Travelling Alone in Marrakech
We often get asked – usually by women – if travelling alone in Marrakech is safe.
The simple answer is you’re as safe here as you are anywhere.
But for anyone who’s not a really experienced traveller, coming alone to North Africa alone might feel daunting. We get it. It’s a world away from the cities many of you will be familiar with.
But we’re going to let you into a secret: the person writing this blog is a woman who landed alone in Marrakech with a suitcase and a plan to stay for three months. She ended up living here for nearly seven years.
So with all that lived experience, here are her top tips for travelling alone to Marrakech.
UNDERSTAND THE CULTURE
Morocco is a Muslim culture so public spaces are much more dominated by men than women. It’s just a part of life here and nothing to feel worried about. Marrakech is a truly international town and the people here are used to visitors.
OWN THE ROOM
Nothing will make you stand out more than walking uncertainly down a street, phone in hand, looking lost. Walk with intention, be your most fabulous travelling self – and repel unwanted attention with your purposeful stride.
Choose where you stay wisely. The shops and working areas of the souk close at night and it gets pretty deserted so avoid staying anywhere that will mean long walks home alone along quiet streets. Or you can stay at El Fenn: we’re perfectly positioned just five minutes walk from the main square so we’re close to the best spots and it’s an easy walk home after a night out.
GET A GUIDE
And if possible, a female guide. All the guides in Marrakech are licensed and can tailor a tour to exactly what you want to see. Having a female guide will also be a great chance for you to chat properly with a Moroccan woman about life, culture – and everything in between.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE ‘RUDE’
If you do get approached by someone – and yes, it’s probably going to be a man who might just want to chat, or show you the way to his shop – the best approach is to not overly engage. You’re not on holiday to win a politeness contest. If you don’t feel comfortable it’s okay to ignore a stranger.
USE YOUR HOTEL DRIVER
You can use petit yellow taxis to get around town – have a read of our ‘how to get around’ blog. But be aware that the drivers who park up by the main exit points of the medina and outside tourist attractions are usually the most expensive. If your riad or hotel has a driver they use, we’d advise you to book with them even if they’re a bit more expensive. It’s worth paying a few more Euros to avoid a prolonged debate about how much you’re going to pay.
IF YOU GET LOST
Don’t panic. There are really only two ‘main’ streets running from top to bottom of the medina – and all the side streets lead onto one of the two. Pick up one of the main thoroughfares and negotiate back to Djemaa el Fna to restart your journey.
WHAT TO WEAR
Some Moroccan women wear headscarves, jeans and a t-shirt, a few wear the burqa and others are clad in designer heels and mini dresses. This is a cosmopolitan city. The medina however is certainly more traditional and we believe it’s important to respect that. We’d advise covering your shoulders and knees. This is particularly important during Ramadan. It’s a holy month and you need to show that you understand that. But if you’re headed to Gueliz, Hivernage or the Palmeraie, anything goes.
We may be biased but our concierge team are the best. When you arrive, we will ask you how you would like to spend your time in Marrakech. We will help you plan your stay, however you want to spend your time. Quiet reading corners and early morning yoga, fun nights on the roof top and night time tours of the souks, don’t be afraid of travelling alone, Marrakech might just be what your soul needs right now.
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