I got back from Morocco last weekend and I’ve been doing some reflection on my time there. Morocco is the second African country, after the country of my birth, Nigeria that I have visited and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I had a goal to visit at least one African country this year and I crushed it!! Woop!
Before I made the trip, I was a little anxious because of some of the things I had read and watched about Marrakech from other travellers but as always, it is better to see yourself than to take other people’s word for it and it was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry.
As a black woman would I recommend Morocco? Absolutely! So I’m going to share the good, bad and beautiful parts of my experience there to further convince you. So grab your popcorn or snuggle under your duvet even more and let’s get to it!
مرحبا بك في المغرب—“Welcome to Morocco” was the greeting we got walking down the streets (when we weren’t being called Serena or Rihanna) and we loved it!
Moroccans definitely have the hospitality thing down, it is second to none! They can be very kind, very sweet and warm people. Everywhere you go you’re welcomed with mint tea and some biscuits. The most ‘harassment’ we got was being called names like Rihanna, Serena Williams, Oprah, brown sugar, chocolata haha! No different than if we were walking through the markets somewhere in Asia. I was prepared and I definitely knew that not everyone was like that. Our first Riad was deep in the medina so I definitely wasn’t in the ‘posh’ parts of Medina like the south so I’m talking from proper actual experience.
The Beautiful Architecture
The architecture in Morocco is like nowhere else I have been to, it is stunning! The intricate details, the tile arrangements, it is so uniquely beautiful and this is Africa.
The decades old buildings were still maintained to an amazing level which I honestly didn’t expect to see. And then there are the doors! Even random doors down some unassuming alley in the Medina are so beautiful they draw you in and make you wonder the life going on behind them. I couldn’t get enough of them.
I’m not usually one to do a lot of shopping on holiday but I have never visited anywhere and I mean ANYWHERE that has the shopping that Marrakech does! It is AMAZING! You’ll find anything to suit your tastes, everything from lamps, rugs, ceramic plates, to leather bags. It can actually be overwhelming walking through the medina but I loved it, the battering with the traders was actually so much fun, the different colours and smells, it’s truly an experience.
It is settled, I’m coming back to Marrakech to shop for my house whenever I decide to get one!!
The Rich Culture
A trip to Morocco means being immersed in its vivid and unique culture which was perfect for me because I love rich cultures! The way of life, language (mix of Arabic and French), the food, the clothing, everything about it was distinctive.
Some parts felt like taking a peek into the past, with men on mules dragging fruits and vegetables to sell while others felt like they could compete with other bustling vibrant cities. The people were definitely one of my favourite parts, so unapologetically proudly Moroccan and authentic.
For a more authentic stay I would definitely say Riads all the way! We stayed in two because we couldn’t decide in just one, that’s how beautiful they all looked. Riads tend to be former houses that have been transformed into sort of small unique accommodations. The rooms are cozy; the attention to detail is incredible
Getting ripped off and having to pay for ANY AND EVERYTHING!
Now let’s get to the not so great bits. Picture this; you’re lost in the medina and a few people around clock onto this and start asking where you’re going and offering to direct you. Sounds helpful right? WRONG! These guys will take or direct you and at the end expect to be paid for it, even if you didn’t ask for it. I wasn’t best pleased with the sense of entitlement I felt some of them had with trying to get money from you but I guess I understand why it happens.
We’re in the square now. You’re starving and decide to give one of the street food stalls a try, why not, right? You sit and they literally ask you one question: fish or meat and bring a whole load of food you didn’t order to the table even though you told them exactly what you want from the menu. The ‘bill’ (it’s just a piece of paper folded that someone’s written on) comes and you’re seeing like 6 different items on it. Jesu!!! Now you’re paying for all that extra food you didn’t order. The meal we had at the street food stalls was the most expensive meal we ate throughout our holiday and it was timey so beware! All around us arguments were breaking out with people in the same situation as us, paying for food they didn’t order but were brought anyway.
Hmm this beautiful odour, NOT!! I think I figured it out, the sewer system in Marrakech is covered by grids in the roads so the smell that hits you can be quite eye watering while you’re walking. The smell of pee down some alleys, wooo chil’! But it’s not all bad, in the riads it smells beyond beautiful, the smell of incense in some parts of the market is gorgeous and the smell of meat being grilled wafting in the air, sensory overload!
Based on the pictures you see on Instagram you assume Marrakech is all doors and beautiful buildings but there’s so much natural beauty here. Take a trip outside the city and see all the natural beauty there is to indulge in. Our day trip to Imlil and camel riding was one the highlights of my trip,
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it even a little bit useful; I tried to be as honest as possible about the things that I loved and not so loved about Marrakech. Even with the bad, I definitely would want to return and experience everything this beautiful country has to offer. So if you’re toying with the idea of going to Morocco and you’re a black woman or otherwise and you’re worried, I definitely say do it!! Morocco is an experience that I think everyone should have at least once, so take the plunge into the incredibly rich culture, excellent hospitality and an experience that will linger in your mind for a long time.
From next week, I’ll be posting about my day trip to Imlil and camel riding, my experience in Marrakech and things that you need to know before you go on your own trip. I hope you’ll follow because it will be full of stories, tips and pictures so please subscribe to the blog!!
If you don’t already, what are you waiting for?? Follow me on Instagram for check out my Morocco highlights and more pictures!
If you’ve been to Morocco, what were some of the things you loved and hated? Let’s talk in the comments!