If there is something that breathes life into a city it is markets, stalls selling almost everything you could imagine. Some occupy buildings and others entire districts, some take place in the street and others in shopping malls, some are covered and others in the open air, some themed and others with a little of everything, but all of them have set the pulse of cities and towns from time immemorial. And, if there is one place where the markets mark the passing of time and offer a description of society’s progression, it is Morocco. This country has one of the largest varieties of this kind of shopping which can be found in the Mediterranean.
Marrakesh, Rabat and Casablanca are the cities with the greatest offer. In any of these cities you will find open-air souks and street markets with all kinds of products, such as El Kehir, the Souk Foundouk and its peculiar structure, the Dar El Bacha market, the Souq Laksour covered souk, or the extremely informal Derb Anboub, all in Marrakesh; the Souq el Kebir market, the diverse and hectic Tariq el Marsa street market, the Bab Sebta market, the peculiar Abd el Had street market, or the very tourist-oriented Tahti Souk, in Rabat; or El Malik Street, Souq Jdid Street, or the enormous Derb Ghalef market, in Casablanca.
But the smaller cities also have their own big markets where visitors can buy almost anything that comes into their head. Take the central market in Agadir, for example, which has goes back to the days of markets selling Spanish supplies dozens of years ago, or the Zouk el khemis, in Mequinez, a street market scarcely frequented by tourists, where you can buy almost anything.
In all of these markets, the number of stalls selling food is striking. However, there are also some markets which are solely geared towards the sale of this specific type of product. Such is the case with the Place aux Épices, in Marraquech, or the spice market and the more local Salé spice market, much less frequented by tourists, both in Rabat. And of course we cannot forget the incredible fruit stalls of the city of Tetouan, the Bad Doukkala market in Marrakesh, where you can buy anything related to cooking, or the local street market of the medina in Fez, which is very similar.
Many markets were places where sellers of a specific product would come together to give the buyers the best quantity and offer possible. And there are many who maintain these characteristics to this day. In Marrakesh, there are three to be highlighted: the Riad Zitoun street market, where they perform small repairs on equipment or homeware, where they make the the typical colored babuchas and where knife sharpeners gather; the Souq Talaa market, where you can acquire countless clay objects for all uses; and the Souq Lalla Rkia, where they deal in bargain products or parts to repair any object, from a car to a watch. And in Rabat, there is the jewelers’ souk, where you can naturally buy jewelery, fake or real.
So you do not get lost: If you are looking for strange street markets, the Witchcraft Market in Casablanca stands out above all others; in it you can buy all the ingredients needed to make any potion, charm or spell. Some are rather unbelievable, but others are traditional remedies based on the most effective infusions and origins.
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