The second largest city in Morocco and home to the oldest functioning University in the world (yes, it’s not Oxford!), Fes promises an insight to the amazing culture and rich history of Morocco.
Fes, unlike other cities in Morocco has not one, but two medinas. Lots of opportunities for you to get extra lost.
Be sure to check out Jardin Jnan Sbil which was once part of the royal palace! Obviously, with the luck I have, we didn’t get a chance to go in because it was closed.
Managed to sneak a photo through the gaps of the gate LOL
The famous blue gate of Fes was very underwhelming. It’s almost impossible to take a decent shot just because of the sheer volume of people and cars passing by. Well, it is a working gate.
Don’t forget to hike up Tombe dei Merenidi, for panoramic views over Fes and the old medina. The tomb itself is not very impressive but look at the views tho…
I mean look at this.
Founded in approximately 800AD, Fes El Bali or the old medina of Fes is more than 1200 years old. It is also believed to be the largest car-free urban area in the world.
The medina from Fes was distinctively different from the one in Marrakesh. For one, Fes had significantly less tourists. Obviously, this meant that it was a lot more authentic, but it also meant that it was a lot less safe. For example, we were followed back to our hotel one night. Thankfully, our follower got scared away by the security guard of our hotel. So just make an extra mental note to be extra careful.
Like Marrakesh, there were lots of Berber carpet shops in Fes as well.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check out the famous Fes Tanneries. The tanneries in Fes are the largest in the whole of Morocco. To be exact, there are three different tanneries. I wasn’t aware of this when I visited so I’m not sure which one I went to but it proved to be a very colourful experience. The smell wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be, but they do give you mint leaves to mask whatever unpleasant odours there may be.
Watch how leathers are treated from the rooftop!
So there you have it, a beginner’s guide to Fes!
I must confess that I’m not as familiar with Fes as I am with Marrakesh simply because I didn’t spend as much time in the former. I do prefer the touristy vibes in Marrakesh, because I’m a sucker. But if you’re that kind of person who likes to #livelikealocal, Fes would be perfect for you.
Don’t forget to check out options for day trips to Volubilis and Meknes here.
Thanks for reading, please share this with someone you’d like to go to Fes with!