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STORY Rabat > Articles > Things that tourists should do and never do in Morocco.

Do’s and Don’ts in Morocco

Morocco is a safe destination to visit. As a tourist, you are unlikely to find yourself in a dangerous situation. The locals are used to tourists, open and friendly the most you risk is find yourself without your wallet. Scams and pickpockets and petty crimes as general are around the corner, but if you’re cautious and follow some few simple principles listed below, you’re unlikely to ever be in serious danger in this country. Although as a solitary female traveler I would be very careful, but you are unlikely to face any major challenges.

Do’s

Respect Moroccan culture and religion. In Morocco and in like any other country, tourists should respect local customs. If you go to Morocco during the period of Ramadan for instance, be careful not to consume alcohol in public. It is also recommended not to drink, eat and smoke in public, or at least with discretion, especially in less touristy areas. Also, another thing to keep in mind, is that if you see near the entrance of a place shoes, be sure to take yours off.

Be mindful of your attire. When it comes to dressing code in Morocco, you are free and can dress as you wish. Just remember that Morocco is a Muslim country. It is advised to avoid necklines, shorts, tank tops, and mini skirts. Do as you feel, Moroccans are used to tourists but you’ll be more comfortable if you dress more properly. if you need any insights regarding what you should wear please check our article “Dress Code in Morocco, what to wear and where to wear it!”

Always haggle. In Morocco, everyone negotiates, because negotiation is part of the Moroccan culture. You should know, for your information, that the fact of being a foreigner makes prices rise considerably and automatically, which is why in souks, prices are rarely displayed, they will vary according to the time of day (yes yes!!!), how the customer looks like, and even sometimes depending on the seller’s mood…

Be on the lookout for scammers. If anybody invites you inside their store for tea, they will use it as an excuse to persuade you to buy anything, and you will most likely give in due to the entrenched psychological concept of reciprocity. Once they’ve had you, they’ll insist on you trying on clothes, buying anything, or handing over money. Say “no thank you” and leave.

Be nice and social. Moroccan people are very social and are even considered to be one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries in the world, compared to other countries, where intimacy is key. It is, therefore, preferable to keep in mind to be more opened and social that you probably are. But don’t worry, like many other tourists that came to Morocco before you, this will be done without thinking, marveling at the Moroccan’s kindness

Try learning basic Arabic words or a few basic French words. Even if it is not necessary to know Arabic to be able to make you understand, as a tourist, the fact of using a few Arabic words such as “Salam” or “Choukrane” or French words, such as “Bonjour” and “Merci”- equivalents of “Hello” and “Thank you”- as it wildly understood you will always get nicer feedbacks when they’ll see that you are making an effort to speak their language.

Hygiene and water. Always bring tissues when using the bathroom outside of your hotel. Moroccan bathrooms may often be unequipped. And to avoid upsetting your stomach try and drink bottled water.

Relax. Moroccan understanding of time and punctuality is fundamentally different from Western concepts. “Europeans have clocks, we have time”, as they say in Morocco. Souks and medinas are expected to be opened by 9 am but don’t be fooled, markets, souks, and medinas don’t open before 11 am.

Do taste Moroccan Cuisine. Moroccan cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine characterized by its variety of dishes derived mainly from Berber cuisine, with Arab, Jewish, and Andalusian influences. Do taste Tagines and Couscous, it is pure delish! Keep in mind that depending on which part of the country you are visiting, tagines and couscous might differ… Each part of the country has its own style of cuisine.

Don’ts

Do not eat, hand, or grab things with your left hand. As a foreigner, if you are sharing a meal with Moroccans, it is recommended that you use your right hand to pass dishes, to grab something, or to take food. The left hand is considered unclean and is often prohibited when touching food or shaking hands. So remember to use your right hand with Moroccans.

Avoid criticizing these 3 topics. It is recommended to avoid topics of conversation about the king and religion. But you should definitely avoid talking against these 3 topics: The King, the country, and the religion.

Avoid public display of love and affection. Calm your impulses in public places. Gestures of affection that are too obvious are to be avoided because Moroccans are very modest. Avoid public displays of love. Do not kiss in public in Morocco.

Do not refuse an invitation to tea. Moroccans are welcoming and will often invite you to drink the famous and delicious Moroccan mint tea, you shouldn’t refuse as it can be interpreted as rude to refuse this opportunity to get to know them more and make friends.

Do not enter any mosque. Not everyone knows this but not every mosque can be visited by tourists unless they are Muslims and they come to pray. However, there is a mosque that is allowed to tourists, like the famous Hassan II mosque in Casablanca. So be sure to get informed before getting into a mosque that you would like to visit.

Do not take any Moroccan’s picture without taking their permission first. Many Moroccans will be thrilled to be photographed, but not all Moroccans, especially women, will be happy to be photographed without their consent. It is, therefore, better to ask before you want to take a picture of someone so as to not have any unpleasant surprises.

Tour guides should be avoided. Those that say “no money” are most likely after your cash. They will attempt to persuade you to visit their stores or bring you somewhere and then demand payment for their services. Say no firmly. If they start walking with you, they will demand money, regardless of their age or how friendly they are. Trust only the tour guides recommended by your hotel staff.

Don’t go out late at night by yourself. Walking at night requires caution while strolling in well-lit and busy locations is fine. In the medinas, you never know what’s around the corner. Particularly against tourists, petty crime is prevalent in this area.

Valuables should not be carried & jewelry that sparkle should be avoided. Leave your hotel with only the essentials, because pickpockets and muggings do happen. Leave your passport at the hotel and don’t take it with you! We advise you to copy your passport and leave your original documents in your room. This is a good general rule, people will regard jewelry as a sign of affluence and will try harder to con you in shops or steal from you on the street.

Back alleys are not to be trusted. The medina’s narrow lanes are charming to wander around, but they may also make you an easy victim for con artists and robbers. Avoid straying very far from the people.

If you’re a woman, don’t stroll alone. When a woman is alone, she will draw a lot of unwanted attention from men, as well as an increased danger of being harassed. Women draw a lot of attention; it is advisable not to stroll alone at night.

Although this is sound advice in any destination, Morocco is extremely serious due to the immense quantity of individuals who will pay you unwanted attention. It requires a lot of energy to be constantly on the lookout in a city where inquiring for directions frequently leads to people demanding money. Is traveling to Morocco Safe? For the most part, yes. However, visiting Morocco needs a little more grit and a keen eye for vulnerabilities. It necessitates a degree of skepticism on your part. Instead of touring the nation on your own, I recommend taking a tour. Furthermore, public transit is difficult to use in isolated deserts and mountains. Thousands of individuals, however, come here by themselves and are alright. You’ll be fine visiting Morocco if you’re comfortable in unpleasant situations and in a fast-paced environment. I would strongly advise anyone to visit the nation but have an extra eye out and a thick skin for all the folks trying to sell you stuff! Morocco may not be easy, but it is well worth the trip — and it is far safer than you may imagine!

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