We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Worrying about getting hassled

Kilmarnock, United...
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Worrying about getting hassled

I realise this is a bit feeble, but I'm getting worried about how I'll cope with getting hassled.

I'm staying in Marrakech for the first time (27th onward) with my teenage son and would appreciate any tips on how to deflect unwanted, persistant offers of "goods and services".

Visited Fez and Meknes in 2005 with a small group and I felt "buffered" by the group and our leader when we did get unwanted attention. I loved Morocco so much I had to come back.

How bad is it in Marrakech ?- or am I just getting into a tizzy over nothing!

Thanks

Kate

Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
Level Contributor
4,283 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

Just relax and enjoy your holiday. YOU'll realise most of the hassle has to do with shopping which you should avoid on the first day as it may spoil your holidays. If you ever feel like shopping t go to L'ensemble artisanal on Mohamed 5 Boulevard. And basic rule is shrug it off and say nohttp://www.tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i12562-Worst_things_to_avoid.html

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
5,494 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

You should not experience any ptoblems outside of the medina, however, inside is a different world.

If you allow yourself to be suckered by the charms of the traders then really that is a problem of your making. You have to show that YOU are in charge and in control. If you do want to buy the tourist tat they are trying to sell you then by all means stop but you must realise that by stopping, it is expected you are looking to buy and there will be little chance of escape withouy offending.

If it your intention not to buy, then walk on.

If you want hassle free shopping, you must go deep into the souks where this happens less frequently.

Show them who is boss, it's easier than you think.

marrakech
Level Contributor
248 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

a simple smile, and a firm "No thank you" will do wonders. Just stick to your guns, and enjoy your time here!

Spain
Destination Expert
for Fes
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

I just returned from a few days in Marrakesh and it really isn't that bad. This could also be because I speak Arabic and can pass for Moroccan, but I saw plenty of people strolling through the medina with no hassles at all, just the occasional invitation to look into the shops. Even without Arabic, shaking your head and putting your right hand briefly up against your heart is a polite way of refusing "offers".

Littlehampton...
Level Contributor
624 posts
366 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

My friend and I were tourist magnets the first time we walked through the souks - it didn't help that we were walking around in circles trying to find the jemaa el fna and clutching a map! We found that "pleasant but firm" seemed the way to go. We also refused to part with any money for unwanted guides apart from one young boy who wanted to show us the way to the square (past his uncle's stall!). I must admit we lost our nerve on the first day when an unwanted guide adopted us - we jumped onto the sightseeing bus to shake off our new friend!

After the first day they more or less lost interest in us. It really isn;t as bad as you may be expecting - to be honest we just accepted the attention as part of Marrakech culture, charm and atmosphere.

Have a great time

Deb

Manchester
Level Contributor
1,276 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

One of the first things that I learnt when I first started going to Morocco many years ago was to learn how to say in Arabic, "No thank you, go away I have no money". It actually works wonders, though sometimes you do have to say it several times for the message to get across. Ask your hotel reception how to say the words, it is quite an easy sentence, unfortunately my spelling of the Arabic language is very poor. I would agree with one of the other writers not to go to the Medina on your first day, nor would I look at shops that you are not interested in buying goods at, but the most important thing I would say is learn the above sentence, it has always worked for me.

Enjoy your holiday

Tangergirl

marrakech
Level Contributor
248 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

the other tip I use, (even now) is to wear sunglasses in the souk. That way, the vendors can not see exactly where you are looking, and so you can peruse as you walk by, without attracting unwanted attention...........works everytime!

Kilmarnock, United...
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

Thanks for all the advice - it's good to know how other people tackle this. I don't want it to spoil my holiday, and I realise a lot of that is down to me and how I respond.

It's a pity that I can't window shop and linger over things that catch my eye, I really miss doing that and would probably spend more money if I'm allowed to shop at "my" speed.....the sunglasses tip will be good for this!

I will do my best to not get too distracted from enjoying my surroundings because of someone hassling me - and your right, I need to be confident, in control and pick up some choice phrases.

Morocco is a fantastic country and it's a shame that hassling puts so many people off giving it a chance.

PS: Now...can any of you help me to apply these techniques to my teenage son?

Wellington, New...
Level Contributor
51 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

I found that a smile and shake of the head worked reasonably well. Yes they can be persistent, but when we chatted and laughed I found we were never aggressively hassled.

Don't cut yourself off because you're so determined no say "No" ... we had a lovely experience with a spice seller - he said "don't buy today, buy tomorrow" and then proceeded to explain all about the different spices, teas etc, we could hold them and smell them. It was great! If we had ignored him or continued to say "no not today" we would have missed out.

Have a wonderful time - I'm so jealous you're going!

Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
13 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Worrying about getting hassled

I don't think Marrakech is that bad. I speak Arabic and live here, but because of my looks I still get targeted as a tourist. If someone is kind in their hassling, just go with "la shukran" (no thank you) or ignore them. If they're rude, I am usually rude right back. But generally speaking, if you don't give someone your attention at all, they'll just move on to the next tourist.