Morocco Tourist Traps

  • Bird photos are FIVE dirhams.
    Bird photos are FIVE dirhams.
    by Bennytheball
  • Supratours bus station, Essaouira.
    Supratours bus station, Essaouira.
    by Bennytheball
  • Tourist Traps
    by Bennytheball

Morocco Tourist Traps

  • General Warning

    Marrakesh Tourist Traps

    The saying that "the wider the smile, the sharper the knife" is to an extent true. On my way to the Merdesa, a young local claiming to study Economics at university offered to lead me but instead guided me to the tannery. Though interesting as well, the tannery was a trap really as after he passed me on to another man who explained the process of...

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  • Old Medina

    Casablanca Tourist Traps

    If you are a tourist, they will seek you out, follow you and try to be your guide or cut you a deal. I never knew I had so many friends! The medina is worth an afternoon of wandering if you can handle tight spaces, crowds and saying "no" a lot. Have fun looking and browsing, but beware and try not to respond to any offers. If you ever say...

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  • Water Sellers / Beggars / Intrusive...

    Marrakesh Tourist Traps

    André's tips to Marrakesh: DON’T SHOW NERVOUSNESS- even if your knees are shaking. BE EASY GOING- Moroccans are outgoing people, and most of them well intentioned. Keep that in mind and you’ll see that many times even after declining whatever they’re offering, you’ll be greeted with a ”welcome to morocco” BE POLITE – works on every corner of the...

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  • Places/ Buildings to avoid

    Marrakesh Tourist Traps

    This was the restaurant in which I had my fall but that is not the reason I am suggesting that it is a tourist trap. Even if I had not been in pain during our meal here I would still have regarded it as a rip-off. We had booked on the recommendation of Katy, the owner of our hotel, and it’s our own fault that we didn’t ask her for more details...

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  • Do not get lost!

    Marrakesh Tourist Traps

    If you get lost in the souks trying to find that particular cafe or one of the many sights nestled within the narrow alleyways and a friendly face offers you directions they will expect to be paid for their kindness. Keep hold of your coins, they come in handy.

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  • Local Traditions

    Marrakesh Tourist Traps

    On a trip out of Marrakesh to Essaouria we went through an area which is home to goats that climb trees (allegedly). A goat may well have climbed an argan tree in the past in order to eat the fruit or even escape from some perceived threat, but the tree-climbing goats are now so famous, they have no need to go to the effort of actually climbing....

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  • Tinfou Dunes: (Very) Mini-Sahara

    We visited these dunes as the supposed climax of an otherwise pleasant day trip from Ouazazate along the Draa River Valley to Zagora. The trip itself was enjoyable, with oases, kasbahs, mountain views, and picturesque villages in abundance, though I would rate the nearby Dades Valley with its striking gorges as more impressive. It was the Tinfou...

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  • Buying Atlas Mountains Quartz Crystal

    This could also be seen to be a tourist trap. When we arrived at our first Atlas Mountains lookout we were met with the locals selling their wares. Being a rock lover I could not resist buying some quartz crystal. The colours were beautiful so it took me a while to pick a favourite.Here is what I selected - a lovely rock still in tact but when...

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  • Buying Carpet in Morocco

    I'm sure you are all well aware of the tricks of the trade that hagglers in Morocco use to get us tourists to buy their wares. Most common is the trick where they say 'you just look' along with an assurance that you don't have to buy.....then the pressure is put on you once you show an interest in something. We were well aware of this trick and...

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  • A Camel Ride

    Being near the Sahara Desert, I just had to try a camel ride. These rides are offered in Marrakech, and can be reached by asking a taxi driver to go where the camel rides take place. The camel herders set up shop in a vacant lot near the old section of the city. The cost of the rides is not high, but haggling is necessary to agree on a price. The...

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  • Snake Charmers

    There are lots of them on the square of Jemaa El Fna and they insist that you take photographs of their snakes or of you holding the snakes but then they ask for large sums of money for the privilege. If you really want the photo then just pay a small amount no matter what they insist on.

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  • HENNA!!!!!!

    As we were walking across the square of Jemaa El Fna a lady came over and before I knew it she had put a henna design on my arm so I gave in and let her finish it. However, once done she managed to talk me out of 500 DRH. I was totally robbed. After talking to our riad owners they said I should have paid 100 DRH maximum. It's pretty hard to say no...

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  • Hitchhikers in Morocco

    If you drive in Morocco, often you will find people hitch-hiking. Some of them really want a lift somewhere. Many of them want to sell you something. While the real hitch hikers tend to be quite poor, the fake ones are dressed in very colourful traditional clothes, speak many languages and are well off. Also, the fake ones will stand literally in...

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  • Beware the Travel/Tour Guides

    I am writing to warn about a tour guide who is apparently licensed by the Ministry of Tourism.A friend and I took a three day excursion with a guide named Salem Azizi (of Salem Aventure). I had a terrible experience with the guide, and I wish to complain about our experience.Salem Azizi, whom we had hired for three days, refused to take us to any...

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  • Too much.....so much......

    ....sleeping around of tourists with the locals - especially out in the desert area and auberges of the Merzouga sahara area.Theres a mixture of women particularly who go there because they know the young local guys who work out in the desert area are always on the look out for 'opportunities' and younger or older women who are naiive enough to...

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  • Carpet shops - visit our 'exposition'!!

    So many carpets are made in Morocco - they are mass produced in places such as Tazenakht and distributed to carpet shops all over the country - many are made though by women with their own hands and in cooperatives and can be very beautiful, colourful, cultural stimulating and rewarding, and a good quality product to have at home to add to your...

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  • Marrakesh 101

    Let me start by saying that Marrakesh is an amazing place, i totally enjoyed my time there. But it is a place that you need to be prepared for or you could end up over-heated, out of pocket, out of patience and getting to know your hotel toilet bowl really well.1. The first thing that will hit you if you go in summer is the heat, it is so thick. If...

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  • Marrakech

    Marrakech - I'll never go backMarrakech has changed since the Hippies carrying Europe on $5 a day books came to buy cheap hashish in the 70s. One thing is that there is not a whiff of hashish in Marrakech now, not in the air, or for sale. Hashish does not work for me so lack of it is not regretted anyway. Ever wonder what happened to Ali Babas...

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  • Guides, false guides

    Guides and above all false guides, they approach you saying that you need them to visit medinas, specially in Marrakech and Fes with the pourpouse to bring you to shop in the places where they take commissions.To tell the truth I did not meet many in Marrakech, but loads in the train to Fes, they enter, sit by you and start asking where you are...

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  • Restaurants in the Jemma el F'na

    Most of the restaurants surrounding the Jemma el F'na have 2nd floor terraces that are open to the square and are therefore quite popular with tourists. It's a great way to soak up the atmosphere from a distance without being in the thick of it all. You can also take some photos overlooking the action in the square. The best terrace is probably...

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  • Taxis

    There are two types of taxi: petit city taxi's or taxi's that take you to other towns.As a foreigner you will be over charged. Don't always take the first one that comes, ask a couple to compare prices first and always ask the estimated price or settle on a price before getting in. To go from the bus station to the port in Tanger is should cost...

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  • Ait Ben Haddou.

    The usual way across the river bed to the ksar is a real trap with touts, hawkers, postcard sellers and even just pests. If you are in your own car, drive another 200 metres past the main parking square and park up there, walk down to the bed and walk across to the entrance that way. Also note where you come out on the bank to find the way back....

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  • Taxis in Morocco - Grand vs. Petite

    There are two types of taxis in Morocco. The "grand" and "petite." Grand taxis can take up to 5 people at one time, but you must negotiate for your fair. The petite taxis can only take 3 people but use a meter and end up being much much cheaper. Even if you have to take two petite taxis because you are traveling with more than 3 people, it is often...

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  • moroccan tour guides

    Watch out for high strung salespeople who seem to be working in conjunction with tour guides.. I experienced the same in Egypt and I have heard that this practice goes on in other countries also. I hate haggling and I hate getting ripped off. One may say "it is your own fault", but i beg to differ. One does not go to another country thinking...

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  • How to minimise hassle in Morocco

    Despite following commonsense advice like wearing long clothes and not having bum bags, huge cameras and other "American/German tourist" parphenalia hanging all over you, you will invariably suffer a mind shattering amount of hassle in Morocco from people trying to sell you something (or just get money without selling you anything).The almost...

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  • The Carpet Scam

    Nothing on "the carpet scam"- however, maybe this will help!1) Prostitution scam! Tourists come to a medina hoping to score with pre-teens at a really invitingly low cost, sometimes even in exchange for drugs. Well, the tourist generously gives about 10 USD and then - POOF - the underage trick disappears. There's something to warn the tourist...

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  • Beware of "Official Guides"

    We had a travel agent plan our trip to Morocco with local guides waiting for us in each city we visited. They were all offically licensed, multilingua guides. Although they did show and explain some of the historical sights, their main objective was to get us into stores to buy stuff. It is their job and they will lose it if they do not take...

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  • Your Own Mind pt 2 "Aren't they just...

    This is a culture shock question related to Muslims in Morocco that could be useful to you, my friendly and curious travelmonkey. Self-control vs RepressionWhat's the difference? With a divorce rate you can safely bet on, America doesn't know. All of our rules are vestiges of things political, religious, etc... but most of them aren't felt. Ash...

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  • Your Own Mind pt 3 "Why Do They Hate...

    Again, burning questions that I keep getting asked. Here, my gentle travelmonkey, are your requested burning answers. Most folks want serious answers to serious questions. Like 1)“Seriously, does your God have 4 arms and fangs?” and 2)“Seriously, can you take a train (from New Orleans) to Africa?” and 3)“Seriously, why do they (Muslims) hate our...

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  • Hot Poppa Jamal's VT Morocco Forum Guide

    You would like to know what to wear in the country, what the Eid might mean for traveling, where Moroccans sympathies are on the subject of traveling Americans or Jews, etc.... Point is, YOU have some big questions before your trip - and NOBODY is answering them.You know they are there, answering posts right beside yours. What's wrong with your...

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  • McDonald's

    You may feel the need to go here because you want the standardized food of the US or UK or whatever your frequented McD's Home country might be.McD's sucks here* - even my moroccan friends do not see it as a 'treat' (unlike Pizza Hut)* I admit I don't really eat it anywhere. The Fes McDonalds is quite attractive, great place for a bit of a view,...

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  • Your Own Mind

    You don't get Islam, bargaining isn't for you, food doesn't sit right with you and you are terrified of accidently swallowing water while you brush your teeth, Riffian music doesn't reach you, you can't get into the restaurants you want when you want to and when you do they aren't serving alcohol, you speak almost no other language but English, you...

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  • The Unlicensed Guide

    What is the problem with them? Really, it boils down to accountability. The hotel/travel company/tour group that provides you with a licensed guide has insurance, a rep to keep, etc. The faux guide has nothing to insure your (or his) safety. With an unlicensed guide, you can spend time with police explaining your connection to him after he is...

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  • A beach holiday?

    Except for Agadir and the Mediterranean coast, beaches in Morocco are not great places to swim. Water is surprisingly cold and the strong currents make of swimming a dangerous activity. While driving along the Atlantic coast we often past by huge wild beaches swept by the wind. Their loneliness made them inviting, even if it was not for swimming....

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  • Tourist

    Try to avoid places where the tourist come.Do not stay at the coast : everything is spoiled by tourist (people, landscape), the mountains and the desert are so beautifull , and there the people are correct and friendly...

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  • Tree-Climbing Goats

    On the road to Essaouria you will come across the famous goats that climb Argan trees.We saw goats being shoved up trees by the locals, who then asked for money to take photos. The goats didn't seem too unhappy about it , but the whole process seemed more to do with extracting money from tourists than anything else.

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  • Agadir

    For many tourists, all that they see of Morocco is Agadir. These are people who just travel on package tours from Europe for fun in the sun. For me, to say that you have seen Morocco after only visiting Agadir is like saying that you have seen Canada but getting no further than Niagara Falls.Do not get me wrong I did not exactly hate Agadir. It...

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  • Red light Area

    Whilst in Agadir, we were getting alot of smiles from Moroccon women, which we found strange. As we had been told about the customs etc. We later found out that some and i say some females are ladies of the night. Which was a sad reflection. If you do tend to visit the beach during the evening and sat outside on eof the resturants and have a drink....

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  • Any carpet shop that offers...

    Any carpet shop that offers mint-tea and the opportunity to view 400-plus Berber made carpets that can be posted to your house anywhere in the world.Whilst you don't have to buy it is in an experience to see the carpets. You are free to view the carpets and mostly the shop keepers want you to buy and in a few cases they pressure you like timeshare...

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  • Terrible Taxis

    Beware of seemingly friendly taxi drivers in Morocco.A few years ago I brought my Mum and Dad on what we knew would be Dad's last ever holiday. He had Alzheimers disease and we knew he would be admitted to full time hospital care when we returned to ireland. In fact he died two years later.In any event, we decided to go to a local market as my Mum...

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  • Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech

    Djemaa el-Fna is in the heart of the Medina in Marrakech. The square is full of activity and excitement any time during the day, but it's around sunset when the action really is in full swing. Hold onto your wallet and dirham at all times, and be careful of child pickpocketers approaching you for hugs and warm welcomes.The square is alive with...

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  • Take care of your tyres...

    If you are driving in Marocco, sometime you will met some problems with your tyres...If it needs to be repared, don't let anybody make it, and look to your tires everytime until it will be repared and replace in the car, because if you dont make it they will surely change the tire with an old and balooning one and say"faut changer"... The only way...

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  • Very expensive Restaurants

    There are several restaurants like this in Marrekech, they are only for tourists. Your hotel will naturally send you there, and you can do it the first night, but you will see why I tell you not to. these are considered traditionaly Moroccan, and they are like three or four course. The places are all tiled nicely, and the table is nice, there is a...

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  • The Water Seller

    This man is dressed up to the nines in what I can only assume is some sort of traditional costume, and carries a fancy container full of water which he pours out into smaller containers. As a tourist, you should NOT drink the water - it is tap water and would most likely play havoc with your stomach. For a small charge, he will pour his water out...

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  • Telephone

    In Morocco, it is easy to find a place from where to telephone. In the cities, public telephones are everywhere. There are also telephone shops with several booth. Beware : when you buy a telephone card it will work either into the public telephones or in the telephones of a shop but they are different. Moreover, it will work in a given shop but...

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Morocco Tourist Traps

Reviews and photos of Morocco tourist traps posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Morocco sightseeing.
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