Before I write my post about my trip to Marrakech I thought I’d write a little list of tips to help you if you plan on going to Marrakech. A lot of these tips are just common sense and not necessarily specific to Marrakech but I thought I’d put them on this list anyway.
1. Don’t take the horse and carriages around. This is more of a personal plea rather than a tip, as this in my eyes is quite cruel. It’s SO hot in July and these poor horses are often being used to carry loads of about 3/4 people, including the ‘driver’. They do seem to get a rest near Jemaa El Fna Square (where there are tons of these horses and carriages) but I never saw the horses being given food or water.
2. Don’t be surprised if you see Donkeys with little carts attached to them. These luckily aren’t for tourist use but they usually have one person (the ‘driver’) and heavy bags in the cart. Seems to be a way for local traders to get around with big loads, but this is also quite cruel.
3. If you’re a female, cover your shoulders and knees when you’re leaving the Riad. This isn’t a rule but a tip as it’s more respectful to the local religion. The amount of people I saw who did not do this shocked me. Before I left I read that if you didn’t cover up then women would whisper behind your back and say that you haven’t been brought up right. I followed both these tips so did not have this happen to me, so am unsure how true this is.
4. Often Riads do not take card so if you have anything in your Riad I.E dinner or drinks, then you will need to pay by cash. Prices are usually in Euros but you can ask them to convert this to Moroccan Dirham if you prefer.
5. If you’re bartering in a shop/at a stall then go half the price that the seller says but give yourself leeway of 10/15 Dirham. If they still say no then walk away. Most of the time they will end up saying ‘okay fine’ and you pay the price you said before you walked away. I.E 150 Dirham.
6. Don’t be afraid to say no. If you look at something but decide you don’t want to buy it then you can just say no.
7. A ‘no thank you’ and a hand in a stop manner ✋🏼 seems to do the trick when sellers are trying to get you to come into their shops/look at their stall/go to the restaurant they work at.
8. Always use your common sense.
9. Listen to your gut. If it says that something is a bit off or isn’t right then listen to it.
10. If you buy from one stall, they will often try and take you to another stall, often a spices/body products/herbal stall. Most of this is fine so follow them if you feel comfortable enough, as it’s usually only a couple of minutes walk away and in the same vicinity. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, everything they’re telling you about is really quite interesting. Most will explain everything and get you to smell things with no expectancy for you to buy anything.
11. Always remember that a lot of these people are just trying to make a living. What may work out cheap for you I.E 250 Moroccan dirhams is equivalent to about £20, is actually quite a lot of money to them.
12. Make sure you have cash for any meals you have as lots of places don’t take card.
13. Make sure you drink a lot of water as it’s very easy to become dehydrated here. Don’t worry if you need the loo as most restaurants seem to have toilets that are fairly nice.
14. Keep your salt and sugar intake up as you sweat A LOT.
15. If you’re walking down an alley and anyone looks suspicious or dodgy, don’t go down it until they have gone or there are a group of other people or locals (who don’t also look dodgy) going down too. So mill around where you are until you think it is safe to go.
16. Remember markers for turnings etc as places look different on the way back to on the way there.
Thanks for reading x