Bargaining is commonplace throughout Marrakech and Morocco, especially for souvenirs and other stuff sold in markets, medinas, bazaars and souqs – visitors should start at around one third of the first asking price and start from there.
For leather, Place Vendome, 141 Avenue Mohammed V, is the place to visit, you can never go wrong if quality matters more than price. Guéliz(the modern city) has a high concentration of the chicest shops all around Rue de la Liberté, while Rue Yogouslavie is dotted with hidden galleries. For tailored clothes and accessories, step into the wonder that is Akbar Delights, 7 rue des Anciens Marrakchis.
A good place to buy carpets is Bazaar Chichoua, 5 Souk des Ksous, but be prepared to spend hours drinking sweet mint tea, head shaking, sighing and smiling as rugs and carpets are unrolled. Handmade copper and silverware, silk or cotton garments, wooden articles and jewellery can be found in Ministero del Gusto, 22 Derb Azouz el Moussine or at L’Orientaliste, 15 rue de la Libertie, Guéliz. Trésorie du Sud, Rue el Mouassine, is one of many small jewellers near the Mouassine Mosque.
Leading off from the northern edge of Jemaa el Fna are the winding alleyways of the souks, the vast, crowded beautifully chaotic central market of Marrakech. Visitors can buy anything from jewellery, carpets or textiles to herbs, love potions and even donkeys. The best way to approached the souks are from Rue Souk Smarine. This busy street runs for half the length of the souks before dividing into Souk el Attarine and Souk el Kebir. Leading off the Souk el Attarine are spice, pottery, metalwork and textiles souks. Wander around the Souk el Kebir area to find leather bags and poufs, carpets, lamps and traditional Moroccan clothing.
The government-run Ensemble Artisanal, Avenue Mohammed V, located near the Koutoubia Mosque, is a small shopping mall and crafts training centre, offering high-quality goods at reasonable, fixed prices.
The shopping hours in the medina are usually Monday to Thursday and Sunday 0900-1900, and Friday 0900-1200 and 1600-1900. In Guéliz, shops open Monday to Saturday 0900-1230 and 1530-1900. Some shops may close on Friday.
There is no provision in Marrakech for tourists to reclaim any sales tax or VAT. Many shop-owners actively resist giving an official receipt, as this forces them to declare (and pay) the VAT.