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

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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.

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Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
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31. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Right , firstly holding a map , looking where to go is hardly asking for trouble , so you are basically saying dont look at a map because then its your faultif you get harrassed ?! That is a ridiculous response .

Secondly, i know theres no rule to giving money , i havent been , but they do not take a simple polite no for an answer. They are pesistant constantly ,

Thirdly , i have been to billingsgate market and fish heads on the floor in the walking pathways do not exsist,

And also today me and my girlfriend walking down the road got approached by a man, wouldnt take no for an answer , we even crossed the road ! Went into a bar ! He was following and then waiting for us. This is just 1 example of what has happened for a week multiple times a day. Im not a "pushover" at all, nor a timid or scared person , i have been many places but never as bad as this, im fed up with excuses saying "its morroco, " or "its marrakech .. What do you expect" .. There is no excuse for being harrased or followed or demanded money by any one anywhere and to say otherwise is just ridiculous

Castril De La Pena...
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32. Re: I did 'get' Marrakech. It just isn't very nice.

Just be thankful you are not in Cairo or India where the locals would eat the Marrakech 'hasslers' alive. LOL

If you continue getting hassled, take a picture of the guy with your mobile phone and head for the headquarters of the Tourist Brigade (specialist police force) on the edge of Djemaa el Fna. It's the building to the far left of the left-hand group of orange juice sellers as you are looking north.

Tell the police the guy keeps asking to be your guide and demanding money. Don't be frightened of doing this, the guys are very helpful and are there for your protection.

Marrakech is a small place and the police know all the chancers very well, so he will be off the streets for the duration of your visit. :)

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

It's very true that if you open a map in the souks or in the middle of Jemaa El Fna square that you will be targeted by people that want to "guide" you somewhere - frequently to their Uncle's carpet shop. I always suggest that people only look at their map when they are in a discreet location such as a cafe. Indeed the first time I visited Marrakech (as a single female traveller) I looked at the map before leaving the hotel, left the map in the hotel, and went out to explore. I didn't always find the places that I intended to but I enjoyed what I found.

It is true that there are beggars, but this can be said for many major cities. I walk past at least ten beggars every day. I don't give to beggars. I choose not to make eye contact and not to speak to beggars so that I don't raise their hopes. If anyone follows me in the street I don't pay attention to them and they move on.

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

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

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

This is a great thread and so up to date! Lots to reply to but Oliver G I'm sympathetic to you. We left Marrakech today (Jan 6) on the train and came to Casablanca. My wife and her friend are so relieved to be gone. To be honest, I am too.

I have traveled a lot including to places where people are constantly trying to get money from you (like Phnom Penh) and this just ranks in a league of its own. So intense. You can stand up to someone and 3 minutes later you have to do it again...and again...and again. It requires so much effort that it just wears you down. No harm, just not pleasant.

Yesterday we had a guy try to direct us through the Jewish quarter while signaling behind my back to his buddies across the street. I really don't know what they had planned but luckily my wife's friend saw and we went a different way. Later we got tiered of the harassment and got on a horse drawn cart to get a reprieve. Five minutes into the ride a rock flew out of somewhere and shattered the glass between us and the driver. Missed two of our heads by about 6 inches. Typical Marrakech day? Probably not but even without the rock, that place is not a place to go for rest.

But great educational experience and the Riad we stayed at was awesome!

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

People keep saying that Marrakech is unsafe and dangerous but, in truth, nobody has ever actually posted on here that they have been the victim of an attack or assault.

People confuse "feeling" unsafe with actually "being in danger" - the two things are very, very different.

With regards to people "signalling" to friends etc - yes, this will be to get you into a shop or to "pass you on" to the friends for the next stage of the journey. It's all very simple - one person picks you up and says they will lead you somewhere then after a while they suddenly remember they have to go somewhere. Luckily they spot a friend who can take you the rest of the way and - suprise - show you a very special shop that "nobody else knows about". It is organised to be the most efficient way of getting as many tourists as possible to a particular spot.

I fully agree that the centre of Marrakech is not the place to go for a restful, relaxing holiday - but what city ever is? Surely if you want peace, you go to a beach resort or an AI resort and stay by the pool the whole time?

I can hand-on-heart says that I feel more comfortable and safe in Marrakech that I ever have in London. Oh and if you want to talk about dirt - try Saturday night in Blackpool town centre! Believe me, Marrakech's fish heads, feral cats and donkey poo is far preferable to Blackpool's vomit, urine, faeces, blood, broken glass and drunken folk who belive a good night out isn't complete without a fight.

Marrakech works VERY simply - you will only get out as much as you put in. Go there expecting a Disneyland where you are taken by the hand and gently shown some "exotic" sights and you'll be bitterly disappointed.

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

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

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

Really sorry to anyone who feels their experience of Marrakech was less than pleasant and came home feeling so anti about the place. I will be there at the end of this week and have to say my past two visits only resulted in my determination to go back yet again.

Somehow Marrakech has got into my head and heart but only in a positive way, don't know why... but maybe it's my personality and that could translate to my expectations and behaviour when travelling. Lots of good people out there not just the chancers (who are so obvious as to make me smile rather than run off!!)

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Marrakech
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