Shopping in Marrakech is a world-famous travel experience. From the bustling labyrinth of the souks (an area of market stalls) to hand-crafted pottery, contemporary art, couture kaftans and priceless antiques, Marrakech is a treasure-trove of exotic goods.
From the souks, shoppers can purchase anything from traditional belgha (leather slippers) to magical potions; while La Porte d'Or is home to some invaluable antiques. The biggest souk in Marrakech is adjacent to the Djemaa El-Fna; while in Gueliz, Intensite Nomade sells trendy kaftans and contemporary art is available from the Matisse Art Gallery. The Gueliz area also hosts some very upmarket, boutique-style outlets. Akkal, in Sidi Ghanem, is renowned for its beautiful, hand-crafted pottery. Other popular souvenirs from Marrakech include 'cactus silk', spices, camel leather goods, and cashmere shawls.
In the souks, bargaining is essential (asking prices may be as much as five times what the salesman will eventually take), and the attention of shop owners or staff can be overwhelming. When shopping in the medina with a tourist guide, his commission will be added to the price of the goods purchased. Most small shops are closed on Friday afternoons and on Sundays; although the big bazaars are open every day. Many shops close in August. There is no provision for tourists to reclaim any sales tax or VAT from goods purchased in Morocco.
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