Shopping in Marrakech
In the narrow streets north of Djemaa el-Fna are the souks where you are
offered everything, be it gold jewelery, radios, chickens, Bedouin clothes,
pirate CDs, drums, handmade rugs, shoes, swords or flowers. Here, you can walk
around randomly for days without taking anything with you, and it's easy to get
lost. Merchants are very active and will not let you down until you buy
something. Don't ask for the price of something you can't imagine buying. And
remember that not everything that glitters is gold.
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It should be mentioned that most Moroccans are considerably more relaxed than
other North Africans. If you have previously been intimidated by the badger
tactics (bite until it crunches...) to merchants in eg Egypt, Morocco is a
breeze because here it is usually respected a specific and friendly no.
Also, don't take it for granted that everything is reasonable in Morocco.
Like everywhere else in the world, you have to pay for quality, and for an
untrained eye it may not be easy to see the difference between a masterpiece and
a masterpiece. For example, the best rugs can take 12-16 months to make, with
hundreds of thousands of knots, and the seller can understandably be offended if
you offer him a price equivalent to a cheap machine-woven rug. Having an
authorized local guide can be worth your money, both to keep the most current
salespeople away, to tip you on quality stores and assist you in haggling.
Among the best bargains you can make as a tourist are handmade rugs. And you
should actually be very determined and dismissive to avoid getting into a sales
situation. If you first invite you to a carpet shop, sit down and have a cup of
tea and a long pleasant chat with the proprietor who probably has a cousin at
your exact home, it is very difficult to say no to an offer afterwards,
traveling Go and go. Before you know it, you sit and discuss the price of a
hundred-dollar blanket that you had no intention of buying at all. And when you
finally get lured into saying a price you think the rug is worth, he says,
"Agree!" These guys are scary salesmen!
If you do not have the patience or feel confident enough to embark on the
mandatory bargaining in the souks, there are places where you can trade Moroccan
products at fixed prices. Maybe a little more expensive than in the souks, but
considerably faster, and you know you won't be fooled. In the indoor market
Bouchaib you have a good selection of crafts, textiles, pottery and baskets,
sables and furniture, jewelry and bags. Returns can of course also be arranged.
Bouchaib is located in 7, Derb Baissi Kasbah, Boutouil.
Most shops are open from 0930 to 1300, and from 1600 to 2000. Many shops are
closed on Fridays. During the fasting month of Ramadan the opening hours are
approx. 1000 to 1500.
Currently, there is no Tax Free Shopping scheme or VAT refund in Morocco.
Eating in Marrakech
The Moroccan cuisine is a delightful blend that reflects both the complex
culture of the country and the location at the intersection of the European,
Arab and African world. You can taste traces of Arabic, Berber, African,
Portuguese, French, Spanish and Jewish food culture.
You will most likely be served chicken and beef during your stay. Most locals
prefer lamb, but this is also the most expensive. Spices are actively used in
cooking, and here is the saffron king. Mint leaves and lemongrass are also
distinctive flavors you will come across. For many meals you will be served
couscous, which most have tasted before. Couscous originates from the Berber,
but has spread throughout the centuries to the whole of North Africa and the
One of the most typical Moroccan dishes is the tajine, which is also the name
of the clay pot in which it is both cooked and served. Commonly used lamb with
almonds and raisins, but also kefta (meatballs and tomato) and mqualli (chicken
and lemon) are popular tajine dishes.
Most people will love Moroccan food and will not feel the need for anything
else while visiting the country. In Marrakech there are a few Italian and French
restaurants, but otherwise the city is almost devoid of the otherwise ubiquitous
international fast food chains. You can enjoy a few bucks at the many food
stalls at Djemaa el-Fna, where the selection is huge. Many people may have
concerns about eating here, but the food comes fresh from the roasting dish, so
it will usually be perfectly safe. As always, it's wise to steer clear of
unprepared salads and meats.
Drink in Marrakech The
Moroccans are very happy in their tea, and this is served almost
everywhere, at all times of the day and, in small cups. This is usually green
mint tea with a lot of sugar, which is poured into the cups from high altitude.
Coffee is also very widespread, and is most often served with milk.
Although Morocco is a Muslim country, it produces both beer and wine, both
red, rosé and white. But it is relatively expensive, unless you manage to find
one of the local bars, where you as a tourist are sure to wake up and be in the
company of almost exclusively Moroccan men. If, however, you sit in a bar at one
of the better hotels, you should be prepared to pay around 40-50 kroner for a
0.33 liter bottle of beer, and considerably more for a drink.