Shoppers Guide to Morocco
Morocco will often seem like a place out of this world to the occidental traveller. The country is famous for its Islamic architecture, beaches, mountains, oasis, as well as the proud Berber tribes living at the limits of the desert. Morocco is also a fabulous place for shopping: if you’re looking for goods like carpets, fabrics, tiles or pottery, Morocco’s markets are the ideal place. Actually, the country’s traditional markets (souks) offer a memorable experience: from the fragrant figs to the mountains of spices and unique artefacts, the souks are a buzzing, colourful mix of people, merchandise and oriental charm. In my shopper’s guide to Morocco I will introduce you to few of the country’s fabulous markets and shopping centres:
There are numerous souks in Marrakesh; actually, over twenty of them, spread all over the city. There are three things you should keep in mind while shopping in Marrakesh. Firstly, considering that we’re dealing with a big, tourist city, prices might be bigger than in most of the other towns or cities. Secondly, it’s important to know what you are looking for so as to choose the right souk (for example the clothing souk or the carpet souk). And last but not least, always bargain for the goods you want to buy, no matter how small: you’ll often get them for a third of the initial price.
Spice Souk, Essaouira
The Spice Souk in Essaouira is one of the most famous in the country. Not only for its picturesque display of the most various spices, herbs and candied fruit, but also for its resemblance to alchemist’s open air lab. The skilled sellers in the market will try to sell you the most fantastic herbal mixes, said to cure the most rare or interesting diseases. Otherwise, it’s a fabulous place to buy spices and tea
Morocco Mall, Casablanca
For a more contemporary shopper’s experiences with big labels, boutiques and air conditioning, head for one of the modern malls that are to be found in the big cities like Casablanca or Rabat. Here you’ll usually find many of the popular labels like Diesel, Zara, Lee Cooper or Banana Republic, but also lots of boutiques like Dior, Ralph Lauren or Prada. Lots of international restaurant and café chains are also present, which is quite a rare sight in Africa, a continent often neglected by the great names in the catering and fashion industries.