The medina in Marrakesh is unlike anyplace else. With all of the colors, smells and sounds it is always exciting and can actually be quite overwhelming. We got lost more times than I care to share along those narrow, winding roads lined with shops filled with colorful merchandise. But then, we were found, after enjoying an adventure and finding some treasures.
Oftentimes the merchandise pours out on the street, making it even more irresistable. Sometimes, it can be intimidating to go into the shops. A word to the wandering… many of the merchants can be pretty aggressive here, and bartering is a part of the game. Once you start to engage some of the sellers do not want to let you go. Feel ready to walk away if it gets too intense.
All shapes and sizes of tagines and other cooking pots can be found, a little challenging bring home but shipping is available.
All colors of traditional, hand painted ceramics can be found in abundance.
Mixed in with the shops you’ll find craftspeople creating goods: hats, rugs, shoes, ceramics, bags are both manufactured and marketed within this 700 hectare UNESCO World Heritage site.
In this main square you’ll find so many beautiful and distinctive woven goods. I like going here first to find a hat for the trip. If you have a day or two they will customize the hats and bags for you.
Shoes made of leather, fabric and woven fibers come is so many shapes and colors, if you have a couple of days they will do custom designs for you.
The Medina was tapped by UNESCO back in 1985 for the architecture and artistry of the surrounding gates and walls and the buildings, gates and gardens within.
In addition to some of the more traditional products you’ll find unique boutiques with extra special designs.
The carpet selections are endless, these soft, plush hand-tied berber rugs feel great under your feet. Be careful if you travel with a guide, many are famous for directing you to certain shops where they get a kick back and may not have your best interest in mind when it comes to the cost.
The souk started in 1070 – 72, Marrakesh was the major trade stop for tribes from the Atlas mountains to bring their caravans filled with their hand-made products traveling across the Sahara desert.
The wagons could come through tall doorways.
The animals would stay below and merchants would sleep on the upper floor.
There are so many beautiful wood products, you’ll see many craftsmen fashioning and smoothing slabs of wood into beautiful cutting boards, bowls, platters and serving utensils.
I LOVED all of these beautiful muted cotton cushion covers, but honestly, could not come up with a location where they would “fit”.
There are specific souks within the medina, The Souk El Kebir is the hub for leather goods here you’ll find everything from hides to finished products made of leather.
The Souk des Tapis is where you’ll find all things textile, from scanes of colorful yarn to finished carpets.
This woman taught me how she makes these works of art, weavers beware: opportunities like this come with an expectation of a tip. This is also the case with photo opportunites and offers to “guide” you when you are lost. Be sure to keep a little wad of dirhams or santimats coins for in case you’d like to participate, they can be very aggressive. They also take US dollars and Euros.
Herboristes can be found throughout the medina their bins of medical plants, essential oil, healing herbs, spices and pigments are prevelant, and beautiful. They offer fascinating remedies for what ever may be ailing you.
Here is dinner take out Marrakesh style, these pots contain stew like meals that you can bring home to heat and eat and serve with ease.
There are produce stands throughout the market, also fresh fruit juices are very popular.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Medina, if you’d like any contact information, feel free to contact me!