From delicious local food treats to artisan crafts and tourist souvenirs, the markets in Marrakech are a shoppers’ delight. The sights, sounds, and smells as you wander through the narrow streets make this one of the must-do activities during your holiday to Marrakech. It’s likely you’ll come away with things you didn’t even know you needed. Even if you don’t part with any cash, the unique atmosphere of the souks means it’s a heady experience you’ll remember forever.
Exploring the markets in Marrakech
The market in Marrakech is actually made up of a series of different souks sprawling across the city. In each souk area, you’ll find a variety of stalls and shops selling similar items. For example, if you want to buy some of the traditional Moroccan metal lanterns, you’ll need to go to the Haddadine (metal workers) souk. For bags and belts, seek out the Cherratine (leatherworkers) souk. If you plan to take home a suitcase full of traditional Berber slippers (babouches), there’s a souk for those too, the Smata souk.
Djemaa el Fna
One of the best places to start your visit to Marrakech market is the bustling Djemaa el Fna. The stalls filling this public square are open almost all day and night. Locals and tourists buzz around the streets from 6am, seeking out everything from vegetables to housewares. But at night the place really comes alive.
The intoxicating aroma of spices and cooking hits your nostrils as you walk and gaze in wonder at colours and lights. You’ll be serenaded by the beat of traditional Moroccan folk music, courtesy of local musicians. Join the crowds to gaze in awe as local street performers amaze and entertain.
From Djemaa el Fna, head north through the winding alleyways of the souks. Each of the souks branches out from one another and it can be easy to get lost. Booking a guided tour of the markets in Marrakech will ensure you don’t waste a moment of shopping time by having to keep consulting your map. If you have a specific souvenir you want to buy, your guide can help you find the best place to get it.
Paying for items in the markets in Marrakech
Although the markets are a real tourist destination, you’ll find some great value purchases if you know where to look and how to haggle. The stallholders expect to strike a bargain with you, and if you refuse they could take this as an insult. You’ll need to start with a price in mind that you think is fair for an item. The initial offer from the stall vendor is likely to be far too high so just laugh, but don’t be put off. Take care not to offer a price that is too low for the quality of the work, as you wouldn’t want to offend.
It’s also wise to make sure you have cash to hand to pay for your items. Using cash makes haggling easier, and very few stalls will accept credit cards unless you’re purchasing a larger priced item, such as a carpet.