Having some basic knowledge about traditional and practical Moroccan items might just help you make up your mind on what to buy as a souvenir.
Morocco is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful countries due to its rich and unique history, culture, and traditions, from its Atlas Mountains to its Sahara desert.
With its stunning architecture, colored cities, diverse beaches, and high hills, Morocco’s varied beauty and landscapes are among the wonders that attract tourists most.
Moroccan artisans are famous for their beautiful and creative works, handmade with intricate skills often passed down through generations. Their use of locally-sourced raw materials such as leather, ceramic, silk, glass, silver, brass, and yarn make the country a premium destination for “magical” shopping.
When you visit its many traditional “souks,” or marketplaces, you may be tempted to buy everything as a souvenir to commemorate your travels. Those intricate crafts will pull you in with their unique styles and vibrant colors.
It may help to review some of the most popular items on offer to avoid (too much) impulse spending during your visit to Morocco:
Moroccan Amazigh (Berber) carpets come in many different patterns and colors. Each unique style represents one of the country’s 45 distinct tribes.
Adorning marketplace walls, these carpets are irresistible and would make a great addition to your home aesthetic, giving it the perfect “Moroccan vibe.”
Moroccan women make most of the carpets by hand in their free time using wool, sometimes mixed with cotton. It could take one woman anywhere from two weeks to five months to finish one rug, depending on its size and complexity.
They might seem a bit pricey, but this reflects the time and effort women expend to make them. Purchases will give the local businesses the investment they need to keep going.
If you decide to take the perfect carpet home, you will be buying more than just a beautiful work of art: You will hold a lengthy history of rituals and traditions in your hands.
Baskets and straw bags
Moroccan baskets and straw bags are traditionally handmade of wicker and raffia. They come in many shapes, colors, and styles, and you can even have them customized with your favorite design.
Oversized baskets provide a bonus for marketplace shoppers: In addition to their aesthetic appeal, they can hold almost everything from your shopping trip. They come with either long or short straps so you can hold them in your hand or carry them on your shoulder.
You might see baskets with leather straps and other small round modern styles in magazines and fashion blogs.
The baskets are not only cute and stylish, but also eco-friendly, natural, and practical. You can use your new basket for your shopping or your trip to the beach–either way, they are a fun addition to your personal style.
Read also: 10 Good Reasons to Visit Morocco
Moroccan argan oil is rightfully famous for its many benefits and uses. The world-renowned luxury item is obtained from the argan tree, endemic to Morocco.
Locals have used argan oil for centuries, both for culinary and cosmetic purposes. Amazigh women produce argan oil in a home-based industry.
After procuring the seeds from the argan tree’s fruits and roasting and then grinding them on an antique oil press, the female producers collect a thick, viscous liquid. They process the substance using simple filtration techniques to yield an edible oil.
Argan oil is good for healing scars and wounds, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The oil can also serve as a natural moisturizer for hair and skin, and can help with acne and other skin conditions.
The traditional decoration is one of the most magical items in Morocco’s markets. Hand-made from copper or brass, lanterns come in all shapes and forms, decorated with hundreds of tiny holes that will emit an almost magical glow once lit.
Varied in color and design, you will have the chance to choose a lantern that speaks to you and reflects your personal taste.
Lanterns will make a perfect addition to your home decor, whether displayed in your bedroom, living room, or even your garden.
With beautiful shapes and sometimes featuring colored glass, they give off a cozy and enchanted atmosphere that will remind you of Morocco every time you light yours up.
The Moroccan Caftan is currently one of the hottest international fashion trends. You may see it on runways, altered and styled by different world-famous designers.
You can find a caftan in other markets around the world, but purchasing yours from the country where it originates can make the experience of wearing it even more meaningful and fun.
Moroccan women wear this type of dress as an everyday outfit or on special occasions, depending on its material and design.
Cotton caftans that come in various colors and simple styles are the best dresses for summer days, light and soft on the skin.
You can find elegant, more glamorous caftans decorated with embroidered artistic designs and stones and sewn with the finest fabrics by skilled Moroccan tailors. These are ideal for special events and celebrations.
Read also: 10 Tips for Visiting Morocco
Saffron and spices
You cannot visit Morocco without noticing the rows of colorful spices in every souk and the rich enticing aroma that hits you as you walk by. Saffron, cumin, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, and many more sit on appealing displays in cone formations.
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices and only grows in a few Moroccan regions, yet it is one of Morocco’s leading exports. Saffron is worth buying for its rich flavor and high nutritious value.
Ras el hanout is a blend of various Moroccan spices, used in many traditional dishes. Moroccans love to enrich their almost any dish with Ras el hanout for the perfect taste and flavor, be it meat, chicken, fish, or couscous.
If you are a fan of cooking, Moroccan spices are a must. They are inexpensive, easy to pack, and need to be on your Moroccan souvenirs list.
We cannot speak of Moroccans without mentioning their love for mint tea. Drinking tea is a beloved daily ritual for most.
Most Moroccans cannot go one day without drinking at least a cup or two to unwind in gatherings with family and friends.
You can make mint tea in any teapot, but I doubt you will get the Moroccan experience you are after with some generic pot. The Moroccan teapot plays an essential role in making the perfect, authentic Moroccan mint tea.
As with most of the items mentioned above, Moroccan teapots come in many designs and styles–you will have a beautiful variety to choose from.
Stainless steel teapots are a bit pricey but they are of high quality and worth every penny. This type of teapot will not transfer bad chemicals to your drink and will probably last for decades with proper care.
Read also: 10 Most Delicious Moroccan Foods
Balgha, or babouche are traditional Moroccan flat slippers usually made of leather by talented artisans.
The slippers are very comfortable and come in many colors and designs. Styles vary depending on intended use either indoors or outdoors, and to meet your personal preference.
The indoor slippers have a soft sole while the outdoor styles’ soles are hard. The slippers are hand-dyed with every color and shade of the rainbow and embroidered with intricate designs.
Before you go for a babouche hunt in a Moroccan market, you should first have a specific color and design in mind. That way you will avoid being overwhelmed by the seemingly endless choices available in the souk.
Morocco’s jewelry craftsmanship goes back centuries. The intermarriage of Amazigh tribes and Moroccan Jews created some of Morocco’s most beautiful, handcrafted jewelry.
These items take many shapes, designs, and colors that carry histories. You can guess where Moroccan women come from just by the jewelry they wear– every region in the country has its own designs and symbols.
Amazigh necklaces are perhaps the most emblematic jewelry pieces, made with precious stones such as coral and amber. They come in different sizes so you can choose the ones that best suit you.
Moroccan silver bracelets are thick and can be layered in sets on your wrists. There are also designs made of gold.
Moroccan khmissa jewelry, also called khamsa, the hand of Fatima, the eye of Fatima, or hamsa jewelry is a Moroccan-Jewish symbol that represents protection from evil.
It is a Moroccan tradition that families dress their newborns in little hamza bracelets to shield them from negative energy.