Are you wondering whether it is safe to travel to Morocco in 2023 or not? here, we will share with you everything you need to know about safety in Morocco as many things may be different from what you are used to when visiting Morocco such as public safety and societal norms.
Morocco is a well-liked tourist destination that draws culture explorers, budget travellers, adventurers, couples, families, and foodies whose numbers have significantly increased in recent years.
In this article, we will share with you what all travellers should know about safety in public spaces, safety for solo women travellers, safety for LGBTQ travellers, safety for kids and some things to keep in mind when visiting Morocco.
So let’s get into details…
Safety in public spaces
Since tourism contributes significantly to Morocco’s economy, the country gives too much impotance to tourists and their safety. That is why Morocco is one of safest countries to travel to. Yet, there are some small crimes if you could say that you may find in public spaces.
Below, we will share with you some issues you may face in public faces and some tips to avoid being scammed.
- Pickpocketing and small-time crime are rare issues in Morocco, particularly in and around souqs and medinas. So, it is advisable to carry small amounts of cash, avoid wearing pricey jewellery, keep cash and valuables hidden and out of the sight of prying eyes, and avoid having pockets full of cash. Also, When shopping in markets, be ready for pushy begging and selling techniques from sellers.
- In Morocco’s major towns and cities, you might run into people claiming to be “tour guides” or “friendly locals” when sightseeing around tourist destinations. Be cautious accepting their services as there are numerous unlicensed tour guides, particularly in Fes and Marrakech, who will offer to take you – at an exorbitant price – to places where they receive a commission on any purchases made.
- Do some research on city tours, and if someone offers to give you a tour on the street, politely decline their offer. Even if they only accompanied you for part of your sightseeing, they may occasionally still demand payment. In other words, they may say that they will not ask for a tip, yet they will still expect to be paid.
Now you may begin to think that it is hard not to be bothered by beggars and people who will try to scam you. Yet, if you followed what we shared with you saying ‘NO’ to whoever is trying to fool you, be sure that you will enjoy the beauty of Morocco. In a few words, it is safe to travel to Morocco since such acts will not threaten your safety in public spaces.
Safety for women travellers
Without a doubt, travelling for women in Morocco is different from travelling abroad in a Western country. Women will need to take extra precautions when exploring Morocco’s vibrant streets because gender roles are much more clearly defined in Morocco and traditional patriarchal beliefs are extremely strong. Yet it is safe to travel to morocco for sole female travellers in general.
Due to their little exposure to women outside of their families as children and their preconceptions of Western sexuality, Moroccan males may misread the acts and behaviours of Western women. Catcalling and other vulgar statements can regularly be directed at Moroccan and foreign women, and the best course of action is to ignore them.
Although it is very rare for things to go further, if sexual harassment turns physical, feel free to react as you would at home: yelling, screaming, and calling for assistance are all normal and beneficial responses. In addition to embarrassing your attacker, this will also notify nearby residents, who will rush to your aid (particularly if you shout “Ha-Shooma!” or “Shame on you!”).
Safety for LGBTQ travellers
In general, LGBTQ visitors to Morocco are another group who should exercise caution while touring the nation.
Theoretically, homosexuality is prohibited in Morocco. However, in actuality, there are regional variations in how this legislation is applied, thus gay visitors visiting Morocco are not in any real danger.
Although homosexuality is not widespread in Morocco, it is usually unrecognized and is nearly entirely unaccepted among locals. However, if the gay couple is foreign, police will never get involved; however, if one of the partners is a Moroccan person, police will usually get engaged because homosexuality is prohibited in morocco as we mentioned before.
So, To avoid facing a bad situation we advise to :
- Know your rights: It’s always vital to be aware of the LGBTQ rights that apply where you’re going before you go. This will assist you in gaining a sense of the locals’ tolerance and attitude toward the LGBTQ community.
- Show your affection privately. Gay or lesbian couples should take extra care to keep their relationships private. Even though it’s not uncommon to see Moroccan guys holding hands, this is just seen as a gesture of friendship. However, Moroccan men understand that hand-holding between Western males signifies deeper intimacy, thus this is also frowned upon in public.
We could say that it is safe to travel to Morocco for LGBTO tourists as long as they respect the social etiquette in Morocco.
Safety for kids
If you are thinking to spend your holiday in morocco with your kids, Morocco is one of the safest and most beautiful countries to visit as there are many different holiday destinations in Morocco. In other words, it is very safe to travel to Morocco with your kids if want to enjoy the beauty of the country together.
You will undoubtedly notice how family-centred Moroccan society is if you visit the country with your family and young children. Moroccans prioritize their family, and as a result, kids are frequently given royal treatment by elderly relatives.
When you travel with young children, you could discover that locals are friendlier and frequently approach you to admire your kids, give them a tender touch or kiss on the cheeks, invite you into their stores and cafés, or even offer you complimentary tea. You shouldn’t feel uneasy or unsafe about this because it’s all nice conduct. It may even be advantageous for you to engage with locals and learn about Moroccan culture firsthand if you travel with young children because Morocco has a very child-friendly culture.
Things to keep in mind
We think that it is vital to share with you three important tips that will help avoid behaving or doing something that turns against you.
Here are some notes concerning the way a person should dress that locals will appreciate because making an effort to respect Moroccan customs is appreciated.
we would encourage, generally, ladies to dress conservatively if they want to respect local customs and avoid drawing unwelcome attention. This means that you should keep your legs and shoulders covered and bring a blanket or scarf just in case. Despite this, some tourists may be surprised to learn that Morocco can be quite liberal when it comes to the way of dressing. The safest and most courteous choice is described above, yet some cities and even parts of cities can be more conservative than others
When entering mosques or shrines, visitors should cover their arms, legs, and hair. Men should also have their lower legs covered. It is preferable to dress casually because even Muslim women who wear pants have been requested to cover up before visiting a shrine.
Finally, we may say that experiencing wearing like locals is an experience that is worth a try. For example, Moroccan Caftan is a very preferred dress by people from all around the world. Moreover, if you want to experience camel trekking in Morocco, it is better to wear like the locals to stay cool when it’s hot outside.
In Morocco, hashish, or kif as it is known locally, has been consumed for decades. Men are frequently seen smoking hashish, particularly in the Rif Mountains, where the majority of the cannabis is farmed. Kif smoking is prohibited in the country.
Although forbidden, it is nonetheless a significant source of income in Morocco and has been for decades. The government has not taken any significant steps to shut down the drug trade, and foreign tourists who smoke on public property or behave carelessly when purchasing drugs from undercover police officers are the ones who suffer the most punishment.
If you ever find yourself in the latter circumstance, try to pay the fine right away. Avoid signing documents you do not understand, make sure you have a capable translator and lawyer and get in touch with your embassy as soon as you can if you can’t resist accompanying the police to a local station.
In case you are from a country where buying, selling and consuming hash is legal, you may overgeneralize thinking that it is legal to buy or consume Hashish, but this is not the case in Morocco. This is why we see that it is important to mention this.
Watch for scams
Due to the deeply entrenched psychological concept of reciprocity, you will probably give in if someone invites you into their shop for tea intending to use that as a pretext to get you to make a purchase. Also, Never accept a request from someone asking you to write a letter or read a postcard in English, French, or your mother tongue that their “cousin” sent to them. It’s a trick to draw you into their shop and exhaust you.
Similar rules apply if you allow someone to make Henna tattoo, a traditional Moroccan tattoo. Once they have you, these sellers won’t stop putting on clothes, asking you to buy anything or demanding money. Say “no thanks,” and then turn and leave. We advise you to use almost always the word ‘NO’ in such cases unless you do want to experience or buy what is offered.
In a few words, it is very safe to travel to Morocco As long as you respect the rules and follow the country’s laws and cultural practices.