When you think of Marrakech, the souks are often one of the first things to spring to mind. Indeed, their vibrant atmosphere, colourful stalls and excited merchants are a favourite among tourists, and a sight not to be missed on any trip to the beautiful red city of Marrakech. We at Villanovo invite you to venture into to the bustling Medina of Marrakech among the vendors, snake charmers and the enchanting smell of spices to get a real taste of Morocco. Just be prepared to do a little haggling!
Traditionally, the souk is an open market where locals can buy all kinds of basic necessities. In the past, street vendors would come here to display their products found in the villages next door or those coming from the other side of the world. Marrakech is situated on many trade routes, so there are a great deal goods from all over Morocco and neighbouring African countries. Merchants usually travelled by camel or donkey with a heavily loaded caravan.
As the population grew, merchants then began to set up small souks next to the busier areas, such as the main square. They then used their donkeys and carts to roam the labyrinthine streets of the Medina, identifying it as the best way to sell their products as close as possible to the population.
You will therefore find many souks in the city of Marrakech that sell all sorts of valuable and everyday products, from Moroccan maxi dresses to mint tea, shoes, leather goods, medicines, bags... they're all on sale in the souks of Marrakech! So, let's set off through this labyrinth of narrow alleyways to discover a few of the red city's abundance of souks in the Medina of Marrakech.
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It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful souks of Marrakech. Here in souk Smata you will find whole walls of babouches of all colours, ranging from the simple traditional Moroccan slipper to those embroidered and decorated with jewellery.
The famous Souk Semmarine is located in the heart of the Medina of Marrakech, is marked by its arc-shaped entrance. Here you will find traders selling mainly traditional clothing from the mix between the Berber traditions of the south and the Arab world of the cities. The place to find those maxi dresses!
Close to the Rahba Kedima square, you will find this typical souk selling mainly carpets, vases, ashtrays and other ceramic souvenirs. This souk is also known as La Criée Berbère, Here a great many auctions are held.
If you are a food lover or just for the pleasure of the senses, souk el Attarine is paradise! You will find many spices, such as the famous Ras El-Hanout. The spice square is a real show with spices packed in large cones, where locals flock to buy all manner of spices at an affordable price. A fantastic option if you're a tourist looking to try your hand at recreating the delicious local cuisine. Start with a trip to Souk Attarine, and you're heading in the right direction.
Otherwise known as the jewellers' souk, you can find a lot of jewellery at all prices. Some shops sell high quality jewellery specialising in Berber jewellery. Tourists can find some truly wonderful items here.
You will come across an abundance of leather goods in this souk, located north of Souk El Kebir street. In this maze of streets, you can find vendors selling wallets, handbags and belts as well as many shoemakers.
A little further away, this souk is worth the diversion to admire many ironwork objects such as Moroccan lamps, silver teapots and other metal objects. You will be able to see the local craftsmen making them which will be a splendid spectacle!
It is undoubtedly the most surprising souk to visit in Marrakech. Here the local people and visitors alike come to find remedies to cure all manner of maladies, as well as love potions. You will be able to see jars of medicinal plants, dried animals and snake skins. A real open-air curiosity cabinet!
Located further south of Marrakech you will find this souk, otherwise known as the dyers' souk, where you can see many installations with fabrics of all colours. It is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic souks in Marrakech with its beautiful indigo, saffron or mint colours drying in the sun. Don't leave without a photo!