I visited Marrakech for 3 days in 2018 and on my return I did some reflection on my trip. Morocco was the second African country I visited; and as excited as I was about going, I was also anxious! I had read and seen some not so great things about Marrakech from other travellers and that made me a little anxious. So I thought it best to share my own personal experience as a black person and as a woman and answer the question on if Marrakech is worth visiting.

So as a black woman is Marrakech worth visiting? To to help you decide, let’s get into the good, bad and beautiful parts of my Marrakech experience!

If you want some more information on planning your trip to Marrakech, you should check out my 2 part Ultimate Marrakech Travel Guide!

THE GOOD

The People

مرحبا بك في المغرب—“Welcome to Morocco” was the greeting walking down the streets (when we weren’t being called Serena or Rihanna).

Moroccans definitely have the hospitality thing down, it is second to none! They can be very kind, sweet and warm people. Everywhere you go you’re welcomed with mint tea and some biscuits. The people were definitely one of my favourite parts, so unapologetically proudly Moroccan and authentic.

The Beautiful Architecture

Architecture in Morocco is like nowhere else I have been to, it is stunning! If anything, Marrakech is worth visiting just to feast your eyes on the beautiful sights! The intricate details, the tile arrangements, the history, it is so uniquely beautiful and guys, this is Africa!

The decades old buildings were still maintained to an amazing level which was rather unexpected. 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!

is marrakech worth visiting
is marrakech worth visiting

The Shopping

I’m not usually one to do a lot of holiday shopping but I have never visited anywhere and I mean ANYWHERE that has the shopping like Marrakech! 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 bartering with the traders was actually so much fun. The different colours and smells, it’s truly an experience.

is marrakech worth visiting
Photo by zakariae daoui on Unsplash
my marrakech experience
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

It is settled, I’ll be coming back to Marrakech to shop for my house when I eventually decide to get one! Marrakech is worth visiting just to do some home shopping, honestly!

The Rich Culture

A trip to Morocco means being immersed in its vivid and unique culture which was perfect because I love rich cultures! The way of life, language (mix of Arabic and French), the food, the clothing, everything about it was distinctive.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Some parts felt like taking a peek into the past. Men on mules dragging fruits and vegetables for sale, tiny shops spilling onto the windy alleys of the Medina, the men sat talking and pouring mint tea away from the boiling sun. While some other part felt like they could compete with other bustling vibrant modern cities.

Photo by hp koch on Unsplash
Photo by Vibienne Gaumond on Unsplash

The Riads

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

RELATED: Riads vs Hotels- Where to Stay in Marrakech

is marrakech worth visiting
Riad Golfame
is marrakech worth visiting
Riad Golfame
is marrakech worth visiting
Riad Sashema

THE BAD

Having to Pay for ANY and EVERYTHING

Now let’s get to the not so great bits. Imagine, you’re lost in the Medina, and you notice a few people around can also see you’re lost, ask where you’re trying to go and start offering to direct you. Sounds harmless enough right? WRONG! Once you accept, they will either take or direct you through some very windy alleys and at the end expect you to pay them. Bear in mind, you didn’t even ask them to take you anywhere. This really threw me off because it’s innocent to assume a stranger is doing you a good deed but not really.

Photo by Tom Tiepermann on Unsplash

Photo by Tom Tiepermann on Unsplash

When you visit, be clued up about this and don’t let a random stranger take you anywhere. Unless you’re willing to shell out some money. Instead, ask the shopkeepers for directions, they’re usually happy to help.

Getting Ripped Off

my marrakech experience

We finally make it into the main square, starving, and decide to give one of the street food stalls a try. Why not, right? We sit and they literally asked us one question: fish or meat? And then started bringing a whole load of food to the table even though you told them exactly what you want from the ‘menu’. The ‘bill’ (it’s just a folded piece of paper that someone’s written on) comes and we saw about 6 different items on it. Jesu!!! After a lot of back and forth with the waiter, we ended up paying for all that extra food we didn’t order and didn’t eat!

Photo by Don Fontijn on Unsplash

This turned out to be the most expensive meal we had throughout our time in Marrakech and we weren’t even full! So beware! At least it wasn’t just us. All around us arguments were breaking out with people in the same situation as us, paying for food they didn’t order but were served anyway.

The Smell

Hmm this beautiful odour, NOT!! I think I figured out why parts of Marrakech smell so bad! The sewage system in Marrakech might have grates in the roads/alleys so the smell that hits you can be quite eye watering. 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 grilled meat wafting in the air, sensory overload! Just keep it in mind.

Photo by Jorge Lázaro on Unsplash

The Cat Calling

Now, to be honest, I thought visiting an African country would reduce the likelihood of the common cat calls I got in Asia as a black person (Beyonce, Rihanna, Serena, Obama), with some new ones (Brown sugar, chocolate, Oprah). You could say at least they’re increasing their knowledge of black people. I expected it a little based on some of the things I’d read, however, to my surprise, we got ALOT of these and I mean ALOT! The good thing about it is that’s the height of he ‘harassment’ we got. We were prepared after the first few times it happened but outside of these, we didn’t get called any derogatory/offensive terms.

THE BEAUTIFUL

The Nature

is marrakech worth visiting

Based on the pictures you see on Instagram you assume Marrakech is all doors and windy alleys and beautiful riads, but there’s so much natural beauty here. If you thought you were in a movie set just from the Medina, take a trip outside the city and it can be like taking a step bank in time. There is so much unspoiled beauty to see! Our day trip to Imlil for hiking and camel riding was one the highlights of our Marrakech experience.

is marrakech worth visiting

RELATED : My Moroccan Adventure – Day trip to Imlil

is marrakech worth visiting

CONCLUSION

Marrakech is more than a holiday, it’s an adventure. A colourful, wild, brash culture that you’re thrown into from the moment you arrive. Even with the bad, I definitely would want to return and experience everything it has to offer.

So is Marrakech worth visiting? YES! Don’t over worry & just do it!! Take the plunge and it will be an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. I hope you’ve enjoyed my honest view on my Marrakech experience and found it useful.


If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, what are you waiting for?? Follow me on and check out my Morocco highlights for more pictures!

Have you found this post useful? If yes, yay!! Dont forget to share with your friends, family or even colleagues that might also find it useful. If you’ve been to Morocco, what were some of the things you loved or hated? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Until Next Time xx

12 Comments

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it and it’s such an interesting place to visit!

  1. I love this – especially how real you are. I was also warned so much about Morocco that I was a little nervous to visit Marrakesh, but I ended up falling in love with it and dream of going back to visit again! I especially love the food, the markets, all the colour and flavour.. I felt like I was transported into Aladdin!

    But you’re right about the people offering to charge you for directions, they are so relentless and it can be exhausting to be asked constantly if you’re lost.

    • Thank you so much! Yeah I was warned too but honestly, sometimes you need to go and make your own mind up for yourself! The food was amaaaazing and the colours, oh my gosh, so vibrant! it’s a huge sensory overload but in the best way!

      You have to be super stern with those people. Just because you’re a tourist you’re an easy target so you have to stand firm lol and say no

  2. Thank you for sharing! It sounds like Marrakech is still worth visiting, though watching out for rip offs is a big thing to look for. This was super helpful!

    • Its 100% worth visiting in my opinion! There aren’t many places quite like it and yes, have to look out for rip offs just like you would in any other city!

  3. Love hearing the good and bad points. We felt the same after our trip to Morocco – although our travels featured an ambulance which was a particular low point. The markets are so vibrant but it can be hard work too!

    • Oh no! I can only imagine that would be a pretty low point. I hop it wasn’t anything to serious in the end. Oh ny gosh the markets are definitely hard work lol but I guess that’s part of the experience.

  4. Bis, thanks for highlighting the good & the bad & the nature! Morocco does have so much nature no one ever seems to show… i guess because the medinas & doors are so beautiful & vibrant. I love how you summed up the blog in the end — “Marrakech is more than a holiday, it’s an adventure.” I look forward to visiting this city one day.

    • It does have alot! Even I didn’t know until I ventured out of the Medina and the nature is absolutely breathtaking! Thank you and when you do visit, be ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

  5. What an honest blog! I really like it!

    I lived in Morocco a couple of years ago and last year I traveled nearly 3 months in Morocco, I could totally relate to your experience.

    The most important thing about Morocco is that, as you say, traveling in Morocco not only a holiday but an adventure.

    Morocco, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse countries in the world. That’s what makes me going back.

    • Thank you so much!
      Oh wow you lived in Morocco, that must’ve been such an interesting experience. And I completely agree, its beyond just a destination, it’s an extremely immersive experience and I definitely will be visiting again! Without a shadow of a doubt!

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