North of Jemaâ El Fna lies the souk (market) kingdom of Marrakech. On your first visit, it's easy to loose all sense of direc... More
North of Jemaâ El Fna lies the souk (market) kingdom of Marrakech. On your first visit, it's easy to loose all sense of direction in this labyrinth of shops and little crowded alleyways. Souk Semmarine Street is the classic starting point of the touristy tours of the souks. Along this street, the shops feature all kinds of handcrafted items, but most of the time the souks remain faithful to a founding principle: each souk corresponds to a specific craft guild, like in the Souk Sebhaghine (the dye souk) or the Souk Smata (the >souk of babouches, those oriental slippers). From the Souk Semmarine street (after about 200 meters), an alleyway leads to Rabha Kadima square, the former slave market, where apothecaries sell Moroccan remedies along with traditional beauty products (henna, khôl, or lipstick made from poppy). North of the square lies the Criée Berbère (literally "Berber Auction"), a souk specialized in carpet-selling. The souk el Kebir (further down Souk Semmarine Street) trades in leather goods. To the left of this souk lies the area of the kissarias (covered souks), which sell clothes. Once you find the carpet of your dreams or a nice handcrafted pot, be prepared to start a bargain joust with the seller, but don't forget to also take it as an entertaining interaction.