Is it Safe to Visit Morocco

Morocco is generally considered a safe country for travelers, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with its laws, cultural customs, and remain aware of your surroundings. While crime rates in Morocco are relatively low, it is wise to be cautious of scam artists and pickpockets, which can occasionally be encountered in popular tourist areas.

Safety in public places

In public places in Morocco, it is important to be cautious due to certain safety concerns. As a popular tourist destination, some locals may engage in scams and tourist traps that can catch even experienced travelers off guard. Petty crime and pickpocketing are common, especially in crowded areas such as souqs and medinas. To protect your valuables, it is advisable to carry small amounts of cash, avoid wearing expensive jewelry, and keep your money or valuables hidden in secure pockets. When shopping at markets, be prepared for aggressive selling tactics and persistent begging from vendors, particularly if they perceive you as having a significant amount of cash. Additionally, be cautious around ATMs in tourist hotspots, as aggressive begging can be prevalent in these areas. It is recommended to store your passport and extra cash in a secure hotel safe.

While exploring popular tourist spots in Moroccan cities, you may encounter individuals claiming to be official tour guides or helpful locals. Exercise caution with these services, as there are many unlicensed tour guides, especially in Fes and Marrakech, who may try to take you to establishments where they receive commissions on purchases. It is important to research city tours beforehand, and if approached on the streets, be firm and direct in declining their offers. Sometimes, even if they only accompanied you briefly during your sightseeing, they may demand payment. They might claim “no money,” but still expect compensation.

Taxis in Morocco, like in many countries, can be a source of tourist traps. When using taxis, it is advisable to negotiate the fare upfront, as some drivers may significantly inflate the price upon reaching your destination.

Is it safe for women?

For solo female travelers, it is important to be aware of certain safety considerations in Morocco. Women, especially when alone and particularly at night, may feel uncomfortable due to approaches and attention from locals. Verbal harassment on the streets is unfortunately relatively common, and women may be specifically targeted if walking alone, regardless of the time of day. There is an increased risk of being followed, accosted, and sometimes assaulted. To mitigate these risks, it is advisable for solo female travelers to travel in groups of three or more and stick to well-lit streets when moving around.

Respecting local cultures and customs is an important aspect of travel in Morocco. It is recommended to dress more conservatively than what you might be accustomed to, particularly when visiting religious sites such as mosques. Opt for clothing that covers the knees and shoulders for day-to-day travel, and when entering mosques, ensure that your attire covers from the elbows to the ankles. Additionally, it is customary to cover your hair with a scarf. For more guidance on what to pack for Morocco, you can refer to reliable sources.

Maintaining caution is crucial even in private spaces in Morocco. When staying at accommodations, remember to lock your door even when you are inside and avoid being alone in your room with hotel staff. If hotel staff needs access to your room for any reason, it is advisable to request them to attend to the issue while you are out or wait at the reception while they complete any cleaning or repairs. Keep your valuables secure by either carrying them with you or locking them in the hotel safe. When leaving the hotel, it is helpful to take a hotel card with you, which includes the address and contact numbers, for easy reference.

Safety tips for visitors in Morocco

Here are some safety tips for staying safe in Morocco:

  1. Travel in a small group when walking and sightseeing, particularly at night. There is safety in numbers, and being in a group can help deter potential incidents.
  2. Securely lock away your valuables, including passports, extra cash, and electronics, in a hotel safe or a secure place within your accommodation. This helps minimize the risk of theft or loss.
  3. Before participating in city tours or rural stays, do your research and choose reputable tour operators or accommodations. Read reviews, seek recommendations, and ensure that they have a good track record in terms of safety and customer satisfaction.
  4. Respect local dress codes and customs, especially in conservative areas and religious sites. Dress modestly and follow local norms to avoid drawing unwanted attention and to show respect to the local culture.
  5. Avoid drinking tap water in Morocco. Stick to bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth to prevent any potential health issues.

Remember that staying informed, using common sense, and being aware of your surroundings are key to staying safe while traveling in Morocco.