Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Marrakech Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Marrakech

Probably no shopping in your life will compare to this extraordinary experience: vivid, bright, juicy colors of carpets, clothes and shoes; enchanting smells of local perfumes and spices; crafts, handmade jewelry, pottery; and of course, the long shopping mazes and souks. All this is included in this self guided tour, so don't hesitate! This tour belongs on your "must do" list!
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Marrakech Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Marrakech Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Morocco » Marrakech (See other walking tours in Marrakech)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Jemaa el-Fnaa
  • Souk Semmarine (Semmarine Market)
  • Rahba Kedima Square
  • Souk Zrabia (Carpet Market)
  • Souk des Teinturiers (Dyer's market)
1
Jemaa el-Fnaa

1) Jemaa el-Fnaa (must see)

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the busiest and most visited square in the medina quarter of Marrakech and is a lovely place to visit any time of day or night. This square has been a central marketplace, commercial area and meeting place since the city was founded in 1062. When the Almohades dynasty overthrew the Almoravides in 1147, much of Marrakech was destroyed, but this marketplace was quickly restored.

Nowadays, along the one side of the market you can see famous souks, while the other side is lined with hotels, gardens and terrace cafes. The ambiance here is always lively with lots of people and noise.

During the day you can easily quench your thirst buying fresh orange juice or water from the numerous sellers dressed up in traditional attire and bearing authentic leather water-skins and brass cups. Among the exotic attractions found in this market are Barbary Macaques performing tricks or sitting on your shoulder while you pose for a picture, as well as snake charmers and acrobats.

In the early evening, the juice sellers move on and their place is taken by the bands playing all sorts of music to which young Chleuh boys dance to amuse the public. Storytellers settle down to regale locals with their tales (sadly not in English), magicians practice their art and medicine men sell plant remedies.

At night, the music steps up a beat while food stalls are installed and the square becomes a huge open-air restaurant. The stalls are numbered, so once you have found the one you like, don’t forget to jot down its number for when you return to this lively square again.

Why You Should Visit:
Totally in line with expectations. The square is a meeting point and bursts with energy and trade vibes. Noisy and exotic.

Tips:
The many stalls selling traditional food here pose greater risk of food poisoning than the restaurants. Select a busy restaurant with many locals in it as a sign of good authentic fare to enjoy. The other option is to eat at one of the several rooftop restaurants surrounding the square: great view of the action but less confronting, though slightly more expensive.
Beware of pushy salespeople, "free offers", people with animals (e.g. monkeys, snakes), pickpockets, motorbikes, bicycles and carts. If you visit at night, don't shop – it's too busy to do much. Just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. During the day (ideally in the morning, when it's cool) is the best time to shop and bargain (bargain hard!).
Consider hiring a guide. Expect to pay $40 for 3-4 hours (agree on the price before hiring) as the Jemaa is massive and it is very easy to get lost. Make sure you tell the guide what you want to see.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 6am–1am
2
Souk Semmarine (Semmarine Market)

2) Souk Semmarine (Semmarine Market)

Located next to the city's main square, Jemaa al-Fnaa, the visually appealing Souk Semmarine is the largest market in the whole of Morocco, where traders have been selling goods for the past 1,000 years. If you're after colorful accessories such as authentic bags, shoes, or clothes, then this is the right place to wander around. The henna artists, hawkers and other locals trying to take advantage of tourists can get somewhat overwhelming, but that is all part of the experience.

Besides the colorful textiles and the fantastic smell of spices, another notable attraction inside Souk Semmarine are the shops selling lamps with intricate designs that really come to life when light is turned on in the evening. Lamp-making is a classic art in Morocco and the skill is passed down from one generation to the next. You will also find plenty of shops selling amazing selections of pottery, brass/metals, belts, and other genuine products; as a matter of fact, many of the goods sold here are manufactured onsite and have remained unchanged for centuries.

When shopping at Souk Semmarine, or anywhere in Morocco for that matter, you should haggle for a better price. While the concept of haggling may be strange for some Western visitors, it is actually a deep-rooted way of life for Moroccans. Shopping and haggling go hand in hand, so don't hesitate to secure a better deal. If the price is under 200DH, give half; if it is over 200DH, divide by 4. If they don't accept your offer, leave and go away – you'll find your stuff in another store.

Tip:
Stalls typically open between 9–10am and close around 7–8pm. In the middle of the day, temperatures can become a little too high for many, so the best times to visit are early morning / early evening. Also, be on your guard for scooters and avoid taking pictures of monkeys or snakes as their owners will 100% know that you have done it and will ask for money.
3
Rahba Kedima Square

3) Rahba Kedima Square

If you want to get the feeling of stepping back in time to early Marrakech, don't look further than the Rahba Kedima. This is one of the best market squares (though really more of a triangle) in the Medina district and is friendlier and more spacious than the souks, with ready-to-haggle vendors setting up their wares on the ground or on trestle tables. More traditional and more street-market-style than other, busier spots, it's also a great area to see basket weavers in action.

Aside from traditional hand-woven baskets, raffia bags, and colorful rugs, you will find a superb array of woolly hats, as well as all kinds of exotic herbs and spices. Some of the stands offer a mind-boggling range of goods: dried scorpions, leeches for medicinal purposes, snails (whose slime, you will be assured, does wonders against wrinkles) and other strange and sometimes rather repulsive objects used for witchcraft and black magic. Should you get tempted by low prices for chameleons and other reptiles, don't forget that taking such animals home with you is illegal due to quarantine laws.

When you've had enough shopping, have a mint tea in the famous Café des Epices, which also sells freshly made juices, sandwiches, salads and crepes. Watch the market work in the 'jardin' downstairs or enjoy the view from the terrace upstairs.

Why You Should Visit:
Like any bazaar, this market square has quite an impact and will keep you spellbound.
It's very easy to lose yourself in the array of Moroccan articles, spices and smells.

Tip:
Whatever original price you are offered, 1/4 it and that will be somewhere near the real cost.
Be aware of anyone giving you directions to or leading you up a backstreet, as it's more than likely you'll be mugged.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-6pm
4
Souk Zrabia (Carpet Market)

4) Souk Zrabia (Carpet Market)

Morocco is known for its colorful handmade carpets, so it's no surprise that there is a market dedicated to selling them. Souk Zrabia is found on the left side of the Rahba Kedima. Here you will find handmade rugs, carpets and kilims that are brightly painted and at reasonable price. There are also embroidered sheep wool hats found on this market.

The market used to hold slave auctions every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (sub-Saharan Africans traded by Arab slavers) until the French occupation in 1912. Compared to the other markets in Marrakech, the atmosphere here is more relaxed so you can enjoy browsing the products without hassled by a pushy salesman.

Opening Hours: 10:00 - 20:00
5
Souk des Teinturiers (Dyer's market)

5) Souk des Teinturiers (Dyer's market)

Souk des Teinturiers is a must-see place for people with special interest for colors. This souk, dazzled with dyed sheaves of wool and textiles, is probably one of the most picturesque in Marrakech. For many, it is the favorite Instagram spot in the city. The souk is maintained despite the industrial dyes because nowadays it is primarily a tourist attraction. Here you can see workshops with steam emanating from the tanks and big skeins of wool hanging to dry.

Opening Hours: 10:00 - 20:00, closed on Friday.

Walking Tours in Marrakech, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Creating your own self-guided walk in Marrakech is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Marrakech Introduction Walk

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The fourth largest city in Morocco, Marrakech is a true out-of-the-ordinary getaway combining old historic atmosphere with a lively sights of today. The medina quarter of Marrakech – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – comprises a medieval walled city, dating back hundreds of years to the days of Berber Empire, whose mazelike alleys are still densely packed with vendors and stalls luring buyers...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Moroccan Architecture Tour

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No tall skyscrapers, no sophisticated giant malls, no nothing to remind of Western architecture, as this self-guided tour is all about the genuine Moroccan style. Featuring the most prominent architectural sights, it takes you to places that will amaze with their majestic structures, traditional motifs, and mystic atmosphere. In the realm of Instagram, Marrakech is one of the best, and every...  view more

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Medina Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles