Marrakesh Warnings and Dangers
As the fourth largest city in Morocco, Marrakesh (also called Marrakech) serves up all the exotic sights, sounds, and experiences one might hope for. Even so, if you are traveling to Marrakesh you need to be aware of the dangers as well.
Snake Charmers That Aren’t So Charming
One of the more exotic sights you will see in Marrakesh are the snake charmers. While this ancient art is certainly compelling, you will need to watch out for the people working with the snake handlers. Their helpers target tourists and demand money for watching the show and taking pictures. A second helper may approach demanding additional money. If you don’t give into their demands you can expect a shouting match at the very least.
Fake Guides in Marrakesh
There are locals that will offer to act as your guide. Often they will tell you that the site you want to go to is closed and then attempt to talk you into going to a different location that they will take you to. They will then expect a large tip. It can be difficult to get rid of these guides, but if you can’t, you simply need to threaten them with the authorities. In reality, Marrakesh isn’t too difficult to get around, and you should be able to find what you are looking for without too much trouble on your own.
Traffic Can Be Dangerous
Marrakesh does not have a system of lights giving pedestrians a “walk, don’t walk” signal. In fact, there are very few pedestrian crossings at all in Marrakesh. The few that do exist either don’t work or are completely ignored by drivers. Also, there is a lack of pavements, and those areas that are paved for pedestrians can be broken and difficult to walk on.
To cross the street, you will have to step in front of a moving vehicle. The car will stop, but it is wise to pick a slower moving vehicle. Also, follow the locals. This should help you navigate the traffic. Just be aware that they may take more risks than you are comfortable with as they have more experience walking in traffic. Know that drivers are used to pedestrians walking in the street, so they know what to do even if you are unsure of yourself.
Take Caution When Changing Money
Morocco does not allow you to import or export its currency. That means you will have to exchange your money once you are in Marrakesh. The Moroccan form of currency is the dirham. You will want to use ATMs instead of a money changer to get cash. You will receive a better exchange rate, and you won’t be taken advantage of.
In addition, you will need to spend all of your dirhams before you leave the country. While you won’t be arrested at the airport if you have a few dirhams in your pocket, if you have a large amount, they will be useless once you leave.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Marrakesh.