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Tips for good behavior in Morocco

A responsible tourist is one who respects the local culture and behaves in a manner that meets the expectations of the local inhabitants. At Chic Morocco, we advocate for this, so in this post, we offer some tips for good behavior in Morocco. These tips will be generally useful, especially if you plan to interact with Moroccans, whether in public or private settings.

Decalogue of Good Behavior in Morocco

Here are 10 tips for good behavior in Morocco, specifically aimed at travelers like you, as they pertain to situations common for a tourist.

#1. Ask for permission before taking a photo

Of course, photographing a monument doesn’t require permission. But if a person is going to be the protagonist or an important element of the photo, you should ask first. This is even more important if it involves women or children.

#2. Do not give money to children

When taking photos, the subjects may ask for a small donation in return. Assess whether the situation warrants it, though it’s generally not recommended. Under no circumstances should you give money to children: it contributes to minors being drawn to easy money instead of attending school, which is detrimental to their educational development.

#3. Dress modestly

Especially for women. Avoid bare shoulders, low-cut tops, and very short shorts or skirts. This can be considered provocative and attract unwanted and inappropriate attention.

#4. Remove your shoes when entering a private space

If you’re fortunate enough to enter a mosque or place of worship, or a private home after being invited, you should remove your shoes, at least if the hosts do so.

#5. Accept a welcome tea

Generally, accept welcome teas, for example, when you arrive at your accommodation or a punctual meeting (with friends, business, etc.). Refusing can be seen as rude. An exception might be in a shop, where the offer is made to attract you as a customer, so if you’re not interested in the shop or the tea, kindly and smilingly decline.

#6. Bargain, but not as a game

Craft vendors in souks expect some haggling before a sale. Accepting the first price or buying without showing interest is frowned upon. However, view bargaining not as fun but only if you’re genuinely interested in the item. Otherwise, the vendor might be offended.

#7. The greeting (with the right hand) is sacred

Greeting is a basic sign of politeness. Among Moroccans of the same sex, cheek kissing is common when there’s enough familiarity. But kissing between individuals of opposite sexes, even if they are a couple or close, can be considered too affectionate. Thus, you should greet with your hand, and it must be the right hand, as the left is considered ‘impure’.

#8. Be discreet with displays of affection

From the previous advice, you should also be restrained in expressing affection with your partner. Avoid kissing in public, as well as walking with your arms around each other or even holding hands, as Moroccans typically do not do this either.

#9. Avoid talking about politics or religion

Discussing topics like the king or the situation of women in Islam can be awkward with someone you barely know and aren’t close with, especially in public.

#10. In conclusion: use common sense

There are many other tips for good behavior in Morocco, such as how to sit at a dining table. But as a final recommendation, it’s wise to use your common sense and opt for a discreet profile, aiming not to draw attention to yourself.

If you have any specific questions about good behavior in Morocco during your trip, don’t hesitate to ask our staff (tour guide, driver, etc.), as they will be eager to help.

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