Marrakesh Warnings and Dangers

  • Typical street in the Medina
    Typical street in the Medina
    by Airpunk
  • Harmless street scene on Djama El Fnaa
    Harmless street scene on Djama El Fnaa
    by Airpunk
  • Traffic at Marrakech Plaza in Gueliz
    Traffic at Marrakech Plaza in Gueliz
    by antistar

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Marrakesh

  • amsterdam_vallon's Profile Photo

    Looking for an Hotel around Djamaa El Fna Square

    by amsterdam_vallon Written Aug 10, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like you know Marrakesh is a very touristic town. I found something very disgusting, i was with my uncle who is a morrocan and we were looking for a place to stay the night near the Djamaa El Fna Square. We found a lot of hotels but none of them would let us sleep in the same room. The only way to stay in those hotel was to rent two rooms.

    The hotel manager were affraid of the morrocan prostitution. Be aware if you are traveling with a morrocan friend or family member!!!

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  • taxi-driver`s tour around the city

    by annamantere Written Jul 4, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A taxi-driver offered us (myself & my boyfriend)a tour around Marrakesh for a certain price (can´t remember how much it was anymore), and I asked couple of times if the price was for both of us etc. etc. trying to make sure he wasn´t trying to con us. So we agreed on doing the "tour", because the price was ok and it sounded like a good idea seeing the town from a local point of view. He took us to some amazing places, so the tour itself was a real succee, but in the end he wanted more than the double price and things got very awkward, I told him we had a deal for this and this amount and he insisted that the agreed price was only for one person.. I refused to pay him that much and finally ended up giving him a bit more we had originally agreed on, but much less than what he asked for. He didn´t take us back to the hotel and we had to walk a bit to get there, but that was ok. The tour was great and he was a good guide, but the nasty end of the trip felt really bad...

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  • Cool-123's Profile Photo

    Orange hands

    by Cool-123 Written May 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are some women sitting near the centre of town square. They will show you the pictures of the tattoo and ask you to take it. The tattoo can be made on your hands, feet or somewhere you like. Two of my friends would like to try and were told to pay Dh20 (the local money, its around 2 Euros). After finishing the tattoo on their hands, the women asked them to pay Dh50. They increased the price. Finally, one girl paid Dh20 and the other paid Dh50. The girl who paid Dh20 washed the tatto away and left her hands orange in colour. The tatto can last for a month. Pls make sure you like it or not.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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  • dabuwan's Profile Photo

    Be very patient or take a guide.

    by dabuwan Updated Feb 15, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While entering the old Medina, dozens of persons will approach you pretending to be your guide, eventually saying that the Medina can be dangerous (not true), etc.. Once you are in, it calms down a bit, but still you'll be approached every 2 minutes. You have two choices: be very very patient, or let a boy be your "guide" (but be very clear you do not want to spend time shopping).

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  • Leipzig's Profile Photo


    by Leipzig Updated Sep 3, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I've already mentioned it in my Morocco-page:
    The water is NOT SAFE TO DRINK in Morocco. You can suffer from stomache for the rest of your holiday after drinking this water.
    Buy water in a bottle. It is very cheap and safe! Be sure that the bottle is still unopened when you buy it in a store or on the market.

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    BARGAIN, BARGAIN...Moroccan...

    by SirRichard Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Moroccan traders are hard to convince, so here are some rules:
    - Don't ask the price unless you're prepared to bargain.
    - Don't point at something to show it to your friend...
    - Relax... they are going to try very hard to get your attention.
    - It's more polite to say 'la prochaine fois' (next time) than 'no.'
    - When bargaining, their first price is NEVER their last! Neither should yours be. Start much lower than what you want to pay, then get more reasonable.
    - Try to ask someone who is experienced in shopping for moroccan souvenirs for what a good price is. (Don't ask someone who is selling them!)
    - Relax!
    - Walking away is a good technique to get a lower price.
    - Don't be in a hurry... you'll end up paying more.
    - 'All that glitters is not gold,'... and all that is black is not ebony.
    - BUY LOTS OF STUFF!! (it will probably be cheaper than at home) Remember your trip forever!

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    TANNERS QUARTIERClose to the...

    by SirRichard Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Close to the Bab ed Debbagh Gate to the Medina (east) you can find the place where they give color to the animal skins. The place is quite interesting but it smells like hell!!. As you get near the place 2 things come to you: the insane smell and several little guides that will show you the place for a few dirhams.
    They offer you mint leaves to disimulate the odour. Use them, you'll need to...

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  • xaver's Profile Photo

    Travel warnings

    by xaver Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boohh, most of guide books including Lonely Planet and Routard, advice to take a private official guide to go around Medina as, otherwise you would be bothered or you could get lost, we did it on our way and it was pretty easy and, if you look at the suks(shops) taking a certain distance, noone will stick on you untill you buy something.Medina a part, I walked in the streets at anytime of day and night and never felt in danger, nor in the new town, nor in the old one.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Trains
    • Budget Travel

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  • hanspeter_W.'s Profile Photo

    dar mounia

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    being in a very touristic place in a muslim country keep your eyes open that you won't be too high prices..we paid for very simple food in a so-called speciality restauranta fortune..keep the eyes open when someone recommends you the restaurant is only money-making..

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  • Be care full what you eat at...

    by Mirellaboer Updated Aug 25, 2002

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    Be care full what you eat at the Djemaa El-fna square, don't eat anything that isn't well done! One of the people I was travelling with ate something that wasn't well done and he noticed that the same evening and next day. Be aware!

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  • Joyce_Lee's Profile Photo

    Be careful when wandering the...

    by Joyce_Lee Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Be careful when wandering the old town particularly at night. Not that I ever felt threatened but you really could get lost. It's a maze in there and once in it could take you a long time to get out. I got lost in the daytime (in the hot sun) and was very glad to finally find a taxi to get me out.

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  • Krystynn's Profile Photo

    If you're jet-lagged and...

    by Krystynn Written Aug 24, 2002

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    If you're jet-lagged and traveling in from the airport after an all-night flight.... please remember that even during off-hours (when crowds have thinned out considerably), NEVER take your eyes off your baggage!!

    Experienced thieves WILL wait for these kinds of moments and if you're not alert enough, they'd just grab your luggage and dash out of the door... your suitcase in hand, in seconds!

    Travel Safety: Use your good common sense. If an airline is notorious for poor on time performance, lots of passenger complaints and severe financial problems, then perhaps it is time to find an alternative airline.

    The same rule also applies if you're arriving via ferry/ ship. The port at Tangier can be absolutely chaotic! So be extra alert.

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  • brewjohnson's Profile Photo

    The Djemaa el-Fna Square, in...

    by brewjohnson Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The Djemaa el-Fna Square, in my opinion, is definitely the highlight of any trip to Marrakesh, but even though there are many tourists around, you still have to be on your toes. The area has many pickpockets and other undesireables. For instance on the way back to my hotel (which was only about a block from the square), I was stopped by a local man who was extremely persistent in offering me marijauna for sale. When I kep refusing he got angry, and after about my seventh refusal of his proposals, he pulled a knife on me. Luckily, he was just flexing his muscle, but nonetheless, it taught me to be careful when in the area. (While I want to let everyone know about this unfortunate incident, don't let that keep you away from this area, just be on your toes when you go to visit).

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  • hajin's Profile Photo

    Well, I don't think a guide is...

    by hajin Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Well, I don't think a guide is really necessary in Marrakesh, but if you do plan on hiring one, make sure he is an official guide. The police (both uniformed and undercover tourist police) are pretty vigilant in Marrakesh. In an attempt to overcome the bad press about the hustling, they have become pretty suspicious. Our friends were not guides nor were they official, therefore, they were questioned by the police and were only 'released' after proving that they were residents of Casablanca and not Marrakesh. We were told different penalties by different people, but it all ended in jail time. The situation was sticky...don't get yourself into it, hire an official guide or be careful if you have Moroccan friends. Supposedly, even walking with a tourist carries a penalty...these guys were braving a bit of danger when showing us Marrakesh. They were actually stopped by the police at one point and were told to report to the tourist police and only 'escaped' because they were not residents of Marrakesh.

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  • tarced's Profile Photo

    Moped Menaces

    by tarced Written Mar 1, 2009

    Beware the mopeds! They are everywhere and do their best to not slow down so take great care - especially while crossing the streets! My husband was actually hit by one.

    These were the safe ones!

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Comments (2)

  • sasiren's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Morocco travel warnings:

    My friend from Senegal and I just got back from a wonderful (for the most part) trip to Morocco. I am American and his experiences were far different from mine.

    1.In Rabat, do NOT stay at Hotel du Central in the medina. The manager is rude, surly and a real a hole who doesnt speak, greet, say please or even thank you.
    2. Also in Rabat at the medina food stalls, dont accept food that is obviously old and previously cooked. Send it back and ask for fresh food.
    3. Beware of taxi drivers even when they use the meter, they will take you round and round.
    4. In Essaouira, be careful at the beachside food stalls, they charged my friend and I a whopping 450 dirham for so so fish that we mostly fed to the cats. The fries were old and cold and they claimed they could not change them because they were cooked somewhere else. I urged my friend to leave, but he said since we had ordered it was too late. It is NEVER too late to walk away! Find out where the locals eat cheaply and go there.
    5. In Fez DO NOT stay at Pensione Talaa in the medina. It is horrid and has no sink, mirror, toilet or shower inside the room. Additionally, it is grimy looking. I only accepted it because it was raining.
    6. Stay at Hotel Bab el Jeloud right outside the medina gate, it is much nicer.
    7. Be aware that Morocaans are racist toward black skinned people unless those ppl are Americans and they assume have money. Being a fellow Muslim means nothing. They definitely discriminate against ppl from Senegal and sub sahara Africa!
    8. In Fez do eat the local treats like Halwa (crushed almonds, honey, cinnamon and maybe argan and orange blossom water I am guessing). This is not available in other parts of Morocco.
    Fez also has good bargains on watches as does Rabat. Decent ones can be had for 30 dirham.
    9. In Marakesh do not stay at Hotel Amira et Vacances in the medina, they are racist toward black skinned Africans from Africa even those who have money.
    10.If you look Moroccan as I do, be careful at the airport when changing money. You may be refused. I had to find another teller on a different floor because this Moroccan female witch told me I needed my original receipt. She lied and I called her on it.
    11. Moroccan vendors are liars and crooks, esp in Marakesh.
    12. At the food stalls in Marakesh's medina, beware of the "accounting" practices at stall number 1. They will try to cheat you. We ordered tangia and were charged prices for mechou.We refused to pay and they changed the bill.
    13. The DVDs in Marakesh will play in America and I found them to be excellent quality. I paid 10 dirham per movie and wish I had bought more! Skyfall and Argo for 2 bucks total USD, can u imagine?
    14. Check your bill at the food stalls and keep track of what u order. They will pad the bill! If a Morocan can cheat you out of as little as 5 dirham, its a good day for them. Sad but true.
    15. Take the bus, its only 3.5 dirham. Go to the large supermarket Marjan.
    16. When walking be careful of horses, motor scooters, donkeys, trucks, cars et cetera.
    17. When crossing the street, be vigilant at roundabouts. Cross with a local. It is extremely dangerous. Someone in this forum said to just go with the flow. Dont take that advice. Be careful!
    18. Smile, say hello to the ppl and have fun in the souks. Morocco is very safe, just remain safey conscious.

    • Apr 9, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      It'll be really good to swap stories about your experience in Morocco and ours in Spain.
      At the moment we are still undecided. I am not too keen on Marrakech myself but I am willing to consider it for my husband.
      I am going to Morocco in 2 weeks so it'll be great to meet up, see the propery and have a chat over tea.
      Very nice talking to you as well.

    • usaalltheway1's Profile Photo
      Apr 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      sounds good let's keep in touch be ready for hot weather

  • TarikM's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Thank you for all the advises. Just to add to the above. Taxis would be happy to rip you off whenever they have a chance. Even Moroccans who live abroad aren't safe from them. They love the fact that you don't much about the local prices. A taxi should cost no more than 40 Dirhams from the airport to train station how they would ask you to pay 100 Dirhams at least. if you refuse they would drop the price to 70 Dirhams.
    I am a Moroccan origins and haven't been in the country for couple of years. My brother told me not to take the taxi from the airport as they would want to charge more than 100 Dirhams whch is more expensive than a taxi from Glasgow to Glasgow airport although the distance is much shorter. if you walk just out of the airport parking area you would be asked half of the price.
    On my way out they asked me 100 Dirhams to the train station from the airport, when I refused they dropped it to 70 Dirhams which I refused to. Once I walked out of the airport parking area a taxi offered to take me with 30 Dirhams after a long haggle which I though it's a bargain. When I got home my brother told he usually pays only 10 Dirhams..!!!

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