If you’ve been missing the Sunday Bazaar experience, heading to Marrakech before the summer ends could make for the perfect holiday. The former imperial city in the west of Morocco has a rich history of trade, lying on past caravan routes that connected it commercially to the rest of the world.
Marrakech has gardens, mosques and palaces that are visual treats and reason enough to merit a trip, but if you’re looking for old-world enchantment, deliberately getting lost in its bustling markets is one way to find it. The heart of the city beats in the undulating, morning till night rhythms of its souks, which wind their way from Jemaa el Fna in the north, down to the Musée de Marrakech.
Le souks, open from 9 am till 9 pm at night, are overwhelming and chaotic at times, but shopping enthusiasts will never have a dull moment as they navigate their way through. Whether it’s refined Arab rugs or ethnic Berber carpets depicting folklore stories, metalworking treasures in alleys where you can see the artisans at work, lanterns, glassware, antiques, or spices, you’ll definitely find lots to fill your suitcases.
For the fashionistas a visit to the ‘kissarias’, or fabric-streets is a must, especially if you like a riot of colors, as is a trip to the alleys overflowing with ‘babouches’ – typical Moroccan slippers. From the simplest, functional designs to the embroidered and bejeweled variety, this cousin of the ‘khussa’ will leave you spoilt for choice. Yellow is a very popular color for men’s shoes, so bring home a pair to make a fashion statement at the next party.
Image credits: Taaha Lali