23 July 2019
Marrakech Tourism Tips & Taboos
Marrakech tourism is exhilarating but travellers should know some important tips and taboos before arriving.
Marrakech is one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in the world. The Red City has opened its doors to travellers for several decades, and millions of visitors continue to explore its meandering alleyways and majestic historical sites.
With that said, it’s worthwhile knowing how to make the most of the city as it is easy to get overwhelmed by its vibrant scenery. Also, it is still very much steeped in tradition and there are taboos that you should be aware of so as to not violate them. If you’re planning to visit Morocco soon, here is some Marrakech tourism advice that will keep you and your family safe and comfortable during the trip.
Marrakech Tourism Tips
Marrakech is a very active and colourful place that is both exciting and at times confusing, so it helps to know a few pointers before you arrive.
Getting Around the City of Marrakech
The first image of Marrakech that might appear in your mind are the sights and sounds of bustling marketplaces in the old city (Medina). However, the city is a busy metropolitan centre, which at times, resembles its more congested counterparts such as Casablanca and Rabat. Ultimately, the city is a unique juxtaposition of old and new, providing travellers with a few options in terms of manoeuvring through the city.
- Walking – The most popular method of getting around Marrakech is on foot. The adventurous types will naturally go this route, especially since Marrakech is a sight-seeing city. However, other travellers inevitably explore the city on foot because certain areas and streets are inaccessible by vehicles.
- Buses – In denser parts of town, you can take a bus if you’re pressed for time or want to reach farther attractions. Keep in mind that they’re quite old and packed with commuters. So if you want a cosier trip with room to breathe, it would be better to take an alternative mode of transportation.
- Taxis – Taxi cabs typically come in two different options: “petit taxis” which are smaller and meant for in-city travel, and “grand taxis” which are larger and meant for farther excursions. One word of caution regarding taxi cabs, however, is to watch them carefully for how they handle fares (more on this later).
- Horse-Drawn Carriages – If you are not in a hurry and crave an old-fashioned method of transport, take a trip in a horse-drawn carriage. It brings the best of many worlds – it’s spacious, relaxing, environmentally-friendly and fun!
Know the Most Kid-Friendly Spots
Travelling to Marrakech for a honeymoon or a solo adventure is one thing – travelling to Marrakech with kids is completely different. When deciding what to do in Marrakech with kids, especially younger ones, it’s vital to know what activities will appeal to them. Fortunately, there are many things to do in Marrakech that will engage young travellers. Here at Le Farnatchi, we offer access to several experiences that kids will enjoy.
- Horseback Riding – We can arrange a trip to the Atlas Mountains for you and your kids, where you will take a private horse ride up into the high Atlas for a sweeping view of the Moroccan landscape and Berber life experience.
- Zipwire/Treetop Ropes – Just 30 minutes away from Marrakech, we can take your family to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains for a zip wire experience. Your kids will love the adrenaline rush of ziplining over a gorge and swinging over treetops.
- Quad Biking – For your motor-racing loving children (and their parents, too), we can take you along one of the many quad biking tracks in the city. It’s a sure-fire way to get the adrenaline pumping in a beautiful outdoor setting.
There are several other activities for your kids to enjoy. For younger kids, especially those ages 7-10, activities such as attending an astronomy workshop will provide spectacular views of the starry night sky above. This will take place outside the main city where there is little light pollution to drown out the celestial lights. If you have kids who love animals and performance theatrics, make sure to visit Jemaa El-Fnaa where they can see snake charmers, monkeys doing tricks, and traditional street dances.
Learn Some Basic Phrases
It is always a good idea to brush up on the local languages before visiting a foreign land. The city caters very well to English (and French) speakers, but learning a few basic Arabic phrases will make it easier to interact with vendors and guides. Here are some simple expressions:
To say “Hello”: “As-salaam alaykom”
To say “Excuse Me, Sorry”: “smhelier”
To say “Thank You”: “Shukran”
To say “Bye”: “Ma‘a as-salāma”
Of course, these phrases are mainly for greetings and conversation sign-offs, but using them with locals can make them more facilitating towards you.
Marrakech Travel Advice for Safety & Comfort
Marrakech still holds on strongly to its cultural values and traditions. It is important to prepare yourself to be immersed in a new cultural landscape before travelling. Here are some things to keep in mind while in Marrakech.
- Taxi Drivers – Taxi drivers sometimes “forget” to activate their taximeters. A quick workaround for this is to make sure that the driver has switched it on. A driver who genuinely forgets will activate without making a fuss, whereas a driver who’s trying to manipulate you may refuse. If you are faced with a refusal, simply look for another taxi.
- Keep Dress & Grooming in Mind – A big part of blending into the Marrakech scene boils down to your dress and grooming. Remember, Marrakech is a city where cultural norms are strongly upheld and there is a way for men and women to dress. For women, it’s wise to avoid clothing that is too revealing. For both men and women, it’s a good idea to wear clothes that have the right fit as well – nothing too tight or too sheer.
Marrakech Travel Advice to For Safety and Fun
Your stay in Marrakech should be an unforgettable one. By following these guidelines, you’ll give yourself and your family an opportunity to enjoy some of the city’s most exciting activities. More importantly, you will avoid committing taboo actions that can lead to embarrassment or negative interactions with the locals. Ultimately, your journey to the Red City will be a trip of a lifetime that you will always cherish.
Le Farnatchi offers an authentic Moroccan hospitality experience while you visit Marrakech. Book now!← Back to all posts