A city of small paths, amazing crafts and colourful atmosphere. Marrakech.
If you’ve tried Google-ing tour guides for Morocco (which might as well have been the way you ended up here), you’ve come across endless articles with beautiful spots to visits and advice on what to drink and eat and where to walk. I did that before our trip.
What I didn’t find, however, were some small but important details, that would have been useful to know prior to our landing on Moroccan soil. And those small details are indeed to purpose of my blog post today, so I hope they help you in your upcoming adventure to that magical land.
First things first, bring a pen. I’m not joking, this might seem like a completely ridiculous advice, but if you don’t happen to have a pen in your purse, you’re up for quite the challenge when you first land in Morocco. At the airport you will be asked to fill in a small form regarding your stay in the country and you’d be surprised how hard it is to persuade other tourists to share a writing device with you. Best case scenario they will give you their pan and some mean looks as a bonus.
Your clothes. This is a topic that has been mentioned many times, however I don’t think people actually take it seriously. Most of you might be aware, that in countries like Morocco it is not advisable to have your shoulders, elbows and knees exposed – and that’s the bare minimum you have to cover (pun intended). I saw so many tourists in shorts barely hiding their bums, there were cleavages and boobs flying around – pretty much outfits, that I’d feel uncomfortable seeing in any city, so I can only imagine what locals must think about those. So, it’s quite simple – you’re going to a foreign country, you respect their culture. They’re not asking you to wear a burka, but merely to appear in public in decent clothing. As a bonus, that will also protect you from the strong sun.
Shoes. There might not be requirements to cover your toes, but after a very long day of walking around Medina’s streets in sandals, I would highly recommend to wear closed shoes. The amount of dirt and dust is astonishing, so not only will you have to spend significant time trying to scrub that off your feet, but also when you have sandal straps touching your skin with some stuck dust and sand in between, the blisters are guaranteed.
Pre-load your Google Map. Under no circumstance accept help from a random person offering to show you the way. They will circle around tiny streets and will eventually get you to where you need to go, but will obviously expect to be paid for that. Once you start talking to them, they will leave you with no other choice but to follow them, so make it very clear from the beginning, that you do NOT need help and instead use your Google Maps to see what direction you need to go in – works even offline if you’ve pre-loaded the area.
On that note – you have learn how to be polite but firm in your ability to decline offered services and goods. Really, some people can be very pushy, so if you find yourself really stuck, just mention the Tourist Police and they will immediately back off. Here is also worth mentioning, that many of the people are just being friendly and even if you explain to them that you have no intention to purchase anything, they will still invite you to have some tea.
Last, but not least, make sure you are carrying your possessions safely – my personal choice is my Bobby Bag. And this is not a sponsored post, I just really like my Bobby and he’s proved to be reliable and useful during our trips, so I highly recommend checking him out.
That’s it from me and beautiful Marrakech, I hope you find this blog post useful and it makes your trip to Morocco a bit smoother!