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On Location: Marrakech

by Ami Kealoha in Travel on 23 April 2007

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Meandering through the souks of Marrakech's infamous buzzing Medina can make you feel as though you've traveled back in time. Linger down the narrow stone streets to find mismatched tins piled high with fresh gem-colored spices and racks teeming with colorful babouches (Moroccan slippers). Or hop a taxi to Le Guéliz, where you'll see young Marrakechis dining al fresco at Parisian-style cafés and toting loads of bags from the latest boutiques. Whichever path you choose to explore and shop, make sure to bring a French dictionary, your best bargaining tools and perhaps an extra suitcase for packing up all your Marrakech discoveries for the return home home.

Shopping the souks requires patience, perseverance, and above all, some friendly pushing. Chaotic doesn't begin to describe it, but to escape the mayhem of the Medina, check into a few nearby stores where you can browse without distraction.

Kulchi
Owner Florence Taranne's international inventory spans from East African textiles to screen-printed t-shirts by Moroccan pop artist Hassan Hajjaj. Vintage Moroccan fabrics are re-envisioned as beach-perfect caftans, while Taranne's in-house label strikes just the right boho balance with tie-dyed blouses and whimsical dresses.
1 Rue Ksour, off Rue Sidi El Yamani
+21 2 4442 9177

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Aya's
Famous for its well-tailored tunics, this tiny shop is also known for two very famous visitors: Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks. Browse through an impressive selection of male friendly caftans or an assortment of Indian pashminas. For more Moroccan fare, her selection of jewelry stands out from the standard looking pieces that are abundant on every corner.
11 Bis, Derb Jdid Bab Mellah
+21 2 4438 3428

Café des Epices
Located in the heart of the Medina, the Café has become a must for those looking to refresh and kick back for a spell. Be sure to take in a tea on the terrace. (Pictured above left.)
75 Rahba Lakdima
+21 2 2439 1770

Zohour
Stop by this French-inspired bakery for a different kind of afternoon delight: a gazelle horn, the traditional crescent-shaped Moroccan pastry filled with decadent almond paste.
34 Rue de Liberte
+21 2 2443 1328

by Meredith Fisher

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