Solo female travel to Morocco: What’s it really like?
Solo female travel to Morocco, that means grabbing, whistling, and harassment? Absolute nonsense, if you ask us! If you want to travel as a woman in Morocco, whether alone or in a group, you actually have nothing to worry about, as long as you follow a few basic rules. In the following article, we’ll give you tips on how to make your Morocco tour an unforgettable adventure.
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Experience of a solo female traveling to Morocco:
Women and men are equal in Morocco, but still needs some time!
Morocco is a country in transition. But as with all things in the world, change takes time. It has to take root and grow.
In 2004, the current King Mohammed VI changed the family law. According to this, women and men are now considered equal. In many places, unfortunately, this only applies on paper.
But the picture on the streets of the villages and towns is still one that does not speak for oppression. Especially where tourism is coming, where Moroccans are sniffing Western air and Westerners are willing to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture, bridges are gradually being built.
Many young women today dress daringly. Most young girls today wear tight jeans and fancy tops, rather than clothes that accentuate as little as possible. Headscarves are also far from always seen on women’s heads. It is mainly the older generation that still clings to it. True, the headscarf is not a sign of oppression, since it is voluntary in Morocco anyway. But it may be a sign that young Moroccans are on a path of change.
You hardly see any women in cafés. It’s still men’s territory.
However, I have seen very strong solo female travel to Morocco. Who moved between groups of men with such incredible confidence, as I would like to be able to do myself. Also, wore high-heeled shoes and rode them on a motorcycle through the medina of Marrakech. I saw how men and women treated each other in Morocco, and how young girls played soccer with boys on the beach.
I can imagine that in Morocco, equal rights for women still have a long way to go. And it will be a long time before women will sit laughing and smoking next to men in the teahouse. But as I said, I think it’s going in the right direction, and Morocco’s women don’t feel like “victims” at all, but instead are very brave, suave and strong.
Solo women travel to Morocco: watch your behaviors!
You should be aware that women in Morocco do not usually flirt saucily with men. So if you get involved in flirting with a Moroccan man in Morocco as a woman traveling solo or even provoke it, pushy behavior on the part of the man is likely.
Move naturally, take your time to stop, stroll or just observe the situation. Put on, mountains of make-up or generous appearance, on the other hand, will annoy Moroccans and can bring you into unpleasant situations, especially as a solo traveler.
You should also be as decisive as possible. Do not try to smile and warmly return advances out of politeness if you do not want them to continue. Don’t stop when a man whistles at you to see who it was. It is always best to just keep walking. Either ignore the men’s attempts to contact you.
Altogether, or return them with a clear “No!” If you feel better about it, append a thank you, preferably in French “No, Merci!” or in Arabic “La, Shukran.”
If the man doesn’t back down, get even clearer and make a clear dismissive hand gesture. Better not waving, but holding up the flat of your hand. This is a signal that almost every Moroccan understands.
The fear of others affects!
When I looked at pictures and videos of Morocco and decided to book a flight there directly, I had not wasted one thought on my safety. It’s not that I didn’t inform myself. For me, it’s natural to read up on a country’s cultures, norms and values beforehand to know how I should dress or behave. But I was not afraid one bit.
It was only when I told others that doubts suddenly arose. Some told me about friends or acquaintances who thought Morocco was awful. On blogs, too, there were one or two very critical articles about the men of the country. They were pushy, sleazy, and you would not feel comfortable there at all.
I became afraid for my safety, and I quickly realized that it was the fear of others that I was assuming. It made me waver and suddenly doubt that I would have a great time in Morocco as a solo woman traveler.
I, therefore, started my trip to Morocco with skepticism. With a quiet uncertainty inside of me, which was drowned out by my anticipation, but not silenced.
Haters will surely hate!
No matter where in the world you want to travel, your friends and family will almost always worry and try to convince you to stay home. We all have that distant relative who knows the ins and outs of the world because he reads the BILD newspaper every day and therefore believes he can make sweeping generalizations about safety abroad.
It is quite normal that your relatives tend to panic at first when you want to travel alone, especially for the first time. Many fear that you might get lost, feel alone, or get sick.
However, if women in the history of the world had always followed the doubters and naysayers, we would still be living in the deepest Middle Ages. Do some research on the web before your trip to Morocco and take precautions to minimize any potential dangers. And tell your family about it. It will reassure them as much as it will you.
Make it your experience, and don’t let them ruin your trip:
It came as it had to: I built walls at the beginning of my journey. I had heard so often that the men were exhausting that I gave them a wide berth. Also, I had heard of their intrusive looks and their sayings, and avoided exchanging even a word with any of them.
I took away their chance to surprise me in a positive way. Much worse than that, I deprived myself of the chances to be positively surprised. As a woman traveling alone, as a backpacker, one lives from the exchange with other people. But I avoided just this, out of concern that the others could be right with their warnings, their prejudices and their skepticism.
Here and there, this protective shield accompanied me until the end of my trip to Morocco. And I became so often aware of how much openness and beauty this protective shield took away from me again and again. I was doing Morocco an injustice. All the more reason for me to write this article and make an appeal to all the solo female who are willing to travel to Morocco:
Girls trip to Morocco: is that a safe idea?
“We’re going on a girls’ trip to Morocco!” Unfortunately, this statement was not met with applause from friends, acquaintances and family, but with worried faces and lectures. Morocco still seems to be considered an unsafe destination for young women. And no wonder, because in our minds there are all kinds of horror stories about female tourists and stereotypes about Morocco and how the female sexe is treated there.
Solo female travel to Morocco: tips on how to behave?
If you travel as a solo female in Morocco, you will certainly receive more attention than if you make the same trip in male company. However, as long as you follow certain customs and rules of conduct, you do not have to fear any unpleasant situations. Here are a few tips on how you can travel undisturbed and relaxed as a woman in Morocco:
1- Do dress appropriately!
No, you don’t need to wear a headscarf as a solo woman traveling in Morocco, of course. Even the locals rarely wear headscarves. What you should pay attention to when traveling as a woman in Morocco is that you dress appropriately. Your shoulders, cleavage and legs should be covered (as much as possible). Hot pants, tank tops and miniskirts are therefore taboo. In my opinion, this has not only something to do with the fear of harassment, but also with respect. Avoid provocative clothing. However, knee-length pants are not a problem in many areas of Morocco.
2- Don’t go out in the dark, especially in the big medinas:
When it gets dark, pretty sinister characters also come to the streets of Morocco: drug dealers, alcoholics, pimps, beggars. Actually like in every country, isn’t it? Also the comments of the Moroccan men, the persuasions of the restaurant promoters and the requests of the street vendors become more concrete and annoying with the setting of the sun. To prevent unpleasant situations, you should not be out (alone) after sunset. And if, then only in the group and in male company.
If you have to wait a little longer for dinner, just ask a hotel or restaurant employee to accompany you to your accommodation for a small tip.
3- Remain polite and friendly!
Being annoying, rude or even aggressive will not get you anywhere in Morocco. On the contrary, you will only encourage your counterpart and get a negative reaction. Always remain friendly but firm, deny offers or flirting attempts confidently and with a smile or a snappy saying on your lips. That way, no one can be angry with you.
4- Just dive in!
If it becomes too colorful for you and the looks of the men start to annoy you, then simply shield yourself from the outside world. With a pair of sunglasses or (if necessary) a headscarf, you can escape prying eyes and certainly feel a little more comfortable.
5- Watch your valuables!
Especially in secluded alleys or in crowded places or means of transport you should always keep an eye on your valuables, this also applies in Morocco! There are thieves everywhere. In Morocco, I had the feeling that it was mainly the children who had a particularly sharp eye on my bag and camera.
6- A city is not the same as the whole country!
Of course, the dress style of Moroccan women in the big cities like Marrakech or Rabat is much looser than in the hinterland or even in the Atlas Mountains. So here you can run around a bit more “unknotted” without any problems. Just don’t overdo it. In Marrakech, we saw many tourists in hot pants, miniskirts and off-the-shoulder tops, mocking the curious looks of the locals. I can only shake my head at that! The fact is, if your trip takes you to more rural climes, you should also adjust your clothing style and dress more conservatively. It is not forever!
7- Do not be paranoid!
“You are beautiful! You have great eyes! Welcome to our country!” Would you also become alert and feel harassed at the same greeting in your country? Probably not, unfortunately we tend to always immediately put compliments in a negative context in Muslim countries. Our alarm bells always ring a little faster outside our comfort zone, and that’s exactly how we do many people an injustice. The motto is: Be mindful and careful, but not paranoid!
Conclusion on solo female travel to Morocco:
Morocco is a country in transition. Being in Morocco as a solo woman alone has not always been easy there so far. It can sometimes be exhausting to get so much attention and focus on avoiding advances. However, it does not become dangerous in the process. Meeting Morocco with old-fashioned prejudices takes away a lot of beauty, especially from oneself. In any case, I realized that I was doing the country an injustice. And Morocco has so much to offer beyond that. There are so many friendly, helpful people – and they are often men! The country is beautiful. Also or maybe even especially as a woman traveling alone!
Certainly, my experience is only a snapshot and other women who have traveled alone or in a group through Morocco may have had negative experiences. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that many travelers artificially aggravate the situation for effect. But perhaps I am particularly relaxed about the situation because, after my internship abroad in many Arab countries, nothing can shock me anymore in terms of harassment, lewd remarks to female tourists, grabbing, whistling, and secret photos. As a solo woman traveling in Morocco, you can really travel without much fear. Dare, be vigilant, but just not paranoid!