Unlike many other places around Morocco, El Jadida does not have one main central shopping area. Rather, there are many small markets scattered around the town, primarily catering to the needs of locals. Other shopping options include supermarkets, small shopping centres, and stand-alone stalls and stores. Here are some of the best places to buy souvenirs and mementos when visiting the historic coastal town of El Jadida.
Tayana Bouchrite is located close to the old Portuguese City. It is within easy reach of many of El Jadida’s main places of interest. Locals go here to take care of all their pottery needs, and there are many pieces that could make beautiful, traditional gifts and souvenirs from your time in Morocco. Tagine pots, plates, and bowls are available in all colours and sizes. Mini tagines are ideal if luggage space is limited. Cups and mugs, teapots, candlesticks, vases, decorative tiles and curtain ties, and almost any other type of ceramic you could imagine can be found in the colourful market. Many of the goods were produced in the nearby city of Safi, which is known for its high-quality traditional pottery. Prices are also lower than in markets that attract more tourists.
Although the Central Market mainly sells household goods, clothing, and food, there are a few stalls and shops that sell trinkets and souvenirs. Everyday Moroccan items can make perfect authentic souvenirs, though. Traditional Moroccan items of clothing, such as djellabas and kaftans, might be a terrific addition to any wardrobe. Tea sets and teapots would allow visitors to impress guests back at home with a glass of Moroccan mint tea. Spices, tagine pots, plates, and other kitchen wares can make ideal gifts for cooking enthusiasts.
The Ancien Marché is another of El Jadida’s markets that mainly caters to locals. As with the Central Market, however, tourists will find a selection of souvenirs and traditional goods to take home. As with most markets in Morocco, haggling is normal practice. Stroll through the sections dedicated to clothing, accessories, home wares, and kitchen goods, for example, and you’re sure to uncover some gems. Ideas of items to take home include leather wallets, belts, and bags, traditional Moroccan footwear, known as babouche, ornate lanterns, mirrors, spices, and jars of fresh olives.
Situated close to El Jadida’s main beach, and within easy reach other local attractions, Artisanat Marocain is a place for local tradesmen and artisans to showcase their skills, for traditional crafts and arts to be preserved, and for people to sell their items. Watch people at work, using methods, tools, and techniques that have been passed down through the generations, to make fine traditional items from various materials. Seeing how the items are produced creates a greater awareness and appreciation for the finer details. Metalwork, leatherwork, pottery, tailoring, embroidery, and woodwork are among the trades carried out at El Jadida’s Artisanat Morocain. Handmade goods are also available to buy, helping to support local artisans, preserve craft customs, and giving buyers something authentic as a reminder of their Moroccan vacation.
Venture out of town to the large evening market of Souk el Hamra to peruse an extensive array of Moroccan goods on a tangle of stalls along narrow streets. Starting from around 4pm and continuing until after nightfall, the market sees very few tourists. Visitors are more likely to seal a deal with a price similar to what a local would expect to pay. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for ornate woven rugs and carpets, a wide selection of lamps and shisha pipes, clothing, footwear and accessories. Other items include electronics, books, musical instruments, furniture, household goods, toiletries, and cooking supplies. It’s easy to find great souvenirs among the many choices.
Supermarkets may not be the first places that spring to mind when people are thinking of buying souvenirs, but most have a good selection of common household items, such as decorative plates and bowls, spices, and clothes, that can double up as fabulous souvenirs. You may also find toys, knickknacks, and other items of interest. A plus point of checking out the supermarkets for souvenirs is that prices are fixed and the experience is hassle free. Two of the main supermarkets in El Jadida are Acima and Carrefour.
There are a number of small shopping centres scattered around El Jadida, each offering a selection of common everyday items in various stores. Makeup, jewellery, kitchen items, clothing, and accessories are among the products that may catch a souvenir-shopper’s eye. Henna supplies, packets of tea, shisha tobacco, spice jars, perfume, scarves, and black kohl eyeliner may be out-of-the-box ideas that can easily be obtained from many of the shopping centres. Peek inside pharmacies and beauty stores to see if they stock products containing the famous argan oil. Local shopping centres include Galerie Noha, ENNASR, and Saada Commercial Centre.
Of course, there are plenty of street stalls and lone shops spread throughout the town too. Establishments with the biggest collections of souvenirs are typically located close to major places of interest, significant landmarks, and the beach.
Some of the larger and more up-market accommodations around El Jadida have onsite gift shops. Products are often of a very high quality, and the price tags are also usually high too. Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort, for example, has a selection of gift shops, including the Mazagan Shop, which sells candles, scarves, artwork, beauty products, key chains, and a carefully curated assortment of top-class souvenirs, a fine jewellery shop, and Swiss Arabian, which specializes in evocative fragrances. The stunning Hotel L’Iglesia by Beldi, housed within a former church, has an onsite boutique, with small lanterns, mirrors, candles, soaps, jewellery, and more.
If you are visiting El Jadida for just a day, or if your stay is part of a longer trip to various other Moroccan destinations, perhaps leave the shopping for another day. Places like Marrakech, Fez, Meknes, Casablanca, and Tangier offer many more choices for souvenir shopping. If souvenir shopping is, however, a priority during your stay in El Jadida, you’ll find enough to satisfy.