My husband and I went to Morocco three years ago and spent a few days in Essaouira and then a couple of days in Marrakech. At first we found the prospect of haggling rather daunting but after a day or two we just decided to ‘get stuck in’.
The initial shock for me was how time-consuming the whole ceremony of haggling is, starting with polite chat about “Where are you from?”, “Where are you staying?”, and many more questions. All I had in my head was “How much is it!”. But after a while I got used to this and understood that it was a new cultural experience and a different ‘shopping’ experience - although certainly it was not as sweet as presented in the last instalment of SATC!
If you visit those two places as we did, I recommend practising your haggling in the less hectic and crowded Essaouira as the stall holders seemed to be more relaxed and happier to chat and talk. In Marrakech the souk was an absolutely crazy experience and the sellers are more ruthless about getting good prices out of tourists. In my view the items on sale in Marrakech were less stylish and interesting than those in Essaouira.
For those who cannot see themselves haggling, there are shops with fixed prices (but you still can haggle in them if you like!). The shop I bought my favorite earrings in was Chez Abdou in Marrakech. Nice and short haggling and they were mine for a decent price. (Or at least that is what I thought.)
To sum up I would recommend Essaouira for more stylish, unusual items (pottery, lamps and candle holders), whereas I personally found the jewellery shops more interesting in Marrakech.
Jewellery Shop: Chez Abdou Objt d'art, Saba Grawa Lakssour No 70, Marrakech
Google map: bit.ly/9VUsdJ
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org