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Staying Safe – Basics on exploring

Windows

Windows

Safety is the number one thing to keep in mind when traveling in Morocco.  Keep in mind even though Moroccans are peaceful people ,the country has it’s share of hazards:

Tangier is a relatively safe and peaceful city. The only trouble one may encounter is the persistent touts, occasional junkies, or the con-men ready to overcharge you. You will encounter these characters mostly in and around the medina and along the west side of beach front promenade.

The safe area at night is the city center. The Medina is not safe at night.

As long as one doesn’t make oneself a target there usually won’t be any trouble. If one goes looking for trouble they will find it. Most of the trouble is in the Medina or on the beach at night.

Common sense goes a long way in Tangier.

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How not to get Huslted

Tangier Medina know for it's Huslters

Tangier Medina know for it’s Huslters

1. Understand the cost of living is the cost of living in the United States divided by 7.

2. If you are good friends with someone, Moroccans do not refer to you as “my friend”, they refer to friends as “brothers” similar to Islam.

3. Understand if you look for trouble you will definitely find it.

4. When shopping for anything understand that haggling is part of the culture and not considered rude.  They offer a price, you offer a 1/3rd and you usually end up paying 1/2.

5. Morocco is not like Europe where everyone is on a salary or  a full time job. A lot of Moroccans make a living strictly off commission and bringing in business.  It’s a day to day lifestyle so if anyone does you a service like show you directions just know you will need to pay either in buying something from the shop or paying the “guide” a commission.

6. Dark sunglasses work well to avoid touts.

7. Try to use a credit card, not debit card for any deposit or hold for a hotel or rental car.

8. When using a credit card machine have them manually enter in CC numbers, as most CC machines reject the card when read with the magnetic strip.  Also this avoids the possibility of card skimmers.

9. Learn a few basic words in Arabic.

10. Avoid white shoes, fanny packs, and backpacks.

11. Avoid walking in tour groups.

12. Don’t look nervous

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25 Tips for the Western Traveler

Tangier City Center near Medina

Tangier City Center near Medina

1. When you get there do not bother with any of the guides around the port they are hustlers.
2. Girls if you dress like a hooker you will be treated like one.  The hookers in Morocco dress like girls going out to clubs in Europe so I suggest dressing more conservative if you don’t want to get harassed.  A head scarf is not needed.
3. Most of the people who sell hash on the street are selling stones 1/2 the time not hash.  Most of the time it’s a police setup.
4. Everything is roughly a 1/3 of the price as everything in central Europe. *exception the nice hotels.
5. Never shake with your left hand.  In  Arab culture it’s disrespectful plus that is their toilet paper, hand.
6. Don’t ever bring your alcohol outside of the establishment on the street.  It is an Islamic country, but tolerant one.
7. Don’t smoke hash in public. It is still illegal so it’s advised to keep it in your place of residence.
8. Wear long pants when going to the Medina there are bugs.
9. Take the small blue taxis, not the grand taxis (Mercedes).  The small blue ones are about a $1.50-$2.00 per ride where the grand taxis are about $5
10. Bring hand sanitizer
11. Most women in the discos are there to find “customers”.  If you would like to meet a Moroccan girl, talk to their family first.
12. In Chefchaouen, Moroccan’s aren’t allowed to stay in the same hotel as westerners due to the local laws.
13.  Most nice meals cost under 50 dirhams a person ($6).
14.  Only drink bottled water, take the same water and food cautions as in Mexico.
15. Don’t hang out alone on the beach at night.
16. You don’t need to tip in bars, but they appreciate it.  Bartenders there remember people for tipping 50 dirhams.
17. Don’t express your political beliefs most Moroccans think politicians are corrupt and they don’t care.
18. The city center is safe at night as long as there are many people walking around also on the street.  Take the same caution as walking in Europe.  If it’s a dark seedy street do not walk down it. Don’t go to the Medina at night, it is dangerous.
19. Keep in mind it is still Africa.  Renting an apartment keep in mind water might have an issue same with plumbing so check out the apartment before you decide to rent one.
20. One doesn’t need to carry around more than 500 dirhams at a time ($60).
21. Most people who try to talk to you on the street will try and hustle you for a tour or to buy something just be nice smile say no thank you (La,Shukran) and its usually never a problem.
22. Smile and be friendly, it goes a long way.
23. Never trust the drivers in Morocco,  they do not stop for people crossing the street.
24. Never trust hippies in Morocco.  They dress this way so they can fool tourists.  Really they are the worst of the hustlers and more recently the terrorists.
25. Avoid protests at all times.

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Content is the opinion of TangierTourism ©2017