World's Coolest Bazaars
Marrakesh Souk, Morocco
The city of Marrakesh was founded on shopping: it was a desert trading post for caravans on their way to and from Timbuktu. And though certainly more modernized (ATMs aplenty), its souks still throb with the heady exoticism that has long drawn travelers down its alleyways. Serious shoppers should set aside two full days to get lost in the maze of streets, getting past the touristy stalls right at the main Djemaa El Fna Square, past rug-sellers and lantern stands, musical instruments and sweets shops, to where leather is still tanned, silver is worked by hand, and wool is dyed in steaming rainbow-hued vats.
Best Buy: Moroccan wedding blankets. Long a favorite of high-end designers like Jonathan Adler, these white fringed and sequined throws are thought to ward off evil spirits. And here they cost about a quarter of the price that they do in U.S. boutiques. Open daily.