My Best Photos of Marrakesh & Ouzoud (and Travel Tips for the City)
Here's a selection of my favourite and best photos of Marrakesh, including some from a day trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls.
Some tips and advice for travelling to Marrakesh and in general in Morocco.
5 useful tips and advice for travelling in Marrakesh (and Morocco in general)
Rule #1: everyone will scam you one way or another. And it's okay.
That is unless you've got mad negotiation skills and you understand how things work. It is really all right.
As long as you don't lose too much in the deal, as long as you're happy with what you're getting for the money you put in. That's how things work.
Like most countries where you can haggle, it's a form of social interaction. It's impolite not to haggle (even if you can or have to be rude to the merchandise itself in order to decrease the price).
Rule #2: many people are genuinely helpful.
But there are also so many trying to sell you something that you will become suspicious of everyone. Beware of the people offering to guide you to the place you're looking for, they will ask you for a fee 90% of the time (or they will assume you will buy something there).
You don't have to. Ever. Call the police if need be, even if they say they will then dare them to and wait for them.
But my single best tip for any tricky situation: WALK AWAY.
- Someone is asking you to pay for something you didn't want? Walk away.
- Someone is trying to charge you for taking photos of a public monument? Walk away.
- You took the photo of a guy on the street? Walk away immediately. Don't leave anyone the time to think or start a conversation about paying for the photo you took.
Rule #3: it's easier to travel in the company of a man.
I've heard quite a few female friends who travelled on their own (or with other female friends) complain about men's annoying attitudes towards them there. You can do it on your own, just be ready to be annoyed now and then by weird looks and ttitudess and maybe some people trying to chat you up. It might
Rule #4: some can be very thick skinned
This is probably something you could infer from all the above. I'm quite a large guy and I didn't seem to impress one iota when raising my voice to try to get rid of someone seriously hassling us.
However you can confuse them. As soon as they are confused, what do you do? That's right. Walk away.
Confusing them consists in doing anything you can to stop the cycle you're getting caught into. Break patterns, radically change topics or go full-on Trump with their logic and reasoning.
Rule #5: become a hacker
On the upside, you should really HACK every situation to your advantage. The fact that they're so eager to bargain is an amazing opportunity to talk to people and get real insight into their lives.
Just decide from the start that you won't be buying anything so that you can take out the stress of buying and bargaining. Now you're really just there to talk to them, or perhaps even distract them while your friend is looking for something he actually wants to buy.
Make it a game. Learn things about Marrakshis and life in Morocco.
Final tip: walk off the beaten path
Marrakesh is bigger than it seems. For some strange reason, every other soul in the city will tell you to go to the main square Jemaa El Fna. You'll have seen it a million times, so really go the opposite direction that everyone is pointing at and I guarantee you that you will find something interesting (provided you are of the urban explorer type). Get a sense of what life in Marrakesh is like - at least for those who can still afford to live in the old city.
And who knows you might even venture outside and see other parts of it and other cities, mountains, etc.
Life outside the souks of Marrakesh
The Ouzoud Waterfalls (Day Trip)
One simple advice to book a cheap, reliable day trip to the Ouzoud Waterfalls is to not go through your hotel.
We got our booking for £20-25 per person and pretty much everyone else had paid at least double.
Go for one of the shops in town that offer tours. DO NOT go for guys on the street with a simple sign. Go for a real shop, made of bricks and mortar. Check their phone number works if you have to.