Marrakesh is one of the world's great shopping destinations. The full gamut of Moroccan crafts – both traditional and contemporary – can be found here and few travellers return from a trip empty handed. In the souqs, haggling is the name of the game although some medina boutiques and all the ville nouvelle design shops are fixed price.
'Souq' means 'market', but when locals refer to ‘the souqs’ they mean the maze of market streets north of the Djemaa El Fna and southwest of the Musée de Marrakesh. The main thoroughfare from the Djemaa El Fna, Souq Semmarine (Leather Souq), sells a hodgepodge of local crafts. Prices are at their most expensive here, given the high price of real estate on the main drag, and products often come from specialist souqs just a few streets away. It is always better to buy products direct in dedicated souqs, especially in the case of carpets, metalware and leatherwork. The smaller qissariat (covered markets), which run between Souqs Smata and El Kebir (literally, ‘the big souq’), usually have lower-priced crafts.
Worth A Trip: Sidi Ghanem
Modern Moroccan design fanatics head 4km out of the central city to the industrial district of Sidi Ghanem to scour local designer factory outlets and showrooms. Some of the original designs you’ll see in Sidi Ghanem are made for export, with prices to match.
Negotiate a taxi set rate of Dh150 to Dh250 for the roundtrip ride from the medina, and score a map of the quarter at an open showroom. Be aware that opening hours of stores here vary, but nearly all are closed on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.