Marrakech Travel Guide

Shopping

Along with the major souk (Arabic for 'market') adjacent to the Djemaa El-Fna, there are a plethora of smaller souks throughout the city where any number of products can be had. In any of them, you generally need to bargain. Keep an eye out for a wide array of hand-crafted candle-holding lanterns, as well as spectacular displays of local spices.

Argan oil, produced only in Morocco, is used in Moroccan cooking and beauty treatments. If you enjoy its unique nutty flavor, be sure to pick some up in the souks. It will cost you about Dh 70 at local supermarket for cooking oil or Dh 200 for genuine cosmetic oil.

Marrakech is home to a large tanning industry, and leather goods of high quality can be bought here cheaply. Check out camel leather items especially - jackets, round poufs, and handbags.

For the shoes always check they have no paper inside the plate (sole in french) because it is very common, don't be fooled by demonstration of how they bend the shoe and turns back to the position try it yourself by feeling and hearing how the paper bends. For poor quality one you shouldn't pay more than Dh 40 and for a good one no more than Dh 90, shop around and learn the difference between the quality.

Also of interest would be items made of the local cactus silk, which is really rayon, a natural fiber made of plant cellulose and produced in Morocco. Rayon holds the chemical dyes well which accounts for the vibrant range of true colors (natural dyes cannot produce a "true" color). On offer are scarves, handbags, tablecloths, bedspreads and throws in stunning colors. Some merchants try to charge a premium price for this "cactus silk". Check well because there are many fakes and sellers will usually tell you any lie to get you pay a high price.

Be sure to wander round the potters' souk, and look for brightly colored platters and bowls, as well as tagines in all sizes

Lovely cashmere shawls can also be had for less than a fiver with a little bargaining.

If you cannot stand the bargaining, there are two government run shops where you can buy handicrafts at fixed prices. Look for boutique d'artisans. One is near Djemaa El-Fna while the other one is in the ville nouvelle.

An option to explore the souks in a more tranquil way is to go during the Friday prayer. Although some shops will be closed, most stay open and are significantly less crowded than at other times.

The Apple and Samsung smartphones being sold on Jeema el fna are Chinese-built fakes; they work fine but employ less storage and cheaper components than the originals. Bargain accordingly.

Prices

As a guide for prices, maximum and generous prices you should pay.

Djellaba, long coat with hood for men, made of cotton/wool. Low quality: Dh 90. Good (thick) quality: Dh 300.
Paintings, depends on the quality and size but no more than Dh 50 for a 70x50cm.
Shisha, Dh 150 for the smallest ones. Prices then vary with size and quality.
Tobacco for shisha, Dh 20. There are many flavours and decent prices at the duty free store at the airport in Marrakech.
Shoes, for home, no more than Dh 50 for a good one, for the street no more than Dh 90 for a good quality one.
Lamp, no more than Dh 60 for a medium size lamp.
Woven beanie, Dh 15.
T-Shirt, no more than Dh 50 for a large.
Small wooden snake toys, Dh 5.
Small teapot (2-3 cups), Dh 90-100.
Medium size cooking tagine Dh 40. (Choose carefully, glazed tagines have a risk of releasing unsafe levels of lead.)
Dress for women, poor quality, not wool, Dh 30.
Carpets: Dh 1,000 for a white wool carpet that is 8ft x 12 ft
Dates: Dh 10 for a box (especially true if you buy near place they grow, like between Zagora and Agdz)
Henna tattoo: medium sized design should cost no more than Dh 50 (Ask for brown henna if you are allergic to PPP black henna, the brown henna is natural and safe)
You can order special gold jewellery items like a chain with your name on it or using a customised design but ensure you have agreed on the price beforehand.
Dishes: you can find small ones with Dh 40 to 60, depending on quality and decorations...
Bananas, Dh 8 per kilogram, in season.
250g of gunpowder tea, Dh 30. Although best bought at a supermarket.
Round piece of bread, Dh 1,5.
Spice Mix "4 Spices" 76,50 Dh/Kg
Spice Mix "Spices for Fish" 79,00 Dh/Kg
Spice Mix "Spice for Tagine" 69,95 Dh/Kg
Cumin 39,90 Dh/Kg
Curcuma 44,40 Dh/Kg
Ground Cinnamon 39,95 Dh/kg
Ground Ginger 54,50 Dh/Kg

Don't bid for a price that you are not willing to pay.

Even hostel prices can be haggled.

Remember, sellers are just the middle man, they don't produce it, except maybe for some kinds of lamps, and they pay very little to the people who actually make it. Please also NEVER pay in advance. And NEVER let anyone write you an invoice. Its a bad idea and in most of the cases you will never see your goods or money back.

source: Wikivoyage

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