Souks and markets are the major features of Moroccan life, and they are among the country’s best attractions. These are found everywhere and each town has got its own special souks. For the rather big cities like Marrakesh, Fez and the rest of the big cities have tangle of individual souks and each fills a street or square and is devoted to a given trade and in the countryside there are hundreds of weekly souks, and these take place on a different day in each village of the region.
Craft, art and traditions are still very vigorous in Morocco, and even the goods that are bulk-produced for the tourists are surprisingly expensive. Finding pieces of real quality is however not very easy. Some crafts have become blunted by all these centuries of repetition while others have been corrupted by modern techniques and the chemical dyes. For those planning to buy something, it’s always better to get as close to the source of the goods as one can. One of the ways that you can get a good idea of the original standards would be by visiting one of the various established art museums that are spread all around the country. There are pretty good art and craft museums in all the main cities in Morocco.
Moroccan carpets are not as cheap as you may imagine, you may have to pay thousands of dollars for the better-quality Arab designs in Fez or Rabat. It is on the other hand much possible to find rugs and kellims which are woven rather than knotted, at better costs.
Pottery in Morocco is very vibrant if fairly crudely made on the whole, however the blue-and-white designs of Fez and the multicoloured element of the Chefchaouen are extremely eye-catching.
Be sure of a large diversity of food products in Morocco that you will not get elsewhere very easily and which will make an easy and inexpensive gift or souvenir. Locally produced olive oil is rather very simple to come across; it is unique with a very strong flavour. Olives also appear in several varieties, and there are a number of shops that specialize only in the selling of olives.
This is entirely a natural thing in Morocco; it is always advisable not to pay attention to the initial prices. The first price is always just a device to test the limits of a particular transaction. You may always visit a fixed price store or supermarket to determine the actual prices for the crafts. Just set your mind on how much you are willing to offer and then you may go back to the open markets to negotiate the prices of the products. Always take your time when bargaining and you may get a better deal than some other tourist with less patience or experience. Therefore always be patient and stick to what you feel is a fair price for you.
Author: Sandra Nans