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I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

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Tokyo, Japan
posts: 2
I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Travellers should be aware that negative opinions of Marrakech aren't welcome on this forum. I've witnessed it many times, if someone says a negative thing, they're made out to be too idiotic to have understood the culture.

I 'got' the culture. The culture is largely one of deceit and bleeding tourists of money by any means necessary. I've never felt so unsafe in an area before in my life. I saw a man getting beaten with a chair, and police stood by ignoring it. Every corner has young men and children waiting to jump on tourists to try and get money, by pretending to be from restaurants, wanting to show directions to an imaginary market or just to outright intimidate you. 'Culture' isn't an excuse for liars and cheats.

The defenders will say I didn't get it, I did something wrong, or that I'm in the minority. Reading opinions outside this forum, I know I'm not.

Marrakech has its charms, and it's worth going to experience something different, but be cautious of this forum, it's best to also look elsewhere for a less bias perspective.

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 6,792
reviews: 60
21. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Hi debs2028,

It's such a shame that someone who had a bad experience or who obviously doesn't like Morocco and it's people should prevent you from doing what you should be ie. looking forward to your holiday and instead have you worrying about it!

Moroccans love children and will want to talk to them so let the kids know it's all right. None of the don't talk to strangers here I'm afraid as Moroccans would feel hurt if ignored by visiting children :-(

Be sensible like you would be anywhere. If you see a situation you would avoid at home avoid it here!

Be confident, keep an open mind, have a big heart and a bigger sense of humour. Say no thanks (La shukran, non merci) if you don't want to do somethin, go somewhereg or buy something.

Watch out for the scooters in the medina; it's generally safer to walk on the right and keep the children on the inside. Bikers will tend to avoid pedestraians but it can be alarming when they scoot aroud the place. Let them dodge you rather than the other way around ;-)

Try typing some words or phrases into the search box to find loads of previously posted ideas and information. The top questions box on the right also has lots of useful tips as does the things to do tab on the left.

Hope you all have a great time.

Marrakech
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,202
22. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Debs - use your good judgement in Marrakech just as you would do anywhere else.

If in the UK you wouldn't follow a total stranger offering to take you somewhere then don't do it in Marrakech.

If in the UK you would find out the opening times of places of interest before leaving the hotel then do the same in Marrakech (and don't take any notice of strangers in the street saying otherwise).

If in the UK you only pay tips when you have had good service then do the same in Marrakech (don't feel obliged to hand over money just for the sake of it).

I feel some tourists don't apply their usual judgement to situations that arise in Marrakech.

23. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

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Royal Tunbridge...
posts: 1
reviews: 3
24. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

I'm in Marrakech right now, enjoying lovely weather, fantastic food and friendly people. I have a beard and am therefore greeted everywhere with cries of "Oh! Ali Baba!". Although I do not behave in this way at home, who am I to blow against the winds of local teenage cultural mores? As someone points out, these young men are bored and/or paid to misdirect you. They're also amateurs compared with the Master Touts of Delhi.

This is my second visit to Marrakech and I've never seen any violence, but if anyone does fancy a fight, I'll be at the Terraces des Epices tomorrow night. Queensbury rules. Bring it.

Long Island City
posts: 18
reviews: 51
25. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Another interesting thread. Well I was in Marrakech last week and was not impressed either. Beautiful city, great food, but so much hassle! So I fully agree with the OP, this city does not deserve the good reviews it gets, a bit like Las Vegas in my view, it is a tourist trap by many standpoints. I do agree though that there is a lot of nice things to do there too, so yes it may be worth a visit but certainly not the first place I would go to.

Before you go to Marrakech, try Rome, Berlin, Paris, Sydney, Ho-Chi-Minh City, Mexico, Bangkok, Tokyo, New York, London, the Hamptons, Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla... these great places all have issues of course, but overall you will not leave them with a sigh of relief because the pressure you felt from the locals was so annoying...

Marrakech
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,202
26. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Each to their own really. I had an old man rub himself against me whilst visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris and a man in Spain got out of his car and masturbated in front of me - so these two places would be off my list.

And my experience of Chicago airport has not encouraged me to visit USA.

But I wouldn't discourage anyone from travelling. I would suggest that people travel to any destination with an open mind and decide for themselves if they like the place or not.

27. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

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marrakech, morocco
posts: 34
28. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Heresmyreply and John W - i completely with you. Everyone's experience is different and something that always seems to happen with Marrakech is that any negative experience seems to get blamed on the 'locals'.

I got called a 'wh*re' for getting on the Paris metro the 'wrong way', and I loved Paris - I didn't dislike the 'locals' because one stressed idiot felt the need to be rude.

When I'm in a good mood, I love Marrakech - when I'm in a bad mood - I can honestly say I can hate Marrakech and there's the thing - it is down to my mood, not 'the locals'.

Best wishes to all.

London, United...
posts: 5
reviews: 2
29. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

I am in marakech right now and yes its not a nice place, i am leaving tommoro and couldnt be happier, and these are the reasons why....

Firstly evey1 who talks about "culture" , being harrassed constantly and not feeling very safe at the best of times isnt "culture" . I am a 23 yr old man and i am intimidated by the gamgs of men at night in the alleys of the medina trying to direct you into alley ways to do whatever..

There are 2 parts to the city , the old town and the new... The old town is quite frankly a dump, fish heads, begging, vile smells and general harrasment at every corner.

The new part is alot nicer but you are never too far from harrasment again.

You cannot stand anywhere in the old town and look at a map, if you do you will be harrased on where you are lookimg to go and then be demanded for money , ..

Basically i have been a few places but this place is a joke. It is not a nice city. The sights are poor and unintersting , the people in the new town who work at restaraunts and bars are very nice , apart from that its just harssment and begging, being followed by people who look like drug addicts , its a city that is not deserved the good reviews it gets , its a dump and a unintersting one at that

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,627
reviews: 33
30. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Sorry you've not enjoyed yourself. I honestly don't know why some people find things so difficult. Analysing what you've written, some of it has to be down to expectations, some of it is probably down to how you interact with locals.

Standing looking at a map on a street corner is really asking for trouble the world over. As you've not posted on here before I can only assume you didn't do much in the way of research beforehand.

There's no rule that says you need to give people money. As a tourist, beggers are not your responsibility, the poor are the responsibility of other Moroccans and most good muslims dig quite deeply over the course of the day to help the less fortunate. If you feel like giving the beggers something, that do so, but otherwise don't—just say no or ignore them. I often give small amounts but I never give to beggers who only approach tourists.

Marrakech is not the ideal place to visit to get a good impression of Morocco. Anywhere where there's loads of naïve tourists attracts scammers and chancers, it's the same the world over. I remember London's Oxford Street with the 'find the lady' gangs fleecing the unfortunate visitors. Get away from tourist areas and you'll find a different Morocco with warm, generous and friendly people.

Yes the medina gets untidy at times, but it's cleaned and swept every morning. Is it reasonable to expect a third world country to be as clean and tidy as London? The medina is a 'working area'. Fish heads? Don't go to Billingsgate market...

I'm not about to hold Marrakech up as a shining example of somewhere to visit, but I do feel that some of the problems are down to numpty visitors—like the guy who gave monkey handlers 600dh for some photos!!!