Shopping in Morocco is such an experience and one that I was admittedly, not totally prepared to dive into! I mean, I knew I wanted to shop in Morocco, but I don’t think I was truly aware of just how much I would want to shop..HA! I figured I would shop in Morocco for a couple leather poufs and maybe a rug, but then I would call it quits. Oh no no no..shopping in the Morocco souks is such a treat and one I could probably never get sick of! Today I’m going to share our shopping experience in Morocco (shopping in Fes and shopping in Marrakech), what to expect, what to look for, and more, so if you plan to go shopping in Morocco, today’s post is for you 🙂
Shopping In Morocco
Like I said above, I don’t think I was fully prepared for just how much shopping I would want to do while we were in Morocco. Thankfully, I have a husband who knows me better than I know myself and he had stowed away several duffel bags in our backpacks to check on the way home. This was KEY! We also wound up shipping a DHL crate back to Honolulu filled with treasures, but more on that later! Let’s talking shopping in Morocco specifics, like – what kind of items will you see?
Rugs are probably the line item most closely associated with shopping in Morocco, and for good reason! Rug shops in the souks of Marrakech are aplenty and there are so many wonderful designs to choose from.
Moroccan rug shopping is a true art! My best recommendation would be to go in with a size and style that you love in mind, because otherwise the entire process will be completely overwhelming. When I tell you that there is a rug shop on every corner, I am not exaggerating. Everything will start to look the same, you’ll begin second guessing yourself and it can become frustrating.
We knew the sizes we wanted and the styles we liked. We ultimately purchased two very large Berber nomad-style Moroccan rugs (around $500/each), one small Beni Ourani rug ($150) and one flat weave with partial raised weave that is reminiscent of an Aït Bou Ichaouen style that is not as good of quality (real talk: we knew we couldn’t afford the best of the best on this one!) that cost around $150.
To note: You will absolutely be chastised for photographing in rug shops. I was able to snap the above photo since I had purchased both rugs 🙂
Leather Poufs were a top agenda item for me in Morocco, particularly in Fes where the leather tanneries are world famous. We had been warned about the leather tannery prices and those warnings were accurate — they will jack up the prices exceptionally high!
Once we found poufs we really liked, we bought all 5 from the same vendor in Fes. We went for simple, circular designs with pops of color, but you will see all types in Morocco. The pricing is very dependent upon size, style and quailty, but you’ll see anything from $30 – $200 per pouf. Barter!
Honestly, I really wasn’t expecting baskets in Morocco. I swore I had gotten my fill in Kenya (HA!), but I was pleasantly surprised to see all sorts of baskets in Morocco, ranging from brightly colored to natural weave. We bought a huge market baskets at an open-air market we stumbled upon on our last day in Marrakech and I swear it was like a moth to a flame when I saw it!
We scored this one for $8 and it was one of my best bargains of the trip.
Towels, Blankets + Pillow Cases
Like rugs, towels, blankets and pillow cases are pretty popular in Morocco, because weaving is such a popular form of art. I was consistently astounded at the quality of the beautiful blankets and (usually matching) pillow cases. We saw all sorts of blankets, all in different colors, patterns and material.
We bought 3 cotton blankets that ranged in price (from $20-$50/each) and size. The largest one fits our king-sized bed. We didn’t purchase any pillow covers and I’m kicking myself and bit, because they are so beautiful!
I had no intention of buying shoes on this trip and then the beautiful styles and craftsmanship won us over. I say us, because Dane got a pair, too! There are so many different styles of leather shoes in the Moroccan souks and I’ll be honest – it’s overwhelming. I would see a pair I thought I loved, only to be faced with another pair two stalls down that I loved, too.
I ultimately purchased 1 pair of magenta mules with a tassel in Fes. In Marrakech, Dane and I bought babouche slippers (you’ll see them all over!) that can be worn indoors and have colorful tassels on them.
Dane and I also had custom smoking slippers made in a vibrant blue, reminiscent of the time we spent at the Majorelle Gardens. This was such an experience — from having our feet traced on butcher’s paper to selecting our leather, then finally picking up our finished product — and well worth the $140 for both pairs.
Travelers to Morocco will see lanterns nearly everywhere you go — from the markets to in your Riad or hotel and at restaurants. Lanterns and beautiful light fixtures are such a staple of Moroccan design and I never tired of seeing them everywhere we went!
We had been in and out of many lantern shops and I loved them, but I wasn’t sure how on Earth I would ever get them home. I also hadn’t seen “the one” that would make the hoop jumping of figuring out shipping worthwhile.
One night before dinner, we saw a man sitting outside a shop with a Florida State hat on and so we chuckled to ourselves and chatted him up. Turns out, his shop held the most beautiful lanterns we had seen in all of Marrakech.
We had a dinner reservation, but promised him we would return the next day. All we could think about was the lantern I saw in the back corner of the shop, so we took that as a sign that it should probably come back to Honolulu with us, returned to the shop the next day and purchased it.
The Metalist happened to be in that day, so we got to learn about how their lanterns were made, the durability of them (complete with being challenged to try to smash or bend a lantern, LOL!), and all the information we needed to sign the papers to ship that bad boy home!
Our lantern is a floor-based model in a medium size and cost $450, including shipping. There are certainly more affordable lanterns and styles, sizes, etc influence the price. We felt comfortable with the quality of this piece to invest a little bit more and enjoyed not feeling hustled or haggled by the shop owner or staff.
Tassels + Pom Poms
If you can put a tassel or a pom pom on it, you can find it in Morocco. It was kind of like what I imagine heaven to be like 😉 Brightly colored tassels and pom poms adorn everything from blankets and shoes to clutches, key chains, hand bags and pillow covers. Two of the blankets we brought home include pom poms and I really love the look!
Other popular items while shopping in Morocco include traditional Moroccan spices, woven bags and clutches, textiles in all varieties (lots of fabric stores!) and jewelry.
Tips For Shopping In Morocco
The key with shopping is never taking the first price you are given and never revealing which item is your favorite until you’re ready to buy.
Dane and I had a code word for stuff we loved, because we found it easier to negotiate without showing our full hand and items that we absolutely loved.
Look around to get a sense of what the souks have to offer before buying, but as soon as you do — buy! I learned my lesson by seeing things I loved and telling myself I would “come back”. Finding stores again proved to be a bit of a hassle with all of the alleyways and maze-like structures of the souks. Bless Dane for always starring the places I loved on Google Maps so we could navigate back as best we could.
Using a credit card comes with an extra charge. If you’re making a large purchase, this can sometimes be avoided, but know ahead of time that you will likely have the price increase if you plan to pay with your credit card.
Most places will ship to you! This was such a delightful surprise for us after we made a pretty large (and spur of the moment!) furniture purchase. How were we going to get a custom gold chair back to Honolulu?! Turns out – DHL for the win! And this was not a one-off occurrence. Many of the rug, lantern and furniture stores will happily ship to you via DHL, a service they’re proud to offer.
If you couldn’t tell, shopping in Morocco was such a treat for me! It was thrilling to walk through the souks and see all of the beautiful treasures being sold. If you are planning a trip to Morocco, you will definitely want to leave room if you plan to go shopping 🙂