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.

Can someone reassure me please?!

Which Marrakech hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
North east
Level Contributor
14 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
Can someone reassure me please?!

My husband and I have booked a week ina Riad in Marrakech in September. It will be our first time visiting marrakech and we are very much lookign forward to visiting a different culture, eating local food, soaking up the atmophere etc.

However after being told tales by several 'well-meaning' acquaintances of 'so-and-so who went to marrakech and was mugged/hassled/got food poisoning/insert other misfortune here' as well as some very unfavourable reviews on here in the Travel Guide section..we are now feeling a little apprehensive.

Is it really over-whelming? Will we feel contantly harrassed and badgered for money? I will of course be dressing modestly so not too worried about that element, more people not taking no for answer which many people on here mentionned in their reviews.

Please can someone reassure me?!

Thank you

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
9,028 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

Hi,

It is vey different for sure but I believe you get back what you put in. Be friendly but firm if you're not interested in something (someone's shop/offer to guide you etc). A polite "La shukran" (no thankyou) with a smile does wonders. The people who approach you are only trying to make a living so there's no need to be rude. The Riad owners/staff will be only too happy to make sure you know where you are going so you can look confident on your travels round the city.

I always say keep a sense of humour and look on it as a fun adventure.

Please come and enjoy yourselves!

Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
Level Contributor
4,160 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

I couldn't agree more with Shimmin

Have the riad owner brief you on things to do and avoid Leave valuables and passport in a safe and be upbeat

london
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

Just a short message, we have just come back from a week in Marrakech. While I went with an open mind I have to say my girl friend was a little apprehensive... However having said that once we were there both of us had a great time and found the city to be very safe, friendly and suprisingly clean. Of course you well get people asking for money or trying to sell you something you don't need or want but be polite and they will leave you alone.

Have a good time and don't worry

Herts
1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

I too have booked a break for my family departing this friday -BUT - was not advised by travel agents that we should have Hep A injections - we dont think we will travel. Any thoughts ?

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
5 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

Looks beautiful….but just bitter memories come to me, Marrakech..made me had to be arrogant, having to ignore people conversations all the time, not even able to walk a minute alone, vendors calling me, women with henna tattoe forcing me to get one…holding my arm and not letting me move..or walked away..and then asking 400 dirham for something I didn’t ask, 3 days that gave me a horrible feeling, not the reason why you go on vacation, better use your money in a place that you will enjoy..like Chefchaouen, Essaouira, etc. It is not my intention to offend anybody, I am just being honest of what the experience was for me.

London, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

Definetly agree that you need to keep a sense of humour and look on it as a fun adventure. I read alot of info about marrakech and thought I was well preped but was still in shock with the culture change when I arrived.

We travelled in a party of 5 none of had injections i really dont think there is any need. However three of us did get tummy bugs which consisted if severe diareaha and tummy cramps. I am still recovering from mine. So please stock up on medication before you go.

You will get hassled but be firm with them and remeber you are not obliged to give anyone any money. There is a strark contrast between the New Town and Old Town so if the Medina gets too much for you just stick with the New Town which is very laid back and slower pace.

Take a bus to Essouria from the Supa Tours station you will apprecaite getting away from the madness and its lovely there.

Try to relax and enjoy it. Its definelty somewhere everyone should expereince at least once.

Yorkshire
Level Contributor
3,649 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

There will be a plethora of people trying to get you to buy in the souk (people are there to sell!). My O.H. did, indeed, get rather attacked by a henna-tattoo-selling woman a little way in the souk. This was really our only negative experience in Marrakech. Everything else was good-natured banter, and I haggled for things I wanted to buy with no problem. Very few people asked for money - a few kids chased us around asking for sweets near our riad.

I was covered by Hep A/Typhoid vaccinations, as recommended by my GP - both water-bourne infections, and it's a precaution. We didn't suffer any food poisoning, and ate out in a variety of lower-budget places, including the stalls in the Djemaa el Fna in the evening. We neither got mugged, nor heard of anyone else who was mugged, and we walked around a fair bit at night.

If you feel a bit apprehensive, I'd say orientate yourselves a bit in daylight, and then you know your way to-from where you're staying, know the layout of the city and feel confident on your routes. It's really not a huge place to get to know your way around and feel safe. We had a fabulous time, and really enjoyed our first visit - I'd go again in a heartbeat. Loved Essaouira for the chilled-out contrast too.

Edited: 04 August 2010, 01:29
North east
Level Contributor
14 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

Thank you all for your really helpful replies. We will definitely be going with an open mind, and a firm 'La shukran'- thank you for that tip. Thankfully we are arriving in the early morning so we will have time to get to know the area before dark. We will also ask the Riad owners for directions/advice.

Will pack some Immodium too...

Thanks all

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
105 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

I can reassure you! My wife and I were there for 3.5 days in March and had a splendid time. It's a beautiful city.

We didn't find it quite so annoying as described in some of the other replies here. Tourism is very important to these people so the Moroccans in Marrakesh are very competitive for the tourist dollars. We didn't feel any pressure at all in the lovely souks, but some of the entertainers in the Jemma el-Fna can be a little aggressive. But they're all very nice.

And it's safe, even at night, as long as you stay where there are other people around. Watch out for all the damn motor scooters though, and don't miss the Jemma el-Fna after dark!!

Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
8,506 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Can someone reassure me please?!

Quote, "not even able to walk a minute alone, vendors calling me, women with henna tattoe forcing me to get one…holding my arm and not letting me move..or walked away..and then asking 400 dirham for something I didn’t ask,"

Would you allow someone in your own country to mistreat you in this way? Moroccan tricksters sense people who are easy scams. I can tell you nobody would get away with trying to treat me like that!

And 400dh is several day's earnings. A more reasonable payment for somebody doing a half hour henna tattoo would be 20-30dh. Absolutely tops!

Edited: 15 August 2010, 23:08