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Morocco

Hi there!

I'm a female traveling solo to Morocco from June 10-17. I'll be in Marrakech and Fes. Thinking of possibly changing my plans to add Chefchaouen, the blue city.

Any advice on good and safe places to stay? It'll be my first time there so any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated! If you have a favorite area or fave guide books, that's cool to hear.

Thank you!

Posted by
710 posts

I went to Marrakesh for the first time last year, and I could literally write a book about it! Words cannot express!! LOL, I do mean that in a good way, but also in a "prepare yourself" way.
I was with my dad, my sister, my aunt and my cousin, so of course my experience will be different because I wasn't alone and I was with a male. But just a couple suggestions:
In Marrakesh, we stayed in the New City and I recommend that. It's more modern and a good break from the intensity of the Medina and Old City. Where we stayed was within walking distance of the Jemma el-Fna (25-30 minutes), but was right near a mall, a McDonalds and some really nice shops.
I never once felt unsafe. However, having said that, you do have to be on guard - more against scams and petty theft than anything else. There are so many people trying to sell you something, or bargain on something, or guide you somewhere, and my best advice is to be kind, yet firm, whenever you simply aren't interested. If you are too nice, you'll end up being led all over the place by a random stranger, while he takes you to every shop and stall he knows, expecting you to buy from his friends and then pay him for services you never asked for. Again, it's not a matter of being safe, but you can get suckered real quick if you aren't on guide. I found the people for be very friendly and hospitable and respectful, especially when I busted out my entire 10-word Arabic vocabulary. it went a long way!!!!
I am normally not a tourist type person - I like the "live like a local" experience, but I sure enough was down for a camel ride!! We sued Get Your Guide to book it the day before and it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! We also used Time-Out Marrakesh Excursions to take a day trip to Ouzoud Falls which was also an awesome experience.
I hope you have a fantastic trip!

Posted by
714 posts

Important phrase to know - la, shukran - said in a firm voice. It means no thanks. Learning other basic phrases in Arabic is also very useful - hello, goodbye, please, thank you, how are you and so on. French is widely spoken as well as English.

Morocco is beautiful and very interesting. I would suggest a guide for the Medina in Fez; its huge and old and confusing and absolutely fascinating and not to be missed. Your hotel should be able to provide names - make sure they are licensed. Maybe the Rick Steves office can help; I seem to recall that both kids went there. No doubt he will lead you to certain shops run by cousins who will give you a good price..it's up to you if you choose to buy. Personally I find bargaining a pain in the butt and a good guide can be useful in assisting you. La, shukran is a very useful phrase in these situations!

Posted by
21087 posts

I loved Morocco when I visited it with my mother in the early 1990s. We traveled independently, getting around via a combination of trains, buses and shared taxis.

The one issue we had--and I believe the situation continues to exist-- was the constant badgering by young men who wanted to be our guide. It appeared that the only way to avoid that was to be walking around with an already-hired guide. It seemed that any accompanying local would do--including 12-year-old boys. Just something to keep in mind if the annoyance factor gets to be too much.