Tangier Tips to avoid hustlers & touts

  • People in Tangier are very friendly and welcoming. I have only ever had touts/hustlers approach me first  – without any invitation. ‘Everyday’ people are very unlikely to do this. This is an important thing to remember, to avoid any scams or attempts to get money.
  • Respect camera etiquette – don’t take photos of people without permission first.
  • There are a lot less hassles then when I first started visiting 10 years ago. It does still occur and people can be quite persistent unless you handle this correctly. My advice is to NOT engage in any conversation or eye contact and continue walking.

The cycles of emotion a hustler will use to get a reaction will include

  1. Friendliness, “hey my friend, first time in morocco…”
  2. Helpfulness “do you want to visit the casbah, want to buy hashish, looking for girls…”
  3. Sympathy“please just give 2 euros….” 
  4. Anger, “why you ignoring me, why are you paranoid, you don’t understand morocco…” 
  5. Remember, you’re never too far from cafes, petit taxis, policeman, shops etc…if you feel you need 5 minutes to take stock. Staying calm and continuing walking is usually the best method.
  6. Walk confidently and don’t look lost. If you do get lost in the medina, walk uphill to reach the ‘ville nouvelle’ or grande socco and down hill for the port. Ask for key landmarks that are close to where you want to be like for example, ‘cinema rif’. ‘cafe de paris’ or ‘hotel el minzah…’ and people will point to the right direction, even if they don’t know a specific guesthouse or road.
  7. Things like backpacks, shorts, massive cameras, hawaiian shirts etc…do make you look like a tourist and more open to attention!
  8. Touts are mostly concentrated at the entrance of the medina (both at the grande socco entrance and at the bottom of the hill) around the port area and on the front of the corniche:

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  • Do not ask about drugs, buy drugs or consume drugs.
  • Always check your government’s travel advice website before departing – as this will be up to date.
  • Be careful at night and don’t walk down isolated roads.