Women travelling in Morocco
  • My daughter is planning to go to Morocco with a friend for a two week holiday. I have heard Morocco is amazing but have also heard that young women are hassled and made to feel very uncomfortable and unsafe by Moroccan men. It would be usful to read feedback from women who have travelled to Morocco recently. Many thanks, J.
  • I am a woman and have travelled to Morocco alone and had a fantastic time with no harassment or hassles whatsoever. People were very welcoming and friendly and as long as you reciprocate in the same way you won't have any problems. If approached by people selling things etc and you don't want anything just politely say no, smile and walk on - I had no problems using this strategy.
  • I travelled to Morocco alone twice in 2008. Men in the souks (market shops) hassle everyone, as Babs said, smile and walk on. There were always a lot of people in the streets beyond the souks and while I did have men follow me and want to talk with me and give me their phone numbers I never felt unsafe. Uncomfortable yes, unsafe no. Take the usual precautions about being out alone after dark, and dress respectfully for a Muslim country - my guide book said a woman should cover her knees and shoulders, though I saw plenty of women who didn't and they didn't seem to get harrassed in Marrakech, Rabat or Casablanca where I travelled - I've heard less touristic places may be a lot more traditional and a lot less tolerant of inappropriate dress. In general I found Moroccans very helpful and eager to please.
  • My Daughter is an American at school in Paris and also wants to go to Morroco for her spring break. I am very reticent to let her go as she is 21, going with a bunch of co-students, and without the guidance of her overseas program. I don't know where they would be staying, where they would be going and if they even know what proper Muslim womens culture observes. Also if she does inadvertantly get into trouble there is very little I can do to help her. Not worth the risk? or am I being overly paranoid.

    thanks for the advice....
  • Your daughter and her friends ought to register with the US Department of State before traveling to Morocco - https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ - and note that the closest consular officer to assist them in case of need would be coming from Consulate General Casablanca (our embassy in Rabat doesn't have a consular section).
  • I am a college student interning in Morocco this summer. As part of my pre-departure process, I am trying to take some safety measures such as researching the nearest hospitals and rape centers (just in case) in the Quartier Hassan. Does anyone have any knowledge on rape centers in the area?

    Thank you in advance.
  • Excuse me, I forgot to clarify that the Quartier Hassan is in Rabat, Morocco.

    Thanks.
  • Morocco in general is not necessarely about how you dress but how you behave. Some Moroccan girls make European girls look like Nuns! Young men in Morocco tend to try it on (hit on) every female that comes across them regardless of origin or dress. There are those who are after money and those after what's called papers - a visa or just a bit of "fun". These can be dealt with in more or less the same manner. If approched by anyone be firm (with a small smile) and say no, thank you and keep walking. "Laa, Shokran".

    If visiting Casablanca avoid the local beach (Ain Diab). Basically if you see no women at the beach do not go in! Ain Diab is female unfriendly unless accompanied by a male gang! It used to be a family friendly in the 70s and early 80s but somehow it became a magnet for all the desperados in Casablanca. Still the seaside offers great views (bars,cafes, swimming pools etc) If you want to go to the beach you need to travel a bit further for some good beaches. Also Casablanca has some 6 or 8 good swimming pools. They all seem good and very safe. Use common sense and enjoy it. Todaysdish@yahoo.com
  • Hello i would like to know how to start a new life at Morocco, i fell in love with a man from there, and we alway want to getting married and be together! Unforunaltey i am worry bec i am Deaf, i wonder do have any job for me so i could love to move to Morocco to start a new life.

    Hope to hear from you

    Thank x
  • I wonder why some women ask if it's safe to travel alone in Morocco. It's the same thing everywhere in the world. It would be better to have a fellow. It's true some moroccan boys think that all western women are ready...Evrything depends on the situations you put yourself...Where you are staying, where you are going and how you go...
  • I agree with BerberMan - it can be unsafe for a lone female in the USA!!! Always respect the culture of the country you are in, dress modestly or as you see the local women and always be aware of your surroundings. This is general advice. I am an Australian girl who has travelled extensively in North Africa and the Middle East, I am now married to a Tunisian man and living in Tunisia. I have been hassled but hey, I've been hassled in the US, Australia and lots of other places.

    She should go and enjoy marvellous Morocco!!
  • I am a man and visited Marrakech last year. I did find the hassling by children, beggars and vendors annoying, and it reminded me how much more relaxed a time I have visiting countries like Spain and Greece where this happens so much less. So as a woman you'd have this on top of unwanted male attention, and it all depends how thick your skin is but I agree it is more of an irritation than a danger. Regarding dress, most of the girls in the French school near I was staying wore short skirts and I saw plenty with sleeveless tops, so I think the dress thing is less critacal than in other muslim countries.
  • I have not been to Morroco yet, but I've been to Senegal, Kenya, Egypt, all over S.E. Asia, lived in China for 1 year and 2 years in Bangkok, Thailand as a single female albeit not a "young" female. I agree with BerberMan. It is all about how you show respect for the culture. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." The appropriate Thai clothing for a "respectable female," especially one regarded so highly as a teacher (we are up there almost with the monks) is the same as in Morroco. Cover the upper part of your arms, no low cut blouses, longer skirts, show appropriate respect in temples, ask to take pictures of people (sometimes they want $$ or at least a look at the picture) and demonstrate your interest in their lives. Finally, DON'T LOOK FOR TROUBLE. Having learned enough Thai to tell taxis where I lived (giving directions in Thai) and that I was a music teacher instantly gave me respect. In two years, I only had 1 taxi driver suggest I meet his brother.

    The ONE AND ONLY place I realized that I had better cover my white face up with a woolen scarf and keep my down parka hood as tight as possible around my face was in a remote train station of Mongolia, heading for the Siberian border. The Mongolian men were huge, and mainly drunk on vodka. The female Mongolian teachers I traveled with were careful and extremely cautious of having me be seen . . . and I watched and listened to their cues. In the middle of the night, in the middle of "nowhere" and totally freezing cold, the name of the game is take your cue from the locals.
  • For English women travelling alone in Marrakech......... maybe a good idea is to contact Dawn Boys-Stones of Riad and Villas Fawakay. Dawn offers shopping trips and helps clients get an understanding, not only of the Marrakech souks... but also local taboos and sensible dress code etc.
    Arriving in Marrakech can be a daunting experience and one shouldn't understate the advantage of local knowledge from a fellow Brit !

    An article featuring Dawn Boys-Stones can be found at; http://www.marrakech.uk.com/#/fawakay/4534023248
    and also a contact form for her.
    I hope that helps.
  • I have been to Morocco recently and experienced a hassle free holiday. There was no such issue about clothing and unwanted attention. It is not a typical muslim country with strict regulation etc. I saw many local women in western clothes like jeans and tee shirts but not in short skirts. However there were many tourists and many white women wearing short skirts in the souks and bikinis at the water fall. So as I even read a lot about moroccan men before going there I found a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. People are very helpful but ask for money if they take you to a place or negotiate on your behalf in souks etc. which I think is acceptable. Yes there was a bit of hassle in the souks, especially in the evenings but simply smiling and walking away worked the best for me in all situations.
  • I forgot to mention that I'm a women and visited Marrakech for 2 weeks and stayed near Jamal El Fana in Medina.
  • I went to Morocco in April 2009, what a wonderful country, the safest I have every visited nothing like what I have to deal with here in North America. Like all countries of course there are areas that are not safe, but as a young woman traveling alone never did I feel unsafe. Sure there were many men who asked for my number to none I gave, a polite no was all it took. I did find the worst dressed were tourist, they seem to have no respect that Morocco is a Muslim country. For women dress respectfully and stop showing so much flesh, who needs to see your ass cheeks hanging out your shorts and your cleavage showing for all to see? Dress appropriately. Morocco is a wonderful place, too bad the government does not do more for the poor.
  • I want to travel to Morocco with my boyfriend but I have a few reservations, mainly whether it's ok for an unmarried couple to stay in the same room? I can't seem to find the info anywhere. Thanks! :)
  • Iggy - Just to recap, yes you can provided neither of you holds a Moroccan passport.
  • I have just come back from a holiday in Marrakesh and unfortunately while we were there we had our bag stolen, got separated and my friend was raped. There is little or no victim support/ rape centres and you will not receive the same treatment as you would in the west. However the police were efficient and one man was caught within days.
    Marrakesh is a wonderful place, just make sure that you don't walk around the medina late at night and don't trust anyone, despite how helpful they may be. We dressed appropriately and even wore headscarves, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time
  • i did a trip this year with my boyfriend for one week in Morocco. we came from Lausane to Casablanca then we took the train for Fes after one night there we had CTM bus to Rissani then Merzouga desert .we didn,t book a place before or did a tour with travel agency. so by the chance we went to the desert and we did 3 days trip with a very nice people.it is a good adress that i recommend to everybody want visit the country.we enjoyed really our time a lot!!!
    if that interesting you ;this is thier web : http://www.maisondusud.fr.gd

    Anela
  • I have been to morocco twice..the first time in July of 08 for a month and the second time for two weeks in Feb of 09..i didnt experience any negative things in fact I got married there in Aug of 08..I have been to many countries..I did find that i got stared at alot.i wish i had spoken with someone before the first time i went ..if you wanna talk my email is helluvahairaiser@yahoo.com..good luck and remember life is for living..live it well
  • Just back from Agadir Morocco 23/1/10 found the people lovely, as two middle aged married ladies travelling alone for a bit of rest and relaxation and to get away from the snow at home, we took the advise of the guide at our hotel and dressed appropriatly in a muslim country we visited souks and men did hassle us to go into their shops, my friend did get a bit annoyed at their persistence, but a polite no thank you and a smile meant they stopped hassling you, it was explained that bartering is part of the culture and expect to pay half what they ask you, they pull up a chair for you and haggling over the price is part of their culture just accept it, stay in a good humour if you can't stay at home, you have to respect other countries cultures. Found the country and people absolutely lovely and hope to return again and again God willing
  • I just returned from Morocco and felt extremely comfortable there. The people were friendly and polite - men often moved out of the way when passing (unlike many folks in NYC) or actively steered clear when I was taking photographs. I wore long sleeves for most the time because it was cold in some places, but when I moved to short sleeves (not straps) in Marrakesh, I saw maybe only a slight difference in response and then it was just that I would be looked at more often. I found the younger men to be charming and clearly unable to judge age, but they were very polite and as soon as I wanted to be off from a souk or conversation, I had no problem moving on. It is a lovely beautiful country and worth anyone's visit. Just use common sense as you would anywhere. Another Christi
  • Margie, thanks for your lovely feedback. Glad you had a great holiday. Just shows that humour and respect can take you a long way when travelling abroad.
  • Having been to Luxor and Cairo in Egypt I was intimidated by the desperate attempts to sell stuff to you.If Morocco is similar I would prefer to go somewhere where I would feel more comfortable. Because of the outstanding cultural sites in Egypt it was just worth the hassle but not truly a relaxing holiday. I would be much more likely to buy if I was left alone to choose since I enjoy shopping.
  • medicinemeg - ok, I need to explain something here............firstly, negotiation and hard sell is part of our lives in the ME and North Africa. Secondly, these traders rely on tourists to pay their rent, feed their children etc. They do not make lots of money and usually they are family businesses which support more than one family. Morocco is much more serene than Egypt but you will still be spoken to in the souks, markets etc. If you want to be left alone to choose something then express this to the shop owner. Tell him that you would like to buy something, but that you would like to do it in a calm way. Most will respect your wishes. But use humour, have a laugh and there will be no more hassle. But I have to tell you that I like nothing more than being in one of the vast carpet shops, being served over the top sweet mint tea while having all those wonderful magic carpets unfurled with such theatre in front of me. I can spend all day in there chatting, laughing and then finally haggling. If you approach this as an entertainment then you will start to relax and enjoy this. It's theatre and it's worth it.
  • I'd like to travel to Marrakech in mid-June. But for a pale, red-haired person would this be utterly unbearable? Could someone please give some advice whether or not this is a good time to go?
  • Gem - it's going to be hot, hot and hot. So if you don't like the hot weather consider going around September/October when it is a lot milder but still warm and very pleasant.
  • Hi everyone,
    We are 2 - 30something women going to Morocco for the first time in May. I have done a lot of research online and found I'm am even more nervous about being harrassed than I was before I knew anything. We are quite adventurous and if any other women have some tips for us that would be amazing. tuneinturner@gmail.com
  • Hi! Morocco is very nice place to visit for the tourist especially for women . Women do not need to worry while traveling in Morocco . Morocco is very safe place to visit for women. people of the morocco are very friendly and you do not need to worry about them at all .If you are planning to go there and looking forcheap flights to casablancathen you need to search for relevant site . hope you will enjoy there
  • Hi ! My husband and I are looking at going to Marrakech & Agadir with our 3 children (3yrs-12yrs) for our summer holiday this year, however after reading some of the reviews, I'm not completely convinced it is the right place to take children as there doesn't seem to be a lot to do (I don't think taking a 3yr old sightseeing would be much of a holiday for any of us!!) and as we are restricted to term time holidays, it's going to be end of August when we go. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks
  • Whilst a riad in Marrakech would be the better choice for adults, the children would be better accommodated in a tourist hotel but you will have to research which will have play schemes.
    Would somewhere like Costa del Sol have good services for 3 yr olds? Personally I don't think anywhere will be "better" for minors unless you opt for a trip to Disney Land.
    May is still good as far as weather goes and not as hot as July/Aug which would be unbearable for small children.
    Near Marrakech is a place called Oualidia which is a theme park frequented by tourists and Moroccans and some hotels have a free shuttle service.
    Maybe spend less time in Marrakech, which is a destination more for the cultural experience, and more in Agadir which is a package-tourists heaven with great beach where all can relax and kids can play footie, a small zoo (which I advise peole NOT to visit as it has less than adequate facilities for the wildlife), many inexpensive restaurants, hotels with good child facilities, a very large covered souk (market) and more.
  • Thanks johnk9159 for your advice, unfortunately we can't both get time off from work in May. Maybe we should consider going to the 'normal run of the mill' place for this year, and look at visiting Morocco next year in May ! Thanks again
  • Forgive me If I sound stupid but can a young woman wear make-up in Morocco?
  • You certainly may; Morocco is quite forward thinking and it will not be frowned upon particularly in the larger touristy cities.
  • i am a runner and a female-- is it ok to run in morrocco or is it frowned upon?
  • Last post already answered in your other post.
  • My 23 year-old daughter is planning on going to Morocco in June with her male, Parisian friend, who is a Moroccan citizen.
    Is it safe for young, American women to travel there? how will she be received if she is traveling with a local? She looks very American!
    any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • The only obstacle I can see if the friend has a Moroccan passport, if so he will not be permitted to share the same room with your daughter (assuming they are bf and gf).
    If on the other hand they both have european passports there will be no problem and they can go about their routine without hindrance.
    There will be the inevitable glance, particularly by the older generation wherever they go.

    Americans are just as welcomed as any other visitor to Morocco.

    During holiday periods, tourist destinations (in partic. Agadir) in Morocco are full of silly British girls getting all hormonal at the sight of randy Moroccan boys, soon to be their "boyfriend".
  • I went to Morocco with a small group of women a couple of years ago and we used 'trips to Morocco' to arrange our accommodation and tours. They were excellent and arranged everything we wanted - good Riads, a safe & comfortable vehicle with driver and a very interesting guide - Hassan. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again and highly recommend them to anybody who would love to discover morocco in depth. Email to contact them www.tripstomorocco.com
  • be very careful...some men will harasss you, must say wouldn't let my daughter of 22 go ther would persuade her to go elsewhere
  • I rather think that is an unfiar comment; Morocco is a safe place and far safer in the touristy parts than most European countries.
    Men will chat up young ladies for sure but this is usually harmless; they know full well that it would not be possible to get into a hotel if that were their intention as Moroccans (male and female) are not allowed into hotels unless residing there.
  • I am a 20 year old American girl studying abroad in Rabat in the fall. I have blonde hair and my parents want me to dye it black or brown in order to blend in more with Moroccans. Is this a good idea or just foolish?

    Also, I have heard a lot about how it is best to dress conservatively, wearing long skirts and shirts that cover cleavage and shoulders, but what do people wear to the beach? What is acceptable at beaches in Morocco? Is wearing a bikini or even a one piece unacceptable?

    If I want to get toiletries once I get there, will items such as contact solution, shampoo/conditioner, feminine products, etc. be available to buy for reasonable prices?

    I know there is a tax for receiving packages in the mail, does anyone know how much that might be? How long does it take for packages to get to Morocco from the U.S.?

    Responses to these questions will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  • hi everyone
    about bikini in beach,i think you are so beautiful with a blonde hair and the beachboys they disturb you ,in morocco we have beach just for women you can go there...
  • I am quite concerned. A former student of mine, who is 18, met a Marroccan man at Disney in October. She is shy, has never had a boyfriend and has a big heart. She has seen him several week ends and they are already engaged. He wants to get married next month (we are in January). I also found out his visa expires in June. I need some input as it scares me to death!
    25 years ago, I worked at Epcot in guest relations. I noticed a pattern... Before going back home, they all try to get married to stay, or so it seemed.
  • I assume you are in USA in which case I have no idea what your immigration laws are but in UK he would not be allowed in now unless his intended spouse could support him.
    It has happened in the past whereby the male will loaf around the house each and every day whilst she goes out to work; he then invited his friends round drinking the best whiskey she could afford to buy them.
    Far too many girls of a younger age go to Morocco (partic resorts like Agadir) and fall for the pool or "animation team" guy and immediately call him their "boyfriend" going back as often as possible. When these girls have gone back home, how many others has he I wonder?
    It is a disgrace that such spongers were ever allowed into the UK with no skills and the best job they could aspire to would be stacking shelves in a supermarket.
  • We are in the US and he is on a one year visa to work at Epcot, in the Morrocan pavillion. It seems he is trying to get married very quickly to renew his visa. I am quite concerned but she seems to be so wrapped up as it is the first male who has ever paid attention to her. She is shy, on the heavy side and insecure which makes her a target. He is quite handsome and several of us think he is using her to stay in the US. He is 21 and she is 18. She is a Christian and he is a practicing Muslim. Some of his friends seem to be extremely religious (Muslim) which is another flag for me......
    BTW, I am the wife of a disabled OEF veteran and to me there are too many signs for it to be safe...
  • My daughter married a Moroccan (muslim) two years ago. Having encountered some unhappy situations including unfriendly in-laws and beating by husband, she has her dream shattered. She ic now considering divorce. Does anyone know the procedure for getting a divorce from a muslim in Morocco?
  • Hello All,

    I am a 25 year old American female traveling currently in Marrakech. I have to say that i always feel safe here, however it has been difficult to get around at night without being hasseled. Be back at your hotel or riad at or before 11p. I can't stress that enough unless you don't mind having 4x the amount of approaches by men as normal. if they try and speak with you and follow you, just say "laa" which is "no" or laa shookran." i keep walking no matter what. it is not appropriate for a male to touch you either. hand shakes are okay, but no other type of physical contact. if a man touches you inappropriately just say "aib!" (ayeeb) which is "shame." if you stand and talk with a man for too long, people will begin to stare. be mindful of your surroundings and just use common sense. so NOT be out too late, otherwise more men will see your being out late as an invitation to talk to you.

    i try to be polite at first, but if they aren't getting the hint i don't feel bad about walking away. if the man is persistent then walk into a crowd of women or a shop. Older men and women will usually look out for you or give you directions without asking for anything in return. Moroccan people are great as is Marrakech, but like any other city it has it's own underbelly. Just use common sense. Don't wear skimpy clothes, keep your legs and shoulders covered, always keep on you the number of your hotel or riad in case you need to call them to have someone pick you up (my riad had this). So Marrakech is a beautiful place and the good outweighed the bad so far. If you are apprehensive about where to stay, where and how to shop, where to eat, and suggestions or other comments about visiting Marrakech, either alone or with others, feel free to email me.

    cly234@nyu.edu
  • I am going on a trip to morrocco this month with my boyfriend. we are not married, is it possible for us to stay in 1 hotel room? do they really ask for marriage certificate?please let me know if its ok for us to travel together and cohabit in 1 room since its a muslim country.

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