Women travelling in Morocco

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Comments

  • edited 10:32PM
    My advice on what to avoid in Morocco - guides named Mohammed! IMO this is clearly a tout after business, ignore I urge you!
  • edited 10:32PM
    johnk9 = oh my we have the same here in Tunisia - must be relatives Looool!!! Ramadan karim
  • edited 10:32PM
    I am not sure where to find out this information, but my daughter (early 20's) has had a Moroccan boyfriend for about 2 years and goes over regularly to see him. If they were eventually to marry and he came here, and things did go wrong would he be able to stay then in the UK, or would he have to return to Moroc?
    I have met and stayed with him many times and he is very 'normal', works hard, has a nice family and they get on very well he is quite laid back and they laugh alot, BUT I would just like to be more sure as although my daughter has nothing in her name here as such, the only thing he would gain is moving to the UK, so as I said before does this mean he could then stay if it went wrong?
  • edited 10:32PM
    Trouble is - once he gets over here he may just become a lazy so and so having his gf slaving for him, this has been known to happen.
    In reality, unless she can support him or he has some extra-ordinary skills unheard of in the UK he will not be granted entry, even if they were to marry in Morocco; this is my hope anyway as we have far too many stragglers here already.
    How about if she were to move over to Morocco and become his wife and live there for ever more?
  • edited 10:32PM
    He is happy in either place, she would not live there all the time probably, but she is a very strong character and he would not be allowed to to become lazy! That part would not happen. But thanks for your comments ... I'm just trying to find out all the angles in case it goes any further.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Salaam Alikom!

    I am an American woman who suffered an injury (though I am reasonably mobile) and I now receive a small Disability check ($700/month), which I believe would go about twice as far in Morocco as here. I have a degree in English and Communications and hope to earn my TESOL as well. In addition, I will be studying French, Arabic and Darija, during the next 18 months or so before I plan to go over.

    While I am told I could easily get a job in one of the better-paying schools, I would prefer to work with adult entrepreneurs -- business people who didn't have the money to attend the better schools, who would like to more fluently market their goods and services to Americans on the worldwide web.

    (My Disability check would enable me to work at a lower rate for people who couldn't afford the higher rates that other people must charge, but I can only work part-time because I tire easily.)

    Does anyone know an NGO that would like to make use of my skills and interests, that could provide me with the TESOL certification?

    And is my understanding correct, that $700 ($630 after money exchange rate) is enough to live on in Morocco?

    Shokran,

    Malak
  • edited 10:32PM
    I guess I should make that a little more clear -- I am hunting for the NGO to volunteer for a while if they would pay for my TESOL, and help me understand the country better. Then I could go on to work part time helping the entrepreneurs. (It would be nice, though, if I could find a way to work through the NGOs.)

    I need to make some money, because I would like to save and eventually go back to school for my Doctorate. (My understanding is that college is only $500 a term.)

    I don't want to be on Disability money forever, but I want to do some good in the world while this check can still follow me overseas, while it still provides this opportunity to not be as dependent on money, to do something that matters --to help people who have felt as I have felt, struggling to make something of themselves, yet crushed down every way they try. This is something I could do, insha'allah, that would empower both parties at one time.

    So if you know any organizations that could help me accomplish these goals, I would be ever grateful.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Hello, I am an American female co-owner of a Moroccan travel company that provides private guides. (I won't post my information here b/c I don't want to self-promote.) I have been to Morocco dozens of time and in my first visits in my mid-twenties alone when I was a lawyer in NYC. In general, the city is as safe for women as an average mid-west city in the US. The key difference, as many people have stated, is that people will approach young women alone, and they must just ignore them and keep walking no matter how persistent or friendly they are. The generally harmless, but annoying and a waste of time. This occurs mainly in the large tourist areas. It is a beautiful friendly country, and if there is ever a situation where a young women feels really uncomfortable, she can pop into a cafe, or ask almost anyone to assist her. I hope your daughters all have a fabulous trip. Please do not hesitate to ask me additional questions.
  • edited 10:32PM
    I am American female planning to visit Rabat Morocco during the Christmas holiday flying over alone but will be meeting a friend after a few days being there. It is reassuring to read that Morocco is generally a safe place like an average mid-west city. So if I don't know how to speak French or Arabic, will I be able to adequately communicate in in English to the services and people around me without any "guide" assistance? How is the weather there in December/January? Thanks for any feedback.
  • edited 10:32PM
    i am a single women in my early 30. i spent 7 months in morocco. the people r so friendly there. and willing to help you with whatever u need help with. but be carefull when buying in markets, they also think that if u r an american u r also rich they will cheat u out of paying for stuff. so be carefull of that. also do not go out at night time alone. it is wise to have someone with you specially if u r in the outer citys. even in the big citys always have someone with you. i have been out alone at night. it is ok at times but then others it is not. this is why i say it would be nice to have someone with you. and if anyone is wanting to put henna on your hands do not let them. they will charge u a large amout of money. just to do it, specially in rabat. beware of the henna ladies.lol other then that the culture is pretty laid back. nice place to be. nice people. but they r curious and will watch this is harmless. dont be afraid to explore new places and have new experiences. i would not change this for the world. i had a good time. good time spent. i wish everyone well also. i will be going back soon inshallah.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Hello,

    I am very excited but also a little nervous and would appreciate as much advice as possible.
    In June 2012 my mother and I are planning to travel to Spain and then Morocco. I am 48 and she is 77!

    I am a keen photographer so this is my main motivation for Morocco so have great expectations in this regard although my mother is not so keen to travel there.

    I would like to fly from Spain to Fez 2 nights to photograph the tannery and then 2 nights in the Blue City Chefchaouen then back to Spain.

    I would like to know whether it is easy to navigate around the streets, are people ok with being photographed or do I have to ask first? (ruins the candidness of the shot). If all I really want in Chef is the blue streets and a few people do I need to stay for two nights or would one day/night be enough?

    Is it possible to hire a driver in both places for the day or is it impossible to drive to a lot of places. Whilst my mother is in excellent health she does not like a lot of heat and walking everywhere so hence the driver. I would also appreciate a guide to take me to the best photography spots.

    Also what is the best way, not necessarily the cheapest, to travel from Fez to Chef? I am quite fond of my comforts so hoping a private car for the two of us?

    I have read about sewage in the street and wearing closed footwear. Is this just for the donkeys or humans also? The photos I have seen all look quite clean so I am a bit confused about this. Also how does it smell in Fez and Chef in the summer? Just wondering, not trying to be offensive in any way. I was shocked when visiting New York in the summer, nobody had ever mentioned the smell to me.

    I have been living vicariously for too long and want to go and take fabulous photos for myself!

    I have taken on board a lot of the comments here about safety. Any suggestions for my situation or places to avoid or traps to where I am heading?

    I look forward to hearing your suggestions.
  • edited 10:32PM
    If you are clever with concealing your camera then you can get the locals in frame without their knowing. One trick I use is to aim at buildings, rugs, cats etc and get the result this way, although I don't often photograph people.
    If you do want to take closer portraits then you must ask and expect to pay, some dislike having photographs taken as this steals their soul. Traders such as spice sellers may not object but others may curse you from a long way off.
    The streets of Fes are notorious and it is very easy to get lost in the hundreds of narrow and winding streets so a guide may be necessary.
    The tanneries may also be a problem if people are involved, a guy in Marrakech held his hand over his face, as in other towns also, but the "guide" must have said there will be a reward.
    Taxi drivers are the the usual choice to be driven around but if you speak neither Arabic or French then you may have to pay more for an fluent English speaker.
    If a taxi driver can get to awkward places then so can you if you wish to hire a car.
    Whilst sewers do occasionally overflow it does not happen all the time nor are the streets overflowing with effluent. Drainage systems are not exactly new but they do serve their purpose.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Thanks for this post I have found the comments helpful. I would be grateful if you could advise me. I am planning to travel to Marrakech in January and have booked a riad. I will be travelling with my 3yr old daughter. My Arabic and French isn't great and I would like to know if it is advisable to walk around the markets. I am a Londoner so I am quite street-savvy but I have been told that it isn't safe for me to do so on my own (single female with child). I don't plan to be out and about at night but please let me know know if the marketplace is out of bounds? Thanks
  • edited December 2011
    In spite of your apprehensions I am sure you will be perfectly safe.
    Moroccans love children so if you do get attention, this is why.
    Most traders in the tourist parts on Marrakech will speak a fair amount of English so don't be afraid to engage in conversation although I advise you only do this if genuinely interested in buying something. Prices near the main square will be inflated as this is where tourists are more likely to be seen so buy in the souks wherever possible. Don't worry about communication if buying from older traders who speak only Arabic, they usually use a calculator to show a price. If not happy with the price use the calculator to show what you are offering, haggling is expected.
    If you do not wish to buy anything despite the persuasive charms of some traders then you should say "La Shokran" which means No Thank You.
    You absolutely must go into the souks if only to explore, there are many wonders to see in here although they are many and sprawling. Try to avoid opportunist guides who will latch on to you and offer to show you around.
    Once in the square, souks, restaurants etc you will see many foreign visitors from (chiefly) France, Germany, UK, Spain, USA and others.
    A map of the medina and surrounding area outside may be useful, if you want one get in touch although I have yet to find a map which shows the names of the tiny alleyways within the medina, maybe they never had names. All the notable sights of Marrakech are shown such as Jardin de Menara, Jardin Majorelle, Palais Bahia (former harem), Dar Si said (private museum), Koutoubia Mosque and Saadian Tombs. jklejna@aol.com
    BTW - if you wish to take photographs of people be sure they give their consent or take them whilst they are unaware.
  • edited 10:32PM
    My daughter and friend are going to Seville and then a side trip to Marrakech. They are staying in hostels in Spain and plan on the ferry and train to Marrakech. Is it okay to stay in hostels in Marrakech or is it better to find a hotel. I believe they are planning on spending one night. They are on budgets and cannot spend lots on a hotel. The ferry and train I believe is very costly. They are Americans in late 20's and earl 30's. If anyone has any suggestions on places to stay pls advise. They are leaving for Spain tonight and will be in Marrakech some time next week. thanks.
  • edited 10:32PM
    While in Marrakesh in may of last year, me and another female stayed in Hotel Central Palace. The hotel is a two minute walk to the main square. It is very cheap ranging around 20 US dollars for a double room. The hotel is beautifully decorated. I felt very safe with a front office staff keeping watch at the door 24/7.
  • edited 10:32PM
    I have a question regarding Marriage. If I am a married woman in the US, do I need to be divorced before I marry a Moroccan man IN MOROCCO??
  • edited 10:32PM
    Puzzled - this is a trick question yes?? Of course you must be divorced and must have been divorced for at least 3 months prior to marriage.
  • edited 10:32PM
    3rd world trash.

    Stay away from this country, it's dirty underbelly is inhumane, on the surface it seems a sligth danger and overall a nice place, but it harbors terrorists, it rapes it's own women and forces them to marry their rapist, they starve their own people...this isn't a humane country. Sure there may be some sights, some food some lovely places...but if that were a common here where we live, no one would come here. My wife lived their form ages 14-17, her parents were teachers, she was harassed everyday of her existence there, a close encounter with a group who was likely going to attempt to rape her, she fled the scene as soon as she saw trouble...please be aware, these people do not value women or their lives.

    Stay away.
  • edited 10:32PM
    In regards to the safety of women, I am a 19 year old Egyptian girl who just returned from Agadir with an 18 year old Thai girl. I do not believe safety is an issue, of course at night women should be careful, however it is very safe, most men are polite, many will lower their gaze... On the other hand, at one point we had a local Moroccan banging on our car window in a village, because I and a Moroccan local were alone in a car, we weren't misbehaving or being inappropriate, but the point is, when it's late it's better not to appear as a "couple". It is definitely better to have more men with you than women, and in any country in the world it is unsafe for a woman to be alone, particularly at night. Men may approach you but I have never felt in danger, although I love Egypt I have felt under threat from men multiple times. Moroccan men are harmless... Agadir is very under-rated.
  • edited 10:32PM
    I forgot to mention, it is fine for tourists to dress summery in terms of vests and shorts, Agadir is full of tourists who dress freely at the beaches or nightclubs. However, places like the Souks or local cafes ate prone to stares and maybe unwelcome attention (again harmless but may be uncomfortable). If you wish to travel to/from villages and smaller areas, dress code is very important. Aourir for example, is a lot more religious than Agadir, and dressing openly would not only make you stand out, but may offend people. Tourists should feel comfortable in Morocco, but should always keep in mind the culture and religion of the country.
  • edited 10:32PM
    WHAT IF YOU OVERSTAY STAY IN MOROCCO?WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
  • edited 10:32PM
    You are allowed 30 days in Morocco, any loner and you must present yourself at any police station expressing your interest to stay longer.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Hi keen travellers,

    I am 26 years, from New Zealand. I have had many trips overseas with friends and family.. I hope I can be of some advice to travellers young and old.

    I am currently in Meknes, Morocco. I am here with my best friend, her family live here as her dad is Moroccan. The family house is very traditional, the food is delicious, there is plenty of it. I think I have put on 5 kgs and have only been here for two weeks!

    The people are very warm, friendly and extremely clean. There is a steam room for both men And woman usually near to one another, this is a safe environment where you go to wash and relax. Best to do this in the evening as it can be tiresome and you sleep well after.

    I am here in Morocco for 75 days, this is plenty of time to travel and experience this beautiful country.
    So far we have stayed in Casablanca and Meknes, we will travel to Marrakech next week and spend New Years in the desert with a male friend that arrives a couple of days beforehand. A family friend that lives in Meknes will Also accompany us to the desert, is had been there before.

    We have not had any trouble, being two females in Morocco, the best thing to do is.. do not make eye contact! Mostly because you will be stared at regardless, especially myself being blonde haired with blue eyes and fairly taller than most of the females here.. I basically stand out in most places we have been! My friend who has not been here since she was younger does not have to worry as she fits right in!

    It is winter here, cold at night and warm during the day, we are always fully clothed. If it was summer I would be inclined to wearing t-shirts, jeans and shorts in some places..jandals in summer are a must! walking shoes in winter are a must also.

    When I say do not make eye contact, this goes for anyone that doesn't want trouble, it's so easy to be fascinated and to stare. They will be doing the same thing, but just so no ideas have been given if you lock eyes, just smile, not to big though just enough to be polite, for we are in a foreign country :)

    Because we have places to stay with family and Friends, I
    cannot suggest anywhere to stay. But if you have connections I highly recommend them. Moroccan people are ten times more hospitable than western people. They cook a feast for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will be Blowen away.

    Some good advice with travelling to markets Etc and tourist places, they can charge ridiculous prices, just say no thank you, 'La Shukran' and go elsewhere.. an omelette for 60-100DH is crazy, be very aware of prices and act smart. Not only will you see many poor people on the streets begging, you will see animals extremely mistreated.. for me this was a very hard thing to deal with. Good luck!

    If you are travelling a lot, I would suggest a decent back pack, one that you can reverse. This had been very useful to us, always carry your passports on you and money. Watch you back and just be Aware :) Some places you need to take more care than others, at the markets always watch out.
    Don't forget to have fun though, relax and enjoy the culture, food and authentic smells. Drink plenty of tea and always drink bottles water. Never at more than 6 DH for bottled wAter, if they say 10DH say no politely and go somewhere else.

    Casablanca is a big city, the beach is beautiful. But there is more to see in land, Meknes is amazing! The air is fresh, there is very little pollution.
    The desert should be amazing, can't wait!

    Taking photographs in Morocco .. you must ask first! it's just as important as being fully clothed, the people will usually be okay with this if you ask, a very small coin may be given. Do not take photos of the guards at the kings palace, I was followed and told to delete photos. I was not aware they were in them as it was at night, all I wanted was a photo of the large front gates, so be aware.

    Last but not least, Moroccan people are crazy when it comes to driving or any road rules for that matter!! If you come from a western country, all I haw to say is good luck if you decide to drive. It is completely different to any other part of the world I have seen, people walk onto the street without looking left or right, no ones uses the crossings, many don't know what are there for!
    People don't wear seatbelt a including small children. Driving from Casablanca to Meknes in the back seat, I don't think I blinked!!

    Have an enjoyable time and don't flash that iPhone around :)
    Morocco is North Africa, it's an amazing experience, especially for us, we live on the other side of the world!

    Merry Christmas,
    safe travels to all that may visit and have a blast!

    -Miss sunshine
  • edited 10:32PM
    Hello everyone, my name is rachid, I am a young maroccain I finished my studies in Europe, I visited a lot many place in the world and I had a lot of tourists from all over the world (couchsurfing)in my house in the village of Ait Ben haddou, Ouarzazate city in the south.
    I saw that most of comentaires talk about the security, I do not know why some peoples talk about us on that way (more than negative) I do not know exactly why ? and what is their goals? (it is better to see instead of saying anything).
    This is a country, full of wonders and cultural wealth, many things to see (10 million tourists a year I do not think that there is a problem in the country of 1000 kasbah.
    here is my e-mail: (rachid_1dc4@hotmail.com) for those who want to visit the south.

    Nb: the only surprise for you will be when you go through the village of Morocco is to say hello to you and be invited by the people to drink a glass of tea

    Peace ... with love of morocco.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Hello,

    have read all that is written on this site. Most helpful. Thx to everyone, esp. johnk9159.

    I am an American woman, planning to travel to Morocco during the last week of July with my 2 daughters (ages 27,29). No security questions. Enough has been said about this subject.

    My questions:

    1. How much of the country is it realistic to see in a week's time, starting in Casablanca?
    2. In which city do we find a tour co. to take use to the Sahara for a day?
    3. Suggestions re. an inexpensive place to stay in Casablanca for the first 2 nights of our vacation?
    4. If you had just one precious week in the country, where would you go? What would you avoid ?

    A thousand thank-you's ! Rebecca
  • edited February 2013
    Women on the receiving end of nonphysical sexual harassment should do what Moroccan women do: Ignore it. Showing confidence and self-assurance also seems to deter a lot of would-be Romeos
  • edited 10:32PM
    Just ask your daughter, do not give attention to any guy in the street, do not smile to them, and avoid walking late at nightm and enjoy Morocco.
  • edited 10:32PM
    Absolutely!!! I spent a month in Tunisia and Morocco last summer and while I experienced problems in Tunisia, I had no problems at all in Morocco. The people are very warm and friendly - take the time to talk with them. The culture is open and welcoming. I felt very safe and comfortable. I spent a lot of my time in Marrakech fell in love with it. Stay within the medina if you can, and be sure to experience Jemnaa el F'na during the day and night. I wandered around on my own and had no problems, despite hearing all the horror stories. Your hotel/riad can hook you up with a professional guide to help get you orientated, as Marrakech can be really overwhelming. But the sights, sounds, smells, and culture are amazing.

    Read more: http://www.frommers.com/community/forum.cfm/middle-east-africa/morocco/solo-female-morocco#ixzz2KjaArBGr
  • edited 10:32PM
    In view of the action taken by the french in mali we have been advised not to travel to morrocco which is unfortunate as we have a short break booked to marakesh at the beginning of march. We are two middle aged ladies who are leaving their husbands at home in order to widen our horizons. Can anyone advise on the situation out there. Would we be stupid to travel to morrocco at the presant time?
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