Shopping in Morocco – Traditional Arts and Tapestries
Souks and markets are major features of Moroccan life and they are among the countries greatest attractions.
They are to be found everywhere; each town has its own special souks. Large cities like Fez and Marrakech have labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square and devoted to one particular craft) and in the countryside there are hundreds of weekly souks, on a different day in each village of the region.
Craft (artesanie) traditions are still highly active and even the goods that are mass-produced for tourists are surprisingly untacky. However, to find pieces of real quality is not that easy. Some crafts have become dulled by centuries of repetition and others have been corrupted by modern techniques and chemical dyes. If you’re planning on buying something it’s always worth getting as close to the source of the goods as possible. You can get a good idea of the original standards by visiting one of the various traditional craft museums that are spread around the country. There are pretty good ones in Fez, Meknes, Tangier, Rabat, and Marrakech.
Carpets Rugs and Blankets
Moroccan carpets aren’t very cheap; you can pay thousands of dollars for the finer Arab designs in Fez or Rabat. However it is possible to find rugs and kellims, which are woven rather than knotted, at more reasonable prices.
Pottery in Morocco is colorful if fairly crudely made on the whole, though the blue-and-white designs of Fez and the multicolored parts of the Chefchaouen are highly attractive.
You’ll find quite a big variety of food products in Morocco that you won’t find very easily back at home. Many of these make an easy and inexpensive gift or souvenir. Locally produced olive oil is very easy to find and it is distinctive with a very strong flavor. Olives also come in numerous varieties, and there are many shops that specialize only in the selling of olives.
Bargaining is entirely natural in Morocco. Never pay attention to initial prices. This is simply a device to test the limits of a particular deal or situation. The best thing to do is to visit a fixed price store to determine the real prices of the crafts. Set your mind on how much you are willing to pay and then go back to the souks to negotiate the prices of the articles. You should always take your time when bargaining. You might get a better deal than some other tourist with less patience or experience. So be patient and stick to what you feel is a fair price.
Stretching across the Corniche of Casablanca and with a total surface area of 10 hectares, the Morocco Mall is the largest shopping mall project in North Africa.