Located close to the old Portuguese City and many of El Jadida’s main sightseeing hotspots, the Old Market offers a great local shopping experience. Known in French as the Ancien Marché, Moroccans may also refer to the market as Souk Kedim or Market Allal Al Qassimi. Popular with both locals and visitors, the market is conveniently arranged into sections for various items. Different areas include those for electronics, clothing, fish and seafood, fruit and vegetables, meat, and household goods.
Created during the colonial era, the Central Market is a major place for locals to stock up on their kitchen essentials. Fresh fruits and vegetables and aromatic spices in all colours of the rainbow give the market a vibrant appearance. It is common to find produce here that is not available in the supermarkets. Other goods include fragrant, freshly cut flowers, various cuts of meat, eggs, fish, and dry goods, such as flour, sugar, and salt. A handful of shops sell souvenirs, and there are several fish restaurants to tempt hungry visitors.
Souk el Hamra
Located on the edges of the main town, Souk el Hamra is an energetic evening street market. Though visitors will need some form of transport to access the market, it is well worth a visit. The narrow streets are awash with a huge selection of goods, the frenzy compounded by numerous pedestrians, cyclists, and people on scooters. It’s a terrific place to experience an authentic Moroccan market that has not been taken over by tourism. The market typically spring to life at around 4pm, continuing until after darkness has fallen. Traditional carpets and rugs are proudly displayed, and you may find delicate embroidered rugs from Egypt too. A vast assortment of clothes can be found, including traditional items like the djelleba and kaftan and more universal items like jeans, trousers, shirts, and t-shirts. Accessories such as headscarves, bags, watches, and jewellery are also widely available. You’ll find almost anything you may ever need in the thronging streets, including tea sets, spices, food, books, electronics, CDs, soft furnishings, household goods, toiletries, and much, much more. Many inviting tea shops punctuate the stalls, perfect for taking a break and watching the activity over a glass of mint tea.
Fishing is a major industry in El Jadida, with catches sold locally to restaurants and individuals, transported to other parts of the nation for sale, and also exported to different countries. Fishing in El Jadida has a long heritage, having been in operation since at least the 1600s. The Portuguese began building port facilities in the early 1920s, which have been in use ever since. Various changes and additions have been made over the years, including a large indoor fish market. Fishermen can sell their hauls with ease, and there are also large stores for wholesale distributors. Pungent and a hive of activity, the fish market is an interesting place to observe local trade and see an array of fresh fish and seafood.
Lalla Zahra Market
Located close to El Jadida Lighthouse, Lalla Zahra Market is a busy second-hand market. Mainly a place for locals to sell unwanted items and make affordable purchases, it is still an interesting market for a visitor to explore. A bit rough around the edges with a grittier feeling than other local markets, it’s an especially good place to find good-quality used clothing and second-hand furniture. Almost anything can be sold and bought here, and it’s common to see rather unusual items on the stalls. Step into the stores in the centre and browse the skillfully made artisanal home items. Fresh produce, meats, and dry goods are also available.
Tayana Bouchrite is a riot of colour, with almost all types of pottery and ceramics that a person could imagine. Wares are crammed onto tables, hung from the walls, and strewn across the edge of the street. Many of the items were made in Safi, the heart of Morocco’s pottery industry, so quality is assured. A place where locals go to shop, prices are often cheaper than in touristy parts of the town. As well as being an interesting market to browse, it’s a great place for visitors to pick up an eclectic selection of traditional Moroccan pottery. Ornamental plates, decorative bowls, tagine pots in all sizes, candleholders, vases, mugs, urns, and teapots are just a few examples of the treasures at Tayana Bouchrite.
As with almost all of Morocco’s medinas, some of the narrow streets inside El Jadida’s medina have market stalls and shops. The souks of El Jadida are relatively small, especially when compared with those of much larger cities like Marrakech and Fez, but they are still worth exploring for a glimpse of local life. Catering mainly to the needs of local homes, tourists will still find a few souvenirs and gifts among the stalls.