Marrakech Morocco travel guide tips

We traveled to Morocco last year at the end of July for about 5 days and had originally planned to visit both Marrakech and Fez. However, due to me getting severely food poisoned (more later on in this post), we had to cut out Fez. Here are my travel tips if you’re thinking about visiting Marrakech!

Marrakesh Morocco Medina market shopping

When to Go: Spring or Fall for ideal temperatures. However, because I’m a teacher, I pretty much have to do international trips in the summer due to vacation days. Weather-wise, it may not be the best to visit Marrakech in the summer as temperatures reach over 100+˚F in cities and hotter in the desert, which you may want to consider if you plan on visiting the Sahara Desert.

Le Riad Monceau Marrakech Morocco

Where to Visit: We chose Fez and Marrakech because they’re Morocco’s oldest cities (about 789-1070 respectively) and relatively safer. I wanted to see the leather tanneries in Fez and Bahia Palace in Marrakech. If we had more time, we thought about going to Chefchaouen, the “blue city”, but it is a 3+ hour trip from Fez.

Marrakesh Morocco riad Medina where to stay

Where to Stay: I wanted to stay in a riad in the Medina (old town where the narrow maze-like roads are lined with markets). Riads are traditional Moroccan houses with an interior courtyard. You may have seen the “Instagram-famous” Riad BE, but riads can range in prices as some are more affordable and others are incredibly luxurious. In Marrakech, we stayed in Le Riad Monceau, which is well-priced and has stunning common areas, though the rooms are not as luxurious if you’re looking for that.

what to wear women female Marrakech Morocco

What to Wear: Tourism has definitely impacted major cities in Morocco like Marrakech, though Fez is slightly more conservative. For locals, the double standard in dress is extremely apparent. You will see many Moroccan women fully covered while men are in tank top and shorts. However, for tourists, I saw many people wearing tank tops, shorts, and sandals without anyone batting an eye.

I try to err on the side of respectful, so here are the items I packed:

Marrakech restaurants Cafe Des Espices

Where to Eat: We went to well-known restaurants like Cafe des Épices (pictured), which is great for lunch with its fresh juices, kefta sandwich, and tajines. I’d also recommend Le Jardin and Nomad (sit on the rooftop if you can) for dinner.

I’m not sure where I ate when I got severely food poisoned as we only drank bottled water and dined at established restaurants. I had a stomachache for two weeks, fever, and other symptoms (I’ll spare you the graphic details lol). The food poisoning was so rough, we cut our Moroccan trip short because I couldn’t imagine going to Fez and withstanding the weather with my condition.

Bahia Palace Marrakech Morocco

What to Do: Bahia Palace is a must visit — the details are so intricate and inspiring. As we stayed in the Medina, we spent a day wandering the Jemaa el-Fnaa market and exploring the ancient wall. I also recommend checking out the tranquil Jardin Majorelle, and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum while you’re nearby.

Medina market safety Marrakech Morocco

Safety: We encountered no real threats or danger. Most people kept to themselves and were polite. However, I felt anxious most of the time I was in the markets for a few reasons.

If I was ever separated from my Husband, I would get cat-called. Local men would yell out “konichiwa” and laugh or make noises at me even though I was dressed conservatively. I’d have to hold my Husband’s hand to avoid this, and I didn’t like the feeling of needing to be with a man to be respected. Especially as many local women in Marrakech were so covered or unseen in public places, the double standard of some men being so forward was jarring.

The streets inside the Medina are very narrow and packed with people, bikes, motorcycles, carts, etc. I was on high alert to not be run over or pick-pocketed (I feel this way in many cities as I’m usually quite paranoid, so it’s not specific to Morocco).

Men in the markets shouted at us when we tried to take general pictures. Like, we weren’t taking portraits of people or close ups of their products, but far away trying to capture the essence of the market, but still, there would be angry shouts. I can see it from their perspective, as it’s annoying to have tourists take photos of your space, but yelling seemed harsh. Other merchants would charge for photos, hound you to come into their shops, or act annoyed if you don’t buy. When I travel, I love strolling through markets and looking around casually, so maybe my style just didn’t jive with the energy of these markets.

All that being said, Marrakech is fascinating to learn from, with such rich history and culture, and worth a visit with an open mind. I hope these travel tips helped, and let me know if you have any more questions in the comments!

10 Comments

  1. Lisa Autumn
    July 3, 2019 / 12:53 pm

    I really want to go to Morocco one day! They pictures are gorgeous

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  2. July 7, 2019 / 10:33 am

    It’s a shame you had some bad experiences there as it looks like a lovely place to visit and you got some great photos! I like the maxi dresses you wore too, especially that white one!

    I just don’t think I could deal with the rudeness and catcalls!

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂 It’s been a quiet one for us.

    http://awayfromtheblue.blogspot.com

    • Carolyn
      Author
      July 7, 2019 / 8:15 pm

      It’s definitely an incredible place to visit! Though I also wanted to provide an honest look at the other side of the experience so women can be more aware before they visit.

    • Carolyn
      Author
      July 7, 2019 / 8:40 pm

      Not where I’d go for a relaxing holiday, but it’s a rich cultural experience!

  3. Lisa
    July 7, 2019 / 8:34 pm

    I traveled to marrakesh solo last sept, hired a local guide and had NO trouble at all in the medina. Sorry your experience was a little different as I loved everything and am dying to go back, highly, highly recommend morocco!!

    • Carolyn
      Author
      July 7, 2019 / 8:39 pm

      I’ve read that some women had this experience as well, which is so great! It seems like hiring a good local guide is helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nina
    July 9, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    Amazing pictures. Thta’s awful that you couldn’t walk piecfully or take pictures. I hope, you are having a great day. xx

    Nina Kobi

  5. July 10, 2019 / 10:17 am

    Sorry that you had some lows on your trip, but you know, what doesn’t kill makes you stronger 🙂 Thanks for all the tips about Morocco, we have been there once and will return this year, cannot wait!

    Safe travels,
    xx

    Patricia & Miguel
    http://www.freeoversea.com

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