How to Travel as a Woman Alone in Morocco Without Going Insane -
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How to Travel as a Woman Alone in Morocco Without Going Insane

Woman Alone Morocco - 01

 

After just one week traveling on my own in Morocco, I was already beginning to lose my mind. I’ve traveled solo for three years, all over the world, yet nothing prepared me for the relentless harassment I encountered.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 02

 

No matter what I wore, every man I passed in the street vied for my attention, shouting, “I’ve been waiting for you,” “are you looking for me?” and often “nice ass.” They followed me in the street, swore at me if I ignored them, and a few even grabbed my butt. To say I felt like bloody raw meat in a lion’s den would be an understatement.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 03

 

The few I did talk with pressured me to stay longer, to see them the next day, or even to go meet their family. Simply responding when someone said hello turned into a battle to maintain my independence. Despite the fact that I was traveling on my own, I found it almost impossible to be alone.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 04

 

By the time I left Marrakech, I had become so exhausted and so jaded, I wouldn’t even respond to any man who said hello. I had nightmares about snakes biting me, and strangers grabbing me in the street. Even though I met plenty of kind individuals, I found myself feeling resentful towards the entire culture.

 

Asilah

 

Something had to give. If I wanted to stay in this country and actually enjoy it, I needed to find a way to keep my sanity.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 06

 

Writing to you today from the peaceful surf town of Taghazout on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast, I feel like I have. I feel like I’ve found a way to be myself and adapt to a vastly different culture. While I still don’t find Morocco to be an easy country to travel in as a woman alone, I have found a way to find peace.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 07

 

To any woman out there crazy enough to come to Morocco on her own, here is my best advice for how to travel in Morocco without actually going insane.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 08

 

Conserve Your Energy

 

The biggest mistake I made when I first arrived in Morocco was offering my attention to anyone who asked for it. I’m naturally outgoing, so when people said hello to me, of course I responded. I’m curious about other cultures, so when local men invited me to eat with them, drink with them, or walk with them, I did. Though by my second day I was completely exhausted. The moment I managed to politely escape one man there were five waiting to take his place.

 

If you don’t have your own agenda and enjoy spending all of your time with other people, this may not bother you. However, as someone who needs alone time and quiet moments for reflection and introspection, I felt depleted. Having the same conversations over and over again grew tiresome. I learned quickly that I needed to conserve my energy.

 

What I do now is respond when people say hello, offer a kind nod, have a brief chat if it’s someone in a shop or a restaurant, and then I end it there. That way I have my energy for exploring and experiencing the place, and connecting with the people who I actually want to engage with. Any outright harassment I try to ignore altogether.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 09

 

Set Boundaries

 

There’s no question that Moroccan men are the most persistent of any I have ever met in the world. Initially I tried to brush them off with excuses, but it didn’t really work, and I realized that it doesn’t do anything to help them. It’s better to be honest and direct, and perhaps they’ll even learn something.

 

Now when men approach me and beg me to make future plans with them, I tell them that while they’re very nice, I prefer to have my time to myself. I also tell them, respectfully, that I’m approached so often by men in Morocco, that it’s exhausting for me.

 

I’ve also stopped feeling guilty for ignoring people. If someone says “hello” while I’m walking by, I can choose if and how I want to respond. I don’t have to keep the conversation going.

 

Outright harassment is extremely common in cities like Marrakech and Fez, which as difficult as it is, I try to ignore completely. However in smaller towns when I’m harassed, I make it clear that it’s wrong and why. In Chefchaouen a man outside my hostel said “nice ass” as I walked by. When I returned, I explained to him that what he said was extremely rude. I asked if he would speak to his mother or his sister like that. I told him that I might be American, but I’m not a slut. From then on he bowed his head when he saw me and addressed me as “sister.”

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 10

 

Find a Sanctuary

 

No matter how many boundaries you set or how much you try to conserve your energy, Morocco can be an over-stimulating place, particularly in the cities. This is why it’s important to have sanctuaries where you can hide out.

 

In Fez and Marrakech I recommend staying somewhere that you feel comfortable in, even if you have a small budget. Both cities have many beautiful and reasonably priced Riads, and some hostels have nice terraces, courtyards, and pools.

 

Most cafes and restaurants in Morocco have terraces, which immediately offer reprieve from the street. You can look down at the city instead of feeling consumed by it. Koran schools, palaces, and gardens open to tourists are also wonderful havens to escape the stress in the souks.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 11

 

Go Where the Students Go

 

The best way to meet interesting, respectful locals, is to get out of the souks and into a place where they like to hang out. In Fez and Marrakech I loved going to Café Clock for the Thursday Storytelling night. Locals, tourists, and foreign exchange students played live music and told traditional Moroccan stories. It was heartwarming and a great chance to meet people interested in friendships and conversation. I also recommend asking at your hostel or hotel about live music events, festivals, and art openings.

 

Per the recommendation of blogger Maroc Mama, I went to an art event put on by MAM in Marrakech one night. While admiring a painting, I felt a man approach me. I instinctually put up my wall. “What do you think of my work?” he asked. I turned to see a 22-year-old kid to my right, baffled that he had created such masterpieces. I could have stared at his work for hours, constantly discovering new dimensions and imagery. Talking to him felt completely different from all of the others I had met in the street. I didn’t feel pressured, I felt a genuine connection. For the rest of the night we talked for hours, and I not only made friends with a local Moroccan man, I met a soul brother.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 12

 

Spend Time in the Local Hammam

 

How do local women find sanctuary from all of the testosterone in Morocco? They head to hammam.

 

Hammam is for Moroccans what Sauna is for the Finns. It’s a public bathhouse separated by gender, where you can go and spend hours in the steam scrubbing yourself. In the street women cover up, but the hammam is a safe, sacred place to be naked. Given my obsession with sauna, it’s no surprise that going to hammam is one of my favorite experiences in Morocco.

 

Most hotels have their own hammams where you book a private room with someone who will scrub you, but I highly recommend doing like the locals and heading to the public hammam. It’s one of the easiest ways to spend time with local women and experience the culture of Morocco away from harassment in the streets.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 13

 

Stay Out of the Cities

 

Undoubtedly it’s far more challenging to travel as a woman alone in the large cities in Morocco than in small towns. The sad reality is that in developing countries, mass tourism often leads to mass corruption. Consider spending less time in Marrakech and more time in small towns like Chefchaoeun and Taghazout, where there’s less hustlers and more genuine kindness.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 14

 

Practice Compassion

 

In response to the constant hassling, I had built protective walls that kept me from seeing the humanity in people. I started to become angry with people who hadn’t even spoken yet and creating stories about people I didn’t even know. I stopped acknowledging that within, these people had the same heart and spirit as me, no matter how shitty their egos seemed. The remedy? Compassion.

 

I practiced, even just in my mind, accepting what place of fear their behavior came from, and sent compassion to that. On the other side of the coin, I considered that perhaps what sometimes felt like pressure to me, might be considered love to them. Perhaps there were people who were genuinely concerned about me being alone, and that’s why they insisted that I spend all of my time with them.

 

When I walked in the streets by myself, I chanted words of loving-kindness and smiled and nodded to people without acknowledging what they said. I’m not sure if it did anything for them, but it cultivated a deeper feeling of love and acceptance within me.

 

Woman Alone Morocco - 15

 

Ask Yourself if You Want to Do it Alone

 

After traveling in Morocco by myself, with a private guide, in a tour group, and with friends, I feel that Morocco is not only easier to travel in with others, it’s also more enjoyable. Not being hassled allows you to actually experience other beautiful aspects of the culture. You also have the ability to go to off the beaten path destinations that may not be safe for a woman alone.

 

For this reason, I highly recommend staying in hostels where you will meet others as soon as you arrive. At a hostel in Chefchaouen I met three male solo travelers, and we shared a taxi to the waterfalls and spent a great day together. I wasn’t hassled at all, even swimming in my bikini. A few years ago in Marrakech I stayed in a hostel and befriended two girls from Denmark who I shopped with in the souks without trouble. Currently I’m staying at Surf Berbere, a surf school with anything from dorms to sea view apartments, where we all go surfing together in the day and have dinner together at night.

 

In Fez I took a food tour with Plan-it-Fez and a wonderful local woman as my guide, and a man as our “official guide”. No one said a word to us. An hour later I was out on my own and heard “nice ass” at least 30 times. Last time I was in Morocco I took an organized tour into the Sahara Desert, and while I don’t typically like organized tours, it was a safe and easy way to explore without any problems.

 

My best advice for traveling alone as a woman in Morocco is this: find the balance between having the freedom of a solo travel and the support from traveling with others.

 

 

For More Advice on Traveling as a Woman in Morocco:

10 Tips for Women Visiting Morocco

Traveling Morocco as a Solo Female 

Advice From an American Expat in Morocco

 

 

Got advice for traveling in Morocco, or traveling solo in general? Share it with us in the comments below!

 

 


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Comments

  1. Yikes. I HATE being hassled and this brings back memories of being heckled in some bad parts of Los Angeles when I lived there. I used to take super long routes to avoid bad areas and wished myself invisible when it happened! I agree that while solo travel is awesome and usually the way to go, sometimes tour groups just offer more peace of mind — safety and less hassling in numbers.

    Definitely am going to keep it in mind when I head to Morocco.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 1, 2015 at 10:53 am

      It’s unfortunate that this a reality all over the world. We should brainstorm some ideas for how we can educate men to stop doing this! I hear there’s also a lot of sex tourism in Morocco, which definitely contributes. Perhaps it’s also educating women to not use men in developing countries as sex toys.

    • I’m jalil from Morocco i was Born and raised in Marrakech i work as a waiter and door man in a guesthouse ,in my knowledge the best idea to traveel alone is to bring with You a t dog if Is That possible ,so all the attention of the boys That Will try to talk to You Will go to the dog not to you

  2. I always wear a wedding ring ( im not married) when i travel alone in religious countries (india,morocco etc) I usually say that my husband is waiting me somewhere near if men comes talk to me. That really helps.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Excellent idea. I have a hard time not telling the truth, but I should definitely get a ring and just show it to them and say nothing lol.

  3. It’s quite sad how some men (and women too) try to justify sexual harassment in Muslim countries by blaming the way the way the woman is dressed.

    I always tell them that: “If a man *needs* for a woman to be covered head to toe in order to avoid having and shouting his sexual desires, the problem is not in the women’s way of dressing; the problem is in the man’s soul. ”

    It’s quite telling that 19 out of the 20 countries with the lowest scores of gender equality are all in the same geographical area. http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2014/

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Have you witnessed this a lot in Mexico? It’s quite bad there as well. Heck, in the USA even. The funny thing is, in Morocco I have been wearing long pants and long sleeves.

  4. I did not travel Morocco on my own but with a female friend. Nonetheless, i completely agree with your points. Especially setting bounderies is important in Morocco because if not people will be following you for ages, probably until you arrive at your accommodation and you have to pay a lot of money for all the advice they are giving you.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 2, 2015 at 12:34 am

      Absolutely, and the boundaries apply for men as well, because like you mentioned, there are a lot of people in the streets who will try to scam you.

  5. I’m having this problem now in India and I’m traveling with my 12 year old daughter. I get stared at and talked to often. It is exhausting and a big trigger for me, which I recognize. I’m at the point where walking through market is not what I want to do anymore. I feel angry at how men treat women here. It is tough. It’s like being a woman in India = garbage and a whore. My daughter looks Indian and she does get stared at but I tell people she is 12. It’s tough. I’m glad you have found peace. I will try some of your techniques.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 2, 2015 at 12:36 am

      I have heard India is more challenging in this respect than anywhere in the world. Stay strong, but don’t get hardened or jaded. I know that softness and strength are a tough combination. xo

      • Bernadette Says: June 2, 2017 at 5:09 am

        This might sound oh-my-god-how-could-she-say-that to many people who live in their secluded, judgemental corners of the Western world but:
        You will always have this problem in any country with a large muslim population.
        I have lived all over the world and that is a truth that a lot of people realize but are too frightened to say (lest they are branded ‘racist’ by abovementioned ignorant people).

        Currently, I live in India, in Varanasi. Do I get stared at? Yes, but because of the novelty value – many foreign males get stared at, also. However, the comments and aggressive attempts at friendship are generally relegated to muslims.
        The molestation culture has even spread to Europe – the mass attacks in Germany on NYE are all the evidence we need of that.

        • Camille Willemain Says: June 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

          I hear you, however in Seattle where I’m from there is also a large Muslim population and it’s not an issue at all. There are many Southeast Asian countries that are Muslim, and there it’s not an issue at all. Like Southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I admire your guts in expressing a stereotype that does tend to prove true in many parts of the world, but in my experience it’s just the men who are expressing a shadowy side of the repressed feminine because of their cultural conditioning. The solution is, we must all celebrate the divine feminine in men and women alike, and it’s happening slowly slowly :)

        • Dana Relle Says: June 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm

          I was harassed in India by mostly hindu men….

  6. Wow. Good for you! These type of countries I have ZERO interest in visiting alone. I’m a solo traveler and I love it. But I have no patients for this type of behavior. More power to you for going at it alone. I think I would prefer to do Morocco, and a slew of other countries on my list, with someone else so I can enjoy it more and not feel like I could blow up at any moment. Again, you are amazing for going for it and I enjoy following from a safe distance :) hehe.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 2, 2015 at 2:15 am

      Thank you :) I think if you like to travel solo, the key is to stay in hostels and do (some) tours so that you’re with other people. If you’re in a group no one will bother you. xo

  7. MELODY Says: May 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Babes, would love to ask if who’s the one taking you pic? the heading pic made me wonder who for it appears very beautiful. How did you do that? self timer?

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Thank you! In Chefchaouen I met some really cool guys at the hostel where I was staying, and one of them took this photo of me :)

  8. “I’ve also stopped feeling guilty for ignoring people. If someone says “hello” while I’m walking by, I can choose if and how I want to respond.” In the West this would indeed not be perceived as polite, but in Middle Eastern culture (and this works for North Africa as well) you are not supposed to respond, but ignore (local women do not respond either). Do also not connect by looking directly into some strange man’s eyes. If you have a conversation try to avoid looking into men’s eyes directly. And, try to avoid smiling when you try to avoid someone, as to smile means you are “easy” and “not serious”. (Even the polite smile that says “no” in the west.)

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 8, 2015 at 2:29 am

      Good tips, I usually wear dark sunglasses so that people can’t have eye contact with me. Though where I am now on Morocco’s West Coast, it’s so chill it’s not really a problem at all :)

  9. Further, also trust your vibes and your gut feeling. You will feel at ease immediately if someone is a nice persion without any unsavory intentions!

  10. […] I got to the top I realized something. Somewhere between hiking to waterfalls in the mountains, dodging harassment in the souks, and working through my fear of the ocean, I was regaining the wildness I wondered if I had […]

  11. […] Generally speaking, Marrakech is fairly safe. Even as a woman alone, in the daylight I never felt in danger. Pickpocketing does happen, like anywhere else in the world, so do be aware of your belongings. However, I will be the first to say that of anywhere I’ve traveled in Morocco…. possibly anywhere I’ve traveled in the world… Marrakech is the absolute worst in terms of harassment. Whether people are trying to sell you things, to guide you somewhere, or even to have sex with you, they are extremely persistent and aggressive. The best way to handle this is to be firm and ignore people when necessary. Most shops close down by 10pm so I don’t recommend walking in the streets late. Also, check out my guide to traveling in Morocco as a woman. […]

  12. Arwel Hughes Says: May 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Marrakech was the most difficult place I’ve travelled alone too, and I’m male. I’ve been all over the world alone, and haven’t felt such agression anywhere as I did there. The hawkers almost everywhere else respect ‘no’ eventually, but here well…. in the words of one seller:- “You buy? 50 Dinar? 20 Dinar? Free? Fuck you”. A great pitch there, man. Once, a driver quoted 250 Dinar for a taxi journey I had taken many times and paid 30 for, so I just laughed at him and flagged sown a car on the main road (for 30). But guess what? The first guy actually followed us across town so that he could scream at me when I arrived at the hotel, and even turned out outside later, with friends, sneering. I met some wonderful people, but there was a nasty undercurrent to the place I hated, and I was so pleased to leave.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Oh my goodness, your stories are shocking, disturbing, and hilarious. It’s so sad that so many people feel that way about Marrakech, because it really is an amazing city with some amazing people, but the aggressive people in the street ruin it for everyone.

    • You mean “Dirham”

  13. Can I add something on dressing appropriately? While yea it’s nice to say “it shouldn’t matter how you dress” the reality is – it does matter. When you’re in a conservative country don’t go out in skin tight leggings, and a crop top and expect men not to pay you attention. I just came from off a flight from Spain back to Morocco and there were SEVERAL young women wearing tight, nearly see through leggings with no underwear (yes it was that obvious) and crop tops on. I’m sorry but that IS NOT appropriate and YOU WILL face plenty of harassment – you’d get plenty of stares in your home country, let alone somewhere that the standard is to at least wear a shirt that covers your stomach. At some point we do need to be aware that our bodies do draw attention, and that paying attention to and preparing for cultural norms is something travelers need to do.

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 19, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      I hear ya girl, but I must must must ask you… have you ever noticed if it’s actually WORSE when you’re covered up? Strangely, I noticed that the more I wore, the worse the harassment was. Thought it was a coincidence, then a girl from London I met on the airplane told me she covered her hair with a scarf one day, and the harassment was far worse than it had been any other day. I found it strange, and she said she thinks that for one, they are less intimidated by you if you’re covered up, and two they thought she was Moroccan (her family is from Afghanistan) and they harass the local women even worse than the tourists. Would love to hear your local insights on this :)

      • No I think that isn’t really true. I don’t get bothered nearly as much as I see others visiting do (which I admit really really sucks). Maybe there is no single experience, I’m sure it really varies depending on the caliber of guys milling about and the woman. I wish we didn’t have to have this conversation!

  14. […] How to Travel as a Woman Alone in Morocco without Going Insane – This American Girl […]

  15. I am going to Morocco in September 2015 for 16 days, I will be alone for the first 5 days, then my sister will fly from Italy to meet me. I am so happy I found this wonderful blog, the information is wonderful. I am now 51, and have traveled all over the world on my own, but it seems Morocco is a whole different animal. I am a strong woman, and hardly ever get harassed anywhere, but I imagine I will have problems in Morocco, so at least this knowledge gives me a head start on how to deal with the harassment, so it doesn’t destroy my adventure. I recently spent 2 years in the jungle of Costa Rica building a home, and was the first female construction boss anyone had heard of. Thankfully, I am a bit tough, so men tend to shy away from me, partly because I am never the type to look lost. Thank you, so much for this wonderful information! Cheers, Trisha

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 10, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Hey Trisha, wow that’s awesome that you built a home in Costa Rica! What part? Yes, stay strong and have firm boundaries and you will be fine in Morocco <3 Boundaries are something I’m really working on, and I hear it gets easier with age 😉 Hope so! Have a fabulous time, Morocco is an amazing country.

  16. You have pretty much summed everything up I’ve been feeling since coming to Morocco. It’s been a struggle to try and not let the harassment taint your view of the country, because it’s such a cool country! But travelling alone here has been by far the most difficult country. thank you for your tips !!

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      You’re welcome! I agree, it’s not easy traveling there as a woman. But it’s very gratifying and I have a feeling when you leave you will miss the country 😉 xx

  17. Traveling alone needs a lots of courage, and strong personality. And both of two things you disposed already Camille. I agree in some countries and only in some places you can’t feel of freedom. But in general Morocco is better in comparison by other countries.

  18. Jessica Kustura Says: October 15, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Hello! Thank you for this insightful post! I was wondering if you could recommend any good hostels in morocco, particularly in Chefchaouen and Marrakech! I will be travelling by myself in Morrocco for a few weeks, but I am very keen to stay in places that allows me to meet people and spend some time with other people as well. Jess :)

  19. Hello,
    I am preparing myself to travel the world for 6 to 8 months. My aim is to cover major places in all the continent. I gave given up my job and home and now developing an income online. Do you have a 8 month plan of which countries to go in order to say I truly have travelled the world? Is there a plan which starts at one destination say Los Angeles, California and which is the first, then 2nd etc to go? It seems I need to
    Make such a plan to find the cheapest routes for travel expenses and to accomplishing my goal in 6-8 months. Do you have that type of plan?

  20. as a Moroccan man I’m still in shock when i read that’s, I can’t believe really i don’t know what to say i’m so sorry for you , I assure you that not all Moroccan men are the same.
    I’m so sorry for you

  21. Hi im from morocco im really sorry i feel shame but there s nothing to do , being alone especially in some streets is not safe even for me as a moroccan guy i wish u loved the natural morocco next time u should know like those details about every country

  22. Yes, these kind of things normal and happen anywhere when you are going to travel alone and specially if you are a woman. I have some quick tips for traveling as a Solo Woman-

    Be self-reliant and well prepared, so that you don’t need to depend on someone unless you want to — carry cash, a map, a guidebook, and a phrase book. Walk purposefully with your head up; look like you know where you’re going. If you get lost in an unfriendly neighborhood, be savvy about whom you ask for help; seek out another woman or a family, or go into a store or restaurant to ask for directions or to study your map.

    When you use cash machines, withdraw cash during the day on a busy street, not at night when it’s dark with too few people around.

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks for the advice :) I must say though, it’s sad to me that being incessantly harassed and followed and even touched on the streets is considered normal. May we all have more respect for one another than to consider that normal.

  23. Hi, Camille, i do like your blog for a while already. I have a plan to go to Morocco some day soon, and since it is in Africa i am worried about vaccination, do i need to get some. In any of your stories i did not find this information, do you do that before you go to your trips, for Morocco? thank you

  24. Hello,
    As a Moroccan girl, I can totally relate and sympathize with your bad experiences. I would like to give you some insights to why Moroccan men behave like total unrespectful duchebags:
    1. Young (and some older) Moroccan males and Muslim Arabs in general, are in need of sex. As sex before marriage is forbidden by law and religion, those who cannot have/afford/seduce a girlfriend are left with unspoken arousal that they hatefully discharge on women in the street,
    2. To join the previous point: as they have to go into such a trouble to convince a local girl to sleep with them (or pay for it in brothels), they think it would be a super amazing experience to be with a “slutty” westerner that wont be excusing herself whenever in the heat of action,
    3. The biggest dream of less educated Moroccan men is to immigrate under better skies (preferably with a woman that has some money so they won’t have to work hard either), so you are a Prey for every lost hope in Morocco.

    These are 3 of the main reasons men here harass women, especially tourist ones.

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 15, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Thank you so much for sharing your local perspective! It is invaluable! Such a complicated and unfortunate reality :(

      • As a moroccan men sex isn’t an issue anymore i see girls have sex in a pulblic places in front of people eyes and no one can say something these things are not related anymore with religion because the most of peoples seeks for freedom.immigration is a right i know canadian girls look for moroccan decent mens you can’t restrict love.Scammers and frauds in morocco exist everywhere just tourist should be careful with who they talk to and avoid the max people who comes in the first place, If you see Taken movie the two girls kidnapped in paris these things can’t exist in morocco cause police control everything,moroccans lives in families where tourist can find the real traditional foods not hotels riads etc.Last thing if you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going or who you’re talking to,you will face things you don’t like, and scammers exist everywhere in the world you should be careful, this is general advise,Good luck everyone

        • Typical lying sandnigger. Nobody wants you smelly an ddisgusting men. Women having sex in public? More like being raped. Also Moroccan women desire european men and get them. While Moroccan men stalk and harass European women. If by some chance of fate, controlled by God, they end up getting a European woman then she is fat ugly or severely mentally ill

          • What an offensive generalization. I have a moroccan boyfriend who’s spent a great deal of his adult life in Italy and France. But he’s is truly one of the most obsessive people I know about hygiene. I am curvy and beautiful and I take offense to the thought that in order for a woman to be attractive, sensual or desirable she has to be pencil thin. I think as someone else stated that the highly religious culture and customs feed this mentality to a certain extent. There are such high restrictions placed on these young men and women that are not present in other countries..I would imagine it is a very difficult life. But it certainly doesn’t make it okay to disrespect a female in public and in the markets. I would be curious to know what the rate of unwed pregnancies and abortions are here as opposed to the states. From my experience I think Moroccan men hold respect not only for themselves but for the women they care about very highly. Additionally I think I read that the Tsunami’s caused a large portion of the sex trade to move to Morocco. Additionally I know the unemployment rate and poverty levels are very high there..key things that drive the types of mentality, behavior and crimes that are being discussed. I think that is a serious topic that needs to be addressed and fought. I find if ironic that people are having sex in the streets and yet they check to see if a mix-moroccan couple have a marriage certificate when checking in at hotels.

  25. As a Man who hasn’t much time to go in a lot of trips, adventures! because of my work. I really have the passion to travel all over the world, I’d really love if I had the opportunity to see my own country, Morocco! I envy the tourist who came here and see the beauty of it, experience the weather and feel the atmosphere and the culture of it. I’m waiting for my chance to do all these stuff! there is no right time to pick up your bag! there is only motivation and that feeling which guide you to stand and take your shoes to climb!

  26. I will be travelling to Morocco next week and visit charity projects in Nador, Guercif, High Atlas Mountain Area and Agadir. So this is really off the beaten track 😛 I am super excited but also a bit nervous. Now I feel more comfortable, thank you =) If you want to you can check out my blog and social media for any news concerning my trip: spencerstravelblog.com

  27. Oh.. this makes me glad I’m not white. I won’t be targeted in this country at least.

    • Camille Willemain Says: April 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Hmmm I don’t know if it makes a difference, I’ve heard they do it to the local women too…

      • it doesn’t matter what ethnicity you are just as long as you are a woman. I’m Asian and while the harassment was more annoying in Marrakech it wasn’t sexual in nature. Mostly Konichiwa or Ni-hao. Fes on the other hand was lewd and aggressive. I traveled with my sister and we just didn’t feel safe being out after dark.

  28. Lughete Says: June 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I’m currently sitting in my Marrakech riad and I’m terrified. I’ve been here 2 days and it’s non stop sexual harassment, from all men, even little boys. They try to corner me, walk me into dead end alleys, one man even followed me down four streets even though he was running a shop when I walked by. I’ve travelled, lived and even dated abroad but I’ve never wanted to ‘just go home’ so badly. This is not a place for an ‘American’ looking girl, (light skin and eyes, tattoos, light purple hair). I will never come back and I’m goimg to spend the rest of my trip trying to survive 100 degree weather in long sleeves, pants and scarf. Or I might buy a ticket home tomorrow.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 3, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      I understand how you feel… Have you left Marrakech?? It’s much better in other parts of Morocco especially on the coast.

  29. I’ll be traveling to Morocco in less than a week and I’m pretty excited. I’m not a woman (but gay) and I’m cautious about how I’d act/walk in public. Perhaps, sporting a facial hair would help? :)

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Hey love, a friend of mine who is also gay traveled in Morocco and he had a great time, no problems!! He wasn’t with his partner though, he was traveling with a woman friend. His blog is dreameurotrip.com :) I hope you have a beautiful trip xx

  30. […] Check out my friend Camille’s post on her experience in Morocco. […]

    • Hi, what tour company did you take to visit the Sahara? Did you book before hand? I’ll be traveling solo for the first couple of days in Morocco and wanted to go to the Sahara. Thanks!

      • Camille Willemain Says: August 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        Hey love I went years ago and so I don’t really remember. I booked through my hostel Equity Point in Marrakech. I wish you a beautiful trip xx

        • Hello I’m jad and I’m from Morocco. I think that persons who harass girls from other countries,are few. They are probably 1% of population. Sexual harassment is a bad phenomenon

  31. […] being said, other female travelers have experienced far worse than I did.  I recommend you read some posts for a better idea of what you may face, but this is just my counterpoint experience. Perhaps the […]

  32. I was in Morocco with my boyfriend and still we got a bunch of comments. They were commenting more on him then me what was strange for me. Also especially in Marrakech and Fes in medina you feel like there is so many eyes on you trying to overcharge you or misdirect you. We took a guide at our riad and still got scamed. All the time you pay European prices and at then end its not so cheap. The most I dissliked was that you cannot relax and enjoy you always have to have your guard up.

    • Camille Willemain Says: October 26, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Ya… I know what you mean. It’s not an easy place and it’s very difficult to relax there. But there’s still a lot of beauty.

  33. Another advice for solo traveler girl That she want to avoid That kind of problem,You Can hire a guide who is knowledgeble about the history of Marrakech to see all the tourist attractions ,You Will have fun and descover the beauty of morocco at the same time if Is You main purpose of visiting Marrakech to knew a new culture and meet new people

  34. I recently travelled in Morocco alone. But as a male, I didn’t experience anything like you did. Sorry to hear about the harassment.

    Yet many people did approach me, to sell me hashish. I noticed that, if I gave them more than 3 seconds of attention, it would be harder to get rid of them.
    Yet if I was blunt, they would not harass me further. Perhaps the same logic would work when trying to counter sexual harassment?

  35. I read your post article over and over again, and found it to be amusing, interesting and really useful to travelers planning to travel to Morocco independently while facing the new culture…Many thanks for sharing!

  36. Thanks for your post! I found it while researching for my trip to Morocco. I just returned from that wonderful country and I would like to tell you my experience.

    As I would go with 2 other women friends, we decided to take a tour instead of traveling on our own. Smart move. Being in a group and with a local guide shields you from catcalling and harassment.

    Nevertheless, we spent one night in Tangier before joining the tour. And that was enough.

    We 3 are mexicans (sadly used to hear comments from men on the streets) currently studying in Germany (where I’ve walked alone at 4am and nobody has ever bothered me), so hearing again men call you “guapa”, “chiquita” (they heard us talk in spanish) or just hissing was demoralizing. As you wrote, I just stood tall, looked forward and kept walking. The sunglasses tip is also good (especially when shopping).

    The scariest part was when we got a bit lost on our way back to the hostel in the medina after dinner. While wandering, we passed by a shop with a lot of men. Not wanting them to see us, we walked into a parking lot nearby while we checked the map. What a surprise we got when one of those guys went after us and offered to help.
    I don’t know if his intentions were genuine or not but we didn’t want to find out. We thanked and refused him several times until he left. We continued walking and thankfully found our hostel 2 minutes later. Turns out we weren’t that far after all.

    • Camille Willemain Says: January 12, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience sister. Ya… I hear you. It sounds you like protected yourselves and created a trip where you felt safe enough to explore. Happy you are all safe <3

  37. lahoussine Says: January 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Yeah , Morocco is a great country and has a lot of beautiful places to visit. But some of its people are bad , so you have to make attention

    • Camille Willemain Says: January 16, 2017 at 3:02 am

      Travel gives us such an opportunity to be aware of our surroundings, and also to broaden our perspective on good and bad, and find compassion for all people, while honoring and protecting ourselves. xx

  38. Sorry to hear you had such a rough time in Morocco! Hope you will go back there and will have a different experience story.

  39. Try to travel during ramadan .that’s the best solution

  40. Camille Willemain Says: September 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for the advice. I have been to Morocco in Ramadan, so magical to break the fast with locals on the street! Also a bummer that most street food places and local restaurants are closed all day.