4 Things That You Should Be Aware Of While In Morocco
Updated: Jun 23
There is no doubt about it: Morocco is an incredible country. Everyone that visits Morocco raves about the stunning scenery, the beautiful architecture, and the delicious food. It is no wonder your Instagram feed is flooded with gorgeous pictures from Morocco. As wonderful as Morocco is, it is not without its faults. Overall, Morocco is a safe country, especially as a tourist. Unfortunately, there are few things that can go wrong in Morocco. Being prepared for the following will keep you from having any nasty surprises during your trip.
You can pay way too much
Morocco is a shoppers heaven. A handwoven Berber rug, silver tea set or leather bag make for perfect souvenirs. Chances are, you’ll come home with a much heavier suitcase. Shopping in Morocco requires some skill though. It is a haggling culture, so you have to be prepared to negotiate over prices. Especially as a tourist, vendors will quote you a pretty high price. This is not intended to rip you off; it is simply how business is done. You’re expected to give a counteroffer and negotiate the price down. For westerners, this practice might be a bit uncomfortable, and a lot of tourists end up overpaying for their purchases. But is it worth to play along, not only because it will save you a lot of money, but also because it is an important social ritual.
Getting duped into paying too much or getting scammed
Most people in Morocco are very kind and helpful, but unfortunately, there are a few scenarios to look out for.
Be wary of people offering to guide to your hotel, restaurant or tourist sights. They pose as helpful locals but will demand a hefty tip for their services. If you are lost, ask a shop owner or police officer for directions. Only accept tours from licensed tour guides with an office and negotiate a price beforehand.
Crowded squares, such as The Jemna El-Fna in Marrakesh, are infamous for scams. People will try to get you to take a picture with their animal or paint henna on your hand and demand money.
Some shops will try to sell you fake items, such as diluted argan oil, artificial minerals and fossils, and fake saffron. Be aware that the traditional handicrafts, such as carpets and pottery, sold on big tourist markets, are often fake as well.
Restaurants sometimes try to rip you off by adding items to the bill that you didn’t order or charging much higher prices on the “tourist menu.” If they do this, refuse to pay the inflated price and walk away.
You can get pick pocketed
As with any city around the world, be mindful of your valuables. Crowded touristic places and big cities are the favored hunting ground for pickpockets. Don’t flash your expensive gadgets, jewelry, and fat wallet unless you’re okay with losing them. Any sign of wealth is more likely to make you a target for thieves. Leave your passport at your hotel and take only as much money with as you’ll need for the day. Carry your wallet in your front pocket or a zipped cross-body purse and keep an eye on your valuables.
You can miss out on all the best things
The number of worthwhile sights in Morocco are impossible to count. It seems like there is something beautiful to see around every corner. Of course, most of the big-ticket tourist attractions are popular for a reason. But don’t get stuck exploring only the famous sights. Take the time to venture out to the road less traveled, especially outside of the big cities. A good local guide can take you to see all the hidden gems that you would otherwise have missed.