What to Know Before Going to Marrakesh

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Marrakesh is a place that travelers either love or hate. I loved it. Read my tips and things to do before heading to Morocco to avoid disappointments and enjoy this amazing place as I felt in love with its capital city – Marrakesh!marrakech


1. Don’t trust any weather forecasts

Before coming to Marrakesh I triple checked the weather forecast and it indicated 18-25 degrees all the time. I’m glad I took a coat before leaving home, because it turned out it was freezing in Marrakesh – while funnily enough my phone still indicated 20 degrees. I swear it was no more than 7 Celsius.1238803_10203234923616339_1430918242_n


2. Prepare to get lost

In Marrakesh you have to forget about maps. They simply don’t work in here, especially in the Medina when streets reminded me a lot of Italian ones, however way busier and more complicated. I’ve always been scared to get lost or find my way back to the hostel.

I read a lot of female blogs described how they were harassed by locals. I haven’t experienced such treatment, in fact locals were really friendly to me. Don’t be afraid to go to Morocco as a solo female traveler.


4. You can book luxurious accommodation for cheap

There are plenty of hostels & luxurious hotels in Marrakesh and they’re all very cheap. Upon arrival to my hotel I was immediately served some local mint tea and a big plate of cookies. I couldn’t have asked for more from a simple hostel for less than $5 per night.


5. Be prepared to get an animal on you at the main square

Jamaa el Fna – main square in Marrakesh, is absolutely crazy. People are going to try to make you buy things and make you pay for taking photos… this is why they’re putting snakes, monkeys and everything else they can find, on your shoulders.MoroccoPost


7. Moroccans don’t always speak good French

To my surprise, Moroccans don’t speak French as well as I thought they did, despite French being the second national language. They know basic phrases, but only some of then can actually speak French. Trust me, I tried and apart from ‘aujourd’hui poulet’ a lot of waiters couldn’t say anything else. Hopefully, you might be luckier than me when it comes to being lost in translation 😉


8. Don’t take a trip to Sahara from Morocco

I explained the reasons in Sahara in desert in Morocco vs desert in Tunisia why I recommend taking a trip to Sahara from Tunisia instead. However, it’s my personal preference and please don’t think that the desert trip from Morocco is bad.

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9. Under ANY circumstances don’t bring traveler cheques.

In Morocco it’s impossible to exchange traveler cheque. In the whole Marrakesh there is only ONE guy in a small exchange store that exchanges them. To avoid troubles simply don’t take any as the whole hostel had to help out some guy who didn’t bring any cash with him.

Unless you meet some amazing people that can lend you some cash you'd be screwed with travelers checks ;)

Unless you meet amazing people that can lend you some cash you’d be screwed with travelers checks.


10. Remember that a word means a lot in Marrakesh

Wondering what to buy in Morocco? On a main square there are plenty of different stalls selling food, dried fruits and nuts, souvenirs or anything you need. When I went to get some of the dates and almonds with a girl from a hostel the guy lowered a price for us when we promised we’d come back the next day. I went there to purchase more of them the day after I literally got four times more for maybe 20% of the original price.

In front of an amazing juice stall!

In front of an amazing juice stall!


P.S. Trick for saving on water:  If you want to save money on water get a LifeStraw Water Bottle. It’s a water bottle with special filter that will allow you to drink tap water (or even some from the pond, puddle or waterfall) everywhere!


Where to stay in Marrakesh?

Suggested travel guide for Marrakesh:

Also check out these excursions from Marrakesh:

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19 Comments

  1. Angie BARRIOS
    Apr 1, 2014 / 12:08 am

    Thank you Anna!, thanks for your advices, me and one friend are going to Marrakech the next april 9th 😛 😀

  2. hotel in Marrakech
    Apr 8, 2014 / 5:42 am

    Mоrocco is saaɗi dyոasty a stable country. You need to take effect to
    saadi dynasty make it more appeɑling and instructive, than even the best promotional materials like brochures.
    Οn the other hand, cannot be sold with mold, and the amouոt boгrowed.

    First ߋff, chanсes are that tɦe development will make their lives easier and better too.

  3. Linda
    Apr 20, 2014 / 6:58 am

    Hi, Im moroccan and I think both articles you wrote about Morocco are not that accurate.You probably went to only few part of the country.
    First about french language, most of people in big cities speak french, and of course they don’t in the countryside, cuz only those who went to school can do so.
    Spanish? Only few places in the north, and still this is not our first foreign language we got to learn.
    Sahara? You probably didn’t pick the right places to visit, cuz yes we got a real desert where you can’t hear any sound around from many miles away.
    Market of Jemaa elfna? You gotta know how markets work anywhere in the world, it’s all about bargaining.

  4. Apr 26, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    Comment number seven is really surprising.
    Is it possible that you simply had problems because of the accent? I experienced that in West Africa – when I met some Fench people on holidays I understood I had problems because of the accent I couldn’t always understand.

    • Apr 26, 2015 / 2:29 pm

      Hmm… I could consider this option if I was there alone, but I was hanging out with French native speakers and we all came to this conclusion. For example one guy wanted to introduce us to the special menu and told us: ‘aujourd’hui poulet special’, we said ‘bon, mais porquois? porquios non tagine?’, the guy looked at us puzzled and kept repeating ‘bonjour, aujourd’hui poulet special’. I had a discussion about it with my Moroccan colleague later and he said that if he hasn’t learned French in a private school he’d probably never speak proper French.

      • Apr 26, 2015 / 2:38 pm

        Well, the question is what they consider ‘proper’? 🙂
        I’d put it down to cultural differences – I remember I had some problems in English-speaking Ghana. I wouldn’t say their English was poor, it was just different, and due to cultural differences sometimes I understood every word without being able to communicate 😉

  5. Apr 26, 2015 / 12:12 pm

    Marcco is on my “places to visit list” and Your post is really interesting for those who are planning to go there. If it’s about weather forecasts – I don’t trust them even in Poland;)

    • Apr 26, 2015 / 2:25 pm

      Haha, foreigners would say in Poland is always cold anyway 😛

  6. Apr 26, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    You should add another point: “Be prepared to eat a goat’s head on Jamaa el Fna” 😀

    • Apr 26, 2015 / 3:28 pm

      Haha true! But after so many Jewish feasts with lamb heads I’m so used to it! 😀

  7. KasiaN
    Apr 26, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    Dla kolorów, straganów i jedzenia, może kiedyś się wybiorę.

    • Apr 26, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      Koniecznie!

  8. Apr 27, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    Nr. 5 naprawdę niezły! Rady się przydadzą jeśli się w te rejony wybiorę. Nie było mnie od lat… 🙂

  9. Jun 23, 2015 / 7:45 am

    Great tips Anna! I’m heading to Morocco early next year, so all this information will definitely come in handy 🙂 I also liked your post about trekking to the Sahara from Tunisia instead – I’ll be sure to keep that in mind!

    • Jun 23, 2015 / 10:07 pm

      Glad I could help 🙂

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