For many, traveling solo through Morocco is the best way to see this beautiful and diverse country. It allows you the freedom to choose your own destinations and really learn the culture since you only have locals and other world travelers with whom to interact. Like any place in the world, traveling to Morocco on your own has its risks, but with a little research and preparation, this could become one of the greatest adventures of your lifetime. Below are three key tips to get you started.
1- Understand the Muslim culture
Those with little exposure to and education about the Muslim culture often hold many misconceptions about the people of Morocco. The Muslim religion emphasizes respect and modesty, as well as kindness and hospitality towards tourists. Bear this in mind when dressing for the day. It is advisable that, despite the heat, tourists cover their shoulders and legs. It is not necessary for women to wear hijabs (traditional headscarves), but women, in particular, should dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention. Also remember that alcohol is frowned upon in Muslim culture and is not allowed in some places in the country, so best to keep the drinking to the bare minimum, if at all. When in doubt, always err on the side of staying modest in your appearance and actions.
2- Learn some of the local languages
Arabic, Berber, and French are widely spoken throughout the country. While many locals, and especially those in the service industry, speak at least some English, it is another sign of respect to try to learn the local languages. It is also a matter of safety, as there is no guarantee you will encounter English-speaking locals if you run into a problem. It can also help you avoid scams since projecting confidence and experience in the country will make you less of a target. Visit this post to learn more about the languages they speak in Morocco.
3- Beware of your surroundings
There really is no place in the world a solo traveler can go where they will be free of potential scammers and unwanted attention. Morocco as a country is fairly non-violent, has safe, well-paved roads, and a tourism police force dedicated to keeping visitors safe and the industry thriving. That said, theft and scams against tourists can and do happen. Women, in particular, must also be aware of unwanted attention from local men. Dressing modestly helps, as does showing confidence and being forceful when saying no to pushy salesmen. Know where you are going ahead of time, understand what taxis and other items should cost, and be forceful without being rude when you are not interested in what someone is trying to sell to you.
Much like any other country, remember that scams and unwanted attention are more likely to occur when you are in more urban areas. Casablanca and Marrakech, in particular, are places where you will want to keep your guard up and really understand the true cost of goods and services. Other popular areas, such as Chefchaouen and Essaouira, are quieter and more laid back, and therefore may feel like safer options when you are alone. Above all else, use common sense, educate yourself, and remember to show respect towards the country and the people, and you will have an unforgettable experience.
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