Shopping in Marrakech is a an experience not to be missed. 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, boutiques. Akkal, in Sidi Ghanem, is renowned for its beautiful, handcrafted pottery. Other popular souvenirs from Marrakech include 'cactus silk', spices, camel leather goods, and cashmere shawls. Many vistitors to Marrakech leave having bought a rug. One of the largest and best known shops is Les Nomades, an Aladdin's cave of carpets with rugs from floor to ceiling. Do some research before you buy a rug, it's very easy to overpay and buy a poor quality rug that was marketed as an antique.

In the souks of Marrakech, 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. Travellers should be aware that 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. Opening times may vary during the month of Ramadan and visitors should research any potential changes. Also worth noting is the fact that no provision is made for tourists to reclaim any sales tax or VAT from goods purchased in Morocco.

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Abdessamad is a tourism expert based in Marrakech, with lots of advice to share with travellers in Morocco.

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