Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Shopping in the souks

The maze of the Marrakech medina is ancient and has been the home of trade for almost a 1000 years. There is a mix of the most amazing handcraft, beautiful treasures, entertaining knick-knacks and cheap imitations that can be found in this labyrinth. It is an adventure and great fun to get lost here and both ordinary travellers as well as professional interior designers flock here to find unique products and search for hidden gems.

The ancient souks of Marrakech are truly magical

Treasure hunting, here some gorgeous copper lamps

Of course you need to bargain and of course it can be a hazzle but Moroccans are business men and also very kind. Never ask for the price if you are not seriously intending to buy the product, the asking for the price immediatley starts the negotiationing process and you will be expected to stay, possibly also to share a mint tea, referred as "Moroccan whiskey". A rule of thumb is to bargain products down to 50% from the original price. Always bargain with a smile and never pay more than the product is actually worth for you, the value of a product is individual here. "Antique" is interpreted in a very generous way and the term can be applied to anything that is "old", more than 10 years of age.

Moroccan wedding blankets are richly decorated and come in many different sizes and colors. Both antique and new. Very stylish and in fashion.

If you are interested in buying more pricy items like big rugs or antiquities you need to have some basic knowledge of materials, qualities and value to be able to judge what a fair price is. We have received initial offers for carpets starting at 2.000-3.000 Euros and ending up paying 300-400 Euros for large, beautiful, antique kilim carpets. In the Marrakech medina it is all about the art of bargaining and trading. If you think the price is too high just walk away. If the sales man lets you walk the product was worth more than you offered, if not he will come running after you. If you are in the right mood this can be great fun, if you think it is a hazzle just stroll the souks and enjoy the atmosphere.

Tribal chic jewlwery for the modern nomad

Kilim cushions anyone?

In the medina you will find both the "high streets", where you can buy a mix of all sorts of products, as well as the special "hand craft areas", where the area is focused on one specific hand craft like iron works, textiles, lamps or leather. The first ones are like the main vein for the tourist flows and you will find both nice things as well as cheap items made in Taiwan. The hand craft areas are the most authentic ones and the products on sale are often being produced in the narrow alleys. If you have the time to wait a day or two you can have almost anything custom made and delivered to your hotel.

Lanterns in the metal souk of the medina

Flowers of spoons

Mirror, mirror on the wall (or on this tray)

Spices and soaps

What to buy in the souks (acording to us):
- Handcrafted copper lamps that brings magic to any room
- At least one wedding blanket with matching cushions, your bedroom will look so chic
- Silver lanterns, very stylish in both a New York loft and a small summer cottage
- A genuine kilim carpet and/or beni ourain carpet depending on taste and budget
- Tribal chic jewlery
- An antique door to hang on your wall, if you can transport it
- Moroccan leather slippers, "baboches"
- Moroccan pottery: big plates for sallads, small bowls for snacks and so much more
- And why not some more lamps...

The souks of Marrakech

Can't come to Marrakech or don't want to carry everything back yourself? Visit the online version of the Marrakech souk, the Maryam Montague Shop, and discover tribal chic treasures of the highest possible quality that will be delivered to your door step! 

Disco is a bit tired after a day of shopping

Time to start planning your christmas shopping?