The Best Souvenirs to Buy from Morocco in 2023
Even as a Moroccan native who is very familiar with Moroccan Medina, Souks, and Bazaars, I still think that shopping in Morocco and buying products and souvenirs is one of the best experiences you can have in the country – it’s also a great way to shop for incredibly high-quality artisanal Moroccan products at affordable prices – especially if you know where to look and what to look for.
Shopping in Moroccan Medina, Souks, and Bazaars can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. The energy coming from these markets 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. When you visit, you won’t leave without buying a few – if not many – souvenirs from Morocco.
If you are planning on doing serious shopping in Morocco – while you can always refer to this article for a summary – I highly recommend checking my detailed guide on shopping in Morocco. It will give you all you need to know to look for authentic handicrafts and avoid counterfeits, as well as the prices to expect for each product.
Deciding what to buy in Morocco can be overwhelming. With thousands of products available in the many Medina, Souks, and Bazaars market of every city. The possibilities will seem endless if you are not familiar with shopping in Morocco.
This being said, if you get prepared before your visit to the Medina, Souk or Bazar, you will put your hands on some beautiful and 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.
What is a Medina?
Casablanca, Chefchaouen, Essaouira, Fez, Marrakech,and many more Moroccan cities have one thing in common and its their medina. If you travel to any city in Morocco, you must absolutely check where the Medina is and plan a couple hours at least to visit it.
So what is a Medina? The medina in any Moroccan city refers to the ancient part of a city. In other words, it refers to where the city started, a few hundred years ago – if not thousands of years ago.
Almost most Medinas in Morocco have ramparts that were originally built to protect the city from invaders.
The medina of Marrakech is one of the largest medinas in Morocco. You will find there all Moroccan artisans make from every part of Morocco. Some of the most famous Medinas in Morocco include the Medina of Marrakech, the Medina of Tangier, the Medina of Fez, the Medina of Tangier and the Medina of Chefchaouen. But as mentioned above, almost every city in Morocco has a respectable and lively Medina full of artisans creations.
Moroccan Souks are usually in the heart of the Medina. The word “souk” means great disorder in Arabic, which is significant in Moroccan markets, as you can find anything and everything in a Souk. In fact, Souks also contain food: fresh fruits and veggies, meats, pastries, dried fruits, etc. You name it, you’ll probably find it in a Moroccan Souk. The Souk also has all the handicrafts. Like in the Medina, prices are rarely fixed and it is very normal to haggle. The Souk of Marrakech is one of the largest in Morocco.
Is Morocco Expensive?
According to a study by GoBanking, Morocco is among the cheapest countries in the world with the cheapest cost of living overall. Rents are on average 89% lower than in the Big Apple and the cost of living that is 63% less. So if you are coming from a developed country, you will get the best out of your bucks by shopping in Morocco. This being said, vendors in Morocco tend to know what tourists have bigger budgets than others, and ask for prices accordingly. That’s why knowing the price to expect for each product is a must.
Fake Artisanal Products
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.
While some counterfeits are easy to spot – like the Louis Vuitton Slippers or Baboosh – others can be really hard to identify. In fact, recently, there are more and more imitations of artisanal products coming from Indian and Chinese manufacturies.They are much cheaper, and as you would expect it, of terrible quality. A friend of mine bought a counterfeits Moroccan pouf, and a couple months later, the leather on the pouf started disintegrating! A traditional Moroccan pouf will last decades, if not more. It can even be passed to the next generation if well taken care of.
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.
Haggling and Shopping in Morocco
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.
The Best Souvenirs From Morocco
1. 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.
2. Moroccan Pastries
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. Think Chebakkia, Kaab Ghzal, Ghriba, Fekkass, Briwates, Rghayf, and so much more.
3. Medina 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, tone it, and so much more. The beauty section is one of my favorite sections in the Medina. If you love taking care of your body, I promise you will love discovering and trying Moroccan natural beauty products. Some of the beauty products I always make sure I buy are: Argan oil, black soap and rose water.
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.
5. Decor and Home Products
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.
6. Moroccan Jewelry
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.
7. Moroccan 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.
8. Leather Products
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 have a strong smell that 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 Medina and Souk are pretty exciting places to visit. This being said, learning about Moroccan Souks and Medinas is critical, especially if you are looking to invest in a few quality pieces. 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. You can check my detailed Morocco shopping guide here.
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.
Learn more about me here.