With a bustling local artisan community, and workshops scattered throughout the medina where men and women bring their crafts to life using traditional tools and methods, souvenirs from Marrakech are often one-of-a-kind. With so much on offer and a range of choice in the labyrinth-like souk, we have picked our favorite items to keep the memories of a Marrakech vacation alive.
Produced in nearby Essaouira, the only place in the world where argan trees grow, argan oil is a hot commodity and an in-demand purchase. Be careful with the quality as not all oils are prepared equally or with the same quality of products. Check out the selection at Rue 33 Majorelle for the best selection.
Tadelakt Home Accessories
Colorful and shiny products with a tadelakt finishing, a technique that is popular in Marrakech riads. Master craftsmen refine vases and objets d’art in their little workshops and we love the colorful bathroom accessories – little containers, soap dishes and toothbrush holders in a range of colors from turquoise to metallic browns.
Either adorned with sequins, made from suede or Moroccan carpets, babouche slippers are a traditional souvenir. Round-toed or pointy-toed, shop like Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex in the City 2 in the slipper souk where the selection seems never-ending as do the shops.
With tanneries nearby and young artisans creating leather goods before one’s eyes throughout the souk, in particular the leather souk, buying leather in Marrakech is a must-do. Make sure to check out the quality before you buy (the best way is by smelling). These bags are traditionally worn by Berber men, but today are popular souk finds.
Green Glass and Tableware
Originally hand-blown in Casablanca, the traditional green glass teacups and serving ware are available throughout the souks. This specialty was at risk of disappearing when the factory closed due to reduced demand given the rise in foreign imports. However, thanks to the Beldi Glass company, the tradition continues and the tea cups are available in various sizes and styles as well as Moroccan tableware to accompany it.
A style popular with both men and women – in winter for men and in summer months for women – various styles and quality of djellaba (traditional dress) are available. Grab a colorful women’s djellaba at one of the many shops in Souk Smarrine or head to one of the trendy boutiques for a designer option.
Originating from the Sahara desert, these breadbaskets and platters have become popular in recent years as riads and restaurants include the colorful dishes as part of their interior décor. Available in all color combinations and sizes, the baskets are both functional and decorative.
Perfect for market days, when heading to the beach or just home decor, the straw baskets available in the souks are both practical and vibrant. Made by hand, often before your eyes by women in the spice squares, the bags are often adorned with leather handles, colourful stitching and pompoms or tassles, and even sequins for added bling!
Ras El Hanout
Ras el hanout, meaning ‘head of the shop’ as it is often blended by the local shopkeeper, is a blend of the best spices in the local Marrakech shops, including but not limited to cumin, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and more. Purchase at an unassuming corner store, referred locally as a hanout, or in the spice markets.
With herbs like lavender and rosemary and ingredients like argan oil locally grown in Marrakech and readily available, artisan soaps are a lovely souvenir. Orange blossom water and even jasmine make for lovely bar soaps and room sprays, while the addition of argan oil by some soap makers provides extra moisturizer.
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