Trying to figure out what kind of souvenirs from Morocco to bring home with you? You’re in the right place! Read on for all the details about shopping in Morocco.
If you love beautiful, colorful wares and goods in exotic locations, then you will love shopping in Morocco!
The souks (or markets) of Morocco are places of enticement – the textures of woven rugs, smooth brass lamps, polished teapots, and soft leather; the aromas of different spices, herbs and argon oil mingling in the air; the vibrant colors of the babouches and hand painted ceramics a delight to the eyes.
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 are just so fun!
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, beckoning you to come see their wares. It really is unlike anything you have ever experienced before.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or picking up gifts from Morocco for someone at home, there’s really something for everyone in the souks.
A Few Things to Know about Shopping in Morocco
Cash is King: 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.
Currency: 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.
Haggling: 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!
14 Souvenirs from Morocco to Bring Home With You
So, in this article, I’m going to go over best things to buy from Morocco, and what a reasonable ending price to pay would be, so you can more accurately plan your Morocco travel budget. I’ll also go over some good haggling strategies when you’re shopping for souvenirs in Morocco.
1. Leather Goods
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 things to buy in Morocco!
Common leather goods include purses, jackets, 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 jacket together and 100 dirham for the purse. The wallet cost about 80 dirham.
Expect poofs to cost between 150-300 dirhams, depending on size and quality.
Babouche are soft, flexible, super comfortable leather slippers that can be easily slipped on, usually have a pointed toe, and often have designs painted or engraved on them.
Despite their name (and their high comfort factor) these shoes are designed for outdoor use, not just indoor lounging.
While you can find babouche in many shops around the city, for the best selection, browse through a store dedicated solely to this specialty shoe.
3. Argan Oil
Argan oil is a very unique and traditional 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 more affordable 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.
4. Hand-Painted Ceramics
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 ceramics for them (an excuse to look at more beautiful plates? Okay!)
I paid 55 dirham for the blue plate, 30 dirhams each for the smaller plates, and 350 dirhams for the big metal platter. We saw these metal-accented platters 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 great gifts to bring back from Morocco – not too expensive, unique, colorful, and useful!
A tagine is the name of the earthenware dish used to cook traditional 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, and at least double that for a glazed, painted tagine.
6. Wooden boxes
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 we saw during our stay in Marrakech.
He was making intricate chess sets, and who showed us how he operated his foot-powered carving tool (we asked before taking his picture):
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.
7. 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 in Morocco 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!
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 is 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 and is a great gift to bring back for friends or family. A fair price is less than 30 dirham per gram of saffron – we paid 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. 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.
9. Kaftans, Djellabas, and Other Traditional Outfits
Kaftans and djellabas are common clothing choices for Moroccans, and both men and women wear them. 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 in Morocco for kaftans and djellabas, you could find garments ranging from casual, everyday wear, to outfits for very fancy occasions.
Another popular clothing item for sale 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 desert alone was well worth the cost of the outfits!
10. 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. 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.
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!
I paid 150 dirhams for this particular pot. Generally heavier pots will be higher quality. You can also find matching platters and cups.
12. Brass Lamps
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.
13. Woven Baskets
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 thing to bring home from Morocco.
We paid 45 dirham for this particular basket.
14. A Professional Photoshoot (My Favorite Souvenir!)
This professional photoshoot is my favorite “souvenir” from Marrakech (and one of my favorite things to bring back from any international trip – we’ve done international photo shoots 6 times)
I usually find photographers by searching hashtags on Instagram. I usually have the best luck by searching #YOURCITYphotographer (e.g. #marrakechphotographer). I look for photographers that take pictures that are less posed and stiff, and more spontaneous and natural.
Make sure when you are talking to the photographer that you confirm price, number of photos to be delivered (I like to get 50+), and that you will get full digital downloads of the photos. I can usually find photographers for between $200-400 for 1-2 hours.
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 in Morocco
Because haggling is an integral part of shopping in Morocco, you will need to haggle for all of the gifts 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).
Shops and taxis within the city 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 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, although the lowest we could usually get was approximately ½ the initial offer.
3) Be friendly and playful while bargaining hard. Project an air of confidence, even (and especially!) if you’re not feeling confident. In Morocco, haggling should be good-natured, and often you can get a good deal if you’re willing to joke around and be good-natured with the salesmen. If you encounter someone who is grouchy, keep going.
4) One of the best bargaining tactics is to say, “I don’t know, I have to think about it, I’ll come back later,” as you start to walk out. Even if the salesman has told you that “this is the lowest I can possibly go,” if you start to leave, they’ll often drop the price lower.
5) Be willing to ACTUALLY walk away if you aren’t satisfied with the price, or if their opening offer is waaaaay overpriced (e.g. they’re asking 5-10 times what you know is a fair price).
Exploring the Souks With Your Own Personal Shopping Guide
If finding your way through the souks and trying to haggle with the locals sounds intimidating and stressful to you (but you still want to do some shopping!), then consider going out with a local shopping guide on this Private Guided Shopping Tour of the Marrakech souks.
Your friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable guide will take you through the medina, where you’ll visit quality and interesting artisan shops, show you where to find specific items you may want to purchase, and help you with negotiating to get you the best price.
There is absolutely no pressure from your local guide to buy anything – it’s more like shopping with a Moroccan friend.
👉Check availability and prices here
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 of 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!
Check Out My Other Morocco Articles:
- Driving in Morocco: Tips for Taking a Morocco Road Trip
- 5 Best Hot Air Balloon Rides in Marrakech
- 10 Incredible Day Trips from Marrakech
- Most Gorgeous Riads in Fes for Couples