Landing in Marrakech can be a shock and you are likely to feel somehow intimidated…. for many reasons. If you don’t know what to expect and how to get prepared you might see your experience ruined.
And the truth is Marrakech is a wonderful and fascinating city that you can enjoy fully despite the hustle and bustle, noise, traffic, heat, crowds, pollution, constant harassment, rubbish everywhere, and animal exploitation…
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed in the first few minutes, but you will find out that this is all part of Marrakech charm.
Here are my best 15 tips for Marrakech, as well as advice that I consider important to know before landing here.
15 tips for Marrakech
- If you don’t wish to buy anything, don’t answer. Simply keep walking and smile.
- Hustlers and touts are part of the medina experience, ignore it.
- Respect the culture and dress appropriately (to avoid unwanted attention)
- The App Maps Me works better than google maps when offline…and you can also download the free Marrakech Riad Travel Guide app to use as an offline GPS but still expect to get lost.
- Stay alert. Be aware of pickpocketers and scams (around photos, fossils, carpets, leather goods and the most common one is the “follow me” scam where a young guy says he can lead you to your hotel/destination and then he wants an insane amount of money for leading you) Always be vigilant! Don´t keep your money or important documents in places of easy access.
- If you want to buy something try to know the prices and bargain hard.. but politely.
- Don’t trust anyone that offers advice without being asked, and ignore anyone saying that the road/place you are going is closed, just walk.
- Don’t explore the medina at night by yourself, unless you know your way around it really well.
- Avoid the hottest months (July, August) and Ramadan.
- Use a water bottle with a filter to avoid buying plastic bottles.
- Avoid the tanneries.
- Have cash with you, it’s cash, not the card that reigns supreme. But its relatively easy to find an ATMs (to get an idea of how much things cost in Morocco, take a look at this post). Carrying small notes is also helpful, it’s common to hear them saying that they don’t have change.
- The officially spoken language of Marrakech is Arabic. But French is widespread so work on your french. Also knowing two simple Arabic words can get you a long way: La= No, Choukran=thank you.
- Eat, where locals do, because they know where to get the best food from.
- The vast majority of hotels/riads have internet. But if you’re interested in having internet all the time buy a SIM card at the airport. I paid €10 for 7GB unlimited calls and texts.
Tourist scams are far too common in Marrakesh, there will always be people who see tourists as easy cash-laden targets to be taken advantage of. So just learn about the scams to avoid them.
So, now you should be well prepared for your Marrakech trip!
Find here the full travel guide to Marrakech.
Do you have any other tips or questions? Have you been to Marrakech? What other tips would you add? Simply leave a comment, I would love to hear from you 🙂
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha