The smells of freshly ground spices like cinnamon, cumin, and coriander fill your nostrils. Your stomach has taken a liking to the delicious fresh cooking lamb and potatoes. Your ears are awakened by the sounds of haggling. And Your eyes are amused at the sights of vibrant goods in the many stalls as you pass. You are enthralled by the fascinating wonders of shopping in Morocco. As you are walking down the twisting and turning alley ways of Morocco, you will be taken aback at the sight of shops and stalls selling vibrant goods. Some of Morocco’s best shopping can be found in The Souk which is a market in the old Medina in Marrakesh. Here you will find close to a hundred little shops and stalls where you can haggle for an array of goods. Expect to find beautiful stain glass lighting, carpets, leather goods, jewelry, spices, and traditional clothing. Shopping in The Souk can turn into an all day event, where shops owners will show off their goods while pouring you glass after glass of fresh mint tea. It is truly an unforgettable experience, but you should arrive prepared. Here are some tips to bring with you when shopping the markets of Morocco.
Tip 1: Be equipped with cash. If you are making a large purchase, many of the shops will take debit/credit cards, however most of your purchases in The Souk will tend to be smaller. Exchange money at a local bank of hotel before you set out to shop.
Tip 2: Bargain, bargain, and bargain! Shop owners will offer you an initial price for a good, but do not pay this price. The Souk is all about bargaining, so when paying for a good, negotiate to pay around a 1/3 of the price originally offered.
Tip 3: Learn the Moroccan Tip Etiquette. Tipping the stall owners is apart of the shopping culture in Morocco. The currency is the dirham and is currently about $8.10 per 1 US dollar. Therefore, consider tipping around 1-5 dirhams per shop owner if you make a purchase.
Tip 4: Learn a few Arabic phrases. Arabic is the official language of Morocco. If you want to make your shopping experience more friendly and enjoyable, learn a few Arabic phrases. Try using them while chatting with the market vendors and watch as their eyes and smiles expand!