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Shopping in Morocco
 
 
 

General

The co-operative shops of Moroccan craftspeople, coopartim, operate under state control selling local handicrafts at fixed prices and issue an authenticity receipt or a certificate of origin for customs when exporting.

Souks and markets are major features of Moroccan life, and they are among the countries greatest attractions.

They are to be found everywhere; each town has its own special souks. Large cities like Fez and Marrakesh have labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square and devoted to one particular craft), and in the countryside there are hundreds of weekly souks, on a different day in each village of the region.

Moroccan Crafts

Craft, or artesanie, traditions are still highly active, and even the goods that are mass-produced for tourists are surprisingly untacky. However, to find pieces of real quality is not that easy. Some crafts have become dulled by centuries of repetition and others have been corrupted by modern techniques and chemical dyes. If you’re planning on buying something, it’s always worth getting as close to the source of the goods as possible. You can get a good idea of the original standards by visiting one of the various traditional craft museums that are spread around the country. There are pretty good ones in Fez, Meknes, Tangier, Rabat, and Marrakesh.

Carpets Rugs and Blankets

Moroccan carpets aren’t very cheap, you can pay thousands of dollars for the finer Arab designs in Fez or Rabat. However it is possible to find rugs and kellims which are woven rather than knotted, at more reasonable prices.

Pottery

Pottery in Morocco is colourful if fairly crudely made on the whole, though the blue-and-white designs of Fez and the multicoloured parts of the Chefchaouen are highly attractive.

Food

You’ll find quite a big variety of food products in Morocco that you won’t find very easily back at home, and which will make an easy and inexpensive gift or souvenir. Locally produced olive oil is very easy to find, they are distinctive with a very strong flavor. Olives also comes in numerous varieties, and there are many shops that specialise only in the selling of olives.

Bargaining: Bargaining is entirely natural in Morocco. Never pay attention to initial prices. This is simply a device to test the limits of a particular deal or situation. The best thing to do is to visit a fixed price store to determine the real prices of the crafts. Set your mind on how much you are willing to pay and then go back to the souks to negotiate the prices of the articles. You should always take your time when bargaining. You might get a better deal than some other tourist with less patience or experience. So be patient and stick to what you feel is a fair price.


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