Is Morocco Safe? (All you Need to Know)
“What is Morocco’s safety context and how to plan a Morocco safe travel ?” This is one of the questions I get asked as a Moroccan native and someone who regularly plans trips and excursions to the country.
Safety is an important matter that needs to be checked before any of our trips, especially when we travel to countries we don’t know a lot about.
What we hear in the media or read on the Internet can draw, most of the time, a misleading picture of Morocco’s safety status. The answer to this question will depend on where you go and how you act when in the country. The same applies to many popular – and labeled safe – places in the world. You can’t go to any neighborhood in NYC and think you’ll be safe there, right? The same applies to Morocco.
Safety in Highly Touristic Areas
Highly touristic areas – like the souks of Marrakech – are crowded, and locals will do their best to make you feel comfortable and safe. Their business depends on it. That’s why if you stick with highly touristic places, you’ll generally be safe.
In those highly popular places, it’s not uncommon to be approached by a local to be offered a free guide session or access to an exclusive shop selling vintage rugs for example. This is a tactic to get you to a specific shop and encourage you to spend there. It happened to me a decade ago in one of my early shopping experiences, I found myself in a spice shop where the vendor was one of the smartest salesmen I met and convinced me to buy a few things that I didn’t need.
Touristic places in Morocco like other touristic areas, attract pickpockets and purse snatchers. Common sense is what you should adopt, like avoiding wearing precious items and hiding your other valuable items (credit card, cash, etc) in a safe bag. What I like to do is to keep a couple of hundred dirhams within reach so that I don’t have to open my bag where I have the rest of the money or my passport. You can use that easy-to-grab cash for food and tipping which you will be doing a lot.
Although catcalling or street harassment in Morocco is not as bad as it was a few years ago you might still experience it. My answer is to just ignore it. Don’t let it bother you. You are in a different culture and boundaries are not always perfect, and don’t let this stop you from enjoying your trip.
Morocco Safety in Nontouristic Areas
Like almost any country in the word, there are in Morocco some neighborhoods that are known for being hostile, even to locals.
In Casablanca, for example, there are some neighborhoods that I can’t even imagine going to, at least by myself. Even locals won’t feel safe going there, especially if they don’t blend into the decor.
Fortunately, places like these are rare. These neighborhoods are mainly an accumulation of old houses and small traditional grocery shops with zero tourist attractions. If you stick with your touristic guides or stay near the touristic places, you will never end up in places like these, believe me!
My Morocco Safety Recommendations
To summarise, here are my top recommendations to feel safe in Morocco:
- Avoid staying late at night in the ancient Medinas, which has narrow and labyrinthic streets where you can easily get lost.
- Stick to known cities and places.
- When visiting, take all your documents (passports, credit cards, cash, etc.) and expensive items and leave nothing precious in your room. Keep a couple hundred Moroccan dirhams within reach and hide the rest in an RFID Passport Holder and Neck Wallet.
- Dress modestly and avoid wearing bling or luxurious items.
- Ask your host about the best hours to visit each place. Also, make sure transportation (buses, taxis, trains) is available. It’s all a matter of organization, like any trip.
- Don’t accept any gifts or follow anyone you don’t know. Decline politely but firmly or say ‘La ! Shoukrane!’. Stick to famous places. If you need help planning your trip, you can reach me here.
- Don’t answer catcalling or hustling.
- Have fun!
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