Avoid Getting Ripped off in Morocco

Taxis

-When taking a taxi in Rabat, insist that the driver turn on the fare box (where the price is listed). If he does not have a farebox or it’s broken, arrange the price with the driver up front, otherwise the driver will demand an unreasonable price when you reach your hotel. If the driver refuses to use the fare box, simply get out of the taxi and catch another cab.

-Taxis in Morocco are marked by a government seal on both front doors and a taxi light on top. Be wise about accepting rides from strangers without a licensed taxi. Hitchhiking is common here, but it can be a risk.

“Free” Tourist Services

-At some tourist sites you will encounter locals offering some kind of free service. For example at the Tour Hassan in Rabat, there are young women who offer free henna dying to tourists, and afterwords become violent and demand large payments for their work.

-Before taking a picture of anyone wearing a traditional moroccan costume at a tourist site, ask them first. Often they will expect payment, and as always, it’s best to settle the price upfront.

Tourist Guide kickbacks

-It is common for your guide, taxi driver, or a total stranger to insist on helping you find the shop with the best deals on Moroccan tourist merchandise. At this shop your guide will recieve a share (called a kickback) of your purchase, and so will not work very hard to get you a good price.

-This also applies to restaurants, where your guide/driver has a similar arrangement, fortunately these restaurants are sometimes delicious, but don’t expect them to be cheap.

Oops, I forgot how to count.

-You can expect to be short-changed with some frequency here. Sometimes this is because of bad math without a cash register and sometimes it’s a little deeper than that.

In Defense of Normal Moroccans

-Remember, most Moroccan people are moral and honest to a fault. If you are in a situation that seems fishy, don’t hesitate to ask a random bystander what they think, and more often than not, they will come to your rescue as much as they can!

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