>  Africa   >  Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

Travel blogger Lauren Salisbury of Something In Her Ramblings shares tips for women travelling to Marrakech.

I’ve said it once. I’ve said it twice. I’ll say it again – I love Marrakech!

Before I went on my trip a lot of friends and acquaintances expressed concern for me traveling to this developing nation with just one other female friend. Being this was my first time in Morocco or anywhere in Africa, I was a little wary when I first arrived in the city.

However, I quickly discovered that this is indeed a beautiful country with warm people and a fascinating culture.

Travel blogger Lauren Salisbury shares tips for women traveling to Marrakech

There’s no denying that Marrakech is another world though, and there are some things to keep in mind when travelling that aren’t relevant when traveling in Europe or the United States, especially for female travelers.

I had a hugely positive experience in Morocco and I want you to as well. Here are my five tips for women traveling to Marrakech:

Tips for Women Traveling to Marrakech

1.    Don’t dress like an idiot

In the center of a busy crossroads she stood out like a sore thumb: a pale brunette tourist in way too short shorts and a bright yellow halter top, arms and shoulders completely bare under the soft sun. Did anyone say anything to her? No. Did anyone approach her? No. Did anyone threaten her? No.

But she got a lot of stares. From the cab drivers, from the women crossing the street with their children, from me. If you were there you would have stared too, only just because she was dressed unlike anyone else in the scene and jarringly contrasted with her surroundings.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

Truth be told, you could wear whatever you want in Marrakech. There’s no dress code and women aren’t required to wear scarves. But if you do dress like you are going to a beach in the French Riviera you will stick out and attract attention.

Respect the culture around you by dressing conservatively in long, loose pants or a skirt and cover your shoulders.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

At night while walking around I brought a scarf to cover my head. This made me feel way more comfortable and I felt I attracted less attention.

2.    Explore the medina with a guide first

I fell deeply in love with the red walls, winding souks and tangled streets that   define Marrakech. By the end of my stay I was more than comfortable exploring the city with just my friend Emily and even found joy in thrill of haggling prices with cab drivers and warding off unwanted solicitations.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

During my first moments in the old section of the city, however, I felt anything but comfortable as I walked down a dark, dusty street under the cover of darkness past groups of men dressed much differently than me.

This was my first time in Morocco or in Africa, and the city was like anything I’d ever seen before. At first I felt a little unsafe because of how jarring the difference is between Marrakech and Europe or the United States.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

I think because the country is so different from the Western World, it can take you a while to feel comfortable, especially if you are a female traveling alone or in a small group.

Marrakech is actually quite a safe city and the majority of the people are lovely and warm. To ease into the culture and get your bearings, explore with a trusted guide first.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

My personal recommendation is Mohamed Daif. He can be reached by email at

3.    When in doubt take a cab

You’re going to get lost in Marrakech. Unless you have some serious top notch navigational skills or have been there before, plan on it. The streets of the medina of Marrakech are a winding maze. There are no street sign and most buildings are unmarked.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

Luckily, cabs in Marrakech are plentiful in cheap. (Like really cheap). If you aren’t quite sure where to go or get lost, just take a cab to save you stress and time.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

If you do find yourself lost, try to locate a hotel or café and they can call a trusted cab for you. Cabs also queue in front of the main tourist attractions and transportation hubs.

4.    Choose centrally located accommodation

Centrally located accommodation is desirable in most destinations you visit, but in the medina of Marrakech it’s a must. As I said earlier, the medina is maze unlike I’ve seen before, and if you want to have any hope of locating any points of interest you will need to stay in the center.

When booking accommodations be wary of Riads or hostel that claim to be centrally located as this is a vague term. Do a Google map search to see if it is indeed centrally located near Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

The most centrally located Riad I discovered is Riad Joya, which is a short walk from the main square and highly luxurious.


5.    Know what to expect in Jemaa el-Fnaa

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the main square of Marrakech. With vendors selling fresh orange juice and crafts, snake charmers, live music and belly dancers, it’s an exciting swirl of entertainment.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

Being the center meeting point for tourists, it’s also the most likely place to be pick pocketed, followed by strangers and taken advantage of for being a tourist.

Tips for women traveling to Marrakech

In the center of the main square are four rows of food stalls that claim to have some of the best food in the city. As the sun sets, these narrow rows become packed with people, and a walk through this area will include being jostled around the crowd and followed at an extremely close distance by aggressive salesman trying to get you to stop at their food stall. You may even get grabbed at, groped or otherwise touched in a way you don’t want to.

If you don’t want to have this experience, don’t go to this area. Otherwise, be prepared that your time in this section of town will be uncomfortable. Don’t let your experiences here define your perception of Marrakech or Morocco. It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people, and Jemaa el-Fnaa is such a small part of the city.

And there you have my top tips for women traveling  to Marrakech. For those who have been, what would you add?



  • June 3, 2014

    This is great! I love reading posts like these. They help me to feel far less nervous about visiting somewhere that’s so different to the western world!

  • November 17, 2014

    Nice round up! Happy to read that I am not the only one who felt like this in Marrakech, especially coming from a first timer.

  • Jo

    January 14, 2015

    This is a great read, even after travelling to Marrakech more than once it’s interesting, however I would like to point out that Morocco is certainly not a third world nation!! It’s a developing nation.

    Still a great read, thanks 🙂

  • Marina

    February 4, 2015

    Hi Lauren, I was just browsing and trying to absorb as much information as I can but really, your blogged post did it for me! I’m planning to travel in April with my sister and we realised that we are actually quite nervous about it! I’m going to contact your tour guide, thanks for sharing! Feeling excited now to visit!

  • gilly

    March 3, 2015


    I am going to Marrakech in a couple of weeks with friends. the girl in sinny jeans and loose top is exactly how I would dress at home, will that be acceptable there or do I need lose fitting trousers. thank you

  • jackie

    March 16, 2015

    Really pleased to read your tips for travelling. Have always wanted to visit Marrakech and have just booked for four nights in May.
    Yes, I am a little apprehensive. Think the best idea is to book a guide for our first half day and then take it from there. A little concerned about finding our way ‘home’ through the maze of streets.
    Curious to see and taste the food! Don’t think we will be too adventurous!

  • Poonam

    March 19, 2015

    Hi there! A friend and I are planning on traveling to Morocco this upcoming July. Our main concern is where to stay….we are obviously on a budget, but we also want to splurge bit. How are the hotels there ? Expensive or medium-priced?


  • March 25, 2015
  • Helen Watson

    March 28, 2015

    Hi Lauren
    I kind of came across your website by accident but glad I did 🙂
    I’m going to Marrakesh this week for four days on my own and as the weather forecast is to be very hot I wasn’t quite sure about what to pack. I’d kind of thought that shorts in public would be a no-no, glad you confirmed this. I’m not quite sure what to expect of the city but as in previous travels I’ll go with an open mind 🙂
    Kind regards

  • Anita

    April 5, 2015

    Hi I am going with my daughter (20) and I am feeling a bit apprehensive. Did you feel safe? did you go out much at night. Thank you.

  • Caroline

    April 11, 2015

    Hi Lauren,
    This is a fab blog and I look forward to reading more. I’m thinking of going with my new hubby in June for 2 weeks staying in a hotel complex for R&R with some cultural visits thrown in. Do you think 2 weeks there is ok or will it become too much? Have you any advice on footwear? In places I’ve read sandals but in others it’s said trainers are best? Lots of places have said about watching what you eat, ie no fish, peel fruit etc, eat with hands not cutlery whilst out and about…what advice do you have about food & drinks such as juices? I think we’re going to catch the first couple of days of Ramadam too.

  • Lenka

    April 15, 2015

    You help me so much thanx!!!

  • Poonam

    April 16, 2015

    HI there!

    My friend and I will be travelling to Marrakech this summer. We are having difficulty finding the best (and cheapest!) flight from Marrakech back to the US..essentially new york/DC since we both are from different parts of the US. What are your recomendations?

  • Gina

    April 23, 2015

    Hi – My friend and I (women – in late 50’s) are thinking of travelling to Marrakech in September this year. Do you think we will be ok? Looking at Club Hotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie to stay – do you think we will enjoy it. Your blog has been really interesting.
    Can’t decide on where to go for a week. My husband is unable to travel at the moment.
    Thanks – comments welcome.

  • Casandra

    June 30, 2015

    As a solo woman traveler, I had done a great deal of research before making the reservation with Marvelous Morocco Tours, The planning of my trip was made easy by Iddir, and I booked 4 Days 3 Nights Marrakech Desert Tour.

    Iddir showed me a country of beautiful, varied landscape. He gave me much information about the history, culture, and religion. He provided opportunities for me to visit villages, nomad caves, and interact with local people.
    Iddir was patient respectful with my many questions and answered all of my emails promptly. He is an excellent driver, knows the roads well, knows exactly where he is going, and always looked after me, concerned for my well-being and comfort.

    I highly recommend Iddir and his Marvelous Morocco Tours. See and experience for yourself :

  • July 16, 2015

    Hi Lauren, I agree with these tips. I also saw women dressed inappropriately – they were simply asking for trouble.

    I have been to Marrakech twice in the last two years. I was on my guard all the time on my first visit, but when I returned last December I felt completely at ease. Marrakech is safe as long as you exercise common sense and trust your gut instinct. The only ‘danger’ I encountered was crossing the road – although you’ll adapt to it after the first day!

    I agree with you about hiring a guide. We had one for a few hours on my last visit, and he took us through the back streets of the medina, away from the crowds. Besides getting to explore a ‘tourist-free zone,’ we also got to watch artisans in various workshops. I don’t recommend getting a guide if you only want to shop around (if you’re anything like me, the poor soul will get dead bored!). Yes you’ll probably get lost without a guide, but you’re safe as long as you avoid deserted streets. If you’re curious to know what navigating the souks is like, I’ve written a few firsthand accounts on my blog,

  • Tina

    July 28, 2015

    Hi Lauren, just found your blog, and found it really interesting. I am going to Marrakech on my own, for the first time in September, and I’m really looking forward to it, but a bit apprehensive. Where is the best place to get cash from, and what sort of tips do you give? I’ve read somewhere that you can’t get their currency outside of Morocco. This is actually the first holiday I’ve had on my own, so a bit nervous of the whole thing

  • September 16, 2015

    i like so much your travel in Marrakech and thanks for the tips

  • Lem

    October 6, 2015

    Hi ,
    Nice post ,
    I wrote about Marrakesh too, check it out here :
    Thank you

  • Flo

    November 11, 2015

    Awesome piece – I’m headed there in a week and this was a great reference article! I was initially a little concerned about the dress code but you’re right – common sense really prevails here 🙂

  • January 9, 2016

    Hi Lauren

    Refreshing blog ! My friend and I are going to Marrakech for the first time on Saturday. We plan to be very sensible and culturally sensitive during these difficult times. Extremely excited about the sights, smells and sounds that Marrakech has to offer. Will definitely be contacting Mohammed Diaf for guided tour!

  • Maggie

    January 30, 2016

    Hi just read your blog, great info myself my daughter and grandson are visiting Marrakech in April and I have contacted the tour guide you recommended, we are staying for 4days, nervous but excited, thank you for your interesting information it always helps tourists when visiting a country for the first time x


    March 18, 2016

    Hi just found your blog, I have always wanted to visit marakech. My husband and I have booked a 4 day break through secret escapes in May for my birthday. My grown up daughter who will not be travelling with us is quite concerned for our safety which is rather unsettling, my husband is quite safety conscious, I have read the gov/travel information today. I am normally unfazed by new adventures, a feel the fear and do it anyway traveller. I am wondering whether this is not such a good idea ?

  • Shaunna

    July 10, 2016

    First- thank you! This is an amazing conversation to find as I plan my first trip to Marrakesh.

    Second, I will be traveling with my parents for approx 4 nights to the city. I would like to experience as much of the religion as possible, though I am not Muslim. (I will use your guide for the 1st day!) Any tips for ‘things not to miss’? Perhaps your favorite 1 or 2 experiences in the city? Very excited for a ‘Hammam’ day as well!


  • Pauline McFarlane

    July 26, 2016

    Hi Lauren, I really enjoyed reading your comments. I have become a regular visitor to Marrakech since I took part in a tour 4 years ago and I agree that it’s a lovely place and the majority of people are friendly and welcoming. I am a solo lady traveller and like you, feel safe and at home when I am there. I particularly liked your comments at the beginning regarding dress code and it is so true. Strappy tops are a no no, and shorts above the knee are not a good idea either. I just love the place and having found a lovely riad in the medina it’s like going home or visiting friends for me now. I get serious withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have another break booked and am looking forward to returning once again in September. It’s not to everyone’s taste, a bit like marmite, you either love or hate it!

  • Siofradh

    August 29, 2016

    I am going to Marrakech at the end of November and found your blog really helpful. Particularly advice about how to dress and the balanced view you have given. Thanks
    Have to object however to the picture with the monkey – they are being exploited. We should avoid any attractions involving use of animals including horse and carriages anywhere in the world. Dont support them and they will eventually go away.

    • Pauline

      August 29, 2016

      I agree completely with your point about the monkeys, the conditions they live in are undoubtedly not good, they have teeth removed to stop them biting tourists and are stolen from the wild with their mother being killed. Horrible. We do need to remember though that many Moroccans are very poor and they have to provide for their families. Also the horses and carriages are ok to use as the horses are regularly checked by vets, this is the reason for the yellow band around the legs – the owners are regulated by the authorities and as far as I’m aware there is no problem with using them. The majority of Moroccans are lovely people but their life is so different to ours. I absolutely love Marrakech and am looking forward to returning in four weeks for a short break.

    • December 10, 2016

      U are welcome to my city 🙂 and if u need a help i’m here 🙂

      • Pauline McFarlane

        January 19, 2018

        Thank you for your comment. I just love Marrakech and look forward every year to returning at Christmas.

  • September 11, 2016

    Hi! I’m flying out with my sister tomorrow morning We had booked 4 tickets with a male cousin but they both have had to cancel at the last minute! Leaving my sister and I to travel alone, we’ve been hearing really bad stories and being warned but thank you your blog post has slightly calmed me down! Although I guess I’ll only relax once we reach there and I can see it for myself. But your tips are very practical and helpful!
    Thanks ☺️

      • Pauline

        September 12, 2016

        Have a wonderful time, be sensible but pleasant and you won’t have any problems. Don’t let anyone approach you to show the way anywhere be firm smile and say NO. I’m going again in 2 weeks and counting the days. I would be interested to know how you get on. Another tip is that before I eat anywhere I use the toilets to see where they are situated, if behind a door off the kitchen I ask for a mint tea and leave – you don’t want to chance upset stomachs! Have a great time keep an open mind and enjoy.

  • Shirley

    September 13, 2016

    Thank you for writing this, and I’m so glad I found your post! I’m traveling to Agadir for work this winter, but would so love to take a short detour (1-2 days) to Marrakech. I’d do that part alone, and family members are worried and even discouraging me a little. Thank you doubly for sharing Mohamed’s contact info and where you stayed… a huge help! I didn’t know where to begin to look or plan, and your post was reassuring as far as safety.

    • December 10, 2016

      I’m a girl from Marrakech and u are welcome here anytime and if u need a help so remember i’m here 🙂

      • David Caston

        December 28, 2016

        My wife and I are coming to Marrakech on the 31st Dec -5 Jan. My wife usually wears sports tights or leggings, is this suitable or should she cover up a bit more?

        • Pauline

          December 31, 2016

          Leggings will be fine I always wear them. Don’t worry too much but it is best to avoid very low cut tops. I went in September it was very hot and I wore cropped cotton trousers or leggings with tshirts. Have a great time, I’m envious!

  • Bekki Carre

    September 14, 2016

    Hi Lauren

    I’m going to Morocco for the first time next week and this post has made me feel much more prepared! My boyfriend is very worried about us being dressed inappropriately and standing out in our normal (conservative) clothes but I’ll show him this to put his mind at ease!

    Thanks for a great blog post.

    Bekki 🙂

  • Shirley

    December 21, 2016

    I left a comment 2 months ago expressing my appreciation for this post, and I wanted to follow up after my trip to Marrakech. I’m so glad I didn’t let worried friends and family discourage me from going! First, a million thanks for the introduction to Mohammed! He was fantastic, I loved everything that he showed me, I felt safe with him, and he helped me talk down the price on some gorgeous scarves. Great advice in this post, and Marrakech is like another world. I did feel like sellers in the souk harass you enough to drive you crazy, but a curt “no” or no response puts an end to that. And there are sellers and others in the city who are perfectly lovely people I was happy to meet and chat with. I wasn’t prepared for all the mopeds zipping about, and often threw myself against the wall of an alley just in time. I felt guarded but relatively safe the whole time, though I almost got taken in by 2 teenage boys who told me the road back to my riad was closed and to follow them because they knew the way. Nice try, boys.

  • Lisa

    February 7, 2017

    I noticed this was published a couple years ago…given our current political climate do you feel Marrakech is still a safe city to visit? I’d be with my husband & perhaps 15 year old nephew.

    • David Caston

      February 12, 2017

      Lisa have no fear at all it is all quite safe, if very busy, some times smelly, exciting, colourful fascinating and stimulating. The Isalamic decorative architecture is quite stunning. Do not miss a trip here, but relaxing it is not! Stay in the Medina in a Riad if you are a confident or easygoing traveller, the Riads are a haven of calm and very clean, comfortable, friendly with good breakfasts, evening food, good advice and support etc etc. Best pick a Riad reasonably close to the centre, but prices get lower as you go outwards from the centre so it is a compromise.
      After a day with your guide you will most likely feel confident to walk pretty well anywhere in the main part of the city where the attractions are, with the help of you phone.
      Otherwise if you are particularly nervous travellers or if you feel you must have a modern western style hotel, stay outside the Medina and taxi in, but my opinion is you will miss out on the real atmosphere.

      For the first day or morning best to take a guide for the city to get your bearings and get used to the atmosphere. We found a smartphone mapping app like MAPS.ME really useful for getting aroun, but download the map first to your phone or it will cost the earth in data if you are using a live map all day If you have time please do take a trip to the Atlas Mountains, Imlil is an easy trip with a guide and a combined driver/guide.
      We found five nights in Marrakech was enough to see most of it, including a full day trip into the mountains. Have fun!

    • David Caston

      February 12, 2017

      Lisa just to add that my wife and I went to Marrakech on the 31st Dec 2016 so info I just posted is current.
      There are tourist police in Marrakech who work in the background to prevent undue harrassment of tourists and to take any complaints. You will get endless offers from youths to guide you to the attractions for a tip, but just get used to ignoring them, find your own way around and they will give up and leave you alone!

  • mel

    February 10, 2017

    Lauren thanks for all the info. and also the recommendation about Mohammed. One question , how did you contacted Mohammed
    does he work for a tour company? does he has a website?
    thanks for all your good tips, hope to hear from you soon.

  • Crystal

    February 20, 2017

    Hey Lauren,

    We booked Mohamed by searching the internet and came across your blog. He truly is fantastic. By far one of the best guides we have used in all of our travel. Thanks so much for all the info and pointing us in Mohamed’s direction. He has kept in touch with us throughout our trip and we would refer him to anyone that comes to Marrakech and wants to enter the souks!! its a maze in there for sure!

    If any one wants the best guide in Marrakech give this guy an email. you wont be disapointed.

    Thank you!

  • Nas

    April 8, 2017

    Hi thanks for the great post. Please advise how much am I expected to pay for a guide for the few hours you advise? I will email Mohamed but wanted an idea on price to make sure I’m not over priced! Also, did you hagggle with Mohamed or is this not norm to guides? Thanks x

  • Linda

    December 26, 2017

    Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for this articel.
    I am going to morocco with my mom and she is very worried about the ‘dress code’.
    I suppose a dress just above the knee with no bare shoulders should be fine?

  • December 27, 2017

    Hey Lauren,

    I and my friend had been to Marrakech a number of times. To be honest, I felt a bit uncomfortable when I am along. No special reasons but for the place to be unknown. 😮 Having said that, Marrakech is a fantastic city and locals are quite used to seeing unescorted females. 😳 I’ve heard eve-teasing seems to be quite rampant in smaller Moroccan cities and countryside. If you’re visiting Marrakech, be on your safer side and put on clothes that don’t flash too much skin – you will be fine.

    To follow up what you said is right, Marrakech is quite a touristy place.

    I’ll say it once. I’ll say it twice. I’ll say it again – Many many Thanks 🙂

    Keep traveling & Keep coming

  • Joana Costa

    February 17, 2018

    Hi Lauren.

    I really liked your post. 🙂
    I’m going to Marrakech with 2 friends (girls) and I’m worried about returning to the Riad after the sunset. Its not as central as I would like, but its in the medina area.
    What would you sugest? Grab a taxi? Or its ok to walk?
    I’m always “afraid” of taxi drivers in countries like this… Did you feel unconfortable with them?

    Thank you for sharing this things with us.


  • Madeline

    March 28, 2018

    Hi. Your stories are awesome and inspiring! I would love to travel to Morocco but I have been hesitant to go alone or even with another friend. In which countries have you taught English?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.