Shopping Guide in Morocco: How to Bargain in Souks for Authentic Souvenirs
The ultimate shopping guide in Morocco – what to buy, where to find it, bargaining tips, avoiding scams, and the best souks to shop for pottery, rugs, lanterns, jewelry, spices, and more.
From brilliantly hued textiles to intricate ceramics, shopping for souvenirs is one of the great joys of visiting Morocco. Wandering through bustling souks and medinas, the sights and sounds enchant as you uncover local handicrafts and goods imbued with tradition. Tableware shines with delicate mosaics, wool carpets burst with elaborate patterns, and the aroma of pungent spices permeates the streets. While the array of options is thrilling, browsing strategically helps ensure you find quality Moroccan keepsakes.
This comprehensive guide will help demystify the entire shopping experience – from must-have souvenirs to getting the best deals. You’ll discover where to shop by city, gain insider bargaining tips, and learn how to spot and avoid scams. With knowledge of customs and prices, plus some key Arabic phrases, you can confidently haggle your way to the perfect haul of Moroccan treasures. Keep this advice in mind for an enjoyable adventure hunting for tagines, rugs, lanterns, jewelry, and so much more to transport you back to Morocco long after your trip. Let’s go unlock the secrets of shopping success!
Popular Moroccan Souvenirs to Buy
Morocco offers endless handicrafts and goods, but some favorites include:
- Ceramics like tagines and tableware – Glazed clay in colorful patterns, available in all prices and sizes
- Handwoven rugs and blankets – Variety of regional weaving styles and motifs, wool or cotton
- Metal lanterns and mosaic lamps – Intricate colorful glass and metal lighting
- Spices and dried herbs – Saffron, cumin, ras el hanout spice mixes for authentic flavour
- Argan oil and beauty products – Praised for skin and hair benefits
- Leather goods – Camel leather poufs, handbags, jackets, babouche slippers
- Pottery – Plain or painted clay pots and vases with Berber designs
Best Markets and Souks by City
Top shopping spots include:
- Marrakech – Sprawling souks, Jemaa El Fna square, Ensemble Artisanal for crafts
- Fez – Nejjarine Souk for pottery, Chouara Tanneries for leather, dye pits
- Tangier – Grand Socco market and Petit Socco for all sorts of treasures
- Chefchaouen – Bab el Ain medina market and Talassemtane for weavings
- Tinghir – Ancient quarter souk for fossils, jewelry and handmade Berber rugs
- Essaouira – For Argan oils and related products
Each city has its specialties – learn what to buy and where to buy it.
Bargaining Tips and Advice for Morocco
Haggling is expected – use these tips to master it:
- Research common retail prices beforehand so you can negotiate fairly.
- Begin negotiations around 50% of the quoted price for items with no fixed price tags.
- Counter back and forth politely until you reach an acceptable compromise.
- Avoid getting ripped off, but aim for a win-win where you get a deal and vendor makes a profit.
- Pay a little extra for certifiably authentic and high quality goods.
- Don’t feel pressured – be ready to walk away from pushy vendors.
Avoiding Shopping Scams in Morocco
Shop smartly and safely:
- Only buy from reputable stores, restaurants, and well known gift shops. Research seller reviews or ask your driver or guide.
- “Antique” items may be made specifically to sell to tourists so be wary.
- Politely decline street sellers and children pushing items aggressively.
- Check quality before purchasing – some goods are low-grade or damaged.
- For big purchases, have an expert appraise piece and authentication papers.
Moroccan Shopping Etiquette
Immerse respectfully into the local shopping culture:
- Greet sellers politely – a little Arabic like “Salam” goes a long way.
- Dress modestly without showing too much skin or flashing expensive items.
- Negotiate sincerely – avoid aggressively haggling over a few dirhams.
- Browsing is welcome even if you don’t intend to buy.
- Let shopping enrich your Moroccan experience, not create hassle or friction.
From tangled medinas to aromatic spice souks, shopping in Morocco is an adventure for the senses that brings you closer to understanding local artistry and culture. Find your own treasures by honing negotiation etiquette, distinguishing quality goods, and immersing yourself in the markets’ energy. Approach interactions with patience and leave prices never haggled over on the table. What you take home in your suitcase is secondary to the connections you forge and perspectives you gain.
Let each handwoven rug and delicate tea glass you barter for represent shared understanding between distant worlds. And if an item breaks on your journey home, take joy in the memories it brings rather than the material lost. The sights, sounds, tastes, and kindnesses experienced while shopping will remain with you long after any object fades. Your souvenirs are rarely what you buy, but rather what you discover about others and yourself along the way.
Get Inspired and Plan Your Trip Today!
- Check out our Morocco Private Tours to see all the fantastic places you can visit in Morocco.
- Customize your own tour using the form on our website to create a vacation that is perfect for you.
Popular souvenirs include rugs, leather goods, lanterns, ceramics like tagines, jewelry, argan oil, spices, traditional clothing, and handicrafts.
Top destinations for shopping are the souks in Marrakech, Fez, and Tangier. Each city has its specialties.
Yes, bargaining is expected especially at markets. Vendors may inflate prices. Negotiate respectfully to get the best deals.
Be wary of alleged “antiques”, cheap counterfeit goods, items with a high commission, and products made from banned materials.
Greet sellers politely, dress modestly, refrain from taking photos, bargain in good faith, and avoid feeling pressured into purchases.
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