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single woman in Marrakech

western australia
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single woman in Marrakech

im a single 30year old women and i want to spend some time wandering around Marrakech, maybe my aunties will join me but probably not. I'll be coming from Australia and so far havent picked anywhere else to go.

So my questions are

1. Will i be safe by myself or do i need to convince someone else to come with me?

2. Im coming from Australia so how long should i have to explore the city and possibly the surrounding areas

Any help will be helpfull

cheers

Sarah

Sintra, Portugal
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30 posts
8 reviews
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21. Re: single woman in Marrakech

I have just spent 9 days in Marrakech and have always felt safe.

You ll quickly learn to hide your hand, since henna ladies like to grab them and start drwaing henna tatoos, even if you didn t ask or didn t want them and then want to charge you a huge amount.

Only once I was taken to see a place where leather is made, and then was asked for 200 dh (and it was way far away from the souks), but I just gave them 20 dh, said I didn t have anymore money and walked off.

Other than that, I have always felt super safe.

3 days is good to explore the main sites of marrakech, then i would avise you at least 3/4 days desert tour (as it s a little far from marrakech) and you can also spend a day in eureka valley, and another day in ouzud cascades (stunningly beautiful) and maybe a night or two in essauira.

Hope you enjoy your stay!!!

Edited: 22 January 2013, 16:49
Norwich
7 posts
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22. Re: single woman in Marrakech

Oh thats a shame

Norwich
7 posts
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23. Re: single woman in Marrakech

That last post was meant in reply to finding out that that lady was arriving in a totally different year!

Thanks Sinatra for your post that is handy to know what to look out for.

Paris
2 posts
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24. Re: single woman in Marrakech

Hello,

I am also planning a solo trip to Morocco on 18/03-21/03/2013. I booked the Widiane Suites and Spa from Groupon and will just be exploring the Atlas mountains for now. Anyone know of a cheaper transportation to get to the hotel from the Marrakech airport? The airport charges 40 euros per trip. What about the grand taxis?

And also if I can get cheap tour guides to explore the ouzoud cascade and souks at the Azilal capital? The hotel organize trips to the ouzoud but it is too expensive (600 MAD) and not to the capital. Saw some forums that people can get it around 300-500 MAD from local tour guides for the falls + trip to the Azilal capital.

Thanks,

Diana

Edited: 08 February 2013, 15:59
Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
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9,389 posts
61 reviews
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25. Re: single woman in Marrakech

I've stopped overnight in Azilal several times and unless I've missed something there's nowt in Azilal I think the average tourist would be interested in.

If you want to go to Ouzoud, you should combine it with a visit to Imi n'Ifri, see http://looklex.com/morocco/index.htm

Paris
2 posts
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26. Re: single woman in Marrakech

Thanks Tim, I only have a few days at Morocco so couldn't do much. Maybe will just go the Ouzoud since its around the area. Thanks.

Norwich
7 posts
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27. Re: single woman in Marrakech

I have just returned from Marrakech, it wasn't what I expected.

I had asked various people that I know had recently been out there and was told by a number of people that it was fine an I would be ok. Those people had either been men or couples though.

EVERYONE is different I will say before I start writing this and I know that there are going to be people who will disagree with me, however this is MY advise based on MY experience.

Personally I found that I felt uncomfortable. I think because you are a woman alone it is very unusual. Most of the Moroccan women of a younger age walk around in couples, there are the odd 20-30 year old women who walk alone however there is not many, and they also get stared at and comments made as they go past.

You can't walk past a man without them staring or whistling or comments made.

They ask you were you are from and say Hello etc. Which you can be polite and say hello the they try to ask further questions.

You cannot pop to the shop or anywhere without that happening. This may sound narrow minded but I felt ignorance is bliss so to stop me hearing comments when i was walking alone I would put my head phones on and turn the music up loud!

I stayed at a Riad where the staff spoke Italian and the most of the staff and guests were Italian or French, so even when back at the Riad I felt quite isolated, I was about to change my flight to go home but I didn't want to give up and wanted to try and give Marrakech a change as I had wanted to visit for years. I made friends with some very kind Italian people who I think saw me on the verge of tears and heard me discussing flying back to England, they asked me if i wanted to go sight seeing with them for the day which I did I didn't feel so intimidated and vulnerable. I was so relieved by this they were most kind so I gave them a present as they made that day much better for me as I was about to fly home to England. Even though they mainly spoke in Italian they tried as much as they could to include me in the conversations. (I wish I had learnt both Italian and French at school, I realise that it is my problem that I cannot speak any other languages however that is not the point of this post.)

The point is if you definitely want to travel as a woman to Marrakech do so but be warned you will get lots of attention and you will get lost if you haven't been there before I have heard that they will try to help you if you get lost and that some find it a game to get you even more lost then to demand money to help you find your way out! I didn't have this problem as I only looked at my map when out of sight and went into shops to ask directions not anyone on the street.

If you wear trousers where your bottom is on show however old you are it will be stared at even if you are wearing jeans. If you wear floaty trousers and a long loose top over the trousers you will not be bothered so much, also wear a cotton or silk scarf which will hide your breasts and any opening to your top. I wore my mums clothes! My mum is a larger lady and tends to wear the type of clothes that were perfect for this country. There is no need to cover your head when walking about. I did occasionally to keep the sun off me but you will get odd looks.

On a tour booked by my Riad I was taken off a couple of times away from the group once to see a view above the hotel we were staying at and the second time when walking with a different guide in the desert.

I was given particular attention to take photos to give me a scarf, to help me in and out of the mini bus to give me a scarf for the camel ride even though I had my own! Maybe this was innocent but it made me feel uncomfortable. The driver of the tour got annoyed that I didn't want to sit next to him in the front and that I sat in the back to allow an italian couple to sit in the front together.

When we were in the desert we went for a walk up the top of a sand dune to see the stars a night. It was very dark and difficult to see and walk. The tour guide ( a different one ) in the desert grabbed my hand and marched me up to the top however on the way back I tried to stay with the group but slipped slightly so he grabbed my hand and was feeling my hand my skin and rubbing his fingers over my nails and trying to interlock hands, I pulled my hand away in the end even though I could see hardly anything.

I recommend that you don't travel alone, or that you stay at a hostel that is known to have people who speak a language that you speak. You could ask someone you meet in a hostel to accompany you out and about or go on a tour with you.

Also watch for carpet/rug scams on the tour and remember that your tour guide take a cut of any purchases made so there is pressure to buy in the shops. If you want more info on this read my review on the Riad Mon Riad.

Stay safe

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
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9,407 posts
67 reviews
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28. Re: single woman in Marrakech

Hi Liz,

What a shame you didn't read all the very useful information posted on the forums from women who have visited solo about how to deal with the situations you encountered here before you arrived.

Why did you book a Riad where the owners and staff didn't speak English?

It sounds like the driver and guide were trying to help a person on their own feel part of the group and your reaction by not accepting a helping hand sounds strange unless the guide did something inappropriate?

Sorry you didn't enjoy your holiday but it does serve to highlight the need to do loads of research and ask as many questions you can't find previously posted answers to on the forums.

Lots of single women visit and though I'll accept it can be a challenge most, armed with advice and tactics gleaned from this forum, have a great time.

Norwich
7 posts
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29. Re: single woman in Marrakech

Yes I am sure they do have a good time but as I stated I did ask people and I obviously read this forum or I wouldn't have posted on it before I left!

I feel that female travellers should know what to expect. As for the Riad they did speak English but they were Italian, I wasn't to know the nationality of the staff! How could you possibly tell that from their website? Also what's to say that there wouldn't have been English speaking staff or guests when I arrived as staff and guests come and go constantly!

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
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9,407 posts
67 reviews
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30. Re: single woman in Marrakech

Hi,

You only posted about hooking up with other single travellers before your visit.

If you had read the many posts by solo female visitors you would have had a better understanding of Moroccan culture.

How can you not have understood that the Riad was Italian owned and run and why did you expect the staff to speak English?