A trip to Marrakesh is a sensory overload of exotic sights, sounds, smells and tastes. With the right attitude, its an intoxicating city that will “wow” you at every turn. From the bustling main square of Jemaa el-Fna, through the medina labyrinth, past mosaic-adorned riads, haggling souk merchants and pockets of modern comforts, this Aladdin-like wonderland presents a tapestry as rich as a magic carpet. However, you need to steel yourself to the fact that things move at a different pace here. Many aspects are frenetic and chaotic, while others are glacially slow. Millennium-old Marrakesh is like stepping back in time. Millions of travelers visit the Red City each year, and while most embrace its Middle Eastern charms, some are rattled by it. If you’re heading to this Moroccan hotspot, keep a few do’s and don’ts in mind to help minimize the inevitable overwhelm. Here are 12 things NOT to do in Marrakesh.
1. Don’t Get Taken by a Street Guide
Any tourist strolling around Marrakesh will be confronted by an assortment of friendly, helpful locals eager to escort you somewhere, give you a tour, point you in the right direction or assist you in many ways. Some of these may indeed be legitimate good Samaritans. However, the majority are opportunistic hustlers looking to make money off you. Their friendly demeanor can turn aggressive as they demand payment for services you never agreed to. They may take you far off your intended path to their uncle’s leather shop, then kick up a fuss when you don’t cough up some dirhams for their troubles, leaving you stranded down some unfamiliar alleyway if you don’t comply. It’s better to avoid engaging these unscrupulous street guides, as they can be persistent and intimidating.