souks of Marrakech, not just a market. It is also a social meeting place where people can come to buy and sell goods, share news or gossip, or just meet friends.
The traditional souks of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh are considered one of the main places of trade and tourism in Morocco.
Introduction: What are Souks and How are they Different from Western Markets?
Souks are a type of open-air market that is typically set up in the middle of a city. They are different from Western markets because they are more like an outdoor bazaar. Souks can be found in many Middle Eastern and North African cities, including Cairo, Morocco, Istanbul, and Tehran.
Marrakesh is a Historical Center of the Caravan Trade in Morocco.
The souks of the medina of Marrakech are veritable labyrinths of stalls and craft workshops, organized by neighborhoods and craftsmen and bringing together more than 2,600 Moroccan artisans for about twenty companies. The main market extends in the center of the city, from the famous Jemaa El Fna Square to the Ben Youssef Medersa. The central lanes that cross the souks are for stalls, and artisans work in the adjacent alleys.
Local traders and craftsmen make and sell their products from Moroccan traditional crafts, such as jewelry, vases, teapots, lanterns, boilers, trays, carpets, leather, body care products, clothes, fabrics, pottery, perfumes, food, Moroccan sweets, spices, etc.
Organizing Handicrafts in the Markets
Each trade was organized and established historically in a specific area of the antique, in the form of companies with strict rules and professional hierarchies. The apprentices finish their trade apprenticeship by making a piece of their creativity, judged by a panel of “masters”, master craftsmen, and apprenticeship masters, who are the custodians of traditional crafts. They can then set off on their own and become an artisan.
At the head of every profession, there is an ‘Amin’, a wise and trustworthy man, democratically elected by his peers for an indefinite term, and respected by all members of his institution. Acts as a mediator and conciliator for settling any dispute that may arise between members, or between members, suppliers, and customers, according to an unwritten law that no one disputes.
- Al-Hayak Market: The textile and clothing market.
- Al-Attarin Market: Copperware and groceries market.
- Souk Al Sharatin: Souk of leather and saddlery.
- Al-Shawari Market: The market for basket weavers and wooden lathes.
- Al-Dhahabiya Market: Jewelry sellers’ market.
- Al-Dala Market: Al-Jellaba Market for Auctions.
- The Great Market: The leather goods market.
- Al Wasat Market: The market for fabrics, wool, and others.
- The potters’ market: the potters’ market.
- The blacksmiths market: the blacksmiths market.
- Al-Kassabin Market: The spices, and the manufacture of baskets.
- Al Mankhal Market: A market for chandeliers, lamps, and wrought iron.
- Moulay Ali Market: It has a variety of workshops.
- Carpenters’ Market: Dedicated to carpenters.
- Rabi’a Market: A market dedicated to carpets.
- The Dyers’ Market: Dedicated to the dyers.
- Al-Samata Market: A market for slippers.
- The carpet market: the market for leather goods, kaftans, and carpets.
Travelling Tips for Souks of Marrakech Shopping Sprees
The souks of Marrakech are a shopper’s paradise. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be surrounded by stalls and merchants selling everything from Moroccan rugs to spices, jewelry, and leather goods. The variety of goods in the souks is mind-boggling, and the hustle and bustle of Marrakech’s marketplaces are great fun.
The main souks are Djemaa el Fna (the main square) and Bab Doukkala. There are also several smaller markets that you’ll see as you wander through the city. So we advise you to keep your phone in your pocket also keep your cameras, handbag.. safe as possible you can, especially in crowded souks. and finally, if you want to buy anything you have to bargain.