Bazaar: Marrakesh Shopping Guide

Bazaar: Marrakesh Shopping Guide
Shopping information

Surrounded by palm trees and olive groves, arid plains and cool mountain valleys, Marrakech is one of the great Islamic cities of North Africa. It is rich in history and culture, architecture and design, and its markets have made it famous all over the world.

Getting around

The medina can all be covered on foot – in fact this is often the only way as cars cannot get down the narrow streets. Mopeds however can and do so at ferocious speeds so watch out! Anywhere outside of the medina can be reached with a petit taxi, which are incredibly cheap and by far the easiest mode of transport. For an alternative within the medina, the caleches (horse-drawn carts) are a real treat. Just make sure that the driver sticks to the fixed prices that are displayed inside the carriage.

Opening hours

Opening hours are ideal – the souks just never seem to close! Open from around 9am during the week and 10 am on Sundays, they will stay open well into the evening until around 9pm. The more touristy areas of the souks will stay open even later.

Payment

Currency is the Dirham and prices are rock bottom compared to the US dollar. There are plenty of places to change money in the centre of Marrakech and in the Nouvelle Ville. Alternatively you can change money in your hotel – all prices and rates are fixed, so no matter how swish the hotel, it cannot charge you commission!

Good bargains can be found in the souks but be prepared for lots of searching and haggling. Typically carpets, gold and silver jewelry, lamps, leather goods and artwork are good buys. Just remember that if you cannot believe how cheap that authentic Berber rug is, it’s because it is neither authentic nor Berber.

 

Shops
El Edrissi Epices 

Spices - Spicebazaar.com

Spices – Spicebazaar.com

For all your Moroccan spices and herbal remedies. Enough English is spoken to explain the function of the contents of the myriad of jars that line the store.

El Edrissi Epices 
10 Souk Bradia Sabaghine
Marrakesh – Medina
Babouches Stall

More Moroccan slippers than you can shake a stick at. If you can’t find the ones you want here, they probably doesn’t exist.

Babouches Stall 
30, Souk Smata
Marrakech Medina
Tel – 00 212 44 44 04 46


Al Badii Gallery

The wonderful Mohamed Bouskri will take you on an enthusiastic tour of his amazing antique shop. He is incredibly knowledgeable about Berber history and symbolism – utterly fascinating. A real authority in his field, the gallery is well worth a visit.

Al Badii Gallery 
54 Boulevard Moulay Rachid, Gueliz
40 000 Marrakesh
Tel – 00 212 44 43 16 93
Fax – 00 212 44 43 16 79


Ministero del Gusto 

Interior Ministero del Gusto - Lulu Kitololo

Interior Ministero del Gusto – Lulu Kitololo

A treasure trove of Moroccan art and very well known in Marrakech. An example of more unusual stock includes the pop art paintings of Hassan Hajjaj, artist and fashion designer.

Ministero del Gusto
11 Derb El Maroufi Ksour
Marrakesh Medina
Tel – 00 212 70 408 032
Accommodation

Caravanserai

Caranvanserai is a 20 minute from the city but worth it. Ultimate in zen-like relaxation, amazing staff and service with fantastic food. You’ll find your bed and bath scattered with rose petals! Rooms are enormous, many with there own living rooms and private terrace but no TVs (think true relaxation here). The pool at night looks amazing with lanterns lighting it.

Caranvanserai
264 Ouled Ben Rahmoune
Marrakesh
Tel – 00 212 44 30 03 02
Fax – 00 212 44 30 02 62
Email: info *at* caravanserai.com

Bookings from the UK can be made through Best Of Morocco:
Tel – 01380 828 533

image: luxury Marrakesh hotel
La Maison ArabeThis hotel has the advantage of being in the centre of town. No pool on sight but you can take their free shuttle bus to their beautiful pool and restaurant 10 mins away. Here they also hold fantastic cookery workshops.

La Maison Arabe
1, Derb Assehbe, Bab Doukkala
Marrakesh Medina
Tel – 00 212 44 38 70 10
Fax – 00 212 44 38 72 21

La Mamounia 

La Mamounia Hotel - www.mamounia.com

La Mamounia Hotel – www.mamounia.com

The most famous of all hotels in Marrakech featuring gorgeous art deco fused with Moroccan architecture. This is where Winston Churchill came each winter to relax and paint the beautiful gardens.

La Mamounia
Avenue Bab Jdid, 40 000 Marrakesh
Tel – 00 212 44 38 86 00
Fax – 00 212 44 44 46 60

Riad Enija

A totally unique classic Moroccan riad; a doorway right in the heart of the medina leads into incredible courtyards, with tranquil fountains. Their designer rooms are spacious and funky and are the bathrooms. Ursula and Bjorn the owners will make sure your stay is unforgettable.

Riad Enija
Rahba Lakdima, Derb Mesfiouni, No. 9
40 000 Marrakesh
Tel – 00 212 4444 09 26
Fax – 00 212 4444 27 00

Hotel Central Palace 

Hotel Central Palace - Ross Wattie 2013

Hotel Central Palace – Ross Wattie 2013

The budget option. For just $15 per night you can stay on the Djemaa al Fna. The rooms are clean and bright, the wonderful central courtyard is the perfect place to relax with a glass of mint tea. This place is amazing value for money.

Hotel Central Palace 
59 Sidi Bouloukate
Marrakesh
Tel – 00 212 44 44 02 35
Fax – 00 212 44 44 28 84
Email: hotelcentralpalace *at* hotmail.com


Tourist boards

Moroccan National Tourist Office (MNTO)
205 Regent Street, London
W1B 4HB
Tel – 0207 437 0073
Fax – 0207 734 8172
Email: mnto *at* morocco-tourism.org.uk

Marrakesh Tourist Office 
Place Youssef Ibn Tachfine
Marrakesh – Medina
Tel – 00 212 44 38 52 61
Fax – 00 212 44 38 52 49
Email: tourismemarrakech *at* iam.net.ma

Guide by Lora Galantini