The Old Medina, Tangiers, Morocco, Africa

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As do most of the Kingdoms towns, Tangiers has its own Medina, containing a pair of picturesque markets; the Grand Socco and Petit Socco.

Most of Tangiers Medina (Ancient city) is still in very good condition. The narrow winding streets are lined with houses of all kinds of styles, indicating that people from with various financial backgrounds both lived and worked here. In Tangiers, the Medina itself is quite big. There are many commercial centres too, mostly aimed at tourists. It can be quite difficult to find areas where real handicraft is performed.

Other parts of the Medina are dedicated solely to housing. There are some very pretty houses here with typical bright coloured doors and decorated gates, surrounded by colourful rosebushes.

Once you walk through the Medina gate off the Grand Socco, you'll immediately enter a maze of narrow twisted streets and be overwhelmed by the powerful aromas drifting from the spice stalls. Shopkeepers stand outside their stores and try entice you inside; they'll try to haggle you over their products, always good naturedly, although sometimes very persistently!

If you're looking for authentic Moroccan goods you should head off to the souks. They're literally teeming with energy. You can find everything here, from embroidered shirts to djellabas and leather goods to hammered brass.

Always remember to bargain. You'll be surprised how much you bring the price down. If you speak a little French, it will be a lot easier, plus, the shop owner will have more respect for you. Even if you don't get an amazing deal, bargaining with a Moroccan shop owner is an experience you won't forget in a hurry.

In some of the nicer buildings, the shops have a fixed pricing system, but they can charge up to 4 times the price for the exact same goods you'd find in the other shops! You can haggle the price down, but only a tiny bit.

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