6 Travel tips for those who want to go to Marrakech
Marrakech is a great city in Morocco where there is a lot to see and do. However, there are a number of things you pay more attention to when you visit this city. We’ll give you 6 practical travel tips to take into account. This way you are better prepared for a visit to beautiful Marrakech.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GO TO MARRAKECH
1 Difference between man and woman
In some countries, women and men are not equal and/or have other obligations (e.g. based on religious beliefs). In Morocco there is also a difference between men and women. We cannot say that men and women are not equal here, but in Marrakech (and perhaps in the rest of Morocco) there is a clear dividing line between men and women. Both men and women each have their own tasks, rituals, costumes, access to certain public places,… It’s better that you’re prepared for this and just go along with it.
There is no point in obstructing, so accept this culture as it is. That’s why you don’t have to support it yet, but respect their ideology and religion. Because religion, especially Islam, is very important in most Moroccans and you will see that in Marrakech. Try to be discreet with your loved one in public, don’t wear shorts or skirts near mosques, and don’t photograph unknown women on the street without asking if this is okay. You’ve come a long way with this.
2 Practice your French
Besides Arabic, most of the inhabitants of Marrakech also speak French. This is their second language, just like ours in Belgium. Also road signs, posters, place names,… are always writtenin two languages. So it is recommended to practiceyour French something. English also goes fairly smoothly with the Moroccan population in the tourist parts, but French will help you more on your way.
3 Just bid
We haven’t quite figured out how much extra the vendors in Marrakech are asking tourists compared to what they charge a resident for the same product, but you can be sure that this minimum is triple the original price. In the souks there are almost nowhere to find prices of the products they sell, so the sellers adjust this price depending on who is buying. Also in some shops there are no prices. Be wary and dare to bid here as well. Tourists will no doubt pay more than a local, which is why it’s good if you learn to bid correctly. Discuss in advance how much you want to spend on something and don’t deviate from it (unless it’s a very low amount, of course, that comes across disrespectfully). Usually you can also get the product for the price you had in your head beforehand and you may still be well above the amount someone else pays.
4 Plan rest days
Marrakech can be an overwhelming city for many. There is so much to see and do and there are so many impressions. Many smells, colours, people and sounds fill the streetscape. If you are someone who is (quickly) impressed, then you should plan a few rest days during your stay in Marrakech. Don’t come to the busy city area these days but stay in your hotel by the pool or go on a trip to visit a quieter city. Not only will it please you, but you can also enjoy the charms of Marrakech more when you are in the busy city centre.
5 Be patient
You will notice it immediately when you land at Marrakech airport. Everything here is slow. And sometimes this is just painfully slow and hugely annoying. For example, at passport checks in the airport, you can quickly queue for one hour. If you don’t have much patience, this can be a tough ordeal. We found this a huge drawback to our trip as it wasn’t really a relaxing start and end. Also at the restaurant or at the checkout in the store, you often have to be patient. Keep this in mind.
6 Food and drink
A final tip you can pay more attention to is to take into account a totally different kitchen than ours. Of course you know that in Marrakech you will see different dishes than in Belgium, but also know that they use completely different herbs here. So it could be that you are allergic to one of those herbs (or any other ingredient you don’t know) or react to it. A You can ask at restaurant to season the food less or you can choose at hotel for known dishes/ingredients and first taste the rest. Because not getting acquainted with Moroccan cuisine is a complete shame! Definitely try something new from time to time. Especially their desserts are delicious!
Do you want to go to Marrakech?
I hope this list hasn’t deterred us from going to Marrakech. Because it is and remains a truly wonderful destination! We hope that our tips will only help you enjoy yourself even more by preparing for your trip.
Are you planning to ever go to Marrakech? And were our tips useful? Let us know via the comments or on our Facebook page ! This week you will get an extensive report of our week in Marrakech and what you should visit. The ideal (small) travel guide for when you travel there.