Important tips for tackling the wonderful Souks of Marrakech, Morocco
The city of Marrakech in Morocco is an international charming tourist attraction full of bustling souks (local markets) and wonderful tourist spots. Marrakech is the city of wonders and joy, it is visited by thousands of tourists daily, and it is called the red city for many reasons.
One of the best and fun things to do in Marrakech is shopping in the local markets that are called souks in Moroccan dialect (Darija), that is why I have prepared this short but efficient guide to Marrakech’s Souks for you to use if you are planning on visiting Marrakech in the future.
How to browse Marrakech’s souks?
Unless you stay close to Jamaa El Fna square, It is very easy to get lost in Marrakesh souks. Narrow alleys, covered shops, and the crowds would make feel like you are inside a maze which makes it difficult to get a good idea of where you are. Therefore, the best solution is to tour the markets with a local guide, as this is the best way to explore the markets with a piece of mind.
If you intend to explore Marrakesh souks independently, a map is necessary. However, most of the main streets in Marrakesh have signs for their names, and if it is not possible to locate a sign or a landmark such as a mosque or a monument, you can keep exploring the markets until you find one, or you can simply ask someone for directions, otherwise, keep walking until you see the tall minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque which should help you get an idea about your current location.
How to ask for directions in Marrakech’s souks?
Generally, getting lost is part of the enjoyment of exploring the souks in Marrakesh, but if you feel like you got lost and you need to ask someone for directions, try to approach families and the elderly to ask them, and try to stay away from the young locals, because it is common there that young people would try to get money in exchange for directions.
Another available option you can use to get directions is to go to one of the shops and ask for help. Shop owners generally are nice to tourists and they are less likely to try to get money from you. Also, always remember that you can ask someone to call your place of stay and send someone to come and pick you up, but this should be your last option.
What to buy in Marrakech’s souks?
Marrakesh's souks offer tons of options when it comes to shopping. You will be amazed by the number of shops and bazaars that feature unique products and goods to the point that some European tourists travel to Marrakesh only to do shopping and head back home the next day.
In Marrakech's souks, you can find anything from pottery stalls, jeweled glassware, to decorative teapots that would add a beautiful touch to your home's dining room.
Colored fragrant spices are often one of the first things that tourists think of when visiting Marrakech souks. Also, handcrafted traditional Moroccan carpets are famous in this city, in addition to colorful lamps and lanterns hanging from the beams and the entrances of shops, and souvenir in every corner of the souks offering you countless options.
Leather products are also popular in Marrakesh such as wallets, belts, bags, and shoes.
If you are looking for new pieces to add to your wardrobe, Marrakech souks feature all kind of clothes from jeans to the famous Moroccan caftan and other traditional dresses.
Other traditional Moroccan goods that are available in the souks of Marrakech include slippers, silver jewelry, artwork, traditional musical instruments, toys, souvenirs, and much more.
Other important tips
Like anywhere in the world, pickpocketing can be a problem in the crowded markets and the Moroccan souks are no exception, so always try to keep your bags under your watch and make sure your wallet is in a safe place, and not in your back pockets.
In the other hand, bargaining is an essential part of shopping in the markets of Morocco, so do not hesitate to bargain and negotiate the prices, and if you cannot get the price you want, you can head to another store as many nearby shops sell the same products.