The souk of Marrakech is divided into districts - named by the goods on offer - the clothing souk or Souk Smarine is near the entrance to the souks from the main square Djma Elfna and up via Rue Souk Smarine. This southern end of Rue Souk Smarine is flanked by textile shops and souvenir shops with all sorts of attractive to the tourist eye items.
the souks of Marrakech have a reputation for wide variety and high quality of goods - amongst the not so good quality of course! - from fabric to jewellery and slippers and leatherwork . So all sorts can be bought here and the range really is extensive - from silk scarves to cotton pashmina - fabrics and textiles in amazing ranges of choice - interesting tassels and bags - and childrens clothing as well.
From the left side of Rue Souk Smarine are several covered markets - kissarias- which also have textiles and clothing for sale.
Souq Smarine is the first souk you will walk through when you enter the labyrinth of souks that runs north of Djemaa el Fna. It was originally for textiles and there are still quite a few stalls selling these, but an increasing number are now given over to all manner of tourist-oriented souvenirs, many of which accept credit cards.
The Souqs are one of the major attractions in Marrakesh and not to be missed. This aera is like a big maze with alleyways going all directions and leading to all sorts of places, some interesting some not so interesting. This is defiantly the place to come and do some souvenir shopping and get a good bargain to take home with you.
It's not all souvenirs in the souqs their are little workshops in some places where local craftsman will work. But again if you take a picture then the guy will ask for some dirham.
The souqs is interesting place to visit but with so many people coming and going it can get a bit hectic and crowded at times and to make things worse the locals like to come through the souqs on there little mopeds which are to noisy. In some places it is very dark with not much light to see what you looking at.
Enjoy your time in the Souqs and whatever you buy get their price then half it until you are happy with the price.
Click on 4 more photos.
Like any good Hong Konger, I am an avid shopper. For those of you who enjoy shoppig as well, there's no better place to be but in the souks of Marrakech. The sheer variety of items is astounding, from Moroccan lamps to African masks to coins to tea sets to pictures to scarves and garments to shoes to jewellery to spices to mint tea to local desserts.
And let's not forget the famous Moroccan rugs.
This is truly the place to dig deep in your wallet and pull out all the stops when you bargain for Marrakech shop owners are among the most sturdy bargainers I've come across in the world. Though they, like their Egyptian counterparts, often inflate the price up to 3 times as much as the price they're willing to sell you for, the seem far less eager to sell-- even during low tourist season in January! I find a laidback bargainer the worst of the lot because if they don't like your price they'll just flag you off with a "au revoir". Alas, the goods are too tempting here-- and I think they know that.
Another VTer said it once and I repeat: in Marrakech, you will pay with your heart and not your head. Beware.
*Also make sure you come with extra luggage space.
Click to see more pictures on the right.
Situated at the converging point of many trade routes, Marrakech has thrived from its founding as a merchant town. Its souks are thus the largest in Morocco. While the entire Medina is dotted with interesting shops, the main souk area is situated between Djemaa el Fna and Medersa Ben Yousef, right in the heart of the Medina. It is divided into several souks, each with its own name and specialty product, and most of the merchandise is beautiful artisanal products of Morocco. For the first time visitor, the souk can be overwhelming. It is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, some of which are covered, with tiny shops selling clothes, spices, shoes, jewellery, and countless other items. The souk stimulates all the senses by its bright colours, fascinating sights, spicy scents, unusual noises, intriguing people, etc. Tourists are often approached by shopkeepers to entice them into buying, and after several discussions, it could get exhausting, so beware. It is best to allow oneself to get lost in the souk with no time constraints, for every shop will have something fascinating to examine. Making a purchase can be a fun experience as one is expected to barter heavily, often settling the purchase at only a small fraction of the original price. Ask for tea with mint, it could take a while... [take a look at the photos to see some of the colours!]
Wandering the souks is one of the highlights of Marrakech. Even if you are not buying anything, just getting lost in the narrow lanes is quite an experience. The souks in Marrkaech are much more touristy than those in other Moroccan cities, but it's still possible to find bargains, especially if you walk away from the main streets. The souks begin on the northside of Djemma el-Fna.
The souk of Marrakesh is the vital heart of the medina, the old part of the city which dates back to the XII century. It is the place where age-old customs and traditions have been coming together since ancient times. Originally, souks were divided into various specific sectors with defined boundaries and with names that reflected the activities which took place there, but over time these boundaries gradually disappeared. The souk is a magical and fascinating place where it is customary to accept the tea that the vendor offers, just as how bargaining the price of any item for sale is all part of the game; a place where losing your way is a fun experience.
The Marrakech souks are between the best in Morocco. Situated right at the medina’s heart, they offer a festival of sound, colours and perfumes. It isn’t always very easy to choose between a large palette of objects proposed. But don’t hesitate to engage yourself on the little streets, the treasure may be at the end of the road.
The suuq of Marrakesh is awesome!
Actually it should be the suuqs, because there are so many different neighborhoods there: the suuq of tanners, the suuq of metalworkers, the suuq of leather workers etc. It is not like a marketplace, but rather like a little village in itself!
And boy, can you get lost there....
I have gotten advice to take a guide from some people, others said: no, no need - well, we went on a guided tour through Marrakesh (including the suuqs) with a group and later went by ourselves.......
Big, beautiful, charming: the souq of Marrakech is a must for every visitor of this nice city.
The souq is divided into areas: one area for the goldsmiths, one area for the people who sell clothes and so on. And sometimes it's like living in the past with some hidden corners that seem to be part of a different reality. Some buildings of the souk have been built during the 12° centuty and you can feel it!
Some of the alleys have been covered, usually with palm fronds. that's necessary because of the temperatures, that during summer raise to over 40 degrees. This adds more charme and mistery to the whole area.
In general, a walk through the souq stimulates every sens: smells, colours, sounds, everything is bright and charming.
Of course you'll always have around somebody (or many....!) who tries to sell you something, but it's part of the experience....
Eat in the night food stalls in Djemma El-Fna atleast a couple times during your stay in Marrakesh. I forget the number of the stall but these guys were great! You can get an assortment of foods from chicken, fish and beef kababs to french fries, Morrocan salad and delicious salsa for your bread. If they remember you from a previous night you may even get a discount and mint tea on the house.
Take a dive in the souks; you will definitely get lost in the maze of narrow colourfull market street. Being a western tourist you will attract lots of attention from the salesmen and from children and young men who want to be your special guide.
Lovely medersa (school where they teach the Qu'ran) with a splendid inner courtyard.
The inner walls are richly decorated and are a pleasure for the eye.
You pay 30 Dirham for the Medersa (or 50 Dirham included the Museum and teh Koubha). Children pay half price
The Medina is like a step back hundreds of years, to narrow alleys ringing with the sounds of blacksmiths and clucking chickens, with donkey pulled carts and men in Berber cloaks. Compared to the spacious Ville Nouvelle it's claustrophobic and chaotic but teeming with life and a fascinating walk round. When the sun goes down it's plunged into darkness and the alleyways become an impenetrable narrow maze.
An incredible world is present at Marrakech's medina. You can walk and walk seeing or buying, getting lose ... time after time ... I am very bad at orientation so ... I lose my self one and other time ... and repeat the same streets when I did wanted to find different ones .. but ... after some hours I manage to control everything :))
I find the souk a wonderful place to walk in peace ... I was not disturb by sellers ... only sometimes ... "madam..." with a great smile in their faces ... a world of great colour and magic ...Each part of the medina is dedicated to a kind of commerce. You can find the part of medicines and herbs, a part of metals, one of carpets, of animals, of dry fruits, of laps… Every part has its own name. Some of them are covered and others at squares, some of them are very easy to get to, and others you will have to search for them to get to see them. A magic world made between narrowed little streets full of live and great sellers where you will find also little mosques and public baths.