The Charm of Moroccan Markets
One of my favourites spots in Africa are markets. While shopping in Western style shopping malls is something that I would rather avoid, markets in Africa are a »must visit« for me. The atmosphere there is incredible: hustle, noise, chaos, bargaining, shouting and many more.
Maybe it sounds quite annoying, but in reality it is always fun. You can talk and joke with (local) people, buy delicious food, typical products for good price or just simply wander and snoop around.
Marrakech – The King of Markets in Morocco
One of my favourite markets in Africa is still in Marrakech, Morocco. Some people find it too crammed and loud, but I love it. Every time when I go there I find so many nice things for others and myself. Bazaar in Marrakech or Morocco in general is the most famous for herbs, olives, leather bags and shoes, perfumes, ceramics, carpets, different nuts, argan products etc.
Around the main square Djemaa el-Fna, which is known to be the biggest square in Northern Africa, there are hundreds of narrow streets. Once you get in you will find it difficult to get out. One reason is the complex labyrinth of those many streets and the second reason is the difficulty to resist all those amazing goods and »get rid of« all the sellers.
For some people walking in there may be tiresome, but for others (like me) it is a great time to discover the culture and features of the city or country.
Haggling for Best Price on Moroccan Markets
One of them, we could say, is also bargaining. That is why, in Morocco, you should always do it. Even when they tell you »The best price for you, my friend« or »I give you a big discount«, do not believe them. They are good sellers since they are Arabs, so they will do the way it will bring them a profit.
There is a general knowing that if a seller lowers the price for -40%, you are a winner. I would not really agree, since they are there to sell but not to trade for a loss.
In many cases, they can give tourists a ten times higher price than to locals, so be careful. It is good to bargain but, on the other hand, bear in mind that European standard of living is much higher than theirs, so paying a bit more than locals would pay is somehow logical, in my opinion.
As a woman, several times you will hear »I give you a good price because of your beautiful eyes« and »Shakira, come to my shop«. Just smile and take the advantage of chatting to sellers, making a joke or drinking tea with them in their small shops. You may actually find something nice to buy in there, so always have in mind: »Small shop, small price«.
Shopping for Delicious Food on Moroccan Markets
As already mentioned, food is worth buying at markets in Morocco. You cannot find more delicious and fresh fruits and vegetables anywhere else. Most of food sellers are women, while for souvenirs and things like this there are men responsible for selling them.
Not only in Marrakech, but also in other touristy Moroccan cities there are many bazaars.
Fez, Essaouira, Chefchaouen, Rabat, etc. serve tourists with typical Moroccan goods and food. For a bit more peaceful and tranquil atmosphere I would recommend Essaouira. Even the prices can be a bit lower, but the offer considerably smaller. However, anywhere you can experience the pure feeling of Moroccan kindness, relaxation and trading expertise.
Also check out: