Top 5 Things To See In The Souks of Marrakech
There’s so much to see when you visit Marrakech’s souk for the first time. But between spice stalls, wood carvers and metal workers, centuries-old monuments and carpet auctions, it can feel overwhelming deciding on your must-sees.
So we’ve put together a mix of experiences that hit all the key notes of life in the souk. There’s somewhere to shop, eat, get a culture hit, take a break and give something back to the local community.
THE CULTURE FIX
Morocco once had the largest Jewish population in the Muslim world. And in Marrakech it centres on the Mellah area to the south of the medina. This is where the city’s Jewish population lived for centuries and, while many of them migrated to Israel, the neighbourhood they left behind is still packed with history. To make the most of it get a guide who can show you all the hidden gems.
SOMEWHERE TO SHOP
Stella Cadente’s medina store is housed in a riad and laid out as a home where everything you see is also available for sale. Colour-soaked rooms lead one to the other and you’ll find everything from clothes, homeware and perfumes, to furniture and decor items on display. Stella works across several disciplines and to shop her look is to be immersed in her world.
TAKE A BREAK
Because the souk is made up of small, packed streets, you might imagine that everything hidden behind its doors is small too. Not so. Le Jardin Secret (The Secret Garden) will give you a stunning idea of the beauty that lies hidden behind seemingly humble exteriors. This former palace is now home to a cafe and a huge – and beautiful – walled garden. It’s a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of the souk.
GIVE SOMETHING BACK
Al Nour, just around the corner from El Fenn, is full of intricately embroidered linens created by local female artisans with disabilities. They use traditional Moroccan patterns on everything from homeware to clothing. It’s also a social enterprise which means the women get a living wage, social security plus health and child care so it’s a vital project that tangibly enhances lives.
STOP FOR A BITE
Trust us: this is one of the best Marrakech street foods. When you’ve finished a day’s sightseeing, head to the food stalls that are set up every night on Djemaa el Fna. Most are like mini restaurants serving a range of dishes but Stall 66 sells just one thing: egg rolls. Not just any egg rolls though. These are an insanely good mix of fluffy potato, boiled eggs, soft cheese, harissa, cumin, olive oil and salt. Washed down with herb tea. Delicious.