So I thought I would do a little post of general advice for Morocco because when I’ve suggested it as a holiday location, lots of people have been like ‘Is it safe for women? Will I have to stay covered up all the time? etc.’ so I just wanted to dispell some of the myths surrounding it. Little disclaimer, obviously this is coming at Morocco from a tourist perspective – I am not educated enough on politics to speak for women who are residents of the country, I am just relying on knowledge passed on from one of my best friends who is from there.
What to wear
Lots of people seem to be under the impression that you have to stay fully covered in Morocco. This is not what I found at all! Morocco is a Muslim country so you will see women in hijab, and you shouldn’t wear anything too revealing, but it is probably nowhere near as strict as you would think. I would say in general shorts are fine as long as your bum isn’t hanging out, you know the drill. Depending on where/when you go it will most likely be hot so you will probably want to wear loose clothes anyway. In the north, in the mountains, my friend just wore jeans and long sleeved tops and that was fine. I would probably stay away from wearing crop tops and showing off your midriff, I did wear high waisted trousers and a crop top (I had about an inch or two of midriff showing) and that was fine. If you’re by a hotel pool or on the beach then a normal swimming costume/bikini will be fine. We went out to a club at one point and for that, it’s pretty much just the same rules as you would have to get into a nice club here – heels and a dress/smart jeans and top. The club was really cool and it was ladies night so we got free entry and free drinks which was fab!
We were a group of four girls, I am really glad that we had my friend with us to haggle and do the talking. There were also points where some of the men shouted things at us in the street and tried to talk to us but on the whole, I felt safe heading out in the evenings. Especially in places like Marrakech, there are so many tourists that it’s not a novelty at all. The one place I was definitely not a huge fan of was the market at the medina in Marrakech. People just kind of grabbed us and put snakes around our neck then took photos and asked for money which really wasn’t a nice experience at all, but again, my friend did all the arguing for us. Because it is so hot during the day round Marrakech, loads of families head out around 8/9 at night when it gets cooler. It’s really nice to walk down the streets in the evening and see families out enjoying food and young children playing.
On the whole, I felt that Morocco was friendly and safe for female travellers. We met two girls who had been travelling together and staying in hostels and they had not had any trouble either so I really don’t think there is anything to worry about. The media likes to portray these horror stories and how it’s so strict for women, and you have to remain covered, and can’t go out without a man to accompany you, but that really isn’t the experience I had at all. Girls are free to go out and have nice meals in the evening and drink and go to clubs. You can head to the beach or pool in a swimming costume without having to worry. The only thing I would stay away from is public displays of affection. I’m not sure it’s illegal but it’s definitely highly frowned upon.
Morocco is a beautiful and vibrant country and I would go back in a heartbeat. I highly recommend it to anyone, and I would not worry about being harassed or being in any danger (or any more so than you would in European countries at least).