How are female tourists treated in Morocco? Here’s how I traversed Morocco’s terrain as a woman

Here are my experiences in traveling in Morocco as a woman – three different circumstances when I was alone, with a man, and with a group of friends. Read on and see what’s it like!

📬 Hi Trisha! I’ve been following you since 2013 but never really had the guts to write to you until I found myself in this very confusing situation. We are two American girls who are going to Spain this summer and we wanted to do a side trip to Morocco. However, we were told it’s not very safe. We were discouraged to visit. I read that you were in Morocco twice and I would like to ask your honest opinion. Should we go to Morocco? How’s traveling in Morocco as a woman? More importantly, should women travel alone in Morocco? Just in case I decide to go on my own. Thanks for all your help!

Laura, San Francisco 
traveling in morocco as a woman

Before this inquiry came to my inbox, there was one debate that I participated in and learned something from. I accused a girl from one of my many Whatsapp groups to be giving wrong information about safety in Morocco.

She was there a few days and I was there for a month and I felt like all the entitlement was mine and that I was correct. It is, after all, time and experience that make us credible for whatever advice we give to other people.

Through my daily human interactions with people from different parts of the globe, I have come to understand that everything is personal.

She told me how she felt while she was in Morocco and even if I was on the other side of the fence, as an advocate for everything women, I had to understand I can never question a woman’s feelings because again, it is personal. We don’t have the exact same experiences and feelings.

This will be more explained in the latter part of the article so please feel free to read my experience(s) in traveling Morocco as a woman below.

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🇲🇦 Is Morocco safe for women?

traveling in morocco as a woman

I’ve had different experiences traveling in Morocco as a woman and I can say that this destination is not for first-time solo female travelers.

Personally, I would say that NOTHING extreme happened to me in Morocco. I’ve traveled here three times and in each of those times, I stayed for 30 days.

Morocco is safe as long as you already know how to travel around as a woman and if you are observant of local customs and traditions.

On this note, I would like to bring up that safety is objective and personal. Practice travel safety precautions you’ll do anywhere else in the world when traveling to Morocco.

🇲🇦 Planning your trip to Morocco? I can help you with that! From itinerary planning to safety in traveling to Morocco, I can give you genuine tips on a 1-1 call. Let’s chat! [Book a call with Trisha]

🗺️ Can a woman travel alone in Morocco?

I traveled alone in Morocco as a woman so I don’t see why you can’t do it. I have never been harmed in Morocco but of course, I got unwanted attention as a foreign woman.

Although dress codes are not mandatory for female travelers in Morocco, it’s still best to blend in so as to not to get that kind of attention.

My solo female travel experience in Morocco is a mixed of annoyance, fun, and great discoveries. I also made so many friends here traveling solo so please, go ahead and try to travel alone in Morocco!

👩🏻 How are women viewed in Morocco?

Like many Muslim countries, men are superior to women. As a very active advocate of women, I am deeply saddened by this thought but bear in mind that this is cultural – this is something that dates years back so we can’t fight culture. It’s imperative. It’s personal.

Women do the normal chores at home and care for the children while the men provide. In such a Westernised culture as Morocco, some women are free to curate a different story.

On my flight from Istanbul, I sat beside 2 sisters who were dressed like me (torn jeans, spaghetti strap, cardigan, white rubber shoes) and I only found out they were Moroccans when an old guy started “hitting” on them on the flight.

traveling in morocco as a woman

“Where are you from?”

“We are Moroccans.”

“Wow, I can’t believe there are beautiful women in Morocco!”

For the record, whatever they are dressed like, Moroccan women are beautiful. In 2013, I lived with a Moroccan family and during my first 2 days, I never really saw my host mom’s face.

I only eat with their children and their father while the mom works behind the scenes. That kitchen door always (almost) got me into trouble.

I was instructed not to go there because they are usually not allowed to interact with foreign guests of the house as part of their culture. In some Moroccan families, it only applies if the guest is a man.

traveling in morocco as a woman

For some reason, I was just uninvited to the kitchen even if I was dying to know what she Moroccan food she was preparing (and how). My culinary experience in a local home was incomplete.

One day, I had the chance to see my host mom, face uncovered. I was reading a book by their living room when she entered the house and removed her flowing hood.

*Gulp*

She was so beautiful! I can’t believe it was the first time I was seeing her after 2 weeks of living with them. From then on, I kept looking at Moroccan women with an inquisitive curiosity about how they looked like.

I am sure they are the most beautiful women in the world, together with the many Middle Eastern women I’ve seen: Syrians, Turkish, Israelis, etc.

🙋🏻‍♀️ How are female tourists treated in Morocco?

Female tourists, like all visitors to Morocco, often find the experience enriching and captivating.

However, as with many destinations, female tourists should be aware of the cultural norms and nuances in order to navigate the country safely and respectfully.

Female travelers, especially those traveling solo experience unwanted attention, ranging from stares to comments. Some may see this as curiosity, while others may find it intrusive or uncomfortable.

While most interactions are harmless, it’s wise to remain alert and aware of your surroundings.

🚺 Are there rules for women in Morocco?

Yes, Morocco has cultural and social norms that can be seen as “rules” for both local women and female visitors, influenced by the country’s traditions, religion (primarily Islam), and social values.

Here are some of the key norms and expectations to be aware of:

Behaviour with men

Direct physical contact between unrelated men and women is minimal in public. While handshakes might be acceptable in formal or business settings, public displays of affection (like hugging or kissing) between men and women are uncommon and can be frowned upon.

is morocco safe for women?

Visiting Mosques

Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter most mosques in Morocco. There are exceptions, like the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, where tourists can visit with a guide.

If women do enter a mosque, they should ensure they are dressed modestly, and it’s recommended to wear a headscarf as a sign of respect.

Ramadan in Morocco

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. While non-Muslims aren’t expected to fast, it’s polite to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.

Many restaurants and cafes might be closed during the day but will open after sunset for iftar (the meal breaking the fast).

is morocco safe for women?

Interaction in public

It’s important for women to be aware of their surroundings and interactions, especially in crowded areas like markets. It’s best to avoid prolonged eye contact with men, as it might be misinterpreted.

Nightlife and alcohol

Alcohol is available in Morocco, mainly in larger cities and tourist areas, but it’s consumed discreetly. While it’s acceptable for women to enjoy nightlife, they should do so responsibly and be aware of their surroundings, especially if alone.

is morocco safe for women?

Marriage and relationships

While urban areas are becoming more liberal, in general, premarital relationships and cohabitation are less accepted, especially in rural and conservative areas. Discretion is advised.

Also, remember that Morocco has a “marriage” culture. They do not have a concept of boyfriends so you will always be asked why you’re not traveling with your husband.

The best thing to do is just to say your “husband” is in the hotel and you decided to go out alone. It’s not guaranteed to work all the time but still, it will give them a hint.

Work and public life

Women in Morocco participate in public life, work, politics, and more. However, traditionally, roles have been gender-segregated, with women often taking on responsibilities within the home.

Hammams (Public Bathhouses)

Hammams are gender-segregated, and specific hours are allocated for men and women. If you visit a hammam., it’s essential to be aware of local customs regarding nudity and modesty.

🧕🏽 Do females need to cover up in Morocco?

is morocco safe for women?

Okay, many resources will say that you need to cover up in Morocco as a female traveler but I did not really do this. I even wore shorts.

Personally, I think that the extent to which one should “cover up” varies based on the location and context. Morocco is one of the most westernized countries in Northern Africa so they are quite progressive and not too backwards.

While many Moroccan women wear a headscarf (hijab) due to their Islamic faith, it’s not a requirement for non-Muslim visitors. However, carrying a scarf can be handy, not just for religious sites, but also for protection against the sun or dust in some areas.

In cosmopolitan cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, and Agadir, you’ll see a mix of Western and traditional Moroccan attire.

While it’s more common to see tourists in sleeveless tops and knee-length skirts in these cities, it’s still advisable for women to avoid very revealing clothing to respect local sensibilities.

In smaller towns and rural areas, locals tend to be more conservative in their dress. Here, female visitors are advised to wear clothing that covers their shoulders, cleavage, and knees.

Wearing long skirts or trousers and sleeved tops can help blend in and avoid unwanted attention.

At tourist-oriented beaches, swimsuits and bikinis are typical. However, local women might opt for more modest swimwear. I wore 2-piece bikinis and never really got a bad comment. And I wasn’t the only one!

If you’re visiting a less touristy beach, especially near a conservative town, it’s best to gauge the environment and perhaps choose a one-piece swimsuit or a cover-up.

If you’re visiting religious sites, it’s respectful to dress more conservatively. Covering your shoulders and wearing longer skirts or pants is advisable.

While non-Muslims are usually not allowed in mosques, some, like the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, do permit tourists. In such cases, women might consider wearing a headscarf as an added sign of respect, although it’s not mandatory.

👗 How do female tourists dress in Morocco?

is morocco safe for women?

Female tourists in Morocco are not subject to any strict dress code. You can dress with a combination of comfort, style, and respect for local customs and traditions.

Here’s a general idea of how female tourists commonly dress in Morocco:

  • Loose-fitting clothing that covers the shoulders and knees is recommended. This could be long skirts, maxi dresses, or trousers combined with tops that have short or long sleeves.
  • Lightweight tops that cover the shoulders are preferred. This can include t-shirts, tunics, or long-sleeved shirts.
  • Tank tops might be acceptable in very touristy areas but can draw unnecessary attention in more conservative locales.
  • Loose-fitting trousers, palazzo pants, or long skirts are popular choices. They’re not only modest but also comfortable for walking and suitable for the Moroccan climate.
  • Knee-length skirts can be okay in cities, but longer skirts are preferred in rural areas.
  • Maxi dresses or knee-length dresses with a scarf or shawl thrown over the shoulders are commonly worn.
  • Some tourists choose to wear a lightweight scarf or shawl that can be draped over the head or shoulders when they feel it’s appropriate or for protection against the sun. But remember, this is not required.
  • Comfortable flat shoes, sandals, or walking shoes are essential. Moroccan cities often have cobbled streets, and there’s typically a lot of walking involved, especially in the medinas (old towns).
  • In beach towns like Essaouira or Agadir, or at hotel pools, regular Western swimwear is acceptable. However, some women opt for more modest swimwear or cover-ups, especially if visiting non-touristy beaches.
  • For cooler evenings or in the winter months, a lightweight jacket or cardigan is useful. If visiting the Sahara Desert or mountainous areas, temperatures can drop significantly at night, so layers are essential.
  • If planning a desert excursion, lightweight and long-sleeved clothing is advisable to protect against both sun and sand. A scarf can also be useful for shielding the face during sandstorms or windy conditions.
  • A crossbody bag with a zipper can help keep belongings safe and deter pickpockets, especially in crowded areas.
  • It’s best to keep jewelry minimal and not flashy to avoid drawing unnecessary attention.

Can females wear shorts in Morocco?

traveling in morocco as a woman

Men can generally wear shorts in touristy cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, and Agadir, especially during the hot months. However, it’s advisable to wear knee-length shorts rather than very short ones.

For women, shorts are acceptable in resort areas and hotel pools but they might attract unwanted attention in other settings, especially in conservative towns and rural areas.

You might feel more comfortable and less scrutinized wearing longer skirts, capris, or lightweight trousers instead of shorts.

Can women wear tight jeans in Morocco?

Tight jeans are not uncommon in urban areas of Morocco, especially among younger Moroccan women. Female tourists can wear tight jeans without much issue in cities.

Below are some sample photos of the best jeans to wear in Morocco:

Can you wear tight dresses in Morocco?

is morocco safe for women?

Wearing tight dresses in Morocco depend on where you are going. In cosmopolitan cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, and Agadir, you’ll observe a mix of traditional and modern attire, with some local women wearing tight-fitting clothing.

In these areas, wearing a tight dress, especially in upscale venues or tourist-heavy zones is acceptable. However, pairing a tight dress with a shawl or scarf might be a good way to strike a balance between style and modesty.

Is it safe to wear jewelry in Morocco?

Morocco is generally safe for tourists, but like in many countries, displaying overt signs of wealth can make you a potential target for pickpockets, especially in crowded areas like markets or busy streets.

Wearing subtle or less flashy jewelry is recommended. Items like small earrings, simple rings, or delicate necklaces are usually fine.

If you have high-value or sentimental pieces, it might be best to leave them at home or in a hotel safe when exploring.

Is it OK to wear leggings in Morocco?

Leggings, when worn as pants, can be quite form-fitting and revealing, which might attract attention in more conservative areas of Morocco.

If you prefer to wear leggings, consider layering them under a longer tunic, dress, or a long shirt that covers the hips and rear. This approach offers comfort while maintaining a level of modesty in line with local norms.

Can I show my shoulders in Morocco?

is morocco safe for women?

In major tourist destinations or while staying at resorts, showing shoulders is generally accepted. You’ll find many tourists wearing tank tops or sleeveless shirts, especially during the hotter months.

If you’re planning to visit mosques or other religious sites (though non-Muslims are not allowed in most mosques in Morocco), you should cover your shoulders and dress modestly out of respect.

Having a versatile wardrobe can be beneficial. Carrying a scarf or a shawl can be handy as it allows you to adapt to different situations and environments.

🍷 Can I drink alcohol in Morocco?

is morocco safe for women?
Tea is the main drink in Morocco. You will be served mint tea everywhere you go!

Yes, you can drink alcohol in Morocco as a tourist but they are not widely available in restaurants. For me, I had to go to a special Christian/non-Muslim liquor store to purchase, which I’ve done many times in different cities in Morocco.

When buying alcohol in a liquor store, you need to bring your passport. Note that the liquor stores are not really close to the center so you have to hunt for their location!

High-end restaurants and hotels in Morocco will serve wine so opt to stay in hotels if alcohol is important for you when traveling to Morocco.

Cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, and Agadir have bars and nightclubs where alcohol is served. These cater to both tourists and the local non-Muslim population.

Where and how to buy alcohol in Morocco

is morocco safe for women?

Société de Brasseries du Maroc, often simply called Brasseries or SoBraMa, are licensed stores where you can purchase a range of alcoholic beverages. They’re usually separate from regular grocery stores and might be somewhat discreet.

Some larger supermarkets in major cities have a separate section where they sell alcohol. Examples include the Carrefour and Marjane chains.

Remember, these sections have their own cashiers, and you won’t be able to purchase alcohol at the regular checkout.

Morocco produces its wine, and there are wine shops where you can purchase a range of Moroccan wines.

While not sold in regular stores, there’s a local brew called “mahia,” a fig-based spirit. However, be cautious, as the quality can vary and it’s potent!

Be aware that during the holy month of Ramadan, many establishments either limit their alcohol sales or do not sell alcohol at all. If visiting during this period, it’s essential to be discreet and sensitive to local customs.

💃 Traveling in Morocco as a woman alone vs traveling with a man

On both of my visits to Morocco, I was always accompanied by a man (2013, with the ex; 2017 with the current).

You might ask if Morocco is my romantic getaway destination choice but as you know I am not really planning all my travels, it was purely coincidental – an opportunity presented before me.

traveling in morocco as a woman
2013: Traveled with my ex and some friends that are men.

Travel buddies, no matter where the destination is will always make the journey flow differently. For example, when I traveled with friends to Vietnam, I didn’t have the exact same experience when I was traveling in Morocco as a woman alone because no matter how unfortunate the thought is, people who go solo tend to attract more attention than those in a group.

Much more in Morocco where gender identification is very prevalent even in the smallest thing as buying a cigarette or answering an inquiry.

In 2013, I traveled with my ex

On our second month being in Morocco, I wanted to explore things on my own because we were always together – I never had the chance to get on my feet and finally do something by myself.

When I brought up the idea to the ex, although brought up in Western, religious-free culture, he didn’t think it was a good idea because he believed that Morocco isn’t safe for women traveling alone. I still insisted but not going to another city without him but to at least go around the souks by myself.

traveling in morocco as a woman

I wasn’t even out for 4 minutes when I found myself calling the ex for rescue. In the souks, they will grab your arm and force you to go into their shops and look at their products.

They always say it’s not mandatory to buy anything, that looking is okay but I felt so harassed because I didn’t want any crafts in the first place. I

don’t have space to carry all the load. In my travels dictionary, there is no translation for souvenirs – like there is no translation for “thank you” in Dothraki. I just didn’t grow up with it.

traveling in morocco as a woman

The ex came to the rescue but let me clarify that I wouldn’t call if I was being dragged by just one man. I was swarmed by 7 men, all forcing me to look at their products.

At that point, I was really young and on a first rodeo in a Muslim country, no matter how I say I can handle myself, I needed to call 911.

“You know she is from Asia and in Asia, you can’t just hold women you don’t know like that.” the ex said.

“I’m sorry mister. I have beautiful products that the beautiful girl may like.” Mr. Souk said.

As soon as I left the shop, four things came to my mind: (1) There is a battle of customs happening all over the world and what the ex said was true: In Asia, you can’t just grab women like that.

traveling in morocco as a woman

It’s kind of weird and you will be labeled a dangerous (or crazy) person; (2) while in Morocco, where the economy is breeding from tourism, they feel like it’s okay to force people like that.

Let me also clarify I strongly felt they meant no harm. It’s just about going through the day and selling something. No intentions other than earning; (3) the man apologised to the ex and not to me.

This is, very clearly, a hierarchy of genders. Apologising (or talking) to the ex extends to the woman in question even if it wasn’t directed to me; (4) After all these, going on my own as a woman and trying to do things by myself was still blamed on me.

The ex told me it’s not convenient for me to go out alone (even for less than 5 minutes) in a country like this. I was programmed to feel it was my fault.

2017 (with another ex. LOL)

Morocco has evolved in many ways (touristically) so I felt completely okay going out on my own (3 years and 50+ countries later). Unfortunately, just as old habits die hard, cultures and customs are not that easy to transform or even to modify.

Women are still experiencing the same level no matter how many new buildings were installed and how the souks were renovated.

The current is Israeli and was only granted a 2-week visa in Morocco. Our trip was planned for one month. The visa agency in Israel told us he can extend the stay in any police department in Morocco. We did as we are told, at least a week before the visa expired.

traveling in morocco as a woman
We went to a barber shop in Morocco and they loved Israelis! They were so amazed we were there!

I wouldn’t go into the details about the visa thing because it’s not my story to tell. I was allowed a 90-day visa in Morocco so it was all good for me.

I am not comfortable sharing experiences that aren’t mine.[/us_message][vc_column_text]With its close proximity to Spain and the flock of Spanish tourists over the years, Northern Morocco is highly influenced by the Spanish language.

The tourist areas (souks, restaurants, shops, etc) learned Spanish on their own. Come to think of it, the better Spanish they speak, the more they can sell.

I speak Spanish fluently so I didn’t feel unarmed as we stormed the police station in Tangier. The current looks like he’s from an Arab country (and also Spanish) so the policeman spoke to him in Arabic.

traveling in morocco as a woman

When he said he didn’t speak Arabic, Mr. Officer abruptly changed the medium of the conversation to Spanish. As I am writing this, I am realising that Israelis can be from anywhere (physically).

I, on the other hand, remained quiet until I was asked. And it sucks. But if you are in a foreign country like this (where tenacious women like me can be most likely be thrown in jail for no reason at all), I had to keep my mouth shut.

“Talk to my girlfriend. She can speak Spanish and a little French.”

The man was speaking Spanish so fast that the current couldn’t keep up. He was elbowing me to translate. However, the police officer chose to ignore my existence. In his heavily accented Spanish, he articulated two things:

  1. it’s not my case so I had nothing to do with it
  2. they don’t talk to women most especially if they are accompanied by a man.
  3. A point I added myself: “girlfriend” is not even recognised in Muslim countries. Only the married women matters/counts.

Wait, what are we supposed to do now? Play the guessing game? I don’t understand why he couldn’t talk to me when I was the one who can translate to get things done.

It wasn’t about bragging my Spanish fluency but as you can see, the visa extension is very urgent. Morocco is one of the countries that have very strict rules in overstaying so if the current overstays, that is my issue, too.

traveling in morocco as a woman

We didn’t waste another minute there so we went to the hotel and told the manager what happened. He advised us to go back the next day and hire a local (apparently, they have local contacts who can translate) for 40 euros in order to get the visa extension. I was also asked to stay behind and leave the situation to them. That was the easiest way for us to move forward.

The Trisha you all know personally will not relent but I came to understand the limits of my girl power when the current told me we should be careful because either way, we are not going to win here.

No matter how many languages I know, I am still a woman. The second point that made my backing down easier was that he is Israeli.

Israelis are known to be hated in Muslim countries and he was very lucky he didn’t get an awful treatment despite knowing the passport he is holding (he always presented it for identification anywhere in Morocco).

Apparently, the Jewish Moroccan history is very rich and important in Morocco so they learned how to treat Israeli tourists fairly. I think Morocco is the only Muslim country in the world Israelis can visit.

traveling in morocco as a woman

A woman. An Israeli. Traveling together. In a Muslim country. *gasp* Yep, we’re never going to win if we stick to our ideals. I learned how to adapt in most places I’ve been to and even if there’s no way you will believe me, I know how to choose my battles especially if it is a culture you are at war with.

The rise of girl power all over the world has been very impressive. Slowly, the world is waking up to the horrific truth on how women are treated unfairly.

Women are slowly starting to speak up. Even 13-year-old girls in Pakistan risk their lives to fight for what they believe is right.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of countries in the world that are living backward. It will change in the future but for now, we have to understand we can never question one’s culture when it comes to women and gender.

✈️ Morocco solo female travel: how did you feel?

Despite all the failure of not being able to practice my rights as a woman activist and the annoyance of how backward they are, I felt very safe traveling in Morocco.

Please don’t interpret my stories above like I was harmed. These stories happened as they are but I didn’t feel sexually harassed if that’s the word you are looking for.

Harassment can come in many forms but more often than not, when women are traveling, they are incorporating it with sexual assault.

Moroccans are very friendly and are well-rounded with tourists. Safety shouldn’t even be in question. As harassment can be defined in many ways, safety can be, too.

traveling in morocco as a woman

The problem is how it is synonymous with all things related to women. Traffic, clean drinking water, street cats flocking like a gang on the streets, theft, etc: safety is everyone’s issue and can go down to many dissertations and arguments.

As this is a question from a woman traveler, I will direct the tips and advice to her: Morocco is very safe but if you are going alone, you have to ask yourself if you are ready to face all the hustlers who will drag your ass to their shops or talk to you even if you are not in the mood.

Seeing a woman alone is an opportunity to conduct small talks (mostly business talks actually. They are really good at selling) and to find a way to make you pay (whether be it asking for directions or accompanying you in the huge Medina).

traveling in morocco as a woman

Moroccans are just finding a way to earn a living. They don’t mean to harm you even if their methods clearly says so. The way they do it may not be agreeable to you but know they mean no harm.

That being said doesn’t mean you have to keep your guard down. I know some girls who felt harassed (sexually) because they are being followed in the Medina but I don’t want to question that.

As a woman, remember that we are all different and can interpret different actions with our gut so one can never question when you feel harassed or not.

It is a question of feelings. It’s the same way as questioning our friend’s feelings when they are in love with a man we hideously hate (just because we feel they are not right for them) but none of us can really tell how people feel.

traveling in morocco as a woman

In my experience, I never interpreted their intentions to be harmful: to each her own. Traveling alone in Morocco as a woman is very subjective and personal.

You will read thousands of solo female travel blogs out there and you will come to one situation: all experiences are different.

You can never relate your situation to any of these blogs (not even mine) because none of us will (or ever did) experience the exact same thing.

The usual protocol for women travelers: don’t keep your guard down. Enjoy the trip, above all. Stressing can result in a not so memorable vacation.

⁉️ FAQ: Solo female travel to Morocco

Tourists in Morocco are not required to dress in any specific way, but it’s advisable to dress modestly out of respect for local customs. In general, both men and women should aim to cover their knees and shoulders, especially when outside of beach or pool areas. Lightweight long-sleeve shirts and trousers or long skirts are ideal, especially for visiting religious sites or rural areas.

Marrakech is generally safe for single women. However, solo female travelers may experience unsolicited attention or catcalling. It’s advisable to dress modestly, avoid poorly lit areas at night, and be cautious of overly friendly strangers. Staying in reputable accommodations and using trusted transportation can enhance your safety.

YES! Taghazout is a popular surfing destination and is generally considered safe for solo female travelers. Like other tourist areas, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially after dark. Engaging with reputable tour operators and staying in well-reviewed accommodations can further enhance safety.

Female tourists in Marrakech typically wear clothing that is both comfortable for exploring and respectful of local customs. Common choices include loose-fitting maxi dresses, long skirts, lightweight trousers, and tunic tops. While short-sleeved tops are acceptable, it’s a good idea to carry a scarf or shawl for added modesty or for visiting religious sites.

Female visitors are not required to fully cover up in the same way as local Moroccan women might, especially in urban and touristy areas. However, out of respect for local customs and to avoid unwanted attention, it’s advisable for women to wear clothing that covers their knees and shoulders, especially outside of beach or resort settings. While headscarves aren’t obligatory for non-Muslim women, carrying a scarf can be useful in certain situations.

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20 Comments

  1. Really interesting read! I think i’d be a little hesitant to go on my own – that being said I’ve never travelled alone before so I think id’ be like that anywhere!

  2. Being a strong supporter of women’s rights and living (temporarily) in a culture where that doesn’t happen is an interesting dilemma. I agree with your advice to adapt to the culture you are in – as visitors, we aren’t in a strong position to change it no matter how much we might disagree. If someone came to my country and treated me in a way that wasn’t culturally appropriate here, I wouldn’t accept it, so why should I expect it to happen when I am the one in a different culture? Very thought provoking post!

  3. Apart from your personal experiences, I think it also depends on where are you traveling in Morocco. I think that one woman will have different experiences in cities like Casablanca or in the deep countryside.

  4. Great post. There is always a difficulty in answering a “is it safe to travel in …” when someone asks. Because, like you mentioned, the answer is very personal. I can only imagine the frustration and challenges you encountered in Morocco dealing with the visa, and I know my wife, who is quite a strong personality, would be really frustrated in that instance as well. She felt that way when we traveled to Abu Dhabi, and she felt a bit like a second-class citizen when we spent time in the city. Some places are just not for everyone.

  5. Great post, thanks for sharing your personal experience. I had something similar happen to me in Turkey being grabbed in the market and pulled into stall and stores. It was quite scary. I always travel with my partner so I would feel safe in Morocco

  6. Thanks for sharing your stories Trisha, I would love to visit Morocco, and hadn’t really thought of it as an unsafe destination for women. I do agree with your first point though that every womans experience and travel experience will be a different one, so we have to respect that others will have different perspectives on how safe or uncomfortable they felt. But I can’t wait to visit personally, and am pretty good at warding off street hustlers!

  7. This is a very candid post that probably blows the lid of many myths. I agree with you that it all boils down to personal experience. One needs to be sensitive to the local culture and take necessary precautions so that you have pleasant experiences.

  8. This was a very balanced view post Trisha and I mist thank you for sharing all the stories from both your visits. Clearly the country is safe for women to travel alone, but if something does go wrong one might need help…the visa extension story was insane and so difficult to comprehend, but I guess that’s how things are there and one needs to live with that till things change. Of course, we can all play in role in making that change possible 🙂

  9. Very good article! It’s true that every country has its own culture that we must respect as travelers. The interactions from one country to another with the locals can vary greatly depending on many different factors. In the end, every traveler should observe and adapt their behaviour to stay safe. However it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your trip, always make the most of your experience!

  10. I’d say for any woman it’s better to travel with her man, it’s safer, more fun and there’s always a helpng hand to carry luggage:)
    And regretfully, in some countries women are still being treated other way than men, and when travelling to some exotic places it’s better to find out specific local habits beforehand.

  11. hi miss Trisha?
    My name is Margaritte and im from the Philippines. I really love your travel blogs because it really encourage women to travel places without hesitation. I am a philippine passport holder and i am thinking to go to morocco and surprise a special someone by next year. How much do i need to prepare in going there?

  12. was our first time visiting Morocco and we definitely made the right choice by choosing this tour. I picked this one specifically because I didn’t want a tour company that had seen so many tourists that they start to not care about taking people around their country. Where it’s more a money-making business, where you are part of a big group and you will not receive any sort of bespoke individual experience. We were so lucky to have ismail as our tour guide as he was a genuine and nice person, who loves his country.

    From the very first email ismail was extremely polite and helpful, more than any other tour company I’d spoken to. We ended up travelling with just him, my husband and me. We went from Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou, to the Todras, Atlas Mountains, several Oasis and obviously to the Sahara desert. It was still a whistle stop tour as we only had 3 days but it was definitely the way to go. Having stayed in Marrakech for 2 days I was very much ready to leave the hustle and bustle (and generally being harassed at the souks) to explore what Morocco was really about.

    Todras gorge was really lovely. There had been some rainfall so you could walk into some of the water. Really nice. It was quite busy though, but no more than the other big landmarks like Ait Ben Haddou.

    My favourite place was actually Skoura, one of the little Oasis on the first night. The place we stayed was run by a family business and you can really tell. It was remote, but stunning. Not at all touristy, and very authentic. The food was the best I’d had in Morocco, just divine! Just as an aside, although I love tagines, you do want some change, so this was the one that stood out as it felt a little more authentic. Most of the food you’ll get in Morocco (not just in the tour) is very similar — varying types of tagines, wraps or kebabs, with rice or salad. Not a huge amount of variety unless you really look for it. We loved Nomad in Marrakech, this restaurant has amazing food!

    The trip to the Sahara was amazing, albeit short. We set off on camel when the sun was quite low, maybe 6–7pm and then arrived at the camp by nightfall. We had dinner with a few other people on the tour, and the locals did a song and dance for half an hour or so. We then ventured out to the desert to see the stars, and although we went back to the camp around 1am, the moon was so bright you could have slept under it for sure. The temperature was perfect. However we had to leave at about 5am to catch the sunset, so thought we’d better sleep in the bed. The camp was extremely clean and nice given it’s in the middle of nowhere, so if you’re a clean freak like me, you’ll have no problems! There’s good toilets and running water. You sleep in a type of metal room, which is probably ventilated but still quite warm. The beds aren’t exactly comfy, quite hard really, but there’s electricity and sheets, what else do you need!

    You can see more of my adventures and what I experienced from my pictures.
    All in all, what you see is what you get. The tour speaks for itself. You visit all the places on the itinerary and you’re greeted with nice people and go to places that are really quite unique. On top of that, you’ll be with a guide who knows a good deal about Morocco and will work hard to make sure you have a good time. We were even privileged enough to see ismail home, meet his family (they were very shy!) But an insight into how Moroccan people actually live? That is something you can’t buy.

    Really enjoyed my time in Morocco, so thanks to ismail and the team at Moroccodeserttour4x4.com recommend this tour company.

  13. Idir from the Sahara Desert Kingdom agency was a welcoming host, knowledgeable guide and excellent driver for the 10 day tour my husband and I took in Morocco. Our time in the Sahara desert was an unforgettable experience and Idir made it even more so by taking us offroading in the desert in the 4×4 Toyota SUV. The SUV he drives is in top condition and clean. Idir was flexible with us and our itinerary (we visited Casablanca, Rabat, Assilah, Tetouan, Chefchouen, Ziz Valley, Merzouga (Sahara desert), Rissani, Dades Gorges, Ouarzazate, Ait Ben Haddou and Marrakesh).

    Morroco is a safe, welcoming, beautiful and enchanting country to visit and Idir and the Sahara Desert Tour facilitated us to simply focus on enjoying the experience instead of focusing on logistics of getting from one place to another. Thank you Idir. We look forward to our next trip to Morocco already!

  14. What a fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information I can’t wait to dig deep and start utilizing the resources you have given in your blogs. Thanks to you Ms. Trisha 🙂

  15. Hi!
    What an amazing read it was! Morocco has always been on my travel bucket list for a very long time, and I’m planning to visit very soon. But it’s not going to be a solo trip. This time I’m going with my friends and I want them to have a great time as well. This is going to be a group women trip lol. I think this is what we need to visit to make it memorable. Thanks a lot for sharing about this. I’ll share my experience here once we have made it happen!

  16. Thanks for sharing your exsiting experience about Morocco , just come back from a trip ,I had a 4 day/3night tour from Marrakesh to Fez. Iddir was my driver and guide. As a woman traveling solo, he made me feel safe. He has full knowledge of Morocco and proud to show me the country. I am a painter and do not enjoy socialisation. Iddir understands this completely. He found spot for me to paint based on my requirements. He also waited for me close by while I was painting for 2 hours. The desert camels tour was amazing, watch the sunset, sunrise, enjoyed Berber music, sleep under the starring sky, life can’t be better. The last day, he contacted the Riad I booked in Fez, and make sure I was in good hands before he leave. Thank you Iddir for this wonderful experience. Definitely come back with my husband and family next time. See you next time.
    Absolutely recommend this tour!
    ( Marvelous-moroccotours.com )

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