Wandering through the labyrinthine souks is an indispensable part of any Marrakech visit. These markets have been centers of trade for a millenia, and visitors from all over the world come here to get a glimpse of the city’s past and shop for goods.
Depending on how much time you have, you can explore the souks as part of a half-day or full-day tour that includes a visit along with other adventures: You can combine a shopping trip in the souks with a cooking class, a hamman experience, a bicycle food tour, or a sunset camel ride. Alternatively, you can explore the city—including the dunes of Palm Grove—on a quad bike.
Things to Know Before You Go
Morocco is a conservative country; when visiting the souks, wear comfortable shoes and dress modestly.
Bargaining for goods is expected and should be a friendly and playful experience.
Be mindful of your possessions; the souks are always crowded, and pick-pockets are common.
How to Get There
Marrakech’s souks are in the center of the ancient Medina, which is easily accessible by taxi and is walking distance from most of the city’s other main attractions. Once you’ve entered, it is hard to keep track of where you are among the narrow, maze-like alleys. If you don’t like the idea of getting a little bit lost as you make your way through the markets, you’ll want to visit with a guide.
When to Get There
Marrakech’s souks generally open by late morning and close by mid-evening. Souks and food stalls near the main square generally stay open later than others. Beat the crowds by showing up as early as possible, or, if you want to people-watch and enjoy an electric atmosphere, visit during the evening.
To see the arduous leather-making process that goes into creating many of the goods sold in the souks, take some time to visit the tanneries that are located at the north end of the medina. Here, artisans from local families tan the hides in the open air. Climb to the terrace above the tanneries to get a bird’s eye view of the craftsmen sculpting, cutting, hammering, and dyeing the hides.
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