10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Travelling To Morocco Travel Tips
10 Things I wish I knew About Morocco
Travel Tips Morocco
Morocco is a beautiful country with stunning countryside and marvellous cities. But not all that glitters, is gold. You can be astonished by alluring sights and twenty minutes later feeling dumb because you were overcharged.
Is Morocco Safe?
There are some travel tips and tricks though, from travellers that actually been there. Furthermore, these tips can save your money but also reassure you about safety. After all, safety in Morocco is quite an interesting topic. To sum up, the country is now deemed safe but some precautions are definitely needed.
1. How To Be Safe In Morocco
Travelling to Morocco is very easy and accessible. However many people are afraid to travel to Morocco due to safety reasons.
There aren’t any precautions on official websites, but there are some tips that can definitely help you feel safer.
- First of all, try to be close to public areas where are lots of people. This protects you from the possibility of major crimes because there are many witnesses.
However, pickpocketers are most often located right there, so keep an eye on your items.
- Secondly, don’t go out late. This applies especially in smaller rural areas. In a city like Marrakech or Casablanca, there are many tourists and locals and it’s not empty.
Furthermore, just use common sense and you’ll be fine. If you have a strange gut feeling, don’t go to that place or just leave.
In my experience, everyone was nice and kind to us and they were mostly minding their own business.
2. Keep Your Passport Close While Travelling Through Morocco
Morocco, along with other countries such as Georgia, Armenia or most Middle Eastern states is quite a poor country. People want to emigrate to other countries that have higher GDPs. There are many scammers in Morocco that will want to take your passport and sell it on the black market. That’s why it’s best not to show your passport to anybody, only when you really have to.
Secondly, keep your passport hidden in your hotel. It should be somewhere where nobody would be able to find it. If you don’t trust your hosts, just buy a neck bag and hid it under your clothes. You can have it always with yourself.
This is not a joke, I personally saw someone taking the passport off a tourist’s hand in Marrakech souks. It was two men on a motorcycle.. but more on that in next post.
3. Haggling In Morocco
Haggling in Morocco is one of the best things you can experience. Of course, only if you know how to do it right. If you don’t, you’ll be overcharged.
Some people argue you shouldn’t haggle because these people are poor. So they pay full price due to “charity” reasons. I don’t think this is the most charitable thing one can do for Moroccans but it’s the customer’s choice.
Moroccans love to haggle. It’s like their national sport. We have hockey, they have haggling. It’s really an integral part of their culture that you need to experience.
Firstly, you need to understand their pricing system. They mark up because of how the item looks like. It’s not flat rate or something like that. The price is also higher than they actually want to get by at least 50%.
If you don’t want to buy the item, don’t haggle. You’ll be seen as disrespectful. If they don’t agree with your best price for them, walk away. You’ll be called back almost immediately.
4. How to dress In Morocco
Dressing up in Morocco is indeed an important topic to cover. Firstly, men fashion is not that big of a deal. It doesn’t matter what you wear as a man in Morocco at all.
For women, it is a different story. It is best to stay covered up in Morocco, not wearing very short skirts or shorts. Don’t wear crop-tops and don’t show lot of skin. It’s also better to travel with your make friend, boyfriend or a relative. This can prevent any harassment from Moroccan men.
I personally wasn’t feeling anxious at all, but I was wearing a sweater and tights with dress underneath because of cold weather.
5. What Is Good To Know About Moroccan Currency
The currency in Morocco is MAD, Moroccan Dirhams (pronounced dee-rahms). For 1€ you’ll get 10 MAD. In Marrakech, I recommend changing money in a big hotel close to the park and the main mosque. It’s better to ask your host or hotel staff where to change your money.
Most of the shops in Morocco (even in big cities like Marrakech) don’t have the option to pay by credit card. This means you should always keep a bit of cash on you. You cant pay by credit card in cabs or in local souks (markets).
6. What To Use? A Card or Cash?
In Morocco, you should definitely use cash. You can’t go very far with a credit card nor traveller checks.
As I said, you won’t be able to buy anything from local markets with the card, nor local vendors. Cabs also dont accept credit cards, only cash in Morocco.
Also, be aware of ATMs. They can easily run out of money but still charge you a full price from your bank account. It’s better to take money with you than regret later.
7. Keeping Your Change And Prevent Overcharging
Overcharging tourists is very common in a country like Morocco. Taxi drivers or local sellers will always tell you they don’t have enough cash to make it the number you agreed on.
That’s why it’s better to keep a bit of change and use it anytime you need.
8. How To Tip In Morroco
Tipping is necessary in order to be respectful in Morocco. Keep a bit of change for that and appreciate the effort of hotel or restaurant staff.
The general rule is 1MAD for a local place and 3-5MAD for a nicer, cleaner restaurant. You can also give 1MAD to cab drivers, waiters, local vendors, henna painters, etc.
9. Moroccan Local Guides And Their Scams
Morocco is well known for amazing sights and incredibly rich history. There are also many people on streets claiming they are travel or tour guides and will show you the site.
It’s best to stay away from them as they are often trying to charge you and then run away. Some travelers said they went to Tanneries (a place where the leather is being made) and they felt really unsafe because the so-called guide took them to a different direction.
10. Beware Of Stomach Sickness
The best rule for staying in countries like Morocco is don’t drink tap water. It’s better to buy packaged water because Morocco’s water is treated differently than ours and there’s a possibility of bacteria. Eat only in restaurants that have high rating on sites like TripAdvisor and you’ll be safe.
Happy stay in Morocco!
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