Whilst walking around Marrakech, it is impossible not to notice how many of the doors, window shutters and wooden tables are carefully adorned with exquisite carvings or intricately painted tessellated patterns. These humble items extend far beyond their functional use: the beautiful designs, that are so unique to the region, represent a certain respect for traditional design and artisanal techniques that is prevalent throughout society.


Where it is easy to find small stalls in the Souks inhabited by skilled workers making beautiful wooden item like small boxes or chess sets, items that are perfect for souvenirs, it is perhaps more difficult to find the workshops that make the larger items like the Riad doors, the carved wooden panelling and so on. Located a short walk form the Jemaa el-Fna square, just metres away from Dar Habiba we found Abdil’s workshop. Abdil, a quiet man of little words, invited us into his space to show us his work: we looked through a series of beautifully painted panels that he uses as samples to demonstrate his work to clients before he showed us a carved doorframe he was currently working on for a Riad renovation. He explained that he mainly works for local businesses, but he has in the past also worked for visitors to Marrakech who wanted to take home a unique item to furnish their house. Perhaps you will need more than the basic hand luggage allowance to take home such an item, but a custom-made piece of artisanal history would maybe be the greatest souvenir of all.

Abdil’s shop is located just off the ‘Woodworking’ Medina Walk on the free MarrakechRiad app; but it is well worth the detour, especially if you are interested in bringing home a special memory of Morocco. If you would like to find out more about the free MarrakechRiad app, the ‘Woodworking’ walk or any of our other Medina walks then our Riad staff would be happy to help.

One of our favourite merchants in the Marrakech Souks is the friendly Mostafa whose boutique is located on fashionable Dar El Bashah near to its junction with the Rue Mouassine.

Mostafa offers a colourful and modern twist to traditional Moroccan designs and he will always be pleased to share a glass of mint tea in the best tradition of Marrakech hospitality.

If you are staying in Marrakech, stay in a traditional Riad in the old town, just a short walk from the main square and the Souks


Abdel Monaim works in partnership with a childhood friend. They learned their craft together as young men and now share a workshop in the Souk Belaarif in the Central Medina near to Riad Cinnamon and Riad Star.

A Riad in Marrakech is the perfect base from which to explore the historic Medina. Make your reservation today.

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Marrakech is a riot of colour, take a short stroll from your Riad hotel into the Souks and you will be captivated. The patterns of decoration are also enchanting, in Islam it is forbidden to produce a

representation of a living creature, for this reason traditional arabic and Moroccan decoration involves repeating geometric shapes. Our friend Paul has a photographers eye for the Red City’s endless Colours and Patterns recorded in the gallery below. Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Flash video. Riad Cinnamon and Riad Papillon are perfect getaways for your Marrakech break.

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The Marrakech Souks contain an astonishing variety of life.  Just a 15 minute walk though the Souks near to Riad Papillon and Riad Cinnamon in the central medina gives a window onto an ancient culture.

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Start in a Caravanserai ( a camel motel!) recently restored using UNESCO funding (Marrakech is a UNESCO world heritage site), pass by the local bakery (sample fresh bread if you wish), walk on into the souks, see the clever slatted roof above (Berber air conditioning!), pass the slipper sellers, see crafts men at work making musical instruments, peep in the shops selling expert lemon wood marketry, and on to the dyers souk.

Riad Marrakech Accommodation allows you to explore all this at your leisure and pop back to your personal oasis whenever you wish. Make your reservation today.

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The Marrakech Souks are endlessly entertaining. Take a stroll through the ancient medina with our friend Paul, just minutes from your Marrakech Riad

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The streets of Marrakech are a scene of constant change and motion.

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Browse our Marrakech accommodation before making your reservation.

Individual suites at Riad Cinnamon:
Fez EssaouiraChefchaouen | CasablancaMeknes

Luxurious en suite rooms at Riad Papillion:

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There are an amazing variety of goods for sale in the Marrakech Souks, take your time to browse and you will find glazed pottery to fit any colour scheme!

Our Riads in the Medina provide the perfect base for your holiday or short break in Magical Marrakech. Make contact today.

The Cafe des Epices (Spice Cafe) is a charming inexpensive cafe located on the historic Rahba Kedima square just north of the main Jemma al Fnaa. Historically the Rahba Kedima was the Marrakech slave market, today it is a bustling showcase for a variety of crafts as well as a centre for herbalists and spice sellers.

We like the Cafe des epices as a venue for  a light lunch or just as a place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the souks.

Our Marrakech Riads offer the perfect base for you Marrakech City break.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

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There are a number of shops in the Marrakech Souks specialising in tassels. Our favourite is located in the Souk Cherifa, just five minutes from Riad Papillon and Riad Cinnamon.

Our luxury Riads are the perfect base from which to explore the ancient medina. Reserve accommodation today!

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Shopping in Marrakech is an experience like no other:  The billowing silk scarves and hand woven shawls, shiny brass lamps in shimmering gold and silver metals, fragrant mint and exotic spices such as cinnamon and cumin, handmade Berber rugs with geometric designs and silky smooth tadelakt bowls in intense sky blues, ox blood reds and jet blacks. However the experience can be seriously terrifying for the uninitiated travellers arriving fresh off the ryan air and easyjet flights more used to buying rugs from John Lewis and lamps from Bhs!
This guide  is based on the knowledge I have gained from adventuring out into the souks over the past five years. I am hoping to help new visitors to  enjoy the Marrakech Shopping experience,  purchase some exquisite handicrafts from the souks and perhaps even make some new friends at the same time.
Shopping in the SouksI have never been trained in the art of negotiation and have not worked as a ‘buyer’. However, in the process of renovating  Riad Papillon -our wonderful newly opened boutique hotel in the centre of Marrakech, I think I have learnt quite a lot about the art and science of ‘haggling’.
In the beginning I learnt the hard way making sometimes costly mistakes. I also managed to upset quite a few stall holders by my clumsy initial attempts at haggling. One stallholder was so upset that I didn’t want to buy his lamps that he called me ‘La Poubelle de la France!’ which means ‘the dustbin of France’ (Some Moroccans are not very keen on the French for historical reasons). I was quite offended by this (as you can imagine) but, caught off my guard, all I could offer as a retort to this was: ‘Mais je ne suis pas francaise!’ which means ‘but Im not french!’ I hasten to add that I do not think I am a dustbin either but, in the heat of the moment, I was not quick witted enough to advise him of that!
Although I would not call myself a ‘haggleguru’ , I do find that I can now haggle with confidence and generally end up with purchases that I truly desire at prices that I am very happy with whilst still preserving the relationship with the seller. I actually enjoy the experience of shopping in the Marrakech souks now and find it exhilarating as well as rewarding.
There are thousands of stallholders-mostly charming and welcoming, a few can be grumpy or plain rude, and some are tricky or dishonest. All, however are master salesmen and are highly motivated to sell to you generally at the highest price possible.
Each of us has his or her own style and so let me just offer some broad haggling guidelines and then let you conduct the negotiation in your own unique style.
1. Firstly, remember to keep your cool and your sense of humour at all times. The soaring temperatures can result in frayed tempers and not speaking the language can make one feel frustrated and confused. Just take your time and remember you are on holiday and this is supposed to be fun!
2. Secondly, remember that Haggling is, in some respects, like taking part in a small play or pantomime. There are certain roles and lines that are predictable and some that are not. It is useful to know how these roles and lines generally work so that you play your part well and even enjoy it.
3. Thirdly, I think it is always important to remember that you are a guest in someone else’s country (even if the stall holder may forget that sometimes!) and to behave politely and respectfully even if the haggling starts to get a bit heated.
4. Although haggling can be viewed as a game or a play it should also be remembered that although you may be haggling to buy something worth a tiny fraction of your monthly income, for the stall holder the negotiation may represent his next meal quite literally. Therefore I advise only to haggle over something that you do actually want to buy not just for the fun of it.
Haggling over pottery 5. Be assertive and clear, not passive and absolutely never  aggressive in your interactions. If a salesman starts bringing down dozens of scarves that he thinks you are interested in just because you looked at them and didn’t stop him, then you may well end up feeling embarrassed to refuse them so be clear when you do not want something as well as when you do.

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Spices in the Souk in MarrakechThe Marrakech Souks are great fun to explore whether on your own or with a guide. For centuries craftsmen and merchants have congregated in specialist souks including areas for metalworkers, leatherworkers, dyers, carpets, spices, traditional medicines and many others.

Metalwork in the Marrakech SouksThere was a time when the persistent attention of hustlers and self appointed guides made it difficult for the faint hearted to explore and enjoy the famous Marrakech Souks. Today the whole area is effectively policed by specialist Tourist Brigade Police and tour guides are licensed. Wander at leisure before returning to the comfort of your Marrakech Riad base.

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