Morocco is an awesome country to visit, but it can be a bit frustrating to navigate as a woman if you don’t know what to expect. Scratch that – even if you do, it still might be frustrating. But, hopefully these tips can help set you up for a pleasant trip regardless!
This blog post is part 1 of a 2-part series detailing what to expect while traveling in Morocco (as a woman). Click here for Part 2!
Today’s post will cover hygienic aspects as well as what to wear in order to make your time in Morocco go as smoothly as possible.
Table of Contents
Let’s Talk Hygiene
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering Morocco is a developing country, but a lot of bathrooms that you encounter will lack soap and/or toilet paper. So, it’s imperative that you bring your own tissues and hand wipes or sanitizer! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The other aspect that may be a bit of culture shock is the way a lot of the toilets are set up. Sometimes, instead of an actual porcelain throne like you may be used to, it will be a hole in the ground. Yes, that’s right, a hole in the ground. Granted, that hole is usually covered by a flat white basin to – ahem – “catch” what’s going on, but still: get your squat game ready, because you’ll need some strong legs to avoid pissing all over yourself!
Also a good thing to note: I’ll cover this more in Part 2, but a lot of Moroccan food is typically eaten by (right) hand and sometimes you’ll be eating from a community plate. So, make sure to have some of those hand wipes on you when you’re about to eat!
How to Dress
Before I give dressing suggestions, let me get this out of the way: you will very likely be catcalled even if you’re covered head-to-toe. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but unfortunately that’s just the way it is.
For instance, I was traveling with two other women most of the time, and we had on skirts that went down to our ankles, and had shawls wrapped around us that covered up any possible cleavage or shoulders. Sometimes we even had a shawl wrapped around our head. And yet, we still got catcalled.
That said: you will be able to blend in more and draw less attention to yourself if you make an effort to dress in line with the cultural expectations. The looser the fit of your clothing, and the lighter the material, the better off you will be in most cases. Be sure to look out for cotton and linen especially!
Here are a few items that I found useful for my trip:
Long (sleeve) dress
A maxi dress in general is essential for Morocco’s hot climate, because you can easily throw on a shawl and cover up your shoulders and clavicle without being too hot on top. But, if you want to cover up your arms as well, I highly recommend this cute dress from Amazon.
It’s always good to have items that you can mix and match while on a trip, and a loose-fitting maxi skirt definitely gets the job done. This black skirt that I got from Shein had pockets (POCKETS!) and the material was so malleable that I could even tie up the hem to change the style a bit.
Scarf or shawl
Scarves a great travel item in general because airplanes can get super cold; but you’ll actually need a light scarf for traveling in Morocco. I happened to borrow a gold one from my mom (and have no idea where it’s from, sorry) but a lightweight scarf like this one should do the trick!
Loose short sleeve shirt
Just like with the other items on this list, you’ll want to be sure that the t-shirt(s) you choose is made from a material that won’t seek out the sweat on your body. Old Navy has some simple cotton shirts that would work great.
Loose or flowy pants
In my humble opinion, the comfort of loose and breezy pants is very underestimated! One of my favorites are high-waisted, chic linen trousers from Uniqlo, but they’re not on the website anymore. Luckily, there’s an alternative that’s made from cotton!
Okay I’ll admit, I borrowed my friend’s cardigan a lot during the trip because it was so versatile, pretty, and lightweight. I highly recommend it if you don’t have any cardigans in a light material; otherwise you’ll melt in the Moroccan heat.
I hope these tips were helpful as you plan your trip to Morocco. As I’ve said, it’s a beautiful country and definitely worth visiting! It’s just good to be prepared, no matter what. Also, when it comes to catcalling: the best thing to do is simply ignore it and avoid confrontation if possible. If you feel that you’re in danger, I would recommend seeking out a public space or popping into a local store to get away from the threat.
What else do you think women should know before heading to Morocco? I’d love to hear your thoughts!