If you know me you know I looove shopping in Morocco. Whenever I go to Morocco I spend a considerate amount of time in the Medina, browsing products and bargaining. I know what to buy in Morocco, and I have a list of essentials I always make sure I restock. I also love looking for original handicrafts and finding traditional items to add to my collection and to Little Moroccan Things.
Even as a Native, I am continually amazed at how charming and exciting Moroccan Medinas are. The mix of smells, sounds, colors, materials, and textures makes the Medinas a stimulating place for our senses.
But I get it! Deciding what to buy in Morocco can be overwhelming. With thousands of products available in the Medina 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 Moroccan stores full of tempting handicrafts and traditional products.
In fact, this Magical place that is the Medina is tricky to explore and not all the products you will find in Moroccan markets 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 Moroccan markets dynamic is crucial if you want to put your hands on some Moroccan handicrafts and souvenirs.
The temptations are strong in Morocco, and you will probably buy different items and souvenirs. Without gradually checking on a scale, you can easily end up exceeding your weight limit. If you are already in Morocco, you can find luggage scales in many Moroccan supermarkets at reasonable prices. If you are not in Morocco yet, it’s best to get a cheap luggage scale before your trip.
You might ask why all the hype and why shop in Morocco? Well, 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.
Counterfeiting in Morocco
The first thing to remember before shopping in Morocco is that there are plenty of counterfeit products. It’s not unusual to have middle-class Moroccan women wearing Louis Vuitton handbags, Gucci belts, Versace scarves, and Chanel Sunglasses, all at the same time. It even gets crazier with Louis Vuitton Djellabas and Louis Vuitton traditional Moroccan slippers (aka the famous Morocco Babouches).
More importantly, counterfeiting in Morocco also targets traditional Moroccan products, which is something you should keep in mind and pay attention to.
Morocco market, like most markets, is open to Chinese and Indian imported products. This means that not all the products you will find in the Medina will be locally made. I recently went to Marrakech Medina and was surprised by how imitation is on point and how visitors could easily mistake these counterfeits for traditional Moroccan products.
To avoid counterfeits, the best is to not get too adventurous and to stick to classic Moroccan products. I will share below some classic Moroccan products but for in-depth examples and pictures, check my detailed shopping ebook (link at the end of the post).
Buying from specialized stores is also the best. For leather products, for example, it’s best to focus on vendors who sell only leather-made items.
The Bargaining Game
In Morocco, it is often possible 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. For a viable support system with products average prices, check my Morocco detailed shopping ebook.
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 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 Medina is a pretty exciting place to visit. This being said, learning about Moroccan Medinas is key! Not only will you shop with confidence and fully enjoy your experience, but you will also find some gems that will make you think of Morocco for decades, and even more.
Master Moroccan Medinas and get what you want. Order my Morocco Ultimate Shopping guide.
Just got your ebook!
can’t wait to read it, thank you for all the useful tips
Response from Moroccanzest
Oh, I am so happy about that! xx
thanks so much
Now i can’t wait to be in Morocco!