Travel inspiration and insider tips

7 years, 5 months ago

Surviving the Souks of Marrakech

Travel, fashion, lifestyle and inspirational photography, Trip+ is pleased to welcome blogger Abi Marvel who, in this post, shares her experiences of a magical trip to the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

When you think of Marrakech a few places and items typically come to mind, including the labyrinth of souks or tagines (a dish from North Africa named after the earthenware it’s cooked in), however what I found out on my recent trip to Marrakech is that not only are there so many other hidden elements around the city, but the few pieces of their culture we thought we knew are actually are on a whole other scale of excitement to our initial expectations.
Starting with the souks, perhaps it’s just me but I didn’t realize the word meant ‘market’ and so in turn this means that there are quite a few of them. And not just the most popular ones that we’ve seen in movies, known for their slightly hectic ways.
Head to the slightly offbeat and definitely better priced souks like the one in Jemaa Drhmat. You’ll be surrounded by lovely locals, eager to share with you their latest finds and harvested products. Immerse yourself in this atmosphere, turn your visit into a learning experience as they also love to talk about their country’s history and tell you stories of how things have come to be, the way they are – it’s a pretty magical market that you really shouldn’t miss!
Here are a few tips on how to tackle the Jemaa market.
  • Well firstly, the word Jemaa actually means Friday, so definitely try and visit on this day as you’ll find a better choice of items, and an immense amount of open food stalls which means you’ll get to try some incredible ethnic delicacies.

  • In this part of the city, everything is organically sourced, and you will constantly see heaps of vegetables everywhere because of this. Go a little crazy with the food shopping, then find out how good your Moroccan cooking can be.
  • Don’t be scared to buy some of your basics from this market; anything from toothpaste to tissues. You’ll find them all here and they’ll be priced a lot lower than you are used to.

  • A tip I was given whilst there was to never say ‘Wow, this is really cheap!’ As it’s a market, they can change their prices whenever and however they like, so it’s best to just admire the great prices with a simple smile.
  • Finally: explore! You’ll find the people of this market are a lot more relaxed and open, so really try and find out more about local things and the best dishes to try and places to see – just be sure to be firm. If you’re not interested in something, the local people can be pretty persistent so be sure to make use of a rigid stare to accompany your “no thank you”.
So there you have it, a slightly unknown souk that needs to be added to the ‘must see’ list during your time in Marrakech. Be sure to have a solid form of transportation though, as getting back to the main city is a trek you don’t want to be embarking on whilst on foot; especially when you’re in possession of all your new & low cost market purchases.
This post was written for HouseTrip by fashion and lifestyle blogger Abi Marvel. She joins HouseTrip as a regular writer. Subscribe to the Trip+ RSS feed in order to enjoy more inspirational travel features.
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