Morocco is a shopper’s DREAM! We saw so many brightly colored, enticing goods while traveling around the country in our 10 day trip. Despite not planning on buying very many souvenirs from Morocco, we ended up bringing quite a few things back for ourselves or other family members. There was just such a wide array of fun and unique items, and the souks were so vibrant!
A souk is the name for a Moroccan marketplace. Souks have a lively hustle and bustle, with lots of people shopping, colorful displays as far as the eye can see and shopowners calling out to you, enticing you to come see their wares. It really is unlike anything we had experienced before.
However, one of the tricky things about shopping in Morocco is that Morocco is a country that relies on haggling. There are price tags on exactly zero items. You have to ask the shop owners the price, and then haggle from their initial offer down to a price you both agree on. This can be tricky when you aren’t sure what a reasonable price to end on is!
So, in this article, I’m going to go over what to buy in Morocco, and what a reasonable ending price to pay would be. I’ll also go over some good haggling strategies when you’re shopping for souvenirs in Morocco.
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Things to Know about Shopping in Morocco
Plan to exclusively use cash in Morocco. Occasionally a shop will take card (for example, the Chouara tannery in Fes did take card payments), but Morocco operates overwhelmingly on a cash-only system.
The currency of Morocco is the dirham (MAD). At the time of writing, one US dollar is equal to about 9.5 dirhams. We found it easiest to just round up and estimate 10 dirhams = 1 dollar.
Types of Souvenirs from Morocco to Buy:
There are many leather tanneries across Morocco, with the most famous ones located in the city of Fes. The Chouara Tannery in Fes dates back to the 11th century!
You can visit an overlook over the tanneries of Fes (or Marrakech), and watch the men at work. They scrape the leather, plunge them in different vats of liquid, and treat them with different chemicals.
While the process is shockingly laborious, it produces extremely high quality leather goods. In fact, leather is a main product of Morocco, with millions of pieces of leather produced every year.
Combine this with the fact that you can get leather for a very reasonable price, it’s easy to say that leather is one of the best souvenirs from Morocco to bring home with you!
Common leather goods include purses, jackets, colorful slippers (known as “babouche”), wallets, and poofs. The poofs are sold unstuffed so they are easy to pack flat in your suitcase.
We bought a leather wallet, leather purse, and a leather jacket in Fes. The jacket was made with lambskin and was insanely high quality – so, so buttery soft. We ended up paying 1500 dirham for the wallet and jacket together and 100 dirham for the purse.
Expect poofs to cost between 150-300 dirhams, depending on size and quality.
Argan oil is a very unique thing to buy in Morocco – this oil has become very famous and popular in recent years.
In Morocco, argan oil is produced primarily by cooperatives of women. They press the oil and then sell it at markets, or even on little stands on the side of the road in the middle of the desert!
The argan oil comes from the seeds of an argan tree. In fact, goats eat the fruit and deposit the seeds which are cold pressed, by hand. It takes an enormous amount of product and time to produce the oil.
While buying Argan oil in Morocco is much cheaper than buying it online in the US, it still isn’t cheap. Plan to spend 100-150 dirhams for a 100 ml bottle of cosmetic oil.
If you read any article ever about Morocco, you will certainly come across tantalizing pictures of shops full of colorful ceramics.
This was the one of the main things I knew I wanted to buy in Morocco, and, well, Morocco definitely delivered!
You can find bowls and plates and platters of varying shapes and sizes in every city in Morocco, and even sometimes at little makeshift stands on the side of the road.
We bought a lot of ceramics in Morocco – I had several family members request I pick up ceramic souvenirs from Morocco for them (an excuse to look at more beautiful plates? Okay!)
We paid 350 for this large platter with metal on it in Fes. We saw these metal-accented plates only in Fes and thought they were very cool – but the metal drove the price up quite a bit. This was actually a really good price for these platters – we asked around a lot about the prices of these, and the opening offer was usually around 750-800 dirhams.
Note: The shopowners will try to tell you that it’s “silver,” but it is absolutely not silver, it’s just a type of solder.
Personally, I find these colorful ceramics to be the perfect souvenirs from Morocco to bring back for others – not too expensive, unique, colorful, and useful!
A tagine is the name of the earthenware dish used to cook meals in Morocco. It has a shallow base and a cone-shaped top that creates a very hot, moist cooking environment.
The term “tagine” is also used to refer to the meal cooked inside of the tagine dish. A tagine meal will generally include a meat (such as chicken, beef, or lamb), vegetables (such as carrots, onions, or zucchini), and a variety of spices. At restaurants, a tagine dish is also often used to cook and serve couscous.
You can find tagines glazed or unglazed, and in a variety of sizes, with slightly varying shapes. They are very inexpensive – expect to pay 30 dirhams for a medium-large, unglazed tagine.
Intricate wooden boxes (and other carvings) are a staple of Moroccan markets. The boxes are especially intriguing as they come in ornate and puzzle varieties.
We were impressed by the quality of the carved decorations and designs on the ornate boxes – and ended up getting a smaller one to bring home – but we were delighted by the puzzle-style. Shop keepers will love to let you try to solve one as a way to impress you and get you to buy one.
Of course, if you act too impressed, prepare to pay more.
Many of these boxes are made locally and our favorite shops were those where the shop owner was also working on new projects there in the shop. Our favorite was this kind man who showed us how he operated his foot-powered carving tool (we asked before taking his picture):
He had a chess set that twisted open to reveal hidden compartments that was sooooo tempting (the fact that we were low on cash ended that, though, and no credit cards accepted!).
You can find wooden goods in many shops, but I recommend you keep your eye out for an actual woodworking store if you can. We saw many of these in Marrakech but few in Fes.
Carpets and Rugs
Moroccan carpets are beautiful and one of the quintessential things to buy in Morocco! Your riad will undoubtedly have carpets and rugs in your room and along the hallways, and carpet shops are a regular staple in Moroccan souks.
While you may be able to get a small rug for under 1000 dirham ($100), larger and more intricate rugs can cost several hundred dollars.
The main thing to watch out for when buying a rug is to never let the carpet you choose leave your sight. A common scam is for the salesmen to take your carpet in back to package it up, but actually wrap up a different, inferior carpet instead. Watch your chosen rug from start to finish!
(Check out this post for more details on how to recognize and avoid scams in Morocco! We had quite a bit of material to work with!)
As you walk through the souks, you will inevitably see brightly colored barrels of spices and herbs. Moroccan spices are very aromatic and very inexpensive and are one of the best inexpensive and useful souvenirs from Morocco to bring home!
For most spices, plan to spend about 10 dirhams per 50 grams. This would include spices such as ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, anise, and cayenne.
Ras El Hanout
One spice unique to Morocco was ras el-hanout. The name means “top of the shop” and is a mixture of 10-12 (though it can have even more) different spices and herbs, including dried roses! The spice shop owner can mix up a batch fresh for you – collecting the spices fresh and whole in a basket, and then putting it through a grinding machine to create it fresh off the press.
A fair price for ras el-hanout is 10-20 dirhams per 50 grams – IF you get it made up without saffron. If saffron is added, the cost increases quite a bit.
Finally, Moroccan saffron is relatively inexpensive and commonly used in Moroccan cooking, so you can find it easily in the souks. A fair price is less than 30 dirham per gram of saffron – we ended up paying 30 dirham for about 1.5 grams.
However, make sure you are being sold real saffron! How to tell if you have the real or fake stuff? Real saffron is multi-colored – the base is more orange/yellow, whereas the tip is deep red. The shorter the yellow section at the base, the better – but it should still be there. Pure red is often a sign it is fake or colored artificially.
Second, a piece of saffron should have a flared tip – like a super small paint brush – sometimes splitting into 2 or 3 distinct strands. It’s like a little flower.
Lastly, it should have a distinctive smell, sort of like musky honey or hay, and if you get a piece wet, it should smear yellow on paper, while still retaining its own color.
Kaftans, Djellabas, and Other Traditional Outfits
Men and women wear a variety of types of clothes in Morocco. We saw women dressed in burkas, with their faces completely covered, or women wearing a headscarf (hijab) and kaftan, or women wearing a headscarf with jeans and a t-shirt, and then some women wearing no headscarf at all.
We saw men in clothing ranging from jeans and a t-shirt to full on kaftans + turbans.
Basically, there were people wearing everything across the spectrum!
And of course, there were a whole host of clothing items available for sale in the souks. There were kaftans and djellabas for men and women. Kaftans are loose-fitting, long-sleeved garments, that hit mid-shin or at the ankle. Djellabas are similar, but they have a hood. When shopping for kaftans and djellabas in Morocco, you could find garments ranging from casual, everyday wear, to outfits for very fancy occasions.
Another one of the popular clothing souvenirs from Morocco were loose, lightweight pants. They were relaxed fit, with a drawstring waist. There were also more harem style pants for sale.
We bought two different adult kaftans for 150 and 170 dirhams. In retrospect, I think we overpaid on the second set, as the quality wasn’t as good as the first set we bought. Knowing what I know now, 150 dirhams for a nice quality kaftan is about as high as I would pay.
And I must say, the photo-op in the Sahara alone was well worth the cost of the outfits!
As a sidenote: THE BEST, absolutely coolest experience we had in Morocco was glamping in the Sahara. We stayed for two nights in this delightful camp staffed by the friendliest local men. It was such a surreal experience to camp among the dunes, watch the sunrise and sunset, ride camels, and eat some of the most amazing meals of our entire time in Morocco. I can’t recommend this particular camp enough!
Turbans and Headscarves
You can find scarves for turbans for men and women in the souks. If you are heading out to Merzouga to do a glamping stay in the Sahara, I would absolutely prioritize buying a turban scarf before you make the trek out to the desert.
The shop owners will show you how to tie the turbans (take a video), or you can always ask the men in camp for help!
Plan to pay 30-60 dirhams for a scarf.
Mint tea is a wonderful, soothing traditional drink in Morocco! You will be offered mint tea at restaurants and when you arrive at your riad or camp in the desert. When you are brought your tea, your server will pour you a glass at the table, lifting the teapot very high to create a tall arc of tea down into your glass.
One of the funnest parts of the cooking class we did in the home of a Moroccan woman was watching her prepare tea, and seeing the different steps and method.
After experiencing this inviting tradition many times throughout our trip, and admiring the beautiful teapots that were used, I had to bring one back for me! It’s both a useful souvenir from our Morocco trip, which also reminds me of the many experiences we had drinking tea there.
I paid 150 dirhams for this particular pot. Generally heavier pots will be higher quality. You can also find matching platters and cups.
Metalworking is a major industry in Morocco and beyond teapots, you will also find a dizzying array of brass lamps!
These come in a few varieties, but the main three are oil lamps, lanterns, and chandeliers. The oil lamps are now primarily decorative, but they are charming, and you can find cheap, knick-knack style ones or more ornate or antique styles.
The lanterns come in all shapes and sizes, but our favorites were those that incorporated colored glass along with intricate designs, like this one that we brought home:
Finally, you will find both lavish chandeliers along with sconces and simple light enclosures for sale. While these weren’t something we considered bringing home, Matthew really loved seeing these in use throughout Morocco, as every home seemed to have a beautiful light fixture.
You can find a variety of plain or colorful woven baskets in many shapes and sizes around the souks. These baskets are used in restaurants and at riads to serve bread, and they are a useful souvenir to bring home from Morocco.
We paid 45 dirham for this particular basket.
A Professional Photoshoot
A photoshoot is one of my favorite “souvenirs” from Morocco and one of my favorite souvenirs to bring back from any international trip!
Before we fly out, I find a good photographer, with a style that I like. I generally like photos that feel less posed and stiff, and more spontaneous and intimate, with good angles and use of lighting.
I have often found my photographers by searching hashtags on Instagram (e.g. #marrakechphotographer), but you can also do google searches (e.g. Marrakech lifestyle photographer or Marrakech couples photographer).
There are also entire websites devoted to facilitating vacation photoshoots, such as Flytographer.com, shootmytravel.com, localgrapher.com, and locallens.com. On these sites, you can browse the list of photographers in your intended city and book right through the site.
These sites are generally my last choice, as they tend to be a little more expensive for less pictures. But they are convenient and easy to use!
Once I’ve chosen a photographer and messaged them, we confirm price and the number of photos that will be delivered. I only book photographers that will give me a full digital download of all photos (in contrast to ones that require you to purchase prints from them directly). We decide on a location and time, and then I pay them cash at the end of the photoshoot. All the shoots I’ve done have cost between $200-300, with this shoot being $200 and I think this is a reasonable budget!
This strategy has worked out really well for us, and we’ve ended up with absolutely gorgeous pictures from different countries.
In Marrakech, we took pictures at the Musée Dar El Bacha – an absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful location that is off the beaten path. Even if you don’t do a shoot, plan to visit this beautiful, peaceful oasis. This is the photographer we used in Marrakech – I’d highly recommend him!
Tips for Haggling for Souvenirs from Morocco
Because haggling is an integral part of shopping in Morocco, you will need to haggle for all of the things to buy in Morocco listed in this guide.
Taxis to and from the airport are fixed prices (300 dirham in Casablanca, 70 dirham in Marrakech). Restaurant prices are fixed, and street food vendors are usually fixed price (occasionally we haggled for drinks at little stands, but the small bodega-like shops you’ll see on almost every street were fixed price).
Taxis within the city and shops are where you haggle!
The culture of haggling is definitely a different shopping vibe than what you’ll experience in most of Europe and the US, so here are our best tips for haggling for souvenirs in Morocco:
1) Do not act too interested. Always seem mildly interested, but like you could take it or leave it.
2) Whatever their opening offer is, counter with 1/4 to 1/3 that price. Your goal is to end up between 1/3 to 1/2 their opening offer. The lowest we could usually get was approximately ½ the initial op
3) Be friendly and playful while bargaining hard. Project an air of confidence, even (and especially!) if you’re not feeling confident.
4) Be willing to walk away. In fact, haggling for a while, then saying “I don’t know, I have to think about it, I’ll come back later,” as you start to walk out is going to get you the lowest price and is a good bargaining tactic.
5) Be willing to ACTUALLY walk away if they won’t budge or if their opening offer is waaaaay overpriced (e.g. they’re asking 5-10 times what you know is a fair price).
A few other phrases you’ll hear when shopping in Morocco:
“We do democratic pricing” – We heard this one all the time. “Oh, we aren’t like other places. We do democratic pricing.”
“I appreciate you’re so humble” – While some shopkeepers were brusque or pushy, many were happy to chat you up. We found that if the shopkeeper was one who would chat, we found that by taking some time haggling and not rushing the purchase, they would say something like “I appreciate how humble you are” and then lower the price one more time.
Since we heard it a few times, it’s probably just a line, but it did seem like they did legitimately appreciate it when customers weren’t in a huge rush and would engage in the haggle in a good-natured way.
Final Thoughts on the Best Souvenirs from Morocco to Buy
I hope this guide helps you decide what to buy in Morocco during your travels, and gives you a good idea for what to pay for different items. I know haggling can be intimidating, but just go for it, have fun, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly!
- 12 Cool Things to Do in Fes, Morocco
- 16 Unique Things to Do in Marrakech, Morocco
- How Much Does a Trip to Morocco Cost: A Morocco Travel Budget
- Navigating Moroccan Scams: What to Watch Out For and How to Avoid Them
- 24 Traditional Moroccan Foods and Drinks to Try in Morocco
- Driving in Morocco: How to Navigate Your Morocco Road Trip