Souks and streets of Marrakech
Souks and streets of Marrakech Reviews
Out and about Feb 12, 2012
I went to Marrakesh for my 21st birthday as i didn't really want to have the whole 'party' thing. on my birthday, which would of been the 3rd day into my holiday, i went to what is called the old town. this is were the Souks are. i went in the nighttime and the nightlife is great. its busy, lots going on and a lot to see. there is many stalls of food and people trying to get you to eat from there stalls, maybe about 5 every 30-40 steps you take, but i advise not to eat from them stalls as they don't really have running water and the food could of been dropped etc. the music is loud and the atmosphere is great. there will be groups of people doing performances in the open part of the square but be careful what group to go to, to have a look as there is groups for just all males and they could class you as a 'prostitute' or that you want something along them lines.
I visited the Souks in the day time 2 days later and it seemed a different place. Different stores were open, there was no food stores in the main square, the alleys were not blocked off as such as you can have a good wonder.
There are quite a few stores the same and as with anybody who is selling in Marrakesh you have to 'barter' so its just a case of picking the right store and being able to negotiate. There is a few people around that will take you to the stalls of what you are looking for. For example, i wanted to buy spices and a man from a jewel store took me and my partner up stairs to were we could see spice store and introduced us to the man who owned the spice store and i bought some spices, and they took some money off the price i had to pay.
I really do recommend people who travel to Marrakesh go to the Souks at day and at night as you will see the different ways of how people live and how they run their businesses. Just for the women, keep your shoulders and knees covered as the women of the country will disrespect you and you can end up getting spat at as i found out from a group of girls in the hotel i was staying at.
I would go back. :)
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Take a compass! Aug 22, 2010
The title is serious! It's amazingly easy to get lost if you just go for a stroll around the markets and old streets, which is what I recommend. It's not true that there is nothing in Marrakech except stalls with goods for sale. On the other hand you would be way out in your thinking if you assume the 'tourist souks' next to Djemaa el Fna are the whole shopping scene. I did use the compass once.
The next step, if you are still lost, is to find a child - hardly difficult as there are boys of al ages (no girls) waiting to be found. i was advised only to pay them a little for their help and never to let them drive it up - and they don't half try!
In the unlikely event that you ae still lost, phone your riad. I was begged to avoid saying that I was next to a stall selling carpets!
Since haggling is the expected thing, stall holders ask for far more than they expect to get. My advice on haggling is:
1.) avoid saying what you htink is a fair price - you are only providing a level from which you will almost certainly be driven up.
2.) if you suggest a price at all, suggest one so low that you expect to be driven up
3.) only go up in very small steps
4.) if there is still a significant gap after a few bids, take a jump to your maximum price and don't go above it. Stick with that and leave without the article if necessary - you will probably do better if you try a nearby stall for the same object.
5.) Having made an offer, never seek to improve on it. If you do, you will almost certainly leave without the article all together - the word passes quickly.
6.) Don't feel guilty about it - you will not get a price that fails to give a satisfactory profit and the seller has probably beaen down somebody else already.
I wondered why stall holders were talking about Ali Baba so much. Eventually I realised it was on account of my beard - the equivalent to the kids of Spain and Portugal going on about 'Papa Noel.'
Part of the list Moroccan marvels in Marrakech
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