lot too with tips etc.
    I've been wanting to get back to Morocco ever since we left.... Hope this post helps travelers to Morocco !! Enjoy!

  • sarah said

    Tourism is one of the bigger industry for Morocco. I would recommend focus less on if you are paying more than the locals for goods and services and focus more on having a nice vacation. If you have the means to travel then pay a fair prices for things. I'm not wealthy but it's easy to see you are better off than others, especially than many in Morocco. No one wants to feel taken advantage of so speak up if you are feeling that way.

  • Magdalena said

    I love to rent a car....do you think its safe for a woman alone? And whatcomponyplease

  • Goran said

    Be careful that nobody is helping you find a spot to park your car in any small town, or if you do, give them some money right away and emphasize that that's all you'll pay. Upon leaving the same person may demand cash for "guarding your car" and helping you find a parking. Happend to me in Chefchaouen, almost got into a fight with the guy.
    If you're driving with hashish, be wary of may police check points outside most towns. International drivers license is a must.

  • Goran said

    Be careful that nobody is helping you find a spot to park your car in any small town, or if you do, give them some money right away and emphasize that that's all you'll pay. Upon leaving the same person may demand cash for "guarding your car" and helping you find a parking. Happend to me in Chefchaouen, almost got into a fight with the guy.
    If you're driving with hashish, be wary of many police check points outside most towns. International drivers license is a must.

  • Salmane said

    Hello, if you are interested in travelling to Morocco, we have a car and driver hire service in which you can have a driver take you around cities. This will ensure that you have someone who can help you to see all that Morocco has to offer and provide you with a great amount of local experience. We are sure that this will benefit your experience and make you feel comfortable. We charge reasonable rates that can be found on our Facebook page. Please check it out, like and share to anyone that you feel may be interested in travelling to Morocco.

  • Angela said

    Our travel through Morocco could not have been better thanks to ismail and our amazing guides and driver. We were originally just going to go to a few cities and try to explore on our own. We are SO glad we chose this tour company instead. They let us feel very safe and happy with them
    I really recccomend them for anyone who want to visit Morocco
    Thier email
    [email protected]
    Whatssap: 00212629888546

  • John said

    We have just returned from Morocco. We are two girls from USA and traveled to Morocco with Morocco Sightseeing Travels Company. Thank you so much to our tour guide Youssef who picked up us from Marrakech, to Sahara desert then to Fes and Casablanca. Youssef was so knowledgeable and flexible with everything we need during our Tour.
    Do not hesitate to book your tour with this Company.


    When reading the comments, I observed that the main questioning was about clothing.
    In rural areas and villages, you will be better off with pants, long skirts and t shirts, people in those remote areas may be offended if you do not cover parts of the body that are considered private. So what to pack will depend on the your itinerary, if you are planning to visit famous touristic point of interest and chill at the beach you can wear short dresses and shorts, but if you are more interested in visiting hidden villages and rural areas you should take clothes that cover more fully your body. Whatever your choice is, women do not need to cover their hair with a scarf.
    One more thing, you do not need to wear a wedding ring if you are coming your bf or gf.
    For those who are worried about safety, Morocco is pretty safe. No need to worry about terrorism. Of course, you need to be careful with your belongings as there are pickpockets. During your stay, you might be approached by faux guides who will tell you that they will help for no money (ofc they want money), just reply firmly that you don't want.
    For taxis, ask them to put on the meter or agree on the price before going up.
    Morocco is a beautiful country, with a rich cultural heritage and a diversified landscape, I am sure you'll enjoy it.
    From Morocco with love :)

  • Ken said

    I have been going to Marrakech since 1984. People have been super nice in general, few hassles here and there. As the years have gone on, the hassles have gotten bigger. My last trip someone from the street threatened my life in the taxi before I even got the hotel. My assigned driver did nothing and showed no concern to get me there safely or alive. Not impressed with what has happened in this country... too bad

  • Ellen said

    Number 3 on this list is quite misleading.
    If you are a non-Muslim, the only mosque that you are allowed to visit in Morocco is Hassan II in Casablanca on a guided tour. You do not need to cover your head to visit this mosque; you just can't wear very revealing clothing and you will have to remove your shoes for part of the tour - but they give you plastic bags to carry them in.

  • Cliff said

    I visited Fez a few years ago. The one thing I wish I had known: most places in the world I've been able to save a few a few bucks by taking public transport from the airport. HUGE mistake in Fez. I ended up lost and then finally got a random cab, who dropped me off a 1/2 mile from my hotel with a "guide" who followed me and harassed me for money for a solid hour. Kind of a nightmare.

    Once I was able to find the hotel everything was great. I spent a couple days wandering around the Medina on my own with no problem. Got a reputable guide for a trip around the rest of the city.

  • JLG said

    A few ideas because I returned from Morocco this past thursday.
    First, if you do book through a travel agent do not include your meals in the package. You will find that they will take you to restaurants that provide a "tour" menu and it is always the same, couscous or tangine. Although this is fun the first two or three times you eat these wonderful Moroccan dishes, you will be thoroughly sick of them by the fourth or fifth day of eating this for lunch and dinner. Do some research, there are great restaurants you can find yourself.
    Second, people are very friendly and don't seem to mind women scantily dressed in the larger cities, particularly Marrakech. Not the case in more rural areas. The people are very friendly and will be more willing to engage if you are dressed conservatively. Head scarves are not necessary but if you are going to ride a camel in the desert you are definitely going to want one. For the person. I SAID asking about Traveling to Morocco during Ramadan. You will still be welcome to come but you will find most of the medinas empty since the religion requires religious services throughout the day. Our guide also told us that women scantily dressed (shorts, short skirts, tank tops) will not be treated respectfully during Ramadan.
    Third, If you choose to take photos of people, you need to ask permission first. Many people do not want to be photographed and those who will permit you to photograph them will often expect to be paid. You will have to pay between 2 and 5 dirhams. To use the bathroom in roadside restaurants, public locations and tourist attractions you can expect to have to pay someone. One to two dirhams will cover it so make sure you have coins when you travel around.
    Finally, if you are an animal lover prepare yourself. Muslims consider dogs dirty and they are not kept as pets. I was surprised to see very few dogs and most of them looked pretty healthy. They are not friendly though. Cats are a very important part of the culture and they are everywhere. You will find cats in restaurants, hotels and in every tourist attraction and shop. Despite the affection Moroccans have for cats, most of them do not look healthy and the crying, starving, kittens are everywhere. If you are a cat lover you might want to fill a few zip loc bags with kitten food and throw a couple in your backpack when you set out each day. I kind of wish I had done that.

  • Tracy said

    Hi, I'm in my mid 40's and I'm planning on going to Morocco in late October as a birthday gift for myself, and to meet my fiancé. We've been together just over 3 years. We met online through tango. I've met everyone in his family, and we all talk together through skype. Now that I'm planning on going in October, I was thinking about going ahead and getting married while I'm there. I was just wondering will it be hard to marry there with my fiancé being Moroccan, and meself American?

  • Christine said

    Me and my partener have just got back from our 6 day trip to Morocco.
    Stunningly beautiful and interesting, it sure will stay in our memories forever.
    I do wish we had done more homework before heading there tuough, as we were cought off guard and the trip was not the romantic and relaxing getaway we were hoping for, most of which might have been avoided had we been more prepared.
    My main concern was the dress code, I didn't quite know what to expect, and made sure that all my clothes were long and shoulder covered, but I found the Moroccans to be quite tolerant in that respect.
    We had arranged to rent a car from the airport, we bought maps of Morocco and of Marakech, and we drove straight into Marakech's medina. The moment we entered the gate it was a truly amazing experience, like going through a portal into a sort of Blade Runner/Star Wars alternative reality.
    We parked our car with the help of a local wearing a high viz vest and he asked for 50 drh for one day parking.
    We then proceded to try to make our way to our hotel, like wide eyed children dazzled by all the sounds, colors and smells. With a map in our hands, we were quickly aproached by a young man offering to help, so we wilfully followed in his footsteps around the windy roads, under arches, tight alleys. He walked fast always chattering, pointig out this and that. It did seemed like a long way to go, much much longer and complicated than the map suggested, but we were grateful for his help and slightly sedated by the heat. On the way, a friend of his joined in and eventually we got to our Riad. As we knocked on the door and thanked him, the young man asked for some money which of course we obliged, handing him 50 drh. However, his friend also wanted money and his manner was quite aggressive so we took a step back and politely declined. he kept insisting that we give him money even as we were already at the reception, and kept shouting as we walked through the corridors to our room.
    This all happened very early in the morning and after refreshing ourselves we went out again to explore what seemed like a magical city. The earlier unpleasent exchange at the door of our riad, we took as an isolated occurence that was behind us. Sadly, the rest of the day turned out to be quite disapointing and exhausting. The busy streets are buzzing with motorbikes and men feigning affability, only to become confrontational and downright hostile, if you don't hand over money for one reason or another.
    It felt very much as if we were percieved as walking bags of cash. Constantly we were being followed and offered help. if we so much as looked at a shop/stall or our map, some man would start walking with us to take us somewhere we din't want to go.
    It was very tiring having to say every 2 minutes: "I'm ok, thank you but, no, I don't want help"
    Our first day in Morocco ended in a dark alley with 2 young men threatining us for money.
    "No problem, I am a good man, give me some money" we heard time and time again.
    "I put you in hospital" one of them told me very close to my face.
    Somehow we managed to walk away under their shouts: "Go Home"
    The next day we drove to the costal town of Essaouira, a much smaller and gentler place, also with cooler weather, we stayed there for 2 nights and then drove down to Taghazout, a sleepy surf spot where we finally did some relaxing.
    We got to see paradise valley, and had fun splashing in the silky tuquoise waters of natural springs.
    On the last day we drove back to Marakech for one last sleep at a pre booked hotel and then back to the airport the following morning very early. However, even with maps, address and reference points, we couldn't find our hotel, no one could help us, we asked everyone, taxi drivers, police, locals, all were dumbfounded by this elusive place.
    Exhausted as it was getting so very late, we headed to the airport and slept in the car.
    Lastly, on the drive back from paradise valley my partener started to feel very ill, nauseus, hot and cold, shaking and of course the dreaded diarrhea. We had had lunch at one of the places down in the valley and after eating I went to ask for the toilets, as the waiter explained that there were none, I saw behind him the washing buckets and realized that eating there had been a mistake on our part. This was a place without the infrastructure for propper higine and, I was lucky, but my poor Tom paid dearly.

    I will never forget the landscape or the architecture or the sheer intricate beauty of the artifacts from Morocco. But I am sad to say that for the most part, I felt that I was unable to connect with the people. Conversations seemed to circle around where we came from, for the sole purpose of measuring our worth, without any genuine human interaction. A veil of otherness was thrown upon us and it was nearly impossible to break through to a place where people are just people. save a few scarce occasions: A beekeper; Ali the legend, on the top of a mountain, with whom we drank tea and talked freely of everyday stuff.
    It was also interesting to note that, on the occasions that I ventured out without my man, the tone of the men (always lots of men everywhere) was very different, so sacarine, dripping with honey. Again, not at all genuine, but rather a tired old formula.

    I have been taken for a ride, pick pocketed, scamed, hasseled and even groped in all sorts of different places, including the countries I claim as my own: Portugal and England. However, in Marakech specifically, I felt that the various practices of fleecing the tourits as much as possible has gained a wide spread momentum, what's more, the hightened agressiveness seems to be simply accepted by everyone as the norm, rendering the often uttered mantra: "Welcome" feel so very empty and disingenuous.

    The world is full of places I am yet to see and, although Morocco is not somewhere I plan to revisit, I am grateful for the street hassle bootcamp, an intense learning experience. I'm sure it will better prepare me for my next adventure.

  • Merouane said

    Agadir discovery is a progressive traveling agency that offers its clients a wide variety of tours and destinations to enjoy. With our traveling services you can get wherever you want to , from the Anti Atlas mountain landscapes to deepest Moroccaan desert , and imperial cities to discover the dailylife and the real Morocco.


  • Marjolein said

    Interesting to read all questions about and experiences concerning Morocco! I just returned from Morocco yesterday, and I absolutely love Morocco. No wonder; together with a Moroccan (Amazigh) official guide (Hassan) I run a non-profit travel-agency: Travel Magical Morocco, offering trips in Morocco.

    I think the most important thing to know is that Morocco and Moroccan culture are great, and very, very, very different from what 'we, the westerners' are used to. So we would absolutely recommend an official local guide, or a travel agency (depending on your preferences) and some preparation; read about Morocco, ask questions and accept that things are not what we are used to.

    If you are open to that and prepare yourself we think you will have a great time in Morocco.

    And we are happy to help you out with any questions, tours or trips.

    [email protected]
    +212 6 62 74 30 23 (Hassans number) (whatsapp possible as well)

  • Sara Dominc said

    My parents and I all agree that our 10 day trip to Morocco through Deep Morocco Tours was the best family vacation we have ever been on!! Said made sure that everything we envisioned become a reality as he put together our tour. Ali our superb driver was a blast! He kept us laughing the entire trip and made sure to show us as much of Morocco as possible! We started in Casablanca and made our way to Rabat. From Rabat we travelled to beautiful blue Chefchaouen and then to artistic Fez! The car rides were amazing as Ali took us through the scenic routes. Our guides in each city were fantastic! From Fez we headed to Marrakech where we took an amazing cooking class, sunrise hot air balloon ride, and traditional spa day (hammam)! From Marrakech we headed to the beautiful coast town of Essaouira where we ended our trip relaxing. The entire time we did not have to think about any detail. Said and Ali had everything under control and made sure that all our needs were met. Thanks Deep Morocco Tours!
    Sara Dominic 00447763208149

  • modis11 said

    Dear sirs:
    I'm a Lebanese person.I would like to visit Casablanca soon to engage a Moroccan girl.as you know,that I should bring with me some gifts like gold.if I will bring to my fiancee a gold pendant and two bracelets,earing pieces and ring.should I pay tax for them if the overall price of them is USD 2000

  • Jennie said

    The truth about travelling in Morocco
    My husband and I just returned from a week vacation in Morocco. Before going, we read the reviews and therefore we planned not to drink the tap water and also knew haggling was part of the Moroccan culture, so we knew we’d have to negotiate prices for everything… There are two points the reviews don’t include:
    1. I had always wanted to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, so we travelled from Algeciras to Tangier by ferry. Immediately, the country has a huge problem with garbage collection and cleanliness – the situation is worse in Tangier (The medina is unbearable) and Casablanca – garbage all over the sidewalks. There are also stray cats everywhere.

    2. The reviews didn’t tell us that WE COULDN’T TRUST ANYONE in the streets, not even the man in the Marrakesh medina who offered to help us out and suggested we visit the ‘festival of colors’ because he’s going in the same direction as we are to buy bread for his family… He assured us he wasn’t a guide, but when we got to ‘the festival of color’ he quickly knocked on a gated entrance and greeted a man who proceeded to give us a tour without asking us first… Several people had approached us during the day to tell us about the tanneries and the special day that it was and that all the tourists were going… We had resisted following anyone or even listening, but this man hadn’t really approached us and he seemed honest… Of course the forced tour of the tannery and carpet dying facilities ended with the final product at the ‘store’ of the cooperative. Our ‘tour guide’ knocked at the door, someone unlocked it and we were escorted in and the door closed behind us. We were the only customers in the store with two vendors. The door was locked behind us and there were no windows. Although the vendor turned the AC on and told us there was no obligation to buy, he insisted we stay until we saw the entire variety of products. This was a very intimidating experience and we just wanted to leave as soon as possible, so we ended up purchasing an item and when we were escorted out, our ‘tour guide’ was waiting for us to show us the way back and for us to pay him for the tour! We told him to go speak with the people at the cooperative where we had spent our money. Very disgruntled, he left us alone. We liked to think that we are fairly street smart people, but the pace was so fast and planned out that we felt like we had no opportunity to stop it… So the following day, when I heard another con artist approaching a group of tourists and telling them that ‘It was a special day’ that ‘that they were lucky to be in Marrakesh on that day, because the Berbers were in town from mountains and it was the festival of colors…’, I quickly intervened and without a word he disappeared.

    It’s absolutely impossible to stop in the street to discuss anything with your travelling partners or to look at a map… You will be hassled by several people! We quickly determined that if and when we were lost we would only ask for directions from the vendors, who could not leave their merchandise / produce to guide us for a price, and we’d always need to confirm the information received ahead. We also decided we needed to walk with confidence so as not to be bothered.

    Another example: While we were waiting for our train from Casablanca to Marrakesh, a man who claimed to work for the government tourism office at the airport approached us to chat about Morocco and Canada… After leaving us with many tips, he offered to have a friend taxi driver who also works for the government(!) pick us up and drive us to our hotel for the right, honest price – to avoid that we get ripped off by the taxi drivers at the station. After we agreed to meet his friend – just so he’d leave us alone, I approached a ONCF train station employee, told her what had happened and asked her if he is a legitimate worker of the tourism office and she said ‘I have no idea’. Needless to say, we picked our own taxi driver… Before getting into a taxi, always research how much you should pay for that distance and agree on a price beforehand. Also, if you do not like the prices presented to you, walk away. This will make them lower their number. The taxi drivers will show you a price table, but it is the table they use for tourists only… We stood our ground and although taxi drivers were disgruntled, they still drove us to our destinations… However in one case we had to insist on receiving the correct change, another taxi refused to help us with our bags and the other told us “Other time, stay your country.” Happily!
    In conclusion – The low level of cleanliness and being constantly approached to spend money really affected my ability to enjoy Morocco and being on vacation. I would’ve wanted to have bought local products like the spices and leather goods, but walking the streets and making a purchase becomes stressful… This is not what you want to experience when on vacation…
    On a very positive note, I must say that we loved the riad we stayed at in Marrakesh – Riad Ines. The space was peaceful and beautifully decorated and the staff was very pleasant and helpful.

  • Jan said

    Do not go into ANY mosques in Morocco. It is the law for non-Muslims to do so. You can enter the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca at times during the day when prayers are not in progress.

    Here is the advice that Moroccans give to each other...Don't trust anybody!

  • Jerry said

    I have been in Morocco during the summer. I had a hard time the first day as I did not book any transportations from the airport to the hotel. I thought the hotel will take care of it but they did not. After an hour asking around outside of the airport, I was able to get a white cab to take me to the city. I have paid about 35 euros for the transfer.
    I went online and found that I should have paid about the same for a luxurious car. I have then done my research and found a local transportation agency ( casablanca-tours.com ). I have booked a visit of Casablanca with them. I have liked their service and decided to hire them for the rest of the trip. They have provided me with a private car and driver. It was very useful as he was fluent in english and help me as an interpreter. I would recommend them to any friend.
    It was a nice overall experience . This is their website https://casablanca-tours.com/

  • Sara Dominc said

    My husband and I went to Morocco and had really a great time!

    Briefly, Morocco is the country of contrasts; you will meet people who would want to help and others who may well want to rip you off.

    Should you plan a trip to Morocco, go ready and equipped, and remember that what does not kill you makes you stronger.

    We had such a wonderful and truly bespoke trip, but this is thanks to Said Amraoui. In fact, we met him and discussed our trip over a pint in London. The company is called Deep Morocco Tours .Com

    Good luck and wish you the very best

  • adam said

    The important and useful information about Morocco is very good, I enjoy this. By the way other than Morocco other beautiful holiday destinations you can get in Bali and you can rest with luxury and comfort in the best resort owned by Bali Hanginggardensofbali.com

  • Marshall Harmony said

    Visit Africa and have a feeling of love,experience the origin of nature and it's beauty. Africa is the best place for tourist attraction in the world.There so many places to visit in order for you to have wonderful and unforgettable lifetime experiences. Here are some of the places you may likely wish to visit:Kruger National Park(South Africa),Cape Town(South Africa),Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve(South Africa), Johannesburg(South Africa), Kisumu(Kenya), Eldoret(Kenya),Nairobi(Kenya), Mombasa(Kenya), Nakuru(Kenya), Tangier(Morocco), Agadir(Morocco), Abuja(Nigeria), Calabar(Nigeria), Uyo(Nigeria), Cairo(Egypt), Ruaha(Tanzania), Pemba Island(Tanzania). If you really intend to visit Africa and have the most intriguing and awesome moments of your life consult/contact SafeTrip Travels via [email protected]

  • Helen said

    Morocco has often been the subject of lush and romantic fantasy. The country is extremely diverse, with residents that are Arab, Berber, and many European and sub-Saharan African immigrants. Marrakesh is also the gateway to Morocco's High Atlas region where you can relish the scenic mountain beauty after your Marrakesh metropolis adventures. I like this country and always dreamt to visit it. At last my dream come true. I was looking for the appropriate place for my staying in the country. And stopped on Sirocco d‘Amour Boutique Hotel. Was there for two weeks. Fabulous! Unique design, elegance and austerity, harmony of simplicity)))

  • Mervyn said

    I, as a father, would like to travel to Morroco with my 18 year old daughter and am concerned that a man and a young woman might draw unnecessary attention for the duration of the trip. Am I correct to be concerned?

  • Zak said

    The worst country I’ve ever traveled to. There were lots of rude people on the streets harassing and trying to mislead me about tourist attractions. When I ignored them, they swore at me. Moroccans trying to steal your assigned seating in trains and airplanes are common too. Our local guide had to warn us about that. If you like trying out a country’s cuisine you will be very disappointed as the food variety in the country is low. If you like to eat meat you get the choice of having it overcooked in skewer or tagine form. If you are a vegetarian you don’t even have the option of the skewer. You can sample most of Morocco’s cuisine in just 2 days. The hygiene of the food matches the quality. I got food poisoning twice over 3 weeks and by the end of the trip a third of the group had gotten sick. Contrast that to my trip to India where no one in my group got sick.

  • Oksana said

    Another good advise - while in Erg Chebbi the sand dunes are quite nice and even in winter time you can get over 20 degrees during the day, at night the temperature can drop to 5 degrees if not lower. Better to be really well dressed in warm clothes even in the desert. As in any country where you travel its better try not to show much that you are a tourist. I had my first female alone trip there, which was absolutely amazing ! Surprisingly when you say in English or French that you are not interested in buying anything they will keep nagging you for a few more minutes. However, if you say "LA' shukran", meaning the same as "no, thanks" they would immediately stop. The realisation came quite late in the day, but was such a impressive learning point.

    Irrespective of all the new and unexpected things that can happen in different cultural environment, it is so much worth a visit. I collated some nice pics from the trip on www.osinspired.com to share the experience of Marrakech, Erg Chebbi dunes and pending some other from Rabat. Let me know what you think :)

  • Grisel said

    Wow, I'm soooo glad I found this blog! I know I'm way ahead of time but I'm already doing research on my trip to Morocco on October of this year, I want to celebrate my birthday (45th) in another country for a change! xD I decided on Morocco because a friend I met online (he's Moroccan), is offering to be my guide and companion during my stay, I've heard and read all kind of creepy stories about women traveling solo being harassed. I'm learning all kind of things here - I like the use of "La, Shukran" especially, great advice!

    I'm also a bit worried but I don't want the bad stories to take away from my excitement in my "planning", although I kinda plan to go with the flow (as one post suggested here), and create my agenda when I get there based on what I feel like doing.

    One thing that worries is that I'd run out of money though. I'm traveling from USA and planning to travel to Madrid directly and from there to Casablanca where my friend will pick me up - it seems it's a LOT cheaper than trying to flight 'directly" to Casablanca from NY. It seems I'll save a bit more money doing it this way. Once I get there, I have no idea about the money exchange I'll have to do before entering Morocco. I'm planning to stay a total of 13 days and I'm wondering how much money I should take with me or rather use my checking banking card. I'm worried about the international fees amounting too much if I use the ATM but also the carrying cash with me. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated along with any other advice. Thank you so much!!! Shukran! :)

  • sam said

    hi would morocco be recommended for a holiday for me and my partner and 5 year old daughter?

  • Chelsea said

    I just returned from 2 weeks travelling through Morocco as a female solo traveller, with blonde hair and blue eyes. I would 100% recommend Morocco as a holiday destination, however probably not for someone who hasn't travelled prior. Below are my tips for those with a trip coming up:

    - Train: The trains are often delayed but no more than an hour or two. Buy your tickets on the day, normally 10-minute line and have cash. If you’re carrying a bottle of water, expect local children to ask for some. If you’re concerned about where to get off, just ask someone nearby- with my 4 train trips- no issues. Be cautious of phone theft, never show them your phone- write locations on paper.
    - Buses: Book private buses before but not online, look for bus station ticket booths. Most people booking online didn’t secure their seats and were left catching public buses. Private buses in and out of Chefchaouen book out 1-2 days in advance.
    - Taxis: Do not get taxi’s directly outside train stations or bus ports (walk 50m up the road and get one off the street). Taxi’s pick up several people along your route, so often your sharing with others. Always ask for the metre to be on or negotiate a fair price (10-minute ride ~ 20dh for a tourist). Longer rides are cheaper, I paid 35dh for 1 hour taxi ride in the north.
    - Accommodation: Try and stay in a Riad/ hostels. The accommodation is spectacular, clean and cheap (100dh/night bed in 4 room hostel including breakfast). Avoid booking tours through hotels- okay price is 100dh/3-hour tour per/person. I booked accommodation as I went along, if I liked a city, I stayed or moved on.
    - Money: ATM's are in every city, however may need to walk a bit to find one. Not all currencies are exchanged at banks (AUS is not) thus I used ATM's every few days.
    - Directions: Nothing is mapped in Morocco correctly, especially the labyrinth of Marrakech. Download maps.me, which helps or get a sim card to provide some sort of direction. I brought a Moroccan simcard and 5GB data for 80dh with orange (recommend doing this at the airport). Always take notice of where you are going. If you get lost- which you will- be calm and ask shop keepers only for help, always refuse people to walk with you unless you’re willing to pay 20-50 dh as a thank you offering.
    - Safari tours: normally safe, you can book tours the day before in every city, just compare prices with several companies to ensure you’re not being scammed. Bring small cash for tips and lots of warm clothing. Buy everything you need before hitting the dessert as they will charge 10-15 times the price compared to big cities. Be aware you will normally spend 12+ hour plus driving in-out of the dessert.
    - Shopping: Marrakesh has the greatest variety, with the shop keepers starting normally 6 times what you should pay. Shoes (80dh), leather duffle bags (300dh), raffia handmade shoes (150dh), real argan oil (40dh) and blankets (150-200dh). If they start too high just walk away politely. Never tell people it is your first time in Morocco- tell them you know the real price and to stop messing around. I watched countless people pay 10 times what I paid happily because the quality and authenticity is high. Never buy leather near the tanneries unless you’re confident on a good price. Chefchaouen stores normally provided a good price first time around, very touristy friendly city.
    - Food: Don’t expect couscous unless its Friday. Honestly there is not a huge amount of cultural variety besides tajines. You can find variety of western food in most cities. The bakeries are insanely good, along with beautiful fresh juices.
    - Jardin Majorelle Garden (Marrakesh): The line can often be over 2 hour wait, walk down to the YSL museum and buy a combo ticket – it will allow you to walk straight into the garden and skip the long line.

    I’ve travelled all over the world and I can happily say Morocco is one of favourite countries. It is safe, full of beautiful people and rich culture.

  • Emily D said

    Needless to say, traveling to a new country especially Morocco, one would greatly benefit by hiring a local tour guide...not only can they offer local perspective on things, they would also help you get around local language and cultural barriers and help you avoid faux pas as well...I am glad even the writer of this article made this observation and suggestion as the very first point.
    You can search and hire local tour guides in Morocco by visiting our website at https://www.tourpeer.com. We connect travelers with local tour guides and travel experts.

  • Benardus van Zuylen van Nijevelt said

    Have been spending a Sabbatical Year in Morocco and visited almost all cities.

    If one likes Disneyland and wish to see a Moroccan version of it, then Marrakech is for you. Imagine Miami wearing Kaftan, with more attractive locals. Best time to visit: May, June, September and October. Other months would be either rainy or too hot. Worst time: July and August. Hot beyond imaging.

    Feeling like playing Lawrence of Arabia or Getrude Bell: The Sahara and Ouarzazatte.

    For scholars who like old architectures and crafts, Fes is the place to go. Best time to visit: All year round, if one doesn’t mind getting wet on rainy season.

    Learning about the history of Morocco, visiting ancient palaces, first Muslim settlement and even Roman ruin: Meknes and Volubilis. Best time to visit: Apri, May, October, November.

    To relax and do water sport: Essaouira. Good all year round except in March where it got rain mixed with very strong wind.

    If one wants see a big, dirty, overpriced and ugly architectures, Casablanca. The only thing worth seeing here is Hassan II Mosque, Magnificent beyond imagining!

    To enjoy good beaches, good food, people watching and stay among locals who will mistaken foreigners as one of them: Tangier. The only city in Morocco where one will find equal amounts of churches, mosques and former synagogues. Perfect weather for 6 months from May until October. Mild wind, cool breeze and never too hot even in August. Worst time: March.

    A sleepy port town with superb cuisine: Asilah

    The prettiest town in Morocco: Chefchaouen - 2.5 hours from Tangier, Good all year round except in December and January, simply too cold! Unless one does day trip only from Tangier, the beautiful city can feel like Chicago in winter (well, not really, but almost!)

    It is to be noted that shopping for real antiques - museum quality and collectible items - is in general very good in three cities: Marrakech, Fes and Tangier. New, economical, and run-of-the mills tourist items can be found anywhere.

    I am sure there are many more to see, to do, and to repeat. I am planning to do exactly just that on the second Sabbatical year!

    For practicality, I always start and end my journey in Tangier, as it has the most relaxed and efficient Airport in the entire Morocco, only 3 hours from London, door to door via Gatwick Express.

    Marrakech Menara Airport is also good, though not as relaxed and efficient as Tangier.

    Airport to avoid at all cost: Casablanca! It is worst than JFK New York on its worst day.....

  • Abdelaziz said

    For centuries, Morocco has inspired travelers with its colorful energy, fascinating history, and dazzling combination of Arab, European, and African influence. From vibrant and bustling medinas to the sparse but breathtaking Sahara, the country packs a remarkable variety of adventures into its corner of North Africa. Surfers catch waves at windswept Atlantic coast beaches and hikers trek the scenic Atlas Mountains. Kasbahs and mosques offer a glimpse of a more mystical time, while hip cafés and high-design riads reflect Moroccans' modern, cosmopolitan side.
    I am sharing this preface of the Fodor's Travel Guide just to highlight some of the best things you will encounter coming to visit Morocco,
    For safety, Morocco is a relatively safe country and destination, violent crime is rare, be careful in the crowded areas, carry your backpacks and purses in front of you, cellphones and cameras and other portable electronics are big sellers on the black market and should be out of sight whenever possible.
    Female travelers _and especially single female travelrs_ sometimes worry about treatment on the streets of Morocco. There really isn't anything to worry about; you will mostly be leered at, spoken to, and sometimes followed for a block. Women walking alone are targeted by vendors hoping to make a sale. This attention, however, while irritating, isn't threatening. Don't take it personally; Moroccan Women endure it, As well. The best way to handle it is to walk purposefully, avoid eye contact, and completely ignore men pestering you.
    So Morocco is the good destination to spend your holiday in and discover a different culture and lifestyle.
    By the Way, I am saying this depending on my Experience as a Guide to the Natural Areas of Morocco.
    For further information don't hesitate to contact me: [email protected]

  • imlil said

    One of the best thing to do in Morocco if you are a outdoor person is Climb Mount Toubkal www.climbingtoubkal.com is the highest peack in North africa 4167m Amazing Mountains and explore the life style of the Locals Berbers

  • Maggie Odle said

    @Chelsea...I found your comments to be quite helpful!!!

  • karim said

    going through all these comments, felt sad really, you can visit and live in my country, even find work, a french couple who were visiting morocco as travellers, just now they bought a house nearby where i live and turned it into hostel, but when we do ask for visa in your embassies, they ask us for tons of documents and lots of money like if we are going to travel to another planet, we pay fees, await a week or two and the answer is sorry.
    sincerly, if i was in charge of morocco, i will close my borders for you, accept that or not, if you say but we come to travel and spend money, look in youtube about french spanich english american people who opened business in morocco, thousands ! now they even hunt for meteorites, even argan oil is no more sold by moroccans but by french and spaniards, carpets in morocco becoming a pure french business, hotels , riads, hostels, thousands owned by foreingners, and when a moroccan with enough money and good salary wish just to visit an island or icy winter place, we are being refused, but any who own an european id can enter morocco, in the airport they are not even checked how much money they hhave on them.
    i wish we close our borders and profit from our country, letting only those who will meet the same criteria asked by your embassies for us, tourism hasnt giving us nothing.

  • John Sullivan said

    My family and I have just completed a magical travel experience. Morocco was wonderful and we were so lucky to have chosen Deep Morocco Tours, we spent 16 days in Morocco and Said booked us in very beautiful properties. I would suggest you hire a driver/guide if you wish to go under the skin of local cultures and experience the authentic Morocco.
    If you want to save your time, just get in touch with Deep Morocco Tours, they will design the right travel itinerary for you.

  • Viktoria Barsony said

    A few days ago I was thinking about a trip to Morocco. Your blog really inspired me to go there. Now I will surely visit Morocco. It seems one of the beautiful destinations on earth. I will keep in mind all the things you mentioned in your blog, your blog will help me a lot while travelling there.

  • rardcus said

    Hello. And Bye.

  • Toubkal Trekking said

    Nice Blog Its very Informative And Useful for Us. Morocco desert tour is ideal to combine both imperial cities and Morocco Sahara desert in 3 days via Merzouga & Erg Chebbi dunes with sunset camel trek. Its time to choose the best tourist transport agency for desert tour in Morocco. Know more about our company through our website or call us on +212 6 62 16 06 90 and make your trip memorable

  • rardcus said

    posso usare l'italiano or english

  • wistful said

    So so sad. Reading the comments made me kind of regret choosing Morocco as a country to visit this year. How so paranoid I'll have to be on my trip, as two female travellers; get ready to be leered at, followed, threatened to pay up (albeit in a non-physical manner), I always have to be on my toes; never trust anyone; basically this sounds like I would not have a good trip already. Looks like I have no choice since I've already booked my flight. Wish me well guys. May be back to update my experience in 3 weeks time. Haiz.

  • mohamedafrica said

    Welcome to Morocco, in the new and updated Tour information & resource site of the Camel Trekking Experience company with experience in the sector of tourism, created to offer all you wish during your trip through Morocco and especially during your Trips through the Desert.

  • ilyasse said

    wistful , i'm sure you will have a great time in Morocco everyone has its own opinion about something and you should to have yours just do it and trust me you won't forget it

  • rardcus said

    i am from Italy hello. Can you help me translate? /rardor

  • Mixdem said

    hi guys :). I am looking for help for me and my girl. i am from France

  • Dean said

    This just happened, December 2019: My wife and I booked a Marrakesh and Essouiria mini tour through Monarch Travel Morocco (Big mistake). The advertisement said it could be fifty to one hundred people in the tour but when we were picked up from the airport by the driver they assigned we would soon realize we were the only ones on the tour. This was a huge red flag and the beginning of what I believe was a cold calculated scam by the company, driver and guide working in tandem to keep us isolated and away from figuring out the true cost of products and restaurant meals.

    The hotels they booked were decent, and the driver knew the roads and where he was going, so we didn't think anything was amiss until the suggested restaurants that the driver and guide took us to were always suspiciously empty. Red flag, the food was never extravagant or the equivalent of the price we were asked to pay. Once we invited the guide to lunch and he chose another near empty restaurant which served mediocre fare and before we went to pay the ridiculously exorbitant 60 dollar bill he grinned in a garish gotcha exclamation of “welcome to Marrakesh”, as though scamming us was not enough he also wore glasses, a fez-like hat and feigned a religious nature . He would walk us by other vendors saying he knew of better places only for us to realize later he was getting some monetary kickback and the vendor had over-inflated their starting prices. Every restaurant he took us to we were paying the same price as a meal back home when the buffet at both hotels figured to around five dollars. We also made the big mistake of telling them it was our first time in Morocco which everyone online says never to do. It seemed that there was some malicious intent on all their parts to drain us of as much money as they could, and that everyone in the country was in on it, and helping him to keep us in the dark as to the real prices we should have been paying.

    I would never choose to go to Morocco again. In Essouria we escaped the conman guide who was by far the worst . Because of the so-called tour we had very little time on our own which to access real pricing; had I known I would have gotten rid of the dirty immoral guide all together and spent much less money. So do not trust the guides or the drivers in most cases they are fanning friendship. Don't tell them anything about your life, it will only fuel their jealousy and escalate their want to scam you of more money of which they show no remorse. The guide also spoke of how easily people from the US can travel, and it was a red flag that he harbored some bitterness towards us so don't tell them about your travels they are very begrudging and disgruntled about not getting visas easily, which in hindsight his rant was a huge red flag. Trust your own intuition, and your time is better spent without them, on your own.

    We also believe that there may be some animosity toward the French, as our corrupt guide stated that a lot of the French are buying up land and buildings and setting up their own riads and the locals can not. He admonished us any time we used "merci" as a thank you, even though one of the more common languages uses is French.

    The department store con: The conman guide who was with us all day first took us to a department store. He took us straight upstairs to the rug section, which we didn’t ask to see, and were not interested in, and gave us the hard sell. Don't even let them speak simply say your not interested and go the departments you want. I bought jewelry I believe they switched with a lesser quality item. The girl fanned shining my silver ring. The ring looked different after we paid. We bought a scarf that had no price, after buying there was a price of seven dollars. The conman guide tried to get us to leave our bags in the department store which I refused because I carry a backpack. I wish we had gotten rid of him altogether. Undoubtedly he would have swapped more items. Truly the whole country seemed corrupt and scamming. Why go to a place like that, it was one of the worst trips we've ever had because of the deceitful dishonest people. Why contribute to their economy when they are doing this to so many people honest people even denying their own people from selling their wares honestly we never got to buy from the honest person only the conman. I recommend that you pick any other country don't go to Morocco we found only corruption unkindness and dishonesty.

    They also asked us multiple times if we plan on moving from our home soon. What a red flag! What scam is that supposed to indicate? if anyone knows since it's not a normal question, give us a heads up and never trust a Moroccan. Be evasive to their questions, and never give them the real answer. Good luck.

  • Dean said

    Airport in Casablanca or Marrakesh: We had a few items (chocolate from Paris) taken from our luggage going through check-in baggage in Morocco! The very odd thing is that we had duplicate items of all stolen items that the thieves did not take, so we don't believe that it was done by airport security (if so, we would expect all of similar items to be removed). Try to have any important items in your carry-on bags, or try to ship your items through DHL or some other international shipping company.

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