Casablanca: 15 Shopping Ideas for Travelers

Casablanca: 15 Shopping Ideas for Travelers

What's more to Casablanca than the famous 1940s movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman? Although "much water has flown under the bridge" since, there are things in Morocco still not fading away with time, just as those desert colors. Here are some of the items worth noting and picking up en route from Casablanca to have the feel of your stay in this magnificent town, firmly embedded in your memory.
Image Courtesy of: Barbaragin

1. Ceramic Articles

Ceramic Articles
Pottery appeared in Morocco 1000 years ago when the Berber population (Maures) built ovens in Fez, Meknes, Safi and Marrakech. In Safi, ceramic articles are doubly cooked by handicraftsmen that produce unique beautiful pieces, such as plates, tajines (for cooking or decoration purposes)… In Fez, you can find most charming ornamental ceramics (vases, plates, ashtrays) colored predominantly in cobalt blue with some green and yellow hues. Ceramic products are so finely made that they will satisfy most discerning traditional, as well as modern tastes. Furthermore, if you want to invite friends for a typical Moroccan meal, ceramic plates will be very useful due to their continual heat diffusion. Moroccan ceramic is available for sale at Bab Marakech, precisely in Bazar Salam and in Bazar Marocain n 5. Prices start from 80 to 150 dhs apiece and can go up, depending on the item and its size. They can also be found at the Exposition Artisanal store, located in Downtown at United Nation Square no.30, next to Astoria cafe.
Where to find it:
Bazar Salam
Rue Dar El Makhzen, Sidi Belyout 20000, Morocco

Bazar Marocain
5, Rue Du Marche Aux Grains, Casablanca 20100, Morocco
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2. Moroccan Jewelry

Moroccan Jewelry
Tiznit, Inzegan and Taroudant are Moroccan cities located in the south of Morocco that are famous for their silver jewelry artisans producing wonderful design pieces full of ethnic flavor. You can find modern jewels with floral motifs or traditional jewels with Berber patterns influenced by African and Spanish cultures. Jewelry production is often traditional where artisans let their imagination and creativity dominate the process. Filigree jewels are made of flattened and winded metal and are mostly produced in Essaouira and Tiznit. There is a huge variety of jewelry articles on offer, such as rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches… These are available at the Exposition Artisanal store, located downtown in the United Nations square number 30, next to Astoria Cafe, as well as at Bab Marrakech where jewelers are mostly specialized in silver, and where you can get a bargain on some truly marvelous pieces. The prices start at approximately 90 dhs and depend on the amount of precious metal contained in the item.
Where to find it:
Exposition Artisanal store
30 United Nations square, Casablanca 20250, Morocco

Bab Marakech
Rue des Anglais, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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Offline reading and travel directions:
You can carry this article in your mobile device to read offline and create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured herein with the GPSmyCity App (available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store).

3. Teapot or Barad

Teapot or Barad
Among the many traditions of Morocco there's one involving succulent tea which Moroccans are very dedicated to preparing for their guests or for themselves, for that matter, after each meal. This healthy and delicious beverage, prepared with tea leaves and mint, is mostly drunk in the summer due to its refreshing properties. In winter, however, the mint is replaced with absinthe to warm the body. Moroccan teapots are designed and crafted by artisans using a variety of materials, such as tin, brass, aluminum or silver alloys. Occasionally, depending on the demand and social status of the client, teapots can be plated with gold or bear gold motifs and decorations. To make about a liter of tea, you should first boil one liter of water. Then, put in about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of green tea with one glass of boiling water. Then swirl the liquid around and quickly pour out the water. Add the fresh whole mint leaves and 150 grams of sugar and the rest of the water. Let the mixture brew for about 3 to 4 minutes. Teapot prices vary, depending on the size and the material used, between 50 dhs and more. Teapots are widely available at any small or big store, but the most beautiful ones are sold at Houbous and Bab Marrakech.
Where to find it:
Bab Marakech
Rue des Anglais, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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Offline reading and travel directions:
You can carry this article in your mobile device to read offline and create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured herein with the GPSmyCity App (available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store).

4. Lamps

Lamps
During the "dark" years when electric light had not yet entered Moroccan houses, lamps were the only way for people to get some illumination. In winter or any other season, light and warmth were, and still are, always welcome in our homes. Moroccan lamps are made of wrought iron, copper or other alloys. Discrete, light and modern or traditional, Moroccan lamps easily blend with any interior design. A lovely ethnic Moroccan lamp made of tight animal (usually, goat) skin with henna dyed motifs in red, orange or brown colors can give oriental touch to any place. There are also high quality ceramic lamps made by skillful craftsmen, featuring many different shapes and colors. In order to have filtered smooth light inside or outside the house, there are wall lamps; these are also made of skin goat, wrought iron or glass. Moroccan lamps are widely presented at the Exposition Artisanale store, located downtown in the United Nation Square no.30, next to Astoria Cafe. You can also find them at Bab Marrakech, in Bazar Salam. Depending on the material used, prices range from around 150 dhs (for animal skin lamps) to some 700 dhs (for copper lamps).
Where to find it:
Exposition Artisanal store
30 United Nations square, Casablanca 20250, Morocco

Bazar Salam
Rue Dar El Makhzen, Sidi Belyout 20000, Morocco
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5. Copper Articles

Copper Articles
Moroccan craft industry is a history of ancestral savoir-faire coming from the first inhabitants of Morocco, the Berbers, who were the forerunners in the artisan field, especially in the making of carpets, jewels, and ceramics. After the arrival of Arabs and Islam, other forms of artisan arts started to flourish, involving new materials, such as wood, sorrel, clay and copper. Working with copper in all its varieties (yellow, red) has been mostly advanced in the cities of Marrakesh and Fez, whose artisans have learnt over centuries to give this metal unique forms, creating decorations and utensils - plates for serving tea or presenting Moroccan biscuits, ashtrays, tea pots, vases, etc. In their work, Moroccan craftsmen use the traditional method of hammering. Each item they make passes through a number of consecutive steps, including hammering, soldering, assembling and, finally, creation of ornamental elements.

A wide choice of brass articles can be found at downtown stores: Artisans de souks (located in Chenier street number 9), Exposition Artisanal (located in United Nations square number 30, next to Astoria Cafe), Bab Marrakech shopping area (Bazar Bab Rkha number 45 and Bazar Salam). Also, look out in the Habous gift stores. Prices vary, depending on the product, e.g. plates can cost around 700 dhs (mid size), pans - 350 dhs.
Where to find it:
Exposition Artisanal store
30 United Nations square, Casablanca 20250, Morocco

Bab Marakech
Rue des Anglais, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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6. Argan Oil

Argan Oil
Argan oil comes from the Argania spinosa tree fruits that grow mostly in Morocco, in the Souss region. By breaking and squeezing these hard fruits, Berber women extract this exceptional oil that has many virtues. In fact, there are two kinds of argan oil: one used with food and the other - in cosmetic products. Moroccans are very fond of Argan oil that is rich in linoleic acid, the acid that regulates cholesterol. In the cosmetic field, Argan oil is very appreciated for its high vitamin E content. Women with different types of skin use this oil to hydrate and soften their skin (massage) which reduces the ageing signs. Another valued oil is the Moroccan olive oil, rich in vegetal protein, mineral salts, carotene and oleic acids that prevents many diseases, such as breast and colon cancer, diabetes… Argan oil is available in the Artisants de Souks store located downtown, in Chenier street number 9. The list Argan cosmetic products includes creams, shampoos, soaps and essential oils. They are available in rich supply at Exposition Artisanal store situated downtown, in the United Nations square number 30, next to Astoria cafe. Prices vary from 50 to 180 dhs.
Where to find it:
Exposition Artisanal store
30 United Nations square, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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7. Perfume Bottles

Perfume Bottles
Morocco is well known for its rose water produced in Kalaât M’gouna, a city located in the heart of the Atlas, the home of annual Rose Festival. During this spring event, Miss Rose is elected as a celebration of flower harvest that will lead to the creation of cosmetic products, such as soaps, shampoos, creams, and oils. For a very long time until today, Moroccans have used perfume bottles as receptacles for rose water or essential oils that purified, toned up and calmed them down. These hand-made bottles, although not massively produced, come in a variety of shapes and colors. They are beautifully made of ceramic, glass or resin, and are decorated mostly with crafted metal or silver (filigree). The colors used for such bottles are mainly red, yellow, blue, and green. As to the glass ones, the ideal color for them, set to protect the perfume within against ultra violets, is blue. The bottles can also be used for interior fragrances that will fill the house with exquisite aromas for many days. Even empty, these bottles can be used as art objects for home decoration. The perfume bottles are available at gift stores in Bab Marrakech and the Houbous, with prices starting from 50 dhs (small bottles).
Where to find it:
Bab Marakech
Rue des Anglais, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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8. Leather Goods

Leather Goods
For many centuries, starting the tenth century AD, Morocco was the leader of African leather production, with exports running as far as Baghdad, the Middle East and Europe. This was possible thanks to the abundance of sheep and goat herds, as well as oak forests (oak wood is used for tanning leather). The exceptional live material such as leather is well adapted to both traditional and contemporary tendencies, and has successfully found its place in today's fashion and luxury trends. In fact, leather has permeated many other products' manufacturing, such as babouches or balgha (sandal), bags, clothing, saddles, poufs, and even musical instruments. Each animal skin is unique and has a particular use: lamb is used for clothing, due to its delicacy; cow skin is thicker and is used for bags and coats; whereas goat is used for poufs, because of its roughness. There are still entire districts in Fes and Marrakesh occupied wholly with leather colored tanks where tanners perform a wonderful spectacle.

In Casablanca, leather products are available in Bab Marrakech in old Medina: Bazar Salam, Bazar Bab Arkha where poufs cost 300 dhs (all sizes). You can find them also at the Exposition Artisanale, located in the United Nations street, store number 30, next to Astoria cafe, and in the Houbous shopping area. There, a leather travelling bag would cost around 300 dhs, hand bags - 200 dhs, and smaller bags - 100 dhs.
Where to find it:
Bazar Salam
Rue Dar El Makhzen, Sidi Belyout 20000, Morocco

Exposition Artisanal store
30 United Nations square, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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9. Moroccan Tajine

Moroccan Tajine
Tajine is a very old kind of plate with conical lid that is used in Morocco's rural counties, or by nomads, as portable ovens over charcoal braziers. Its base is both, a cooking and serving dish. This kitchen utensil is made of terracotta in which ingredients are stewed slowly and with minimum of water. In fact, the components of the Tajine generate their own steam, retaining within the cooked dish all its juices and flavors. Nowadays, Tajines are bought either for cooking or decoration purposes. If a plate is going to be used for decor, you can find it in any size and color. However, if you need it for cooking, then it is preferable to have it non-glazed and without colors at all. It also needs to be soaked in water for 24 hours, then greased with cooking oil three or four times prior to being used. In order to protect Tajine from cracking, a metal piece has to be applied to protect it from flames. Decorated Tagines, adorned with superb colors and other materials (e.g. silver), are sold at 80dhs apiece and more. Tagines for cooking cost around 150 dhs. They are available in Bab Marrakech in the Bazar Souk Marocain, store number 5. Tajines there are mainly from Safi.
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10. Wooden Articles

Wooden Articles
Moroccan craft industry is a big field of innovation where imagination meets tradition. Artisans, especially from Essaouira, Fes or Meknes, are famous for their woodworking that requires fine and precise skill. There, you can find a large selection of wooden items, such as jewel and magic boxes, bowls, sculptures, candle holders, chessboards, dominoes, plates, saucers, ashtrays, desk accessories, and more. All these objects are mainly made of cedar from the Middle Atlas; this wood is known for its fragrance and durability. They also use luxurious thuja (or Araar), a fragrant and tough wood, that allows artisans to develop their artistic ingenuity without big fissure risks. Today's woodworking relies on a rich variety of local (cedar, thuja, apricot tree, lemon and orange tree) and imported (mahogany, ebony) types of wood. Wood crafts are sold in shops located in the Houbous and Bab Marakech. There is a wide range of objects available of different sizes and with prices starting from 50 dhs per item.
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11. Tea Glasses

Tea Glasses
Moroccan glasses, much as teapots, in large part symbolize Morocco's unequaled hospitality. Whether chitchatting with friends, or resting after a lavish meal, or having a breakfast, Moroccan people find mint tea to be their prime choice of drink, especially if it's drunk from beautiful glasses handmade in Essaouira, Taza, Marrakech or Meknes. In a way, drinking tea is not only a pleasure to the tongue, but also to the eyes, as these glasses are usually very colorful (red, green, yellow, blue…) skillfully decorated (in silver or gold) and are generally much fun to drink from. They can also be used as cup-style votive candle holders. Moroccan tea glasses are made of clear glass or frosted glass, and come in different shapes, colors and designs, all of which make the prices differ widely. Tea glasses are normally sold in six-packs, costing about 90 dhs and more. The good choice of glasses is available at Bab Marrakech and Houbous.
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12. Moroccan Carpets

Moroccan Carpets
Morocco is well-known for its hand-made colored carpets, produced mainly in the rural parts of the country and mostly by women who gather in cooperatives to manufacture these beautiful artifacts. The richness of colors and patterns of Moroccan tapestry reflects the nation's being at the crossroads of many civilizations which gave birth to its ethnic diversity (Arab, African, Spanish and Berber).

The main carpet-producing regions are the following: the Capital Rabat, its famous carpets are made in seven colors and hold magical patterns and significations. In Taznakht, located in the province of Ouarzazate, you can find splendid shimmering carpets dominated by red, orange, copper and golden yellow colors, and typical motifs, such as squares, lozenges, rectangles and lines. They are mainly made of wool worked by hand and colored with natural colorants like madder roots. In Akhnif, carpets are called hanbal (or kilim); they are lighter and thinner than ordinary carpets, and are hand-woven with perfect wool or cotton mill. Their main color is red, with secondary colors being usually yellow, green, black and brown. The prices vary according to the size and region of origin. For example, a carpet from Taznakht, measuring 1.6/1.4 m, costs 1500 dhs, and a smaller one (1/1.5 m) costs 1200 dhs.

In Casablanca, these carpets are available:
- In downtown: a big store called “Exposition d’artisanat des souks du Maroc” located at 9, Chenier street. “Exposition artisanal”, number 30 United Nations square, next to Astoria cafe.
- In the old Medina in Bab Marrakech or Bab Rkha: number 47 Bazarat Bab Rkha. number 171 Bazar Taroudant.
-In the Houbous shopping area: there are colorful carpets originated from various parts of the country.
Where to find it:
Exposition Artisanal store
30 United Nations square, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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13. Balgha

Balgha
Balgha is a traditional sandal usually worn with the Djellaba, Caftan or any casual attire. It is a leather product made of sheep or goat skin, but you can also find it made from other different colored fabrics. Historically, this sandal was the only existing shoe worn by everyone in the urban, as well as rural, population. It can be of a pointed or rounded shape. Also, it can cover the whole foot or just part of it, depending on the model and the weather it is supposed to be worn in. In summer, Balgha is very comfortable because your feet are getting fresh air all the time. The Balgha colors vary from natural sheep skin colors, such as dark or light brown, to all the rainbow colors imaginable. Prices start at 55 dhs a pair in the Houbous shopping area. In Bab Marrakech, there is a wide selection of Balgha for men, women and children.
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14. Moroccan Music Instruments

Moroccan Music Instruments
Moroccan music is composed in four main musical genres: Gnawa, Chhabi, Andalous and Berber. Each of these genres, in turn, incorporates regional subgroups balancing between modern and traditional music, using a variety of instruments. The most vastly used ones are Bendir, Tarija and Krakeb. Bendir is a percussion instrument. It is light and is used standing. It is made of animal skin pulled over a wooden hooping with a single hole for a thumb. Goat skin is a preferred material for it because of its elasticity and resistance. Three tight threads are added inside to improve the Bendir resonance and, for a better sound, it is preferable to warm the skin up carefully, so as not to puncture it. There are Bendirs with synthetic skin which is more convenient, since there is no need for heating, but the sound they produce is of a lesser quality. Most famous artists and groups use Bendir as their main instrument; among them are Jiljilala, Chikkhat, Sufi Brotherhood and Fares Alaswad (the Black Cavalier).

Another famous percussion instrument is Tarija. It looks like a sand-glass made of pottery and skin goat. It comes in many different sizes and colors, and is mainly bought in Achoura feast by all Moroccan households. Finally, the Krakeb - a handmade steel instrument played mainly by the Gnawa, descendants of migrants and enslaved people from sub-Saharan countries. It comes in a form of 4 cymbals with each pair of the Krakeb connected with a ring to keep them together. They have a powerful sonority and are used in Essaouira (YouTube: Gnawa Festival Essaouira) to impose a mesmerizing rhythm, and in Marrakech, to emphasize the rhythm. These instruments are available in Bab Marakech and Habous, in a wide range of colors, sizes and quality, with prices ranging between 30 dhs and 100 dhs and more.
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15. Traditional Outfits

Traditional Outfits
One of the most worn outfits in Morocco is Djellaba: Moroccan women own at least three or more Djellabas differing in color, fabric and style. Actually, this cloth was first designed for men, however, following Morocco's independence of 1956, women, who used to wear the haik (a piece of white or beige fabric covering their body entirely, except the eyes), started to embrace the Djellaba. This comfortable attire, mostly produced and worn in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), has gone through several periods which affected its design, color and material. Traditionally, they come in darker colors and straighter shapes, however, today, Djellabas (worn inside or outside the house) tend to be more colorful and follow women's bodies in their curves. As to the fabrics, they depend on weather; the hotter it is, the lighter is the fabric (silk, satin), and if it's cold, the fabric gets heavier, thicker and darker (e.g. wool or velvet).

Prices can reach up to 900 dhs (silk), 1500 dhs (wool), depending on the fabric and design. Another popular Moroccan garment is Caftan. It is known worldwide for its wonderful colors and shapes fit to satisfy each woman's desire to embellish her appearance at parties or weddings. Caftan is a one piece cloth, generally long belted or not. Takchita is a long loose dress made of two or more pieces. In Casablanca, these garments are available in rich supply at Bab Marrakech (Avenue de l"Armee Royale), Houbous (Quartier des Habous, 20000) and Affari shopping areas. Prices start from 1500 dhs.
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Other Interesting Souvenirs from Marocco


If traveling to Morocco is not on your immediate agenda, or you simply can't afford an extra space in your luggage, fortunately, these days, you can find a wide selection of authentic and truly interesting Moroccan souvenirs online. Presented here are some of the Moroccan products sought by foreign visitors, now available online for your convenience.

1. Handcrafted Bread Basket - Exquisite handmade basket, woven by Moroccan artisans with palm leaves, featuring an intricate Henna design, will accentuate any area in your home, creating a warm and inviting feeling. Good for storing bread, fruit or any other dry food.

2. Woven Palm Leaf Bag - Made of palm leaves by Moroccan artisans, hand-woven baskets are durable and fit for many different purposes, be it a beach or picnic basket, or a grocery bag. It is equally good for carrying toys, umbrellas, books, towels, magazines, and lots of other things.

3. Ras El Hanout Spice Blend - Ras El Hanout (aka Ras El Hanouth, Raz Al Hanout or Moroccan Seasoning) is a unique Moroccan cooking blend designed to enhance meat dishes, made up of over 30 dried herbs and vegetables, including grains of paradise, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, galangal, lavender, nutmeg, ajawan seeds, kalajeera, galangal, oris root, rose buds, monk's pepper, black pepper, paprika, parsley, cardamon, cloves, bay leaves, star anise, coriander, thyme, fenugreek, and more! An absolute must-have for Moroccan cuisine; perfect for tagine and couscous recipes. Amazingly versatile, it may also be used in any savory dish to add complexity to your favorite meal.

4. Moroccan Black Soap - Moroccan Black soap (or Beldi Savon Noir) is a gel-style soap essential to the Moroccan hammam (traditional steam room) ritual. Made of olive paste and eucalyptus essential oil, this soap prepares skin for exfoliation, making it softer and ready for a scrub. It removes impurities and dead skin layers, leaving the skin looking radiant, clean and soft. Suitable for all skin types of both men and women. Will make you feel like you've spent a whole day in a spa!

5. Moroccan Saffron - Known as The King Of Spices, Saffron is the most lavish, sought-after Moroccan spice. Some say Moroccan saffron has a faint honey flavor with grassy or hay-like notes, while others swear it tastes like sea. Used for over a thousand years by renowned gourmet chefs, Saffron is a traditional ingredient in many famous dishes, such as Moroccan Couscous, Spanish Paella Valenciana, French Bouillabaisse and Italian Risotto alla Milanese. Saffron is just as wonderful in seafood marinades, tomato-based sauces and is lovely when steeped with green tea. From aiding digestion to reducing inflammation, Saffron boasts many beneficial medicinal properties.

6. Moroccan Scarves - Oblong Moroccan head scarf (or shoulder shawl) is a stylish, multi-purpose garment that goes well with any type of dress, blouse, sweater, jacket or shirt to produce a rather charming look on both, adult women and teen girls. Made of lightweight silk, it is breathable and easy care. Perfect for any occasion.

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Casablanca Walking Tours

Casablanca Cultural Walk

Casablanca Cultural Walk

Casablanca has always been the economic centre of Morocco as well as a hub of great cultural significance. After being a colony under French rule for a long time, Casablanca managed to assimilate and mix different cultures in various ways. Discover Casablanca's cultural heritage by following the steps of the next walking tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Famous around the world for the legendary movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the city of Casablanca has a lot to offer visitors in terms of attractions. One of, if not “the” prime tourist destination of Morocco, it hosts a variety of historic and other notable sights. To find out what they are, follow in the footsteps of this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km