9 safety tips for traveling to Morocco as a female
Morocco is colorful, cultural, captivating and crazy. Located in the North of Africa, across the water from Spain lies a beautiful destination filled with sensational food, architecture and epic adventures.
From the snowy Atlas mountains, hot Sahara desert, vibrant towns and bustling and busy cities, there is so much to do.
The fabulous country has intriguing behavior and a slightly diverse set of ways that many westerners will need to adapt too.
The conversation on females traveling Morocco has always been a debate. How safe it really is.
It definitely is not the top country I would recommend for any solo female to escape too but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. It’s somewhere everyone should visit.
I know many female travelers around the country, on their own, in couples or groups but a few extra safety measures will be a good idea in Morocco.
Stay covered up. Morocco is an Arab and Muslim country and women are unfortunately not looked at with the same respect as other countries. You will see most local women well covered up, especially out in public areas.
Tourist areas are used to many foreigners but with respect, and for your own good, don’t show too much skin. You will get remarks, looks and comments.
Covering your shoulders and most of your legs is the best idea. It can get extremely hot so make sure to wear light clothing during the hot season.
Watch for scams. I am pretty used to being scammed as a tourist and watching for extra costs locals will try. Many countries have hidden or extra costs tourists end up paying but there are a few in Morocco that can be avoided.
Agree a price before you get in a cab. No doubt that most drivers will try charge you 5x times the price to start. You will rarely pay the local fare unless you know a local however always lower your taxi fare. They will try it and I promise you, it’s no where the amount you should and could pay.
If you arrive from the airport, especially in Marrakech, certain taxi’s will have to drop you at certain spots. The medina has many alleys that can not be driven down, people will approach you straight away to help but they will always want paying. Unfortunatley, many parts of Morocco became off putting and sad at how many people close in on you in some way in order for a, tip, or payment. The locals can become invasive or even aggresive if there needs are not met. Once you are aware of them, they can be spotted.
I did find out that being a female drew more attention then when being a male.
I traveled Morocco with my younger sister and despite both being well traveled and able to adapt, it could feel quite intense. Be careful what help you get as there normally needs to be a financial payment. Act confident and aware without being rude.
Download offline maps. This is a great idea for anyone all over the world. Due to the language barrier and confusing routes, knowing where you are, or a route to somewhere is massively beneficial. To have an offline souce or direction of where you are will help. I love ‘maps.me’. Download the entire city or country on wifi, and make sure to make the most of dropping pin points. This has helped me all over the world.
Learn to ignore comments. Whether they’re personal, even much related to you or someone simply inviting you to see their shop. You can get hassled in parts of Morocco.
The medina in Marrakech is the perfect example. With most the locals also speaking French, you can easily feel like your walking around France. For those who don’t speak French, you will have little idea on what they’re saying but almost everyone has something to say. Rather then smiling and noding, or relplying, it’s actually better to totally ignore, keep your head up and keep walking. Some countries can take a smile or eye contact as something more then just trying to be polite.
It doesn’t have to be anything bad that they may say, it can sometimes become a little too much. It’s worth just ignoring most things.
Avoid being alone at night in quiet places. Like anywhere, the darkness can change the vibe completely. I am one to take a little risk and go everywhere and anywhere on my own. The entire atmospere can feel very different in Morocco at night. Many parts aren’t open late, while drinking not a thing and many locals tucked away by midnight, it can feel quiet and the only people out will be men, and hundreds of cats.
No price for safety. I am one to stick to a tight budget and would totally prefer to walk or grab local transport to save on extra costs. I like to opt for cheaper accomadation however for many parts of Morocco, it is hightly reccomended to spend that bit more for your own safety. Even when booking your accomadation, it’s worth paying that little bit more on knowing your safe. Riads and AirBnB’s are my favourite but lots of homes around Morocco can be found down alleys and the of beaten track. It’s worth putting some money aside to grab that extra cab and knowing your stuff is safe.
Have different currency. Moroccoan Dirham is used mostly, despite them also taking Euro’s, things will work out more expensive that way. Have your local currency, Euros and Dirham. Never carry much cash on you however. Always leave it in a safe place back at your accomadation and have a back up for cards.
I can’t stress enough wherever I am in the world how important it is to respect the local culture, rules and general surroundings. The amount of tourists I see head towards places with their own idea of what’s wrong and right. Unfortunatley for women, we aren’t looked at the same way here so for your own good, be respectful.
People don’t need to know the whole truth. I travel mostly on my own, and not everyone needs to know that. Be wary of the information you give to people. Most people I meet traveling are helpful and kind who just want to help but like anywhere, be wary of what people know. Many locals wanted to know where we were from, how old I was, where I was staying etc… It’s okay to give out false information to people you don’t know.
Anywhere in the world brings risks and dangers, traveling alone as a female anywhere will bring different challenges that are totally possible to handle. It’s just staying aware of your surroundings, your things and your health. Stay respectful and open minded and your determination will carry you through.