What To Buy In The Marrakech Souks And How Much To Pay

Updated on May 5, 2016

Get Ready To Bargain And Haggle In The Marrakech Souks

Many tourists visit Marrakech for it's amazing shopping experience. The labyrinth pathways which form the Marrakech Souks of the Medina seem to flow continuously with a vivid assortment of shops and stalls selling everything you could possibly imagine.

This guide highlights a number of key items to consider purchasing on a trip to Morocco with an idea on how much you should pay for some of the items you might wish to buy with this recipe for success in the souks of Marrakech.

Buying items in the souks is a significantly different experience for tourists used to set price purchases in many cultures therefore this guide initially will help explain the bargaining process in the souks of Marrakech before introducing some of the many items you can buy.

Looking out on the Djemaa el Fna and the bustling souks of Marrakech, Morocco
Looking out on the Djemaa el Fna and the bustling souks of Marrakech, Morocco | Source

Marrakech Bargaining- A Logical Way To Do Business

While it may seem a little illogical to many cultures in Marrakech bargaining is customary and an expectation when you're shopping in the souks. It's an art that has been around since the beginning of currency and showcases the simplistic natures of money management.

Bargaining for the shop owner is all about supply and demand and they will set their initial price ridiculously high for an item. Even if it has little financial value their initial gambit will always seem exceptionally high so be aware as holidaymakers often tend to panic upon an initial offer.

Bargaining is all about initial impressions so if the seller sees you're wearing a very nice Tag Heuer watch (even if it's a fake!), fancy Canon DSLR Camera and designer clothes they're likely to set their initial bargaining price higher. Also in areas of the souks where there are large numbers of tourists passing through prices will be higher and bargaining even small amounts off the asking price can be quite difficult as just like back home stores in tourist and high footfall areas often incur increased rental costs.

Bargaining in Marrakech can be a very enjoyable experience for many tourists and often becomes a highlight of their trip. Be aware that the vendors are rarely hurried and willing to take their time over any negotiation often offering tea and demonstrations on the handicrafts of the local artisans during the process.

Bargaining In Marrakech For A Cashmere Scarf- Think You Could Do Better?

Offer
Stated Price
Price Converted To $ / £
Sellers Initial Offer
1100 Dirhams
130 / 80
My 1st Offer
100 Dirhams
12 / 7
Sellers 1st Revised Offer
500 Dirhams
59 / 36
My 2nd Offer
140 Dirhams
16.50 / 10
Sellers 2nd Revised Offer
300 Dirhams
35 / 22
My 3rd Offer
180 Dirhams
21 / 13
Seller Asks You To State your 'Final Price'
200 Dirhams
24 / 15
 
 
 
Rates calculated at 1 MAD= 0.1173 USD/ 0.00729 GBP and are for representative value only. Interest rates change so the conversions are for illustrative purposes only however are based on rates from Googles online currency converter December 2012

Points To Consider To Get A Bargain In The Marrakech Souks

  1. Remember: You can walk away if you're not happy with a price. (But not if you've agreed on a sale)
  2. Don't get overawed by the vendors initial highly inflated offer. It's always going to be a silly price so laugh at it.
  3. Show a genuine interest for the workmanship of the product for sale but don't be completely besotted by an item as the seller will see that enthusiasm and raise prices accordingly
  4. Consider how much your would pay for an item at home. In the Marrakech souks aim to pay less.
  5. Always pay by cash. Some venders don't take cards and in cases where they do there have been incidents of fraud so be aware.
  6. Bargaining can be a great acting experience. Think of reasons why you wouldn't pay a certain price at home and use them. Stating that you believe you could get a better price elsewhere often works.

And Here's The Scarf I Bought In The Marrakech Souks

My 200 dirham scarf from Marrakech. I think this would be an ideal gift for a man, woman or me! Maybe 200 dirhams was too much but I love it and that's what counts
My 200 dirham scarf from Marrakech. I think this would be an ideal gift for a man, woman or me! Maybe 200 dirhams was too much but I love it and that's what counts

Morrocan Lantern's Add A Touch Of Marrakesh To Your Home

Whether they're situated inside or outside- A Morrocan Lantern can really add a Moorish charm to a room- Whether it's a bachelor pad (pictured) or family home
Whether they're situated inside or outside- A Morrocan Lantern can really add a Moorish charm to a room- Whether it's a bachelor pad (pictured) or family home | Source

Add Some Morrocan Decadence To Your Home Lighting

Whether they bring memories of a fine evening meal in a lavishly decadent Riad or you accidentally stumbled your way through the souks deep into where their manufacture takes place- A Moroccan lantern is a great way to bring home some of your fond memories of Marrakesh without breaking the bank.

You'll find them in any size you could want one. From a 5 cm tall tea light holder to a half metre high giant beacon for the garden there is so much to choose when shopping in the souks.

Be aware of transporting any home which have glass panels as these will often need to travel in your hand luggage on the plan to ensure safer handling.

Expect to pay from 50-60 Dirham upwards for a small sized lantern and always have an idea how much you wish to pay and never go over that threshold when bargaining- No matter how exorbitantly high the vendors initial price.

Want To Grab Yourself A Tagine From The Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

Those amazing tagines could make you want to try preparing one yourself at home
Those amazing tagines could make you want to try preparing one yourself at home

Tagines Are A Little Heavy To Bring Back With You

Moroccan food can be fantastic and those amazing tagines that you've eaten could be made to be just as good at home. However Moroccan tagines are heavy and space consuming so it's probably better not to buy one to carry home with you.

If you desperately want to buy a tagine there are some lovely ornamental tagines you can buy which are less than 10 cm in diameter which you could pick up for less than 50 dirham. You can't cook with them but they'll be a fantastic talking point on your fireplace at home so you can tell your friends and family about your magical Marrakesh adventures.

Grab yourself an Ottoman

Ottoman's are a great gift idea. For a plain version of these pouffes expect to pay around 150-200 Dirham.
Ottoman's are a great gift idea. For a plain version of these pouffes expect to pay around 150-200 Dirham. | Source

Cashmere Scarves From The Marrakech Souks

Cashmere Scarves are a great relatively low price  yet luxury treat in the Souks. There are some amazing designs available in Marrakech
Cashmere Scarves are a great relatively low price yet luxury treat in the Souks. There are some amazing designs available in Marrakech

The Souks Are A Great Place To Pick Up A Scarf Or Pashmina

If you love scarves and pashmina's Marrakech could be the place to go shopping. The souks are awash with lots of stalls selling the most amazing pashminas both in luxurious cactus silk and amazingly soft cashmere. These scarves are a great gifts for fashion addicts and those that tend to feel on the cold side throughout the winter months.

Designs range from amazing floral inspired knits to bright colourful tie-dyed designs although you can also pick up a fake Burberry scarf which will likely be of better quality than those sold by the brand itself.

How Much To Pay For A Marrakech Pashmina?

For a Cashmere Scarf (as pictured) expect to pay around 150 Dirham.

For a Silk Scarf expect to pay around 70 Dirham

Berber Shoes (Babouches) Crafted from leather

Marrakech is a great place to buy leather goods. The traditional Berber artisans make some very impressive looking slip on leather shoes which are known as babouches.

A shoe stall will light up with a rainbow of colour with leather shoes in colours of every possible shade. If they don't have the colour they could likely find you a pair too. There's a pair for everyone

What Should I Pay For A Pair Of Babouches?

Look to pay maximum 80 Dirham for a pair of babouches in the Marrakech Souks

Grab Some New Leather Shoes- Babouches

Babouches are a fantastic looking Moroccan shoe that would make excellent slippers for at home. Made from luxurious leather too
Babouches are a fantastic looking Moroccan shoe that would make excellent slippers for at home. Made from luxurious leather too

You can also pick up some amazing carpets and rugs

One of the most amazing things the Berber artisans produce are their fantastic carpets and rugs. The traditional berber style carpets tell as story with specific notations upon them which have meaning within their life.

These carpets, while exquisite, are incredibly heavy and will be difficult to transport home with you. Fortunately there are companies that import and sell these style carpets so you can pick up a Moroccan souvenir from home.

No need to buy these in Marrakech unless you want to be stung for an extortionate extra fee back to the UK on Easyjet who charge around £15 or more per extra kilo of luggage.

Where Can You Go In Marrakech If You Don't Like To Bargain?

If you're looking for amazing handmade artisan produced items like those you see in the Souks.but feel overawed and uncomfortable with the bargaining process you can head to the Centre Artisanal on Av Mohammad 5 on the way from the Djemaa el Fna out of the Medina.

The prices are slightly higher than you could be paying in the Souks but these are really high quality products. In many of the stores you can watch the artisans producing the items in front of you.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        SMac 

        8 months ago

        Nice article! Question, how do you know that the scarves are real cashmere or silk? I have been duped before, just trying to avoid it again! Thanks!

      • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

        Liam Hallam 

        17 months ago from Nottingham UK

        Thanks Virginia, I hope you enjoy your trip.

      • profile image

        Virginia 

        18 months ago

        Thank you Liam, I am going to this Morocco this week , I search interent, your information is very useful for shopping and bargain ..... love those Babouches , Thanks!!

      • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

        Liam Hallam 

        22 months ago from Nottingham UK

        Nice one- You'll have to come with me next time I go

      • profile image

        Malik 

        2 years ago

        I did actually do better.

        Was able to get the Pashmina scarf for my friend for 60 Dirhams only.

      • profile image

        Ofelia Lopes 

        3 years ago

        I've been in Marrakech last June and I really adore. Marrakech is enigmatic, beautiful and very colourful.I lived in Africa (Angola and Zimbabwe and know also very well Namíbia and South Africa) but Marrakech has a special place in my heart. I and my husband hope to return one day,maybe soon.

      • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

        Liam Hallam 

        4 years ago from Nottingham UK

        Thanks D Neal Miller, I love Marrakech too- It's somewhere I'd love to return in maybe around 10 years time and see how deeply it has been affected by tourism although I definitel;y would like to see more of Morocco first- especially Essouira

      • D Neal Miller profile image

        David Miller 

        4 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

        Very accurate description of negotiating for prices in the souks in Marrakech. I loved that city.

      • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

        Liam Hallam 

        4 years ago from Nottingham UK

        Thanks Eric for your comment- I love Marrakech too- The sights the sounds, the smells and the general sense of chaos of the place to an outsider. It feels a different world to back home in the UK. Thanks for leaving your blog link. I'll have a look but sadly for you I'm afraid hubpages doesn't allow web links in comments.

      • Riviera Rose profile image

        Riviera Rose 

        5 years ago from South of France

        I'm dying to go to Marrakech, it's been on the list for a long time. Great hub, voted up and interesting.

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