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    Be prepared to bargain with a smile and decide a price you are willing to pay before you start. The Moroccans are skilled at bargaining so enjoy the experience. If you want to buy a large item, ask the Guardian if the price is fair. He might be able to buy it for much less, and even if a small commission changes hands, you will still be better off.

    Large shops tend to open between 09:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 19:00 Monday to Saturday. Small shops in the medina may not open until about 10:00 but often stay open until quite late.

    The Markets
    In the Medina you will find hidden gems in leather, silver, and ceramics and there are no motorised vehicles allowed inside the walls, which gives it a very hassle free atmosphere. Along with rugs, glassware, leather goods, silver etc. this is a shopper's paradise.

    Essaouira is famous for its quality inlaid woodwork made from thuya, a local hardwood. You can visit the workshops where you will find a selection of furniture, bowls, chess sets and boxes. The cooperatives will ensure you get a high quality piece and the price is fixed but if you like to bargain and have time to investigate then enjoy your own discoveries.

    There are also a number of galleries showing works by regional artists - one of the best is Gallerie d'Art Frederic Damgaard across from the clock tower.

    You can hire a man and his blue cart for approx 20Dh to follow you and your shopping around the medina and back to the Dar. We have also used them for transporting our children when their legs have got too tired to walk any further!

    The souks are generally laid back and friendly. The old city is good to explore - the maze of streets and alleyways always seem to throw a new sight or sound at every turn. If you ever feel lost then ask for directions to Bab Marrakesh and you will soon find yourself back somewhere familiar.
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