This was a very special treat in our stop at Tetouan. At first I thought it was just a museum, every carpet they show, you are allowed to buy. Morocco makes the 2nd nicest rugs after the Persian rugs, so these were pretty high quality. There was also a gift shop downstairs where you could buy things other than rugs.
What to buy: Well rugs are a main product. but there is a giftshop downstairs that has alot of other local handicraft.
What to pay: I bought a carpet that was 100 Euros, and then a special box for around 50 euros.
The tour I was on stopped at pre-determined stores and shops for special demonstrations and shows. The hand made crafts we were shown were wonderful and the amount of work it took to create and make those things surely justified the high price. But, c'mon!!! You're in Morroco: they inflate prices so you can bargain...it's part of the culture so don't hesitate!!
I got a handmade morrocan rug initially quoted at USD$120 for USD$40!!
What to buy: rugs and potteries are incredible
What to pay: no more than 50$
My shopping tip is about carpets. We didnt buy one for reasons explained below. But I might next time.
This tip is the same as my warnings tip (Just to save you reading it again, if you already have )........................... (~_~)
Our Tour Guide took us to a local Shopping Centre which actually turned out to be a Very hard sell carpet shop.
May the hard sell commence......................................
We were all separated up and each put in a carpet room and given Mint Tea.
Then a boy had to unroll dozens of carpets, as he did it we had to seperate them in to like and dislike piles. From the offset we had repeatedly told the sales man we had no intention of buying a carpet, but it fell on deaf ears.
After what seemed 100 carpet unrolling's later, the sales man ungraciously conceded defeat and stormed out of the room, leaving the poor carpet unroller to rull them all up again.
Out of a group of about 10 we were the only ones to walk away empty handed, so it obviously works on most people.
I have to say the carpets were beautiful, and maybe another time we would have bought one, but in the middle of a 5 month trip, home improvements were not our top priority (~_~)
On the plus side it was the nicest mint tea I have ever tasted
What to buy: Here is a perfect example of bargainning. Several people in our group bought drums for $10 Euros. The same drums you see in the pictures. I told the guy I wasn't paying that much, but he then explained how everyone else paid $10 and I had to pay the same price. After ignoring him for a couple of minutes, needn't worry he was following me, he told me I could have them for $7. I done good right? Wrong a friend of mine immediately after that got them for $5 Euros!!!!
My apologies for not remembering the name again but there is a family owned art gallery that has a connection to the Government whereby they can ship your merchandise for free. It is designed to help promote the local art work.
What to buy: In this gallery the handmade carpets where amazing. All from natural fibres with no coloring added to them. They were very high quality and appeared they could not be burnt or cut by a knife based on demonstrations. Each carpet could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to make.
What to pay: Again in Morocco, don't pay the asking price, I recommending aiming for 1/4 or less. Hey it's worth trying, but never ever pay more than you are comfortable with, no one likes that feeling.
When you are walking through the streets of Tetouan there are markets everywhere in the center of the medina. Everything from fish, to handicrafts to goat's cheese which is in the picture and very tasty. My North American standards it may take some courage to buy from these markets as cleanliness appears to be an issue.
What to buy: I tasted the goat's cheese and it was great. If you are planning on making a good Paella upon return it is a great place to buy the spice saffron at great prices. This is where the spice comes from and this is where the prices are best!
What to pay: Never pay the asking price, in Morocco everything is negotiable. Sort of reminded me of Mexico in that regard.