Ever wondered which of our planet’s man-made corners is the most vibrant? Step into a Moroccan souk, and you’ll find your answer there! Oozing with mysticism, the souks of Morocco are a vivid reminder of a bygone era. Almost every city houses a medina (an old town), which usually includes old settlements, mosques, narrow winding lanes and souks. These Moroccan market are categorised and named depending upon the commodities sold in that market. Here’s how you can explore them.

Moroccan markets-Moroccan souk-

That’s what a typical Moroccan souk looks like

Moroccan Souk – Marrakesh

Moroccan markets-Moroccan souk-Marrakesh Medina

An aerial view of Djemaa El-Fna the central square in Marrakesh

While you will find many places in this African country adorned with a labyrinth of souks, the largest ones are found in Marrakesh’s Madina. Start by taking a stroll around Djemaa El-Fna and enjoy mint tea at a street stall. From street artists to gypsies, wandering musicians to magicians, snake-charmers to water carriers, you’ll encounter interesting people and events at every turn in these mesmerising Moroccan souk.

What To Buy From The Moroccan Market – Marrakesh

#1 Don’t leave Moroccan Market without a babouche from Souk Smata

There is nothing you won’t find in Marrakesh. However, one of the souvenirs you need to take from here are shoes! Souk Smata is the shoe souk of Marrakesh. Walls embellished with traditional Moroccan leather slippers known as babouches are found everywhere in this souk. The colorful, embroidered and bejeweled variety of the babouches will certainly entice you to make a purchase.

Moroccan markets-Moroccan souk slippers

Traditional Moroccan slippers are comfortable and a great souvenir to take home

#2 Buy a “Berber Picasso” from Souk Zrabia

Scores of flamboyant Moroccan rugs and carpets in Souk Zrabia a carpet market, are a treat for the eyes. These Berber carpets are so awe-inspiring they are known as Berber Picasso. They are considered not less than an art form in Moroccan Market. And, rightly so. Made with a range of different animal skins, each carpet is woven to tell a tribal tale or boast a talismanic symbols.

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One of the walls adorned with Berber rugs in the carpet market

#3 Take home metal or woodwork from Souk Haddadine & Souk Chouari

The exclusive metalwork & woodwork souks are worth paying a visit to. They are called Souk Haddadine & Souk Chouari. The fabulous artifacts and the craftsmen at work right in the middle of the market are captivating, and let you in on how this intricate art form comes to life.

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A wide variety of metal lamps in different shapes and sizes are found here

#4 Pick something aromatic from the spice souk in Marrakesh

However, the most popular is the spice souk in Marrakesh. While the aroma of the spices is tantalising, the sight of heaps of colourful spices itself is a visual treat. Moroccan saffron is the most sought-after spice, as well as the most expensive. But beware saffron sold in powder form; it’s definitely fake!

Moroccan markets-Moroccan souk-Colorful spices

Colorful spices that look so appealing, you might wonder if they are edible!

Glimpse The Heart Of Moroccan Market At The Souks Of Fes

It is said that Fes is the heart of Morocco. Circa 1300 years, the cobbled alleys of Fes medina were just as lively as they are now. Despite the fact that tourism and globalisation have changed the face of medinas, Fes still transports you back to an ancient time. Once here, ready yourself to get lost in a sea of humans flowing in an erratic rhythm.

Moroccan markets-Moroccan souk-Fes Medina

Bab Bou Jeloud or the blue gate is the entrance to Fes Medina

Experiences To Have In The Heart Of Fes (Moroccan Souk)

#1 The headiness of Souk El Attarine

The spice and perfume souk, Souk El Attarine, in Fes, is quite renowned. Other than the spices & perfumes, you will come across shops selling incense sticks, herbal cosmetics and medicines. After every few meters, the air is filled with a different fragrance. This is a roller coaster ride for the senses!

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Bottles of the perfume are more attractive than the fragrance

#2 The bling of the gold and silver in Moroccan Market

The gold & silver souks of Fes are known to be the best in all of Morocco. They exhibit the stunning designs of traditional Berber jewelry, along with beautiful trays, intricate daggers, hand-crafted frames and a lot more. In fact, if silver is what your heart lusts after, Fes serves you with excellent variety and impeccable quality.

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Colorful stones embellished in silver jewelry

#3 The ceramic artistry of the pottery souk

Another thing that Fes is popular for is the ceramic artistry. The pottery souk in Fes boasts a wide array of ceramic articles drenched in gorgeous Islamic art. The abundance will mesmerize you, just as the art will.

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Ceramic plates with vibrant patterns are available at most souks

A Less Crowded Experience In The Moroccan Souk Of Meknes

Much smaller in size, the souks in Meknes offer a hassle-free experience. The streets are not as crowded but are full of vibrant commodities. And what draws most tourists to Meknes is that souks here offer relatively cheaper rates than the others.

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Moroccan artistry at its best

What To Buy In The Moroccan Market Of Meknes

#1 The silver work in Kissaria Lahrir souk

Much smaller in size, the souks in Meknes offer a hassle-free experience. The streets are not as crowded but are full of vibrant commodities. The most exclusive find in Meknes should definitely be silver damascene work in the traditional souk of Kissaria Lahrir. The fine silver thread is skillfully embedded on fragments of steel forming an intricate design. The fragments are then used in the making of pottery articles. These gorgeous masterpieces adorned with silver depict the ancient art inherited by the Moroccan artisans. What’s more, you can catch these craftsmen while they are at work in the souk. And, it’s quite an engaging sight!

#2 Buy babouches and Berber carpets

Other great offerings in Meknes include babouches at Souk es Sebbat and Berber carpets at Souk Joutiya es Zerabi.

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A vendor waiting for business at a carpet and cloth shop in the souk

Moroccan Souk Shopping Tips

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One of the many shops in a Meknes souk

1. Narrow lanes teeming with locals and tourists alike, might fail to offer a relaxing experience. You have be careful with your belongings while strolling in the souks lest you lose a precious belonging.

2. Do not buy anything without haggling. The vendors go to the extent of quoting double the worth of their products.

3. Avoid taking photographs of the locals without their permission. They may take offense. Do not feel daunted. All great places have some do’s and don’ts that a traveler should respect.

In today’s world, Moroccan souks, drenched in culture and tradition, have kept alive the rich heritage of the country. Go on, explore this world of infinite experiences and be enchanted.

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Every lane of every souk in Morocco has a story to tell

Fact File On Morocco

Location: Morocco
Official Language: Arabic, Berber, Darija
Currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Food & Drinks: Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Couscous, Pastilla, Tajine, Tanjia, Harira, Soup, Green Tea, Atai, etc
Time zone: GMT + 1 (UTC+1)

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About The Author

Reshma Rohra

Reshma Rohra


Reshma Rohra sought solace in penning down her thoughts and emotions as a young girl. She took up writing as her profession in 2009, and has been freelancing ever since. She also works as a copywriter. Her other interests include doodling and exploring music, books and places.





With a total of 680 different species of birds, of which many are considered rare or endangered, Bhutan has a thriving avian life. Come, here’s a look at some of the most beautiful birds you can spot in this mountain kingdom.

Bhutan is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists

Bhutan is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists

White-Bellied Heron

White-bellied Heron

The world’s largest population of white-bellied herons are found in Bhutan

Did you know? Bhutan now has the largest population of the critically endangered white-bellied heron in the world at almost 47%.

Baer’s Pochard

Baer's Pochard

You can spot the glossy Baer’s Pochard in Bhutan

Named after the Estonian naturalist Karl Ernst von Baer, this glossy diving duck is found mainly in eastern Asia. In 2008, the Baer’s pochard was put on the critically endangered bird species list.

Great Hornbill

Great Hornbill

The black, yellow and white Great Hornbill makes for a majestic sight in Bhutan

Along with the rufous-necked, wreathed, and oriental pied hornbill, the rare great hornbill can also be seen at Morong and Tingtibi in Bhutan.

Satyr Tragopan

Satyr Tragopan

You may see the crimson horned pheasant, satyr tragopan, in the Himalayas

Also known as the crimson horned pheasant, the satyr tragopan is native to the Himalayan region and can be found at Sengor, Namling, Gasa, Koina, Laya, and along the Packhorse Trail near Dochu La in Bhutan.

Fire-Tailed Myzornis 

Fire-tailed Myzornis

If you’re lucky, you will get to spot the beautiful fire-tailed myzornis on a Bhutan holiday

Nestling amidst bamboo thickets, junipers, and Rhododendron shrubs, the rare fire-tailed myzornis, with its emerald-green feathers and a bright red tail, is a common sight in tropical Bhutan.

Rufous-Breasted Bush Robin

Rufous-breasted Bush Robin

The vibrant colours of the rufous-breasted bush robin is a sight for sore eyes!

Found in the forests between Namling and Yongkhala, Deothang and Samdrup Jongkhar, and Gasa-Koina-Laya, the rufous-breasted bush robin is easily recognised by its dark royal blue and ochre yellow feathers.

Himalayan Griffon

Himalayan Griffon

Himalayan Griffon

Also known as the Himalayan Vulture, the Himalayan Griffon is a huge carrion-feeding bird found in the Jigme Dorji National Park during May and June. It is perhaps the largest and heaviest birds found in the Himalayas.

Slender-Billed Scimitar Babbler

Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler

Slender-billed scimitar babbler

This dull brown babbler stands out due to its slender, stunningly curved bill. The slender-billed scimitar babbler can be seen in the forests between Namling and Yongkhala, Damji and Gasa, and along the Packhorse Trail near Dochu La in Bhutan.

Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier

The pallid harrier is a medium-size bird of prey that is found in open country

A migratory bird of prey, the pallid harrier is on the near-threatened list of global bird species. The mid-size raptor seen in Bhutan breeds on open plains, heathland and bogs, drifting low to the ground to hunt small mammals, lizards and birds.



Ibisbill is apparently a monogamous breeder

Found in the Jigme Dorji National Park and the Bumthang Valley, the Ibisbill is a grey wading bird with a white belly, red legs and downward curved bill. Not very shy of humans, these birds prefer to swim across rivers instead of flying.

Black-necked Crane

Black-necked cranes form long-lasting pairs and are territorial during the breeding season

The last-ever species of crane to be discovered by ornithologists, the black-necked crane is also known as the Alpine Crane. They form small groups and forage on the ground, with one bird keeping guard.

Eurasian Peregrine Falcon

Eurasian Peregrine Falcon

The Eurasian peregrine falcon is highly trainable, with many being bred in captivity

Historically known as the duck hawk, the Eurasian peregrine falcon is an intimidating raptor that preys on smaller birds and bats. This versatile bird is a strong hunter, who mates for life and normally nests on cliffs or even tall buildings.

White-Throated Bush Chat

White-throated Bushchat

The rapid loss of grasslands has led to a reduction in the number of white-throated bush chat

Also known as Hodgson’s bushchat, the endangered white-throated bush chat is a small and shy bird. With a population estimated at between 2,500 and 10,000, this species has been classified as vulnerable.

Ferruginous Duck

Ferruginous Duck

Hunting, habitat degradation has put the ferruginous duck on threatened species list

Boasting of a deep chestnut-coloured plume, the Ferruginous Duck is a medium-size diver duck on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These birds often feed at night, eating aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish.

Pallas’s Fish Eagle

Pallas’s Fish Eagle

Overfishing, pollution and hunting contribute to the decline of the Pallas’s fish eagle species

Also known as the band-tailed fish eagle, the Pallas’s fish eagle is a rare species found in Bhutan. This large, brownish sea is a partially migratory bird feed on fish and smaller sea birds and is listed as vulnerable with a population of 2,500 to 10,000.

Which one is your favourite among these? Tell us in the comments below!

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Explore The Colourful Souks of Morocco – Cox & Kings Blog