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If you’re wondering what to wear in Marrakech, follow these 7 do’s and don’ts to learn how you can be fashionable, comfortable and respectable too!
Marrakech Packing Tips
Written by: Kelly Ella Maz
Marrakech has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for 2014. It’s exotic, it’s easy to get to from Europe and it’s affordable! Although many of the locals in this city are now used to North American tourists, some are less friendly to our “Western” clothing.
Factor in the incredible heat and you’ve got quite the packing dilemma! I promise you can be fashionable, comfortable AND respectable by following these easy packing tips when planning what to wear in Marrakech!
Tip: Want to pack light, create a capsule travel wardrobe which can easily fit into a carryon suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing!
Don’t leave home without a few scarves.
You’ll find so many uses for them that I’d recommend bringing more than one. Keep one in your purse at all times! If you’re walking through a residential area, or feel as if you aren’t covered enough, you can easily drape one over your shoulders and chest.
Consider packing these stylish travel accessories.
Minna Ballet Flat | Classics Flat
Closed-toe shoes are a must in the Old Medina.
Shopping in the Souk is the highlight of the city for many tourists, but unfortunately that area is also popular with a lot of animals too! Between the donkeys, chickens and dogs there can be a lot of “messes” on the ground you don’t want to step on in flip flops….
Likewise, skip long pants in the Old Medina.
Choose capris or cropped pants to avoid long pants dragging in the (often wet) messy streets. Beautiful linen pants are better left for days when you’re sightseeing in other areas of Marrakech!
Please read this post on how to choose the best fabrics for travel.
Lightweight fabrics will save you from the heat.
Pack pieces made from cotton or linen to keep your body temperature down. A knee-length cotton skirt will keep you cool and covered while you’re out shopping, and it’s also versatile enough to take you from day to night. Lightweight fabrics aren’t only cool on hot days, but they also dry faster if you’re doing laundry mid-trip!
V-Neck Pocket Tee | One Pocket Tee
T-shirts (rather than tank tops) are your safest choice.
Some tourists consider tank tops appropriate in Marrakech, and others don’t. Save yourself the trouble of guessing and pack a few lightweight t-shirts! Again, lightweight fabrics like cotton will keep you comfortable and let you breathe in the desert heat.
Take a look at these stunning summer dresses!
Lace Swim Kaftan Plus | Tunic Dress
Beautiful dresses and kaftans are perfect for wearing at your hotel.
There are some stunning hotels here, most with elaborate courtyards with pools. Embellished, silk dresses are the perfect compliment to these beautiful settings. An exotic kaftan is not only ideal for covering up by the pool, but it’s also a great souvenir! Buy one in the local Souk instead of bringing one from home.
Note: There can be quite the argument on what’s considered “appropriate” clothing in Marrakech. Many women insist they were fine wearing tiny shorts and tank tops, while others say they were harassed for wearing mid-thigh shorts. I’ve personally experienced pushy men in Marrakech while dressed conservatively, and I’ve also witnessed a woman be spit on by a local because her shirt was too low cut.
Wear all the bikinis and short dresses you want at your hotel or nightclubs, but when you leave to enter the Old Medina I strongly suggest dressing more conservatively – especially if you are traveling solo or as a group of women. Nothing will ruin your vacation more than unwanted attention.
Are there any tips you want to add on what to wear in Marrakech?
For more Africa packing list ideas, please read:
- What to Wear in South Africa: Cape Town Fashion
- What to Pack for African Safari Tours
- Safari Clothing Packing List
- Egypt Packing List Essentials
Suggested Travel Resources:
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Bio: Kelly Ella Maz is a travel writer from Canada. Her passion for travel and worldwide experience led her to starting her own travel planning business and blog. She’s currently living in Barcelona where she spends her days on the beach and her nights at local tapas bars. You can follow her travels at KellyEllaMaz.com.
Thanks for the good advice, heading to Morroco end November
Have an amazing time Yvonne!
I have been to Marrakech 5 times with my husband and have never had to worry about following these ridiculous stereotypes. I wear shorts and t-shirts and flip flops whenever I go to the Medina. My husband is Moroccan and has never asked me to wear a scarf. Morocco is a beautiful country and the stigma that is it so “old world” is not relevant anymore. Yes, there are places that a women should not go without a man but for the most part it is safe
Hi Krista, thank you for taking the time to share your insight!
Really helpful. I am going in may. Can I wear skirts and tops with no sleeves.
So would shorts and a linen shirt with converse trainers be ok whilst out and about in Marrakech?
Hi Emma, thank you for reaching out! For more ideas to help you with what to wear, have a look at this article: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-wear-in-morocco/
I would also highly recommend that you join our TFG facebook group and post your question there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelfashiongirls/ Its a fabulous community of helpful female travelers that love to share their advice and experiences. Hope this helps. Have an amazing time! ?
No, a knee length skirt is not appropriate dress for women in Morocco. You will not feel at ease wearing one outside your hotel. Local women do not show their legs.
Thanks for confirming that im off to Marrakech tomorow.
I’ll be going to Morocco in May, this is very helpful. Btw, how far is the marketplace/palace/Medina from Marrakech main train station? Is it in close proximity (walking distance) or do I need to take a taxi?
Thank you, this was very informative!
Glad you enjoyed it Kristie!