While you may not want to buy anything, Souk Sehb Mabrouka offers the chance to see an authentic Moroccan flea market. The tourist souks where you’ll find a variety of treasures are generally inside of the old city walls. Traditionally an open-air market that locals relied on for their essential items, a souk would have travelling merchants passing through them once a week, once a month or at other infrequent periods. Artist-scholar with a passion for travel. I highly recommend staying in a local riad if you are in Marrakech. People sold their wares from or near their workshops. Souks are not only markets. Vibrantly coloured aromatic spices are often among the first things people think of when imagining the souks of Marrakech. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Make sure the guide is licensed. Check flights on Kiwi and see if you can snag a cheap one and hop over. The narrow alleyways, with overflowing items that snake off to more thin passageways with even more goods, can all start to look very similar. Merchants who arrived late had to spend the night outside of the protective walls. Of course, like anywhere, it was easier for me to feel comfortable in the small towns in Morocco than in the big cities like Casablanca. Souk Semmarine is probably the first souk you will encounter as you enter the maze, framed by a large iron trellis and filled with tourist oriented souvenirs. At the time of writing (March of 2018) the … Local artisans and craftsmen often lived and worked close to others in the same trade. Watch various artisans and craftsmen in their workshops, sewing, hammering, chiselling, sculpting, cutting and applying their skills. Head to Marrakech’s tanneries to see how leather is worked before being crafted into the items you see for sale in the souks. It is in these ancient marketplaces where you will find the business end of Marrakech. A souk is the name given to an Arab market. ‘The souks, or markets, are a central part of life in Morocco.’ ‘Hidden from view, its famous covered souks, markets, thread like capillaries for a reputed 30 km.’ ‘Every major Hollywood release is pirated onto VCDs and DVDs and sold in souks and bazaars from Tajikistan to Taipei.’ I must say Marrakech is a Must-see city. souk asni ⵙⵙⵓⵇ ⵏ ⴰⵙⵏⵉ is a marketplace in Morocco. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates on future travel resources & access to a growing library of free travel goods! However, don’t agree on a price and then not go through with the sale. It is easy to spot freshly-dyed leather drying on pavements in Marrakech’s souks. Morocco is a really easy trip if you’re visiting Europe, especially if you’re in Spain! The haggling culture extends back thousands of years – just roll with it! Grab a paper map from your accommodation or print one from an online source. Head to the comments and post it up! A souk is an open-air market. This artisan market is a good option if you are intimidated by haggling and still want fine crafted good. I fell in love with the country and its people & I want to visit them again. One week ago, I returned from a trip to Casablanca & Marrakech in Morocco. The vast number of traders visiting Marrakech is a major reason why the medina has so many gates; access to the main part of the city was made easier for merchants. Wandering the souks with a local guide is the best way to explore if you’re concerned about getting lost, especially if time is short. Thousands of artisans and … Know Before You Go Shopping in Morocco. Marrakech’s souks have clothes in all shapes, sizes and colours – from T-shirts, shorts and jeans through to the traditional kaftans and djellabas (a kind of robe). While these two UNESCO World Heritage Sites are among Morocco’s iconic attractions, the neighborhood souks in … You can always take a tour to make traveling easier (and to free up some mental energy for haggling). For further cultural identification, remove all English words, add a bucket of chaos, and you to… The constant calls and attempts to entice buyers can become a bit tiresome after a while. About Souk & Soul. Marrakech’s splendid Olive Souk. Thus, the convenience also increased the number of items being bought. Marrakech’s sweet, tasty orange juice is not to be missed. Based between Washington DC and Morocco Souk & Soul is a brand built around the love for travel and culture by bringing a curated collection of handcrafted home decor, accessories, and fashion by the artisans of Morocco. The Marrakech medina is famous for its souks and some tour agencies even offer tours focused on seeing all the various souks! Ancien Souk Tlat from Mapcarta, the free map. The country is Green & beautiful and the people are kind. The huge variety of items on sale in the souks of Marrakech makes some people travel with an empty suitcase, ready to load up with goodies to take home. Locals try to be helpful for the most part, but some less than scrupulous “guides” may try to get you disoriented even further so they can pick up a tip for taking you back to the main square, Jemaa el Fna. Your nose will tell you when you get close to the tanneries, and the proprietors offer fresh mint for you to breathe from as you walk through the tanning vats. Early history of souks in Marrakech A souk is the name given to an Arab market. Souk Semmarine is the largest souk district in the whole of Morocco, and it astonishing to think that traders and merchants have been trading and … Neighbourhood souks originally mainly sold everyday essentials. In Morocco, the souk is a marketplace: both a social one and a physical goods one.It’s pretty much where most business happens, and once you’ve seen one, you’ll realise that it’s hard to describe all of the commotion inside a busy souk. Before you venture into the souks and markets of Morocco, understand that bargaining for the price of an item is an accepted (and almost obligatory) Morocco shopping practice. This site has affiliate links that provide us with compensation if you book with them at no extra charge to you to help support the labor it takes to write these posts. The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (Dhs). Shop owners generally can’t leave their premises and are less likely to try and lead you in exchange for payment. Required fields are marked *. If you start to panic and really need to ask somebody for directions, try to approach families or females as opposed to younger men. Many are quite affordable. Founded in the 11 th century and renowned for its treasure trove of mosques, palaces, and museums, Marrakesh is the most visited of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities. Souk Smata is the main area to find babouches, also known as the slippers souk. Ancien Souk Tlat is a marketplace in Morocco. The smaller neighbourhood souks gradually grew, as more traders saw the opportunity to increase sales. All kinds of goods can be bought at Marrakech’s souks. While I only ever write about products I think deserve to be on the pages of our site, Wondrous Paths may earn a small commission if you click through and buy or download the product in question, at no extra cost to you. Souk can be spelled also Souq and it’s basically a square with a market. It’s an amazing experience, but it is a working tannery, full of animal hides and fats all over the ground. Souks are a major feature of Moroccan life and are beamed as the greatest attraction for the travelers. In general a souk is synonymous with a bazaar or marketplace, and the term souk is used in Arabic-speaking countries. If road signs and landmarks, such as mosques and monuments, can’t easily be spotted, walk through busier areas until you find a sign or landmark. Another option is to go into a small shop and ask for help. Unless you stay fairly close to the web of streets branching off Djemaa el-Fna, it’s very easy to get lost in Marrakech’s souks. Traditionally an open-air market that locals relied on for their essential items, a souk would have travelling merchants passing through them once a week, once a month or at other infrequent periods. The Bab Doukkala gate, for example, was used by merchants from El Jadida, to the northwest of Marrakech, and nearby areas. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. You can easily do it yourself, though. Merchants often travelled by camel or donkey, usually with a heavily laden caravan. Souk el Arba or the Wednesday Market fills the streets with a variety of goods and souvenirs that you cannot resist buying. They have less motivation to leave their shop and more incentive to point you in the right direction. Make sure your wallet is in a secure place – not your back pocket! The medina is the old historic part of town with high stone walls (like you'll see in Marrakesh and Fes) and is divided into Quartiers. Morocco’s Marrakech souks and markets are a marvel to explore – brightly coloured spices, terracotta narrow streets and an aladdin’s cave of street traders, vendors and artists await. They are usually green or blue. Never offer a price you are not willing to pay – that’s bad manners! Many travelers tend to associate “souk” with the winding alleyways of the expansive and historic medinas in Fes and Marrakesh. Those who arrived in time typically slept in mosques, or fondouqs – accommodation for merchants and their animals. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Jewelled glassware and ornate tea pots can make a pretty addition to a dining room back home. Your email address will not be published. Haggling is an essential part of shopping in the souks. Souk Chouari is the main carpentry souk, primarily with goods made of fragrant cedar wood. In smaller towns, the souk might still be a weekly event but in cities like Marrakech and Fez, souks are now a major tourist draw, covering huge areas and selling everything from slippers to carpets, pottery, beauty products and more. Alhobous Souk in Casablanca. Learn how your comment data is processed. Getting lost is generally part of the fun of exploring the energetic souks. Colourful Ceramics at Marrakech’s Potters’ Souk #4 Visit a Tannery. Leather goods are often popular with visitors, especially wallets, belts, bags, shoes and other items that are handmade in the city. Souk des Teinturiers isn’t necessarily the best souk for shopping, but has the historical dying center, where wool and fabric can be found drying along the streets. Try to aim for 25%–30% of their first offer. However, the hustle and bustle, dry heat and ever-so eager stall holders can begin to overwhelm and start to feel a little relentless after a while. The souks, or open air markets, of Marrakech are the largest in the country of Morocco, and one of the most fascinating places in the world to shop. For Americans who are accustomed to walking into a store and having the fixed prices of items clearly displayed this can be a stressful time. Have any stories to share about your visit to Marrakech? Most major streets have signs for their names. Sitting on important trading routes, people passed through here from the north, south, east and west. For services such as guides and cabs, try to agree to a price beforehand and stick to it. They are extremely cheap by US standards and will make sure you don’t get lost or scammed. Take a break and head to a café for a breather. Merchants will always give you a ridiculous first offer and will expect you to bring it down. If exploring independently, a map is essential. Alternatively, use GPS on your mobile devices. Located within the medina of Marrakech, the souk is a must-visit place where you can explore Morocco’s market and the different original handmade products sold in local shops. Traditional woven Moroccan carpets and handmade Berber boucherouite (rugs) are proudly displayed at numerous stalls. If you would like to learn more, read more at https://paidforadvertising.com/. The price shown on an item is merely a starting block, often displayed openly so when police officers go by, they know prices are set and legit for tourist. May 13, 2014 - In Morocco, and the Arabic speaking world in general, towns and cities are filled with souks, a large outdoor market. Find Us On As a rule of thumb, always be prepared to haggle. The souks were originally known as an open-air marketplace. Look it up now! Souk Kimakhine is where Moroccan and Gnaoua instruments are sold. Moroccan souks began as small gatherings outside city areas where merchants would come to sell their goods. Many are covered too, making it even more difficult to get a good idea of where you are. The tanneries are in the northeast corner of the souks, so make sure to get a guide if you plan on heading there, as well as making sure to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Keep things light-hearted and friendly while negotiating and, if you can’t settle on a price, it’s OK to walk away. Souk definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Popular with locals looking for lower-priced items, the souk sees few tourists. Medinas are full of souks and many of them specialize in one type of goods. Le Souk: Best Souks in Morocco - See 210 traveler reviews, 408 candid photos, and great deals for Essaouira, Morocco, at Tripadvisor. Communities of artisans grew, hence why there were traditionally some souks dedicated to particular goods. Experience the lively atmosphere of Djemaa el-Fna in the evenings, admire the various monuments and ornate doorways that can be found around the souks, and try local delights from food vendors. Spoilt for choice in Marrakech’s Olive Souk. Full of carpets, brass goods, antiques, spices, and leather, the souks are absolutely a must-add to any bucket list. The souk – The quality may not be as good but you can find some decent options for things like onesies and blankets. But you will be able to smell … Of course, you could also ask somebody to call your accommodation to come and collect you if you’re in a real muddle. It’s easy to get lost in the winding old city streets, as they are poorly marked. Ancien Souk Tlat is situated in Douar Qachla. Map courtesy of http://www.yourmarrakechguide.com (Link in Japanese). […] souks, it’s usually quite affordable and you will inevitably get lost without one. Souk Haddadine is the blacksmithing souk, with craftsmen clanging away. Souk Cherratin specializes in leather goods, including traditional Moroccan babouches (slippers), bags, belts, purses, wallets, and anything else made with leather. I loved exploring the smaller town of Chefchaouen, but wanted to see some of the surrounding areas as well. Looking for a few new pieces to add to your wardrobe? AGADIR was, by all accounts, a characterful port, prior to the terrible earthquake of 1960 that completely destroyed it. Souk des Chaudronniers is the coppersmiths souk. The souks are organized by the items sold, and are each named for a specific product type you can find there. The souks, or open air markets, of Marrakech are the largest in the country of Morocco, and one of the most fascinating places in the world to shop. Just four years into independence, the earthquake was an especially traumatic event, but its reconstruction showed modern Morocco at its best, and half a century on, the result is quite impressive. When visiting Morocco, one of the most exciting and enjoyable cultural activities is shopping in the souk (market). The souks run like tentacles from the central madness of Jemaa el-Fna Plaza. Local population grew, vendors started to hold smaller souks close to others in the or! And see if you are in Marrakech ’ s souks their animals to particular goods are. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates on future travel resources & access to a price you interested! To navigate [ … ], people passed through here from the rafters and doorways... Future travel resources & access to a café for a few new to! Of Marrakech are kind set out, ask your accommodations if you ’ re visiting,. Tend to associate “ souk ” with the winding old city walls dining! 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