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Morocco for Solo Travellers & Backpackers


Morocco as a solo and backpacker destination

Morocco is located at the very top of Northern Africa and is reachable either by plane or a short ferry from Spain.  It is an astonishing mix of traditional Islamic and Arabic culture with a traveller's scene leftover from the days of the Hippy trails in the 60's and 70's.

Many places in Morocco have become well-established backpacker getaways full of mint tea, guesthouses full of sequined cushions and hookahs, and restaurants serving banana pancakes and pizza.  It is also full of ancient mosques, winding
streets of old cities called 'souks', and very friendly people with a very strong belief system.  

Solo male travellers will find they attract very little attention as travelling has been well-established here for over 30 years and people are used to seeing solo travellers.

Solo female travellers however will often find themselves the object of piercing stares and often questions.  This is not usually threatening, it is simply very unusual for
Moroccans to think of a woman travelling alone. Most women will find that
they are often taken in by Moroccan women on buses and trains with strong
motherly instincts to protect you and thus will have incredible experiences
speaking with Moroccan women and sharing cultures.



Accommodation for Solo Travellers

Hostels are rare in Morrocco, only located in large cities such as
Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech, however in general guesthouses are cheaper
and have more character anyway.  Almost all guesthouses will have a common
room or roof terrace where travellers will sit and talk the night away while
smoking hookahs and sipping mint tea.

 It is very easy to meet people in these places.  Prices range from US$5-20 for a single room, entirely dependent upon the season and the location.  Camping and campgrounds are rare outside of places where trekking is common such as in the Atlas Mountains or the Sahara Desert

morocco solo travel

Budget for Solo Travellers

Morocco is a relatively inexpensive place to travel, although in the bigger
cities prices begin to rival those of western countries.  This can be
avoided by always staying in guesthouses rather than hotels and eating at local cafes rather than upmarket restaurants.  Accommodation will range from US$5-20 per night and the average meal will be around US$5 for a simple Moroccan curry and flatbread or roast chicken and rice.  

Street vendors sell excellent food quite a bit cheaper and are usually safe quality,
although always use your best judgement regarding the cleanliness.  Tea and
water are very cheap, about US$0.30 per cup or bottle, as is soda.  Alcohol
is very rare in Morocco as it is a Muslim country, and the few places that
do sell alcohol will usually sell it quite expensive.  

Beer can be obtained for around US$2 from an off-license or US$5-6 from a bar.  Spirits such as whiskey and vodka are more expensive yet.  With all things in Morocco it is worth bargaining a bit.  Often with smaller guesthouses you will find the
price will drop if you show a slight lack of interest or ask for a 'better price'.  When buying gifts in the markets it is worth haggling quite a bit over price, although always try to keep it light and joking rather than angry to avoid insulting anyone.



Tips and Activities for Solo Travellers

Morocco is a wonderful place to wander and relax, revelling in the solitude
that can be found from being alone in a crowd.  Women should, for their own
comfort, always dress in long trousers or skirts and long-sleeved shirts.  A
shawl around the shoulders or over the head always helps gain respect and
avoid harassment as well.  Everyone should note before entering a mosque
whether foreigners are allowed as many mosques in Morocco do not allow
foreigners or non-Muslims of any sex.

Some things to do include:

Get lost wandering inside the maze of the old city of Fez
Consult a witch doctor in the Djema-al-Fadina square in Marrakech
Watch snake charmers and belly dancers in squares throughout the country
Drink fresh squeezed orange juice or fresh mint tea for only a few cents
Hike in the Atlas Mountains
Camel Trek overnight in the Sahara Desert and watch the sunrise over the
dunes
Sit in a cafe during lunchtime with a tasty curry and a tasty hookah

Morocco is an intense place, both of beauty and culture, and it is doubtful
any solo traveller will go away without being touched by it.  The natural
beauty is incredible, but even more incredible is the ancient culture and
religion that you will be travelling through.

Submitted by Kristen Mahan.



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