Shopping Adventure in Marrakech (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 the tour below, so don't hesitate! This tour belongs on your "must do" list!
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Shopping Adventure in Marrakech Map

Guide Name: Shopping Adventure in Marrakech
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: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Jemaa el-Fnaa
  • Souk Semmarine
  • Souk des Teinturiers
  • Rahba Kedima Square
  • Souk Zrabia
1
Jemaa el-Fnaa

1) Jemaa el-Fnaa (must see)

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the busiest and most visited of the squares in the Medina quarter of Marrakech and you will love it at any time of the day or night.

The square has been the central marketplace, commercial area and meeting place since the founding of the city in 1072. When the Almoravides dynasty was overthrown by the Almohades in 1147, a lot of the city and its buildings were destroyed, but the marketplace was quickly restored.

Along one side of the square are the famous souks, on the other sides are hotels, gardens and terrace cafés. There is always a great ambiance here and lots of people and noise.

During the day you can buy fresh orange juice or water from sellers dressed in traditional costume and bearing authentic leather water-skins and brass cups. There is a lot to see, with Barbary Macaques who perform tricks or sit on your shoulder while you have your photo taken. There are amazing snake charmers and acrobats.

In the early evening, the juice sellers move on and their place is taken by 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 for you, don’t forget to jot down its number for when you return to this lively square.

Why You Should Visit:
Totally in line with expectations. Ever since the trade routes, this square has been the meeting point and it still bursts with energy and trade vibes. Noisy and exotic.

Tips:
There are many food stalls with traditional food, although these have much higher risks of illness than restaurant food. Select a busy restaurant with locals in it (best and authentic food) and 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 and enjoy the atmosphere. During the day (ideally morning when it is cool) is the best time to shop & bargain (bargain hard!).
Consider hiring a guide. Expect to pay $40 for 3-4 hours (agree on this when 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

2) Souk Semmarine

Located near Jemaa el Fna, Souk Semmarine is famous for colorful textiles. If you are after an authentic Moroccan bag, shoes, or clothes, then this is the place for you to wander around. Next to the Souk Semmarine you will find Souk Laksour.
3
Souk des Teinturiers

3) Souk des Teinturiers

Souk des Teinturiers dazzles with dyed sheaves of wool and textiles. There are plenty of souvenir shops along the souk. It is considered one of the most colorful shopping places in Marrakech. Souk des Teinturiers is also known as dyer's souk.
4
Rahba Kedima Square

4) Rahba Kedima Square (must see)

If you want to get the feeling of stepping back in time to early Marrakech, you don’t have to look further than the Rahba Kedima.

This is one of the best market squares in the Medina district of the city. It is really more of a triangle than a square and is more exciting and friendly than the souks.

The sellers set up their wares on the ground or on trestle tables and they are always happy to haggle. They all seem less harried and happier than the sellers in the over-crowded souks and you are certain to find a great bargain here.

You will find traditional hand-woven baskets, raffia bags and a superb array of brightly colored woolly hats. 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.

The square is lined with rug shops and spice shops selling all kinds of exotic herbs and spices. Some shops sell animals – chameleons and other lizards and tortoises. Don’t forget that it is illegal to take these animals home with you, due to quarantine laws, so don’t get carried away and tempted by the low prices.

When you have finished your shopping, do go and have a coffee or a mint tea in the famous Café des Epices, which also sells sandwiches and snacks.

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.
More sophisticated and stylish than other, busier spots.

Tip:
The owners here are a bit more aggressive than in the souks – some will try to chase you down to buy stuff.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-6pm
5
Souk Zrabia

5) Souk Zrabia

Marrakech markets are known for their colorful handmade carpets, so it's no surprise that much of the local population is involved in making them. Souk Zrabia, or Le Criée Berbère, is found on the left side of the Rahba Kedima. Here you will find handmade carpets, brightly painted at a reasonable price, and a lot of colorful shoes, quite a change from the pre-French Occupation slave markets.

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