Fes, the second largest city in Morocco and filled with so much history on every street. In comparison to Marrakesh, Fes feels less touristy and the people more open and friendly. This city is a cultural hub that houses the Royal Palace, Medina that is walled up and arguably one of the world’s oldest universities. If you’re only in Fes for a short period of time, here are the top sights!
Shop the Medina
The narrow pathways within the Medina will make you feel like you’re in a labyrinth. Be careful as it is easy to get lost between these walls. Inside the Medina is not only one of the oldest universities in the world but thousands of shop owners selling trinkets and food. Spend the day getting lost and shop up a storm! so many great souvenirs can be found here. Be sure to negotiate the price down and once you get hungry, find your way to Cafe O’Clock for a camel burger!
If you have been doing your research, you’ve probably seen this show up on everyone’s must see list and there is a good reason for it! Fes is a city that is known for producing leather goods. By having the oldest/largest tannery in the city located right in the Medina, this is a hot spot to not only purchase some fabulous leather products but also view the process of tanning hides.
The best views of the tanneries are on the balcony of shops. There will be multiple people offering to bring you up to view the tanneries, when they offer you mint leaves, be sure to take them as the smell is very strong.
You need to go and check out this beautiful Palace. Just spend a couple minutes admiring the attention to detail and stunning gold doors. Unfortunately you are unable to tour the Palace and can only view the grand doors, but what a beautiful backdrop they will make for your photos!
Bab Bou Jeloud – Blue Gate
This gate is the western entrance to the old city of Fes. This gorgeous blue tiled entrance will make you awe in amazement at the colours and details. You’ll notice the difference from Fes and the old city of Fes as soon as you pass through the blue gate, almost as if you’ve stepped back in time.
Al Attarine Madrasa
Located inside the Medina is probably one of the most beautiful courtyards I’ve seen in Morocco. If you’re addicted to intricate designs, this place will simply take your breathe away. Take a step away from the busy streets of the Medina and visit this tranquil place. There is a small fee of 10 Dirhams (~$1.40 CAD) and it is worth paying for a short visit. We were lucky enough that there was not a whole lot of people and were invited to view the floors above! The narrow stairs led us up to a couple empty classrooms with a small view of the rooftops of the Medina. Beautiful, but the true highlight was the courtyard.
Al Quaraouiyine Mosque
Considered one of the oldest universities in the world, the Al Quaraouiyine has since been converted to a mosque. As only muslims were allowed to enter, we were unable to take a peek inside, but from the door you’re able to view the courtyard and the designs were very similar to those of the Al Attarine Madrasa.
Note: This mosque is very close by the Al Attarine Madrasa.