Bewildering, enchanting, the souk area in the old town is one of the most famous place to shop in the world. An historic center of trade half-way between Moorish Spain and fabled Timbuktu, Marrakech has preserved its vocation and its souks are the largest in Morocco.
The most lasting memory of the city for many visitors is the time they spent exploring, shopping, and of course haggling in the souks. The infinite number of stalls and shops, the dazzling alleys forming a seemingly endless labyrinth, some under bamboo cover, others in the open, are sure to solicit all your senses. Premium Keys can provide professional shoppers to guide you through the maze that is the Medina (old town) and help you negotiate the best possible deals.
Public markets have a long tradition in the country and contrary to what some might believe, they are not set up uniquely for the pleasure and convenience of visitors. Locals still do most of their shopping in the souks, for daily commodities as well as big ticket items such as furniture, doors, carpets and other household goods. The wide range of products available, most handmade, is guaranteed to at least excite one’s sense of wonderment. It is more than likely that you will find something that will strike your fancy, just remember not to show to much enthusiasm when negotiating the price...
Each specialty tends to be grouped in sections, the carpet souk (Souk Rabia) for example is located near a small square, itself a former slave market now known as the “souk des épices (spices)” or Souk Kassabines. One of the more famous one, a sight in itself, is the Tannery or Souk Sabbaghines where you can witness first hand the work involved in dying leather. Metalsmiths (in Souk Haddaddines), woodworking artisans (Souk Nejjarines), all display their skills and products with pride in an environment not found anywhere else. Disorienting at first, a visit to the souks is must-do in Marrakech, an unforgettable experience which will not leave you empty handed.
For those looking for colorful exotic fabrics and clothes, there is Souk Ahiak. Jewelry, in particular intricate pieces in silver or tribal in inspiration, can be found in Souk Dhabia. Leather goods, a Moroccan specialty among many, await in a section called Souk Cherratines. Pottery artisans and their creations are located in Souk Fekharines and so many others are on hand that a day is not enough to discover them all. While the manner in which the different souks are set-up may appear chaotic and haphazard on the surface, they are each part of corporations which oversee the different trades and the transmission of know-how from apprentice to maâlem (master).
A wrought iron lamp, a pair leather babouche (slippers) in bright colors or more traditional in style, an exquisitely designed caftan or a finely inlaid jewelry box, are just a few of the items you will on display that are sure to tempt you. Most shops can arrange overseas shipping for larger items, leaving you no excuse not to buy...
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