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“Tanneries was a rip off” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Tanneries

outside Bab Debbagh, Marrakech, Morocco
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Ranked #9 of 9 Other in Marrakech
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Leather tanning is the major industry in the city. It’s definitely worth a walk through this neighborhood.
London, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Tanneries was a rip off”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

I visited the tanneries in July, 2013. I expected to buy high quality leather items, that would last a life time. I bought a purse for $80. The lining on the purse tore in two places after one month, and after two months, the leather handle broke off. The tanneries was the biggest rip off I've ever seen. The sales pressure was awful. I would never go back or give them any of my money.

Visited July 2013
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326 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Not for everyone, but I loved it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

Although I had read quite a few negative reviews on visiting the tanneries - I decided to ignore these and have an explore myself. I convinced a couple of my friends to join me and initially we decided to make our way there ourselves from the souks. After half an hour of wondering the souks and only slowly getting closer to them, we asked a young man if he knew where they were and he happily offered to take us there. Although we knew we would have to pay him, we were thankful that he knew where he was going and he was very chatty with us and I felt completely safe. He took us through a maze of streets to get there, which was in itself a highlight, as there were no other tourists around and locals just going about their daily business.He showed us the market area where the leather is first delivered for people to buy before it is made into bags etc and several mini factories, where they were carving wood or making other products and the men working always just smiled and waved at us. Once we got to the tanneries, our young man handed us over to one of the "managers" there who gave us mint leaves and showed us around.a couple of the tanneries. He explained the history behind them and the traditional methods that they still use to make leather, which was fascinating to actually see in-front of you and it made me appreciate the time and effort put into this. He then took us to one of the shops, where we were given a quick tour by the shopkeeper then left to look at the products. The leather goods in the shop did look and feel amazing, but we didn't buy anything and although the shopkeeper looked slightly disappointed in this, he was not rude in the slightest to us for this. The man who had taken us around the tanneries, then expected a tip, which of course we were willing to give to him, however he did try his luck and asked for 200dirhams (about £30) which I laughed at and said I would give 40dirhams and no more. He was very pushy about trying to get 200dirhams, but I stood my ground and started to walk away. When he realized I wouldn't give anymore than 40 he took it and left. The young man was waiting for us to take us back to the main square, which he did and when we gave him a tip (50dirhams) he was very thankful for this. Regarding the smell, considering we went in August (45 degrees) and we went in the middle of day it was no worse than visiting a farm in the summer!! I would recommend this trip if you like visiting places that a lot of other tourists wont go to and as long as you accept the fact that you will probably have to tip someone (haggling will also probably be needed!) and that it does have a slight smell to it you should have an interesting time!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“You do have to pay to see the pigeon poop”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013 via mobile

I am not sure you get anything for nothing in Marrakech. On arriving we were given mint leaves and shown around. We were given a lot of information about the tanneries and so learned about the process but the smell was awful. Once we had finished our tour we were whisked into a shop where we did purchase some leather goods and despite bargaining who knows how much over the odds we paid - it's all part of the game. When we came out of the shop the guy who showed us round was waiting and wanting to be paid but I think we were kind of expecting that. It was annoying that we didn't know up front that we would need to pay, but all in all visiting the tanneries was interesting and I would like to think the goods we bought were made by hand in and around Marrakech although I guess you can never be sure.

Visited September 2013
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15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“If you are a sensitive wall flower, do not go, especially in the summer”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

This is a place for the hardened traveler with a cold.

I have read some reviews and am quite surprised by some comments. Slimey hides being scooped out of the lime is what the tanneries is all about. What did you expect? Vats full of rose petals? chlorine filled swimming pools?

This place is dirty, it is smelly and it is historically unique. The family run businesses here, go back hundreds of years, past from generation to generation to generation.

It is worth seeing solely because of it's history, ignore the false guides, or push them in a vat and imagine yourself having to do the work.

Oh and only go in the winter - smell just bearable then.

Visited May 2013
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Gateshead, England
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375 helpful votes 375 helpful votes
“Tanneries - Interesting but a scam and no real information”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

We were interested in seeing the tanneries but had no real desire to pay any guide or anyone to get there but did fall foul of a scam to get us round very quickly and into the leather shop. On wandering the souks a local chap got chatting and mentioned the tanneries in general conversation. He seemed genuine enough but then flagged down a chap he said worked there who was just passing by. We made it clear we would head there ourselves and this chap said he was on his way to work and would walk with us. Ten minutes later we got to the Tanneries and were passed quickly to another local who basically dragged us round the area where the work went on after giving us mint leaves to cater for the smells. No hello, just follow me. We were quickly walked round and out the door once more and straight into the leather shop attached. Then came the hard sell. This all happened so fast we didn't have any time to talk or hear about what went on in the tannery. We only had time to fire away photographs as we marched around the site. After saying we were not interested in buying any of the goods it all got a little demanding and we managed to get ourselves outside. There to meet us were the two chaps who had basically frog marched us to and around the place. They demanded money and after a little bit of an argument we managed to pay one of them. The other got a little upset and walked us into a quiet lane. This all got very intimidating, especially for the women. After a bit more arguing we managed to pay this second guy who was not very pleased and we got away. Now I did expect to be charged for the trip to the tannery, but also I expected a bit of a tour round the place and be informed as to what went on and the processes they carried out. I would have loved this to all have been done on an honest way and without intimidation, but this was simply not the case. We learned nothing of the place and ended up being pressured into basically giving away cash for very little. Not the most ideal situation and I would warn anyone wishing to see the tanneries to tread very carefully indeed. From what we saw, the place looked extremely interesting but I know as much about it now as I did before we went. Plus the smell was unbearable so thankfully we were given the mint leaves to counteract the odours. Be mindful if you visit this place and perhaps with hindsight we may have been better going on a more organised tour.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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