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Shopping in Marrakech
When shopping in Marrakech, you may suddenly think you are dreaming as you find yourself deep in the world-famous medina, surrounded by the sights and sounds of centuries! The traditional vending stalls better known as "souks" are filled with every imaginable type of craft item. The challenge when shopping in Marrakech for most tourists is where to shop as one is more than spoiled for variety in the city.

Fortunately, Marrakech is one shopping place where there is something for every taste and every budget. With a little bit of bargaining you will have no problems purchasing handmade belgha (leather slippers), thuya wood boxes and trays, ceramics and mosaics or the popular painted wood mirrors for great prices.

The souks are some of the best places to go when shopping in Marrakech, and the souks also provide a rare glimpse of life into one of Morocco's most interesting cities. Stay close to the main areas, namely Souk Smarine, Souk El Kebir and Souk El Atarin and you are sure to enjoy a great shopping experience in Marrakech.

The Northern end of the souks, best reached from the Ben Youssef mosque, hosts many workshops producing a variety of handmade goods. This gives travellers an opportunity to view the actual items being made. These souks have many leather shops that make the popular babouche (slippers), as well as shops that sell wrought-iron works and so on. Often travellers can purchase right from the site itself and save some money in the process while shopping in Marrakech.

Some of the best shopping in Marrakech is available in the medina souks as well as the smaller weekly village markets found in the country. However, should you travel outside of Marrakech to shop and you are sure to find higher prices. For example, it is no secret that in the city of Guéliz the prices are higher than those offered in the medina. Also, if you visit a medina shop with an "official tourist guide" the guide will usually get a commission based on what you pay for your goods. Remember to take your time when making a purchase and do not be afraid to bargain with the vendor.

Market hours when shopping in Marrakech are not set in stone, but as a general rule, shops in Guéliz open around 09:00 and close for a long lunch break from 12:30/13:00 to 14:30/15:00; they also close again in the evening around 7pm. Another detail to pay attention to if you plan on shopping in the médina is that many of the smaller shops may be closed all afternoon on Friday's from 11:30-16:00. However, rest assured that there will always be shops open as the main bazaar is open everyday!
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Holiday and Vacation Rentals.
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