One place you simply cannot miss when visiting Morocco is the bustling market place in Marrakech where you will find a truly unique shopping experience. There is so much going on and so much to see. A carnival of vibrant colours and textures are everywhere you turn your head. The whole place can seem very overwhelming and chaotic, given the crowds of people, motorbikes zooming past, horse drawn carriages, and street vendors that will randomly wrap a snake around your shoulders for a photo souvenir. Visitors to the Marrakech market will find that almost anything can be bought here; perfume, Moroccan oils, spices for food, bags, scarves, shoes, arts & crafts, lanterns and rugs to name but a few, everyone has something to sell.
Though the market will seem quite busy during the daytime, at night people seem to flock from everywhere and the place gets ever more crowded as even more sellers appear, many just laying their wares to sell on the ground. Lights illuminate all around with so many pretty Moroccan lanterns, children's toys that glow in the dark and of course, all the shops and street lighting. Different kinds of Moroccan music can be heard all around, and the smell of exotic foods make the whole place so exciting. In addition to this, you will also find a labyrinth of small alley ways where there are even more shops and stalls. Through here it can be easy to get lost as you wander from alley way to alley way if you are unfamiliar with the area.
The market in Marrakech also known as souk (which translates to market in Arabic) is truly a delight to the senses with all of its colourful sights, sounds and exotic smells. It is located at a place known as Jemaa El Fna.
Organic Moroccan Skincare Products
At some point while wandering the Market of Marrakech, you will no doubt come across stalls that sell some amazing natural organic skincare products, there are so many soaps, balms, and oils that you won't know what to go for, everything looks so good and you just want it all! From black soap and sulphur soap to olive oil soap and soaps that incorporate argan and prickly pear oil, the choices are immense. You can find a range of organic Moroccan oils for the hair and body, and balms that are great all natural moisturisers. Concentrated perfumed oils can also be found that are very popular in Morocco and the Arab world. The Moroccan people truly know their stuff when it comes to body care products, after all, they do have to deal with the harshest of dry weather conditions.
Argan oil, which is one of the rarest oils is the world can be bought for cooking purposes and cosmetic use. You will find all types of hair and body products that incorporate argan oil as it is highly prized for its cosmetic virtues. It is produced only in Morocco due to the specific growing conditions that the argan tree thrives in.
Prickly pear oil can also be found on the souks although finding a genuine product may prove difficult since it has frequently been found to be mixed with other oils making it a less effective product. The oil that is obtained from the tiny seeds of the prickly pear fruit is set to be the new jewel of the cosmetics industry, being even more potent than argan oil with its incredible skincare benefits. The Opuntia Company sell only genuine prickly pear seed oil. We have all the relative product certifications with our oils so you can be sure that if it says '100% prickly pear seed oil' on the bottle, then that is what you get in the bottle, no cheap mixes or imitations.
When to Visit
The market at Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech is a great place to visit all year round. Temperatures are still pleasantly warm during the daytime even in winter, around 18C - 23C, but the nights can get a bit chilly dipping down to about 6C - 10C, so best to pack a good jacket! July - August in contrast, are the hottest months and can get unbearably hot during the day with temperatures soaring to around 40C-45C. If visiting Marrakech in the summertime, the markets, shops and restaurants stay open until late in the evening so you can still enjoy some shopping after sundown when temperatures are a little more comfortable.
Marrakech in Morocco is situated in North Africa between the Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. There is a strong Arab tradition blended with European sophistication. Spoken languages include Moroccan Arabic, Berber, French and Spanish with English becoming more popular especially in the major cities. Also, most people in Morocco speak at least two different languages.