The Souks of Marrakech
The Souks of Marrakech
Wandering and Shopping in the Largest Bazar of Africa
The souk is the heart piece of the medina (old town), a market place, an overstimulation for visitors and the best place to shop for souvenirs. It is divided by trade, but there is no was of orientation once you find yourself in the narrow streets of the souk. Just note, that there is a dedicated area for shoes, one for jewelry, one for rugs… so if you are looking for something specific, you will find it all in one place. Historically the “clean” trades (carpenting, wool works) were located on the inside, and the “unclean” ones (snake charmers, erotic medicine…). It is also the place where many of the goods are being manufactured, and you can watch the wool being dyed, the leather poufs getting sewn and the colorful furniture being painted.
Incredible things are happening here with natural colors, and the vendors will happily demonstrate every color and wrapping technique of the finished product.
All the pretty textiles! The vendor showed me how they are made and if you are really interested (and also willing to buy something) they will happily spent hours with you drinking mint tea and talking about their craft. Some speak English, but better refresh your French if you would like to a have a real conversation.
Shopping for a rug in Marrakech is definitely and experience and you should schedule some time if you walk into the rug souk. That being said, there are such pretty rugs, and it is really hard to walk past all of them. Finding the perfect rug for you at a price you are willing to pay can be nerve wrecking and confusing at times, but chances are, you will end up with a beautiful piece in the end. You will also be provided with instructions of how to ship it to your home, since you will most likely not have that much room in your lugagge left.
I love the Moroccan wedding blankets (above), most of them are white with fringes and beads, but styles and sizes vary.
There are lots of rules and scales for bargaining, but I’d recommend just taking some time, allowing yourself to get lost in the souks, drinking mint tea with vendors you buy from and enjoying the experience of shopping in Marrakech.