The Souks of Marrakech

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Man wearing traditional Berber clothes walking through the Souks of Marrakech

Man wearing traditional Berber clothes walking through the Souks of Marrakech

Marrakech is a vibrant city, one that is bustling, noisy, colourful and vibrant. It is filled with markets, known as souks, and one can literally wander and explore the markets for days.  They are filled with food, drink, jewellery, silver, gold, rugs, leather, art, clothing, souvenirs and everything in-between.  They are a real highlight of Marrakech, and while everyone will get lost in a souk at some point, everyone will love them!

The Medina is the old city and it is alive with markets.  When entering the Medina, there are many gates, all ancient.  Traders used to make their way to the Medina to sell their wares, and one market grew bigger and bigger, today known as Marrakechs main market.  You can walk and wander for hours, looking, shopping, bargaining, eating and drinking, meeting the locals and wandering some more.

With time and as Marrakech grew, smaller markets starting springing up.  None of these are exactly small, and they are all worth exploring.  Some souks had specialities, and today you can visit the carpet souk, the leather souk, the shoe souk, the gold souk and the spice souk.  We would suggest you visit them all and they are literally named after what they sell.   Its a good idea to visit the Medina and main souks with a guide, especially for the first time.  You can join a guided walking tour, private or in a group, and get a real sense of Marrakechs narrow alleys, colourful markets, interesting architectures and incredible people.

If you make your way to the Jemaa el Fna Square, you will find the souks branching out from the square, mostly in a winding labyrinth of narrow alleyways.  It can be confusing.  The main souk is called Souk Semmarine, and from here you can just wander and come across all the other souks.   Spice Square will be recognisable by the colors and aromas, Souk el Attarine will be recognisable by the antiques, silver teapots and lamps. When you start seeing shoes, youre at Souk Smata and when everything smells of leather, youll be in the heart of Souk el Kebir.

Dont get too hung up on which souk you are visiting, rather, go with the flow.  Keep landmarks in mind so you dont get too lost, and make sure you always know which direction to head back.  If you do get lost, ask shopkeepers as they will always be happy to offer help, and a cup of refreshing mint tea too.  You are never under obligation to buy anything, although Moroccan shopkeepers can be persuasive.

If you are nervous, join a walking tour and visit the souks of Marrakech with a guide.  Then, explore on your own.  Wear good shoes because you are going to walk a lot, carry water with you, have sunscreen and a hat.  It gets hot in Marrakech, although you can also pick up fabulous freshly squeezed juices which are hugely popular.  Always know the name of your hotel so you can jump in a taxi to go home when youve had enough, and carry cash because its easier to shop in the markets with cash.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What do souks sell?2022-08-27T09:24:53+00:00

Souks are traditional Arabic markets that sell a variety of goods, including tagine pots, ceramics, teapots, carpets, rugs, leather goods, lanterns, and spices. In recent years, souks have become increasingly popular with tourists looking to purchase souvenirs and gifts.

Each souk usually specialises in a particular type of merchandise. For example, the spice souk is a great place to purchase herbs and spices for cooking. The carpet souk is another popular destination for tourists; here you can find beautiful handmade carpets and rugs at reasonable prices.

When visiting a souk, it’s important to bargain with the vendors in order to get the best price.

What is the main souk in Marrakech?2022-08-27T09:24:03+00:00

There are three main souks in Marrakech: Souk Semmarine, Souk Nejjarine, and Souk El-K.

Souk Semmarine is a traditional souk located in the medina of Marrakech. It’s a bustling market that offers a variety of products, including textiles, carpets, leather goods, spices, and Moroccan handicrafts.

Souk Nejjarine is an artisanal souk located in the medina of Marrakech. It’s known for its abundance of woodworking shops and for selling a wide variety of handcrafted items, such as lamps, furniture, jewellery boxes, and musical instruments.
Souk Semmarine is the main focal point of the souks and the one that most tourists frequent. It is basically a long street covered by an iron trellis that turns into two other souks—Souk Nejjarine and Souk El-Kebir.

Souk El-K is the smallest of the three souks, but it’s also the most picturesque. It’s located in the Mellah district and is known for its brassware.

What are Moroccan souks?2022-08-27T09:23:24+00:00

Souks are traditional marketplace districts found throughout Morocco. They are typically very bustling, and offer a great variety of stalls selling everything from food to spices. Herbalists can also be found in many souks. The Souks offer a unique shopping experience and a real taste of Moroccan culture. Be sure to haggle for the best prices! Souks are a great place to find souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home. You can also find some great deals on spices and other ingredients for cooking. So, next time you’re in Morocco, be sure to check out the souks!

How many souks are there in Marrakech?2022-08-27T09:22:26+00:00

There are around 3000 stalls in the souk of Marrakech, making it a popular tourist destination for those looking for a market where they can haggle over tagines and other Moroccan souvenirs. However, the souk is also a great place to find bargains on fresh produce and spices. Make sure you wander off the beaten path and take your time to explore all its nooks and crannies – you never know what hidden treasures you might find!


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