Is Morocco safe for travelers?
  • I need to attend a Meeting in Marrakech in september, but I am worried about safety issues during travel. I live in Mexico, so I know how a developing country can be misjudged as "unsafe".
    Does anybody have any experience or suggestions about travel to Morocco?
    Thanks,
    Ivan
  • Hi,
    You'll be amazed how safe Morocco ingeneral, and Marrakech in particular are. Other than a bit of a hussle in the souks ( Markets ) from the vendors inviting you to their shops if you are on your own, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
  • Safety is generally not a problem in the busier, more touristy parts of Morocco. As said, if you stop to look at all the wonders of the souks you will be greeted by overzealous traders frantically trying to help you part with your money.
    Marrakech has the problem of pick-pockets but apart from the there are no serious crimes.
    Moroccans can be very friendly and helpful but occasionally they may want payment for taking you somewhere or even giving you basic information if they see you are curious.
    If you plan on staying in Morocco then travelling around is easy with either taxis, where you have to agree on a price if travelling some disatance, or by bus or coach to somewhere like Essaouira on the coast.
    There is so much to say about Morocco but then we do not know what specifically your interests are or how long you will be staying.
    jklejna@aol.com
  • Ivan,

    In general Morocco is an extremely safe and hospitable country. Marrakech is a wonderful city with a lot to offer the traveller. My advice if you are alone is to hire a guide for the day (or even 2 or 3 days). This way you will get to see as much as possible in a short amount of time. Of course, they will take you to shops where they get a commission but everyone is entitled to make a little bit aren't they.

    Stop worrying and enjoy your visit to the Magrehb!!

    Lesley
  • Hello - I've been invited to visit Morocco, for maybe a month, by someone who lives there in Casablanca. Can u please tell me what time of year is best for a month trip. I don't like extreme heat or lots of rain. My friend wants to take me all around the country so I'm hoping for the best weather. Also, can I use my American Express and/or Visa card there? About how much money do u estimate I'll need for a whole month, local eating, staying in rental houses for a few days here and there (my friend said), rather than hotels. I also want to visit Ghana on the same trip. Thank you!
  • Morocco is a safe place, one of the destinations with lowest crimes.
    You can visit my website dedicated to Morocco travel at http://www.gomorocco.com/
    there's ton of useful informations.
    hope this helps
  • Sofree - the best time to visit Morocco for cooler weather is October/November and again in March/April/May. But your friend should be able to advise you on the best times. You can use your credit cards in the bigger cities but for the most part "cash is king" and you'll get better deals with cash. I have no idea on the costs of rental houses for a few days. the amount of money you take is hard to guess at - if you are also going to Ghana why not allow yourself US$100 per day (or is that not within your budget?). This way you will be covered for everything including emergencies.
  • Morocco is one of the safest places in the world. The only problem you may face there is people will stare on you little bite because you look different. Some tourist don't like that and it bother them. But believe me all these eyes staring on you like you and they would like to talk to you. They are just want to be your friend. So if you don’t mind that, just go and have fan.
  • Hi,

    I am a female and will be traveling alone to morocco in late September. Everyone I talk to tells me its a bad idea and not safe to travel alone in morocco being a woman. Is this true? Can you offer me any advice. I feel like I will be fine but other people say no dont go. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • Ignore the negative comments about travelling alone. getting about is easy and there are many wonderful sights to see however you'll be hassled by guides and traders alike.
    Many women go to Morocco alone and have a great time; wherever you go you will find men leering at you, this happens all the time so you just need to be aware of this and use common sense.
    Unles you are naturally flirtateous, ignore politely the advances of all males, they will have different resons for chatting you up.
    The main problem will be of language; if you speak French then this will help immensely although having said this, some taxi drivers do not even speak this.
    In restaurants, hotels, shops etc English will be spoken widely but not necessarilly to converstional standard.
  • i would recommend to contact go-maroc.com company , they are totally trustworthy, I travelled with them and they speak English fluently.
  • Morocco is safe and you don,t need to be worry!
    i advice you to contact this people: www.maisondusud.fr.gd
    they are in the desert of M
  • Hey,
    I'm Moroccan and I appreciate when ppl used to say bout this country!!
    What they say is true, Don't even have any negative feeling! Just do it and I advice you to visit Merzouga ;)
    Have Fun!!
  • anybody know how is the real state in casablanca
  • This has nothing to do with travel; go their and visit any agent immobilier (estate agents).
  • What would cost app. to hire a taxi for a day to take a trip in the surroundings of Marrakech.

    Is it politi if women wear sandals in Marrakech - and other places in Marocco?

    Is it unpolite that women do not wear scarf? I guess it does not matter in the cities. But, in the countryside?
  • Flem - you need to make a price with the taxi driver for the day. Perhaps John will be able to give you a better idea of the cost for this. You can wear sandals of course, it's not a problem. Unless you are a Muslim then it is not a requirement for you to wear the scarf, however, perhaps dress a little more modestly than perhaps you would normally. Loose tops long skirts and trousers will make you feel more comfortable.
  • looking to go on holiday to marrakesh in July, my friend is worried it might not be safe is it ok there at the moment?
  • I am goint to Marakesh in April, just me and my daughter. Will it be safe? It makes me a little nervous that it is just us two girls, is there anything i should be wary of?
  • At the moment all is calm. Demonstrations were aimed to co-incide with 20 February, Independence Day.
    There was an incident a day ago in Marrakech where a few shops were ransacked but this was an isolated incident by kids who took advantage of the political unrest.
    Things settled very quickly whereby the mess was cleared up quickly and trading resumed.
    Other reports have been by Reuters of cars set alight which should be ignored - unless you are IN Marrakech or elsewhere then don't believe what you hear.
    Countries such as Libya, Tunisia and Egypt (others too) have had serious unrest as the people have been ruled by dictators for decades (Gaddafi 42 years in Libya!).
    Moroccans are asking King Mohammed VI to give up some of his powers and honour past promises of reforms; they are not asking for his removal.
    Morocco does have so called free elections but still there is poverty and lack of job opportunities for many, trade is not a huge earner for the country, tourism does bring in much needed currency but is retained by the well off.
    Many workers are low paid, earning typically €5 per day which is well below the stated national average.
    There is another forum which is hot on this subject, being updated very frequently; go to Trip Advisor's Marrakech thread Political Unrest and learn.
    As yet people are not cancelling their planned trips to Morocco, your travel company or travel agent should advise.
    In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (www.fco.gov.uk) has not placed any travel restrictions on travel to Morocco.
  • Returned from Marrakesh last night (1/3/2011), weather fantastic people some of the freindliest I have met. A lot of street vendors and young children but if you do not show any interest in their items then they generally leave you alone. First time to Marrakesh and will definitely be returning again. Some of the restaurants (Indian and French) that we visited were quite exepnsive and the food was not that great. The best food we had was in the Riad.
  • We have an upcoming trip to MOROCCO ist week of april. With the war happening in LIBYA, is it safe to travel to morocco?
  • If you haven't heard anything of Morocco in the news then continue as planned.
    There are protest marches planeed at regular intervals but they are just that, marches and no more.
    People I know have just returned from Agadir and Marrakech and say there were no incidents of any kind.
  • Hi Ivan,

    It's understandable to be worried about travelling to Morocco after hearing about the protests last month. However, they were calm protests according to all the local and international news - including BBC world. The thing that makes the situation different to other countries that you would have heard about in the press (Libya, Egypt....) is that the Moroccan's are not trying to overthrow the government or the King. The King is loved across Morocco and the protesters were in fact protesting against high unemployment and other social issues. Since this happened the King made a speech and he reduced the cost of many everyday items like bread and it seems to have resolved the problem.

    A collegue of mine had her parents out in Marrakesh at the time of the protests and she told me that they were not even aware that anything had gone on as it didn't distrupt her trip in any way. We also have a lot of customers still travelling around Morocco and they have told me the same thing so there is nothing to be worried about.

    Keep an eye on the FCO website as they are always the most cautious in these situations. At the moment they have not changed their advice and are still saying that it is safe to travel around Morocco so go and have a great time in Marrakesh!
  • Despite the recent protests in the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco remains a safe place to travel as the small protests there have been peaceful. Keep an eye on the Foreign Office Advice before you travel, as they update their information daily, but it doesn't look like Morocco is going to flair up like countries such as Morocco.
  • My Daughter and her boyfriend are planning a trip to Morocco in June. Do you think its safe enough as regards political unrest? and in general? is it safe enough at night going out etc...
  • Look mate, as said there is NO political unrest, there are NO reports of violent protests and NO goverment troops on the streets.
    As for the rest....
    You have not stated where in Morocco your daughter and bf are going; it is a very big country.
    June will be crowded with tourists, many of these will be Moroccans going home for their vacation from europe where they work.
    Again, depending on where you, or rather they, will be, it can be safe or not at night. In big cities where there are many people just walking and enjoying the evenings there will be no trouble. If out in the wilderness then a different story, perhaps.
    Keep to busy areas, keep wallets safely concealed, do not display large amounts of cash...in other words use common sense and all will be fine.
    Make the most of the trip and don't get paranoid at every corner. If you are staying in a riad then ask them to write the name of paper in English and Arabic so you can show a passer-by or taxi driver should you get lost.
  • Thanks for the update johnk9159 ..
  • Hi my husband and I plan to travel to Marrakech 4 May 2011. We are staying in a Riad but are concerned about safety issues after the awful events of yesterday 28 April 2011. Can anyone advise what the situation is like at the present. Many thanks
  • At present Jemaa el Fna is crammed full of tourists, some of whom are asking "what happened".
    Even though this event has shaken many people, they are still arriving.
    The FCO in UK has warnings on its website although has not imposed or advised travelling restrictions.
    I suggest you check with the relevant government office dealing with travel advice for your countries.
  • Hi, just returned from Morocco in April 2011 and in all honesty found it all very hyped up. Just in two days the novelty fades with constant hassel from moroccan people who apparently are very poor.It may seem exotic but for a short while with nothing much exciting to see other than a few silly overpriced excursions outside Marrakesh. The place is dirty & dusty with a lot of traffic and noise pollution with no concept of food hygiene whatsoever. The people appear friendly but only to rip your pockets. There were a lot of protests by local people and I would not consider it safe for anyone to travel to Morroco anymore.
  • Yes Peter, I agree with you as I feel the same about Morroco - I wasn't impressed at all and would never go back again.
  • Hi guys, We had our share of bad experiences in Morocco. It was our first & last time - It's a horrible place !!
  • Well, you all went for something new after all.
    I'm only pleased it is nothing like europe, even with the hassle.
    I would not say that traders are poor, it is their livelihood to shake us down and even though it has happened a few time to me I will still go to Morocco.
    Marrakech has many sites within the city, all of which are easy to get to on foot, inexpensive to access costing a mere one euro to get into those run by the state or about 4 for the privately owned museums. Many other sites are, of course, free to see.
    Much comes down to how gullible a person is when chatting to a trader, especially the herb sellers who I detest selling their sweeping off the floor as miracle cures.
    No-one is obliged to go into a shop just because the trader smiles at you, just as you are not obliged to go into overpriced restaurants.
    The sites outside of Marrakech are truly spectacular such as the Atlas Mountains covered in snow, gorges and waterfalls, valleys and much, much more. At least when you go on an organised trip you are insured for your safety but yes, you do get dragged into herbalists but are not obliged to go in.
    I thought I would never return to Marrakech after a day trip from Gibraltar to Tanger as this was a disappointment, the following year I went on my own terms and have never regretted it. I go once a year now and will continue to do so.
    There's always the Costa's in Spain for example where you will meet some colourful (and mainly drunken) British types.
  • We were due to travel Friday morning and on hearing the bomb news have postponed our travel arrangements to this part of North Africa as it did frighten us particularly as the target seems to be tourists.
    The foreign office advice is fairly strong on both safety and terrorism issues and not particularly pleasing to read. They are not restricting travel but opt out on whether you should go or not.
    I would not have wanted to be there at the weekend - the atmosphere must have been awful in the square. Does anyone know what the riads are like particularly agasana chain?
  • Hi ther i am due to visit mid june i am looking forward to it but also a wee bit wary but i think like most places you just have to be careful and vigilant,it will be my first visit and hope all will be safe.
  • I might possibly be travelling to Marrakech over the Christmas holidays with my family - one person of which will be my 19 month old son. Can anyone tell me what things are like over there right now with respect to the bombing that happened in April? If it were you, would you go??
  • Whilst protests occasionally take place they are few and far between. As for the bombing incident, this also was an iolated incident. Life seems pretty much normal and the tourists are still flocking in enjoying themselves. There has been no problem for visitors travelling by road, rail, taxi or buses in most parts of Morocco.
    I would certainly go again but it looks like only to Tanger this time as I will probably be in Spain/Gibraltar and so don't fancy the prospect of a 10 hour rail journey from Tanger to Marrakech, once was enough.
  • Morocco is very well suited to travelers and tourists alike. My friend I recently traveled there for a few weeks and had very few problems other than the odd hustlers. We also made a short film of our time in Morocco if you are interested
  • Have just booked to take my husband for his 40th to spend 4 nights in a lovely Riad in Marrakech.
    Safety?
    Foreign office say kidnapping is a moderate threat (given what is happening in Algeria might this be upgraded?)
    I am planning on booking a guide (through our Riad) to show us the immediate sites etc
    Planning on eating in the Riad at least 2 nights - but they provide excellent recommendations locally (reading reviews) and will even have a member of staff escort you there (and provide you with a mobile phone should there be issues etc)
    I appreciate there will be a lot of hustle and bustle (which I now think my husband will HATE but he will be more than happy chilling at the Riad I think)
    So - I am happy with all that
    Was planning on doing one of the organised hot air balloon ride/camel ride/breakfast - it says this is 'in the desert and breakfast taken in a 'locals' tent
    Is this safe? Are we at risk venturing away from the 'safety' of the Riad
    I had read countless reviews of the Riad and the place and am so very excited about going

    Can someone give me a current temperature check of the place? safety wise........
    Thanks so much
  • Oh.....and if the Foreign Office advise against travel to a place - are you covered on travel insurance? Have only paid for flights so far.......
  • If there is severe political unrest or the threat to human life then do not go.
    At present there is no such danger and travel to Morocco is perfectly safe.
    I too have read the FCO website info (UK) on Morocco and find it slightly amusing. I does actualy look as though the FCO have not updated their info in a number of years.
    For travel insurance purposes, Morocco is classed as a Mediterranean country.
    Many people go hot air ballooning without incident. Where you read a phrase such as "local", interpret this as being strictly laid on for tourists.
    The hassle mentioned is part and parcel which you cannot avoid. You will be under a lot of pressure if you succumb to the charms of the trader. If you step into their shop then you are sunk with high pressure selling, this is especially so in carpet/rug shops and helbalists which should be avoided at all costs if taken in by a guide.
    Guide arrange with shop keepers to inflate prices immensely o that you pay far too much with the guide getting an extra income in comission.
    Shop in souks for rugs/carpets and always offer one third or less of the asking price for beginners and then go to whatever you "feel" is the right price for you.
    ps - some rugs are sold as silk but occasionally this is obtained from cactus plants so not the real thing.
  • Thank you!!!!!
  • Morocco is safe country. I live in Marrakech and moved here with my 9 months old baby girl. The city is safe and there are no any trouble at all. We absolutely love living here. Please note that over 20 000 foreigners live in Marrakech and lately I have seen many Spanish citiziens working in Morocco as they can not find jobs in Spain. Morocco is safe and great place to visit so plan your Morocco travel now
    www.your-morocco-tour.com
  • Yes morroco is more then safe country for tourists , you can hire professional to make your trip more fun.
  • My son wants to visit Marrakech in June of his 18th with me . How safe is it there. We are thinking of 3 nights in a Riad in Marrakech then 4 nights in a Essaouiras Riad. I'm a bit uneasy about it all but don't want to disappoint him

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