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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Morocco > Marrakech

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Shopping in Marrakech

Shopping is an absolute delight in Marrakech and one of the city's key attractions. Bargaining is essential to do shopping in Marrakech - visitors should start at around one third of what they want to pay.

Key areas

A good place to buy carpets is Bazaar Chichoua, 5 Souk des Ksous, but be prepared to spend hours drinking mint tea, head shaking, sighing and smiling as rugs and carpets are unrolled. Handmade copper and silverware, silk or cotton garments, wooden articles and jewellery can be found in Ministero del Gusto, 22 Derb Azouz el Moussine or at L'Orientaliste, 15 rue de la Libertie, Guéliz. Trésorie du Sud, Rue el Mouassine, is one of many small jewellers near the Mouassine Mosque.

For leather, Place Vendome, 141 Avenue Mohammed V, is a good bet if quality matters more than price. Chic boutiques cluster in Guéliz around Rue de la Liberté, while Rue Yogouslavie is dotted with hidden galleries. For sartorial and accessories elegance, step into the wonder that is Akbar Delights, 7 rue des Anciens Marrakchis.

Markets

Leading off from the northern edge of Jemaa el Fna are the winding alleyways of the souks, the vast, crowded, chaotic central market of Marrakech. Browsers can pick up anything from jewellery, textiles or carpets, to herbs, love potions and donkeys. The souks are best approached from Rue Souk Smarine. This busy thoroughfare runs for half the length of the souks before forking into Souk el Attarine and Souk el Kebir. Leading off the Souk el Attarine are spice, pottery, textiles and metalwork souks. Wander around the Souk el Kebir area to find leather bags and poufs, carpets, lamps and traditional Moroccan clothing.

Shopping centres

The government-run Ensemble Artisanal, Avenue Mohammed V, near the Koutoubia Mosque, is a small shopping mall and crafts training centre, offering high-quality goods at reasonable, fixed prices. Centre Artisanal, Kasbah 7 Derb Baissi Kasbah, also specialises in souvenirs, offering everything from traditional clothing to jewellery, home furnishings to carpets. Prices are fixed however.

Opening hours

Shopping hours in the medina are usually Monday to Thursday and Sunday 0900-1900, and Friday 0900-1200 and 1600-1900. In Guéliz, shops open Monday to Saturday 0900-1230 and 1530-1900. Some shops may close on Friday.

Souvenirs

Carpets, lanterns, jewellery, babouches, jellabas, kaftans, belts, bags, shoes, handicrafts and art are just some of the best buys in Marrakech.

Tax information

There is no provision in Marrakech for tourists to reclaim any sales tax or VAT. Many shop-owners actively resist giving an official receipt, as this forces them to declare (and pay) the VAT.

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Featured Hotels

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Riad Dar Aby

Situated just outside the Medina, Riad Dar Aby houses a number of en-suite rooms circled around a bright, tiled courtyard. The daily breakfast of Moroccan pancakes with lashings of jam provides a homely touch, while free Wi-Fi access, optional specialised tours and friendly staff complete the package.

Riad Cherihane

Notable for its vibrant rooftop garden where tortoises laze in sun, the well-priced Riad Chrihane is situated near the northern edge of the Medina, roughly a 15-minute walk from Jemaa el Fna. Though it can be tough to track down, due to its location down a quiet side alley, complimentary Moroccan tea and biscuits greet wearisome guests.

Riad L'Etoile D'Orient

Restored in 2010, this tastefully appointed riad mixes the modern with the traditional, meaning guests can upload snaps of the refined Moroccan decor using the speedy free Wi-Fi service. Just minutes from Jemaa el Fna, rooms here include flatscreen TVs and gorgeous bathrooms. There's also a rooftop terrace to enjoy.

Riad Al Massarah

This riad is the definition of Marrakech cool, with its blend of traditional lofty architecture, handsome custom-made furnishings and ultramodern bathroom fittings by Philippe Starck. Proprietors Michael and Michel are blazing the trail for responsible tourism with clever use of natural light and solar energy, contributions to local charities, and standard-setting wages for staff.

Riyad El Cadi

This elegant guesthouse is a maze of historic riads set around five courtyards and faceted with private balconies, terraces, staircases and light wells. Each of the rooms has its own décor scheme (stay in the cupola-capped Ottoman suite with Turkish tile and latticework harem balcony). It also has a pool with Jacuzzi, subterranean hammam and well-stocked wine cellar.

La Maison Arabe Marrakech

Opened in the 1940s, La Maison Arabe was a popular dining place for the rich and famous (Winston Churchill was a patron). It closed in the 1980s but reopened in 1998 as a hotel with Italian blueblood and African antiques collector Frederic Ruspoli at the helm. His collection is now the centrepiece of the hotel's luxuriously restored suites and rooms.