When you go to a new location, it is better to come prepared and be ready to face some exciting and exotic things. In Marrakech, Morocco, you really want to know as much information before you go there as possible because this city offers the most exclusive combination of experiences that are both adverse and positive, depending on how you see them.
It is better to come prepared and know what to expect. The following tips might be extremely useful for those people who come to Marrakech for the first time.
Most of the tourists try to move around the city in a cab, as well as you will need a cab drive from and to the airport or station. The crucial thing one needs to do before getting into a cab is to negotiate and agree on the price with the cab driver before the joyride begins. This recommendation is invaluable because otherwise the tourist might be asked to pay some enormous amount of money for the ride. Besides, when you ask the hotel staff to fix you a ride, it is important to specify the sum you are ready to cover for the cab, and, after the cab arrives, you should repeat the amount to the cab driver to avoid any misunderstanding. The drivers in Marrakech enjoy haggling, so, be ready to have a verbal battle to save your funds. Finally, do not get into the taxis that line up near the sightseeing locations because the price there is usually too high.
If you want to see and experience real and authentic Marrakech, you are welcome to stay at riads in Medina. Riads are typical Arabic houses of a square form with a yard concealed from the public eye. Riads can be luxurious or basic, but regardless of their level, they will offer their visitors the most authentic experience. Besides, for people who do not feel overexcited by the idea of getting emerged into the old-fashioned Arabic conventionalism, there are multiple modern hotels in the city.
When going on a trip to Marrakech, it is necessary to keep in mind that this city is predominantly Muslim. Though it is not exceptionally conventional about the clothing, Muslim culture should be respected. Keep your clothing floaty and make sure the most part of your body is covered not to get sunburned. Though it might be very hot outside, tourists are highly recommended to wear skimpy outfits. Besides, some gender-correlated restrictions in clothing are applicable in Marrakech: men are advised not to wear tank tops, while women are asked to avoid minis (dresses and skirts). Of course, no one will arrest or threw stones at you, but demonstrate some respect and dress appropriately. As a tourist location, Marrakech is used to visitors that pay no regard to their clothing, but inappropriateness of the outfit still draws unwanted attention to the person wearing it. Spend some time researching the culture of the country you visit, especially, if you are going to stay outside the most popular touristic areas. Respect the country and its people if you want no problems for yourself. Pay attention to the shoes you are wearing because the streets in Marrakech are cobbled and uneven. Thus, you need your legs to be comfortable in something less sensible than slippers or sandals.
Try to remember some useful phrases in the local languages which are Arabic and French. It is respectful to greet people in their local language when you speak to a store manager or hotel staff, etc. Try not to carry too much money with you because it might be mot safe. Take a modest amount with you that you might spend during the day. Money exchange is more comfortable at the Marrakech Menara airport, but, in the case of need, you can get your money exchanged in the Exchange Bureaus in the city.
Moreover, mind your safety and consume only bottled water to avoid contamination. You can eat anywhere it suits you as long as you see that the meal is freshly cooked and hot. You can try out the local cuisine because it is always fresh, and it is present on any menu. If you go to the main square of Marrakech, try the food in cafes and night markets that overlook it because the food there is exceptionally tasty and way cheaper than elsewhere in the upmarket restaurants. The definite must-have is the local mint tea with its delicious flavor and sugary notes.
It is critical to remember some culture-related issues like taking photos in a Muslim country. Though for people of American and European origin it is normal to take pictures of whatever they want and whenever they feel like it, in Marrakech you should mind the local culture. It is absolutely forbidden to take photos of the locals if they did not permit you to do so. Muslims believe that when a picture is taken, the person is deprived of a part of their soul. Therefore, you should respect their privacy and religious beliefs. Besides, when you visit the main square, avoid taking photos of the snake and monkey charmers. When you see a charmed snake or a monkey on a chain, do not rush to take photos because it is not an entertainment, it is a privilege for which you will be asked to pay. Therefore, try to avoid taking photos of anyone or anything that you will be asked to buy or pay up for.
Overall, Marrakech is a beautiful city, and it is definitely worth going to so that you can dive into the authentic Muslim culture. Nevertheless, you should mind local culture and traditions and keep your head cool both literally and metaphorically not to get yourself into trouble.