My first morning in Marrakech, I set out to explore Jemaa el Fna, the famous square and open-air theatre that has been around since 1070 AD. By day, the square hosts snake charmers, pet monkeys, women offering henna, and dozens of orange and grapefruit juice stalls (50 cents for a glass of orange juice! Delicious and so necessary and refreshing in the heat). At night is when the place really comes alive with storytellers, acrobats, musicians, boxers, entertainers. and dozens of food stalls, which is the best place for dinner. You can get a soup for 50 cents!
Marrakech is more touristy than other cities in Morocco, like Fez, which makes it a little safer. As a woman, you get sexually harassed less, but the sexual harassment is replaced with aggressive “buy my shit” harassment from all the vendors and hustlers.
Before noon, I had already told three people to fuck off.
People will aggressively and rudely try to hustle you, but don’t let them intimidate you. The henna ladies will come up to you and start drawing henna on you, even if you say no multiple times, and then try demand a lot of money from you. The monkey people and snake charmers will attempt to pull this on you too. In the souk (market), I noticed that a guy was following me, so I tried to dodge him by turning around and going back the way I came. He kept following me and he started talking to me and tried to get me to go with him to his store. I kept politely, but firmly declining but he wouldn’t leave. So I calmly asked him to please stop following me, a few times. He got really angry and aggressive. Finally he left, but I saw him ten minutes later and he called me “fucking rude and fucking racist”.
This is Morocco.
And despite this, sadly, I still consider Marrakech safer than other parts of Morocco, in comparison.
Shopping is not overly ideal in Marrakech, as opposed to other Moroccan cities, because the vendors jack the prices over 4-6x what you really should be paying for something. So if you do decide to shop there, be aggressive and hustle the vendors right back.
The market gets so exhausting with all the same shit and all the harassment that you have a tolerance limit and need to seek refuge in your hostel/hotel.