Shopping in Morocco and The Medina
If you know me you know I love shopping in Morocco. Whenever I go to Morocco I spend a considerate amount of time in the Medina and Souk market, checking artisanal products, chatting with artisans, and bargaining. I know what to buy in Morocco, and I have my must-buy products I always make sure I restock when I am visiting. I also always looking for original handicrafts and finding traditional products to add to Little Moroccan Things collection.
Even as a Moroccan native and as someone who spent most of her life in Morocco, I am continually amazed at how charming, lively, and exciting Moroccan Souks are. The energy coming from these places and the mix of sounds, colors, and smells you instantly bathe in when you enter the space, are hard to replicate. It’s what makes Morocco one of the most sought-after travel destinations.
But I get it! Deciding what to buy in Morocco can be overwhelming. With thousands of products available in the Souk market, the possibilities will seem endless if you are not familiar with shopping in Morocco.
If you’ve ever visited a Moroccan marketplace, you probably know what I mean. The question What to buy in Morocco quickly becomes What not to buy in Morocco, as you are surrounded by artisanal shops full of amazing gems.
This magical place that is the Souk is tricky to explore and not all the products you will find there will be worth purchasing – we’ll get to that later. Besides, untrustworthy vendors and not-so-authentic products are unfortunately part of the decor too.
That’s why learning about Moroccan products and the Moroccan market dynamic is crucial if you want to buy souvenirs and acquire authentic Moroccan handicrafts that will last a lifetime.
The temptation to buy Moroccan handicrafts will be strong – and rightly so -, and you can end up buying more than your luggage can take or exceed your weight limit, especially if you buy bulky and/or heavy decor items like rugs, hand-painted clay, and porcelain tableware, brass lanterns, and teapots. So I recommend always carrying a tape measure and a lightweight scale. If you are already in Morocco, you can find reasonably priced options at most large supermarkets like Marjane Market – do not buy them in the Souk, they will be 10x more expensive. If you are not in Morocco yet – make sure to check my list of what to pack for Morocco.
The best about shopping in Morocco is that you can find high-quality Moroccan handicrafts. Most Moroccan craftsmen are passionate about their crafts and some families run their workshops for generations. The materials used are often of high quality, including leather, silk, silver, and copper making each item very durable and valuable.
Shopping in Morocco: Moroccan Market, Medinas & Souks
Moroccan markets are of two major kinds. There are the Souks for buying food-related products, and the Medina, for buying lifestyle products like clothing, home decor, and jewelry. This being said, It is not unusual to find some food products in the Medina making it the heartbeat of most Moroccan cities and the place where every shopping experience should start.
In fact, if you are planning on doing some shopping in Morocco, the Medina will probably be your best shot as it encompasses most of the things you will be interested in. It’s also a busy space with an interesting dynamic and some hidden rules that are crucial to know about before your trip.
Counterfeits in Morocco
The first thing to remember before shopping in Morocco is that counterfeits are part of the decor. It’s not unusual to see Moroccans from all social classes wearing counterfeit Chanel shirts, Louis Vuitton handbags, Gucci belts, Versace scarves, and Chanel Sunglasses, sometimes all at the same time. It even gets more interesting with Louis Vuitton Djellabas and Louis Vuitton traditional Moroccan slippers – aka the famous Morocco Babouches.
Quite recently, counterfeiting in Morocco started targeting traditional Moroccan handicrafts, which is something you should keep in mind and pay attention to. I recently visited Marrakech Medina Market and was choked at the number of counterfeit products offered to visitors. Imitation is on point and most tourists would easily mistake these counterfeits for traditional Moroccan products.
To avoid counterfeits as much as possible, the best is to stick to classic Moroccan products. I will share below some of the most popular Moroccan handicrafts you can target during your visit. For in-depth examples and pictures, check my shopping ebook.
Another tip is to buy from specialized artisans. For leather products, for example, it will be better to focus on vendors who sell only leather-made items and avoid those with a plethora of options: they will be more expensive and they might mix artisanal products with counterfeits.
The Bargaining Game
In Morocco, it is often possible – and highly recommended – to negotiate the prices. Haggling is a common game and most of the time, vendors will give a higher price knowing that the client will likely ask for a reduction.
Bargaining can get tricky especially when you don’t know the average price tag for a product. A way to get an idea of a product price is to ask as many vendors as possible about the price. When making a counter offer, I recommend reducing the price by at least 30% and starting the negotiation from there.
What to Buy in Morocco | Best Morocco Souvenirs and Handicrafts
Spices and Dry Herbs
Moroccan cuisine is full of spices and herbs, which gives it delicious and unforgettable flavors. If like me you buy your spices from your local supermarket, believe me, buying some of your herbs and spices from Morocco is a really great deal. Not only the prices are so much cheaper, but they are of a much higher quality. Whenever I visit Morocco, I make sure I restock some of my go-to spices and herbs as well as some traditional Moroccan spice and herb mixes.
Unfortunately, you can’t bring home every dish you tried in Morocco (if only that was possible right?). The good news is, there are some Moroccan food products that keep well for days and even weeks. They make a perfect gift for your friends and family members who couldn’t come with you to Morocco. Not only that! You will also be glad to taste them again once back home.
Moroccan pastries are a good example. If stored correctly, some of them can keep well in the fridge for days and even weeks.
Moroccan Beauty Products
Moroccan women love using natural beauty products to take care of their skin and hair. There are many natural products and herb mixes that can be used to dye the hair, strengthen it, exfoliate the skin, and tone it. If you love taking care of your body, I promise you will love discovering and trying Moroccan natural beauty products.
Clay pots and tagines, traditional teapots, silverware, beautifully decorated tea glasses, … Moroccan cookware options are numerous and will add to your kitchen a colorful and exotic touch.
Some items can get overpriced so it’s good to take your time and compare the different offers. Traditional products are handmade and use materials like clay, silver, and stainless steel.
Home Decor Items
If you love decorating your house and finding interesting decor pieces, visiting Moroccan Medina will be like exploring an Alibaba cavern with thousands of Moroccan rugs, chandeliers, decorated pillows, fancy mirrors, and so much more.
The hardest part will be to choose and stop yourself from buying. Focus on products made with high-quality materials. The best chandeliers and lamps are made with copper, and rugs should be made with wool (you absolutely can ask the vendor to test with a lighter and see if it sets in flames).
Moroccan jewelry is gorgeous and there are so many designs to choose from. You can have handmade pieces made with fancy materials like gold, and coral, as well as cheaper but good-quality replicas that can last for years.
Moroccan Traditional Clothing
I have talked about traditional Moroccan clothing in many of my previous posts. If you love experimenting with fashion, there are many Moroccan fashion items that are extremely stylish. I grew up in my aunt’s sewing shop playing with fabrics and colors and now, there is nothing I enjoy more than shopping for traditional Moroccan clothes and wearing them back home on multiple occasions.
Men have their slice of the cake too, with a couple of traditional clothes that offer an elegant and fancy arabesque wear.
As there are many clothing items imported from China and India, the best, as I detail in my ebook, is to stick to classic Moroccan design pieces like the Ghandoura for women and Jabador for Men.
Morocco is known for its traditional tanneries where good quality leather is made. The items made of this leather, like poufs, shoes, handbags, and travel bags can be found in most Moroccan Medinas.
It’s best to buy leather products from leather specialized stores. Moroccan leather products smell really strong and the scent can last for a few days or weeks. So make sure you don’t fall for imitation and counterfeits.
It’s not a surprise that shopping is what most visitors love to do in Morocco. Even for locals, the Souk and the Medina are pretty exciting places to visit. This being said, learning about Moroccan Souks and Medinas is critical! Not only will you shop with confidence and fully enjoy your experience, but you will also find some gems that will age beautifully and that can be passed down to the next generation.
Your Morocco Ultimate Shopping Guide
Find out the products you should focus on and those to absolutely avoid.
Been there, now really, want to go back
I lived in Rabat over 30 years ago (1978), went to school at the American School there and loved it. Reading your descriptions, recipes and your love of the place, I so desperately want to go back again very soon. Thank you for your lovely site and beautiful descriptions and your guides. You clearly have a lot of love for Morocco and it shows,
Response from Moroccanzest
Oh, thanks, Cheryl! That means a lot! I spent my childhood years in Rabat and it’s one of my favorite cities in Morocco. It’s calm, not too much crowded, and with a special charm to it. I’m sure you know what I mean. Hope you can visit again. I don’t know when you’ve last been there but a lot has changed in the last ten years. Totally worth a visit. So, cheers to your next trip! –xx
I was planning on doing some serious shopping in Morocco .. my friends and family wanted a whole lot of souvenirs from Morocco and I was on a budget. I was in Morocco when I purchased your ebook, and I am glad I did that! The ebook gave me exactly what I needed: interesting and affordable souvenirs to bring back home. I am back and everyone is really happy with their gifts. Thank you so so so much!
Response from Moroccanzest
Wow, I am so happy about that, Ines! Thank you for your feedback — xx
just got back from Marrakech and I LOOOOVED being there. thank you for all the tips, I relied on your site for recommendations and had the loveliest time. thank you for the shopping guide too, I came back home with the best souvenirs.
Response from Moroccanzest
aww glad you enjoyed your stay in Morocco, Jenna -xx
tanks for the precious tips
your ebook literally saved my trip to Morocco. I went to the medina and was completely lost and thank god found your guide when I was doing quick research in a Marrakech café! I did some really great deals and now I am home with a gorgeous Moroccan rug, a beautiful teapot and a traditional Berber blanket that makes my bedroom cozy and oriental. thanks so much Safa. I am so proud of what I got.
exactly what I needed (got your ebook too and so pleased with all the tips). thank you!
love your content
probably one of the best guides on shopping in Morocco. thank you girl
one of the most detailed articles on Moroccan products. I am currently in Morocco and just went to the medina yesterday and couldn’t decide. Now I know what to focus on. thank you dear
this all seems so promising! just received your ebook and can’t wait to go through it. thank you
Thank you for the awesome tips!
I would have made many mistakes if I hadn’t read your ebook. I was going to buy a handbag and turns out, it was from china! I finally got one in leather, traditional and still smells like goat lol Thanks so much!!!
From design and decor to food and travel, moroccanzest is the space where I share what I loved growing up in Morocco, and more. It’s your destination for everything beautiful, artistic, and made the Moroccan way with love.
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