Marrakesh is a former imperial city located in western Morocco, is one of the country’s major economic hubs and tourist destinations. And also home to an amazing array of food and street markets. Marrakesh is famously known for its lively markets, also called souks that offer a wide assortment of wares ranging from tea sets to clothing to ornate rugs and other accessories. Even if you don’t intend on buying anything, just strolling through the markets is guaranteed to give you a great experience. However, with the closely packed stalls and their myriad of goods adorning the narrow streets, it can be quite a challenge to know where a particular market ends and another begins. Read on to discover some of the best markets in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The ultimate market place, so big and beautiful. Popular with both locals and tourists, Jemaa el-Fnaa offers you a glimpse into a traditional Moroccan market. There’s absolutely nowhere in Morocco like the Jemaa el-Fnaa! No place that would effortlessly involve you and always have you coming back for more. By day, most of the square is just a big open space, but as the afternoon progresses, the square really gets going and gradually starts filling up until it becomes an entire carnival of storytellers, acrobats, musicians and entertainers. As dusk falls, the square becomes packed with stalls lit by gas lanterns, selling an array of goods like Argan oil products. There are also many food stalls that sell kebabs, snails, pastries and other small snacks. Fortune tellers with tarot cards and women with pipes of henna paste can also been seen there, looking to decorate the skins of the tourists.
Souk des Bijoutiers
This was originally a place for their elite locals to purchase dazzling jewellery, but however, the jewels, gems and shiny precious metals still other people that want to make a statement and add some beautiful pieces to their collections. It’s also the most popular market for brides-to-be in preparation for their wedding day.
Souk El Khemis
This large flea market sets up every Thursday evening in front of the Souk El Khemis gateway. It is not really organised but one could stroll through the diverse array of items and try to spot a few treasures. You may see old furniture, second-hand clothing, bicycles, jewellery, cookware, rugs and other items spread through the rowdy market. Great opportunities here for second and new products.
The Souk Haddadine Market is located only 3-min walk from the Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakesh. This souk is not among the most visited by the tourists and the ones that visit are those that want to take a peek at the world of the Moroccan blacksmiths. The deafening clanging of hammers is always hanging in the air and intense heat waves can also be felt as one passes through the furnaces. You can watch first-hand as iron gates, pots, plates, tea cups and other metal items are crushed into shape with intense precision.
Bustling amazing cultural explosion in the heart of Marrakech, one of the city’s most famous tourist markets. Situated about 4-min walk from the Jemaa el-Fnaa, Souk Semmarine is another Marrakesh bustling market offering everything from colorful clothing and fabrics to antiques, food and unlimited spices. An amazing market where you’ll probably end up spending more than you budgeted. However, if you are good at bargain, a lot of times, you can get up to 50% – 60% reduction off.
Souk des Teinturiers
This is where fabrics and skins are dyed in a spectrum of attractive colours. Here you can watch how dyes are applied to items and browse through the finished pieces of fabric.
Souk el Attarine
Even though this was originally a market to buy spices and scents, metal goods like tea pots and lanterns can now also be found there. It’s a great market to have a first-hand experience of the hustle and bustle of a Moroccan market in a small area, while the delicate aroma of perfumes and spices hang in the air.
Ensemble Artisanal Marrakech
If you’re looking for handicrafts in Marrakesh, this is the place to go. Here, you can easily see how most of their traditional items are made without visiting different parts of the large markets. In this particular souk, competent artisans are picked by the government to work in the complex and teach the trade to young apprentices. The goods are then sold at a market-fixed rate to visitors. Some of the goods produced here include musical instruments, lanterns, carpets silver jewelries, wooden carvings etc.
This particular market is relatively neater than the other markets and is also easier to navigate. The wares found here are typically the same as the one found on the streets but they are usually more organised. The market is known for higher prices as the wares are of good quality and other rare imports from other parts of the continent can also be found here. Since its mostly geared to tourists, some vendors will ask you where you’re from, then determine the price. Always bargain!
This market is especially known for its wide collection of colourful fabrics and other ornaments for clothes making. The time-worn stores also reveal years of history.
We also recommend our guide to the best markets in Africa.