These thrilling issues to do in Fes, Morocco will assist you plan an unimaginable an unforgettable expertise in Morocco’s most fascinating medina.
Town of Fes, Morocco, is without doubt one of the most fascinating locations on the planet. Fes, additionally recognized in lots of locations as the town of Fez (however locals will let you know that’s the identify of a hat, not a metropolis), is without doubt one of the most luxurious locations to go to in Morocco, not only for its ridiculously giant and sophisticated medina, however for all the mind-blowing issues to do within the metropolis.
Fes is the second most populated metropolis in Morocco after Casablanca and is without doubt one of the 4 Imperial cities within the nation, together with Marrakech, Rabat, and Meknes, the place the Moroccan royal household has properties. Town is so spectacular that the whole walled metropolis was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Website again in 1981.
Wandering the mess of alleys and roads within the outdated metropolis is a sensory journey by way of every little thing that makes Morroco unimaginable. There are the smells wafting from tiny retailers promoting distinctive and scrumptious meals, the tough brush of mules carting items back and forth, and the good colours filling vats within the oldest leathery tannery on the planet, simply to call just a few.
Fes is the vacation spot that guests goal after they wish to transcend the traditional Morocco expertise that they’ve examine in books or seen in films. Fes is extra uncooked than what you’ll discover in Casablanca or Marrakech. And it’s an totally fascinating place to discover. If you happen to’re visiting Morocco with youngsters, you’ll discover that there’s a gentle chaos to Fes, however that chaos is a extra welcoming one, and it’s a spot that invitations you to discover and uncover one of the best issues to do in Fes, Morrocco.
On this information to visiting Fes, we’ll speak about what it’s essential to know earlier than you go to the town, put together, issues to look out for, and issues to do in Fes to benefit from your go to.
High Issues To Do In Fes, Morocco
There’s no restrict to the unimaginable points of interest in Fes. This sophisticated metropolis has the potential to point out you a few of the most intimate glimpses into city life in Morocco.
I can’t undergo all the issues to do in Fes. There are just too many to rely. However I can present you the issues that no customer to the town ought to miss.
Catch A Glimpse Of Fes From Borj Sud Kasbah
Town of Fes sits northwest of the Atlas Mountains in a valley tucked amongst tall hillsides. Its distinctive location signifies that a few of the close by hills supply spectacular views over the town. One in every of my favourite issues to do in Fes is to make the drive to Borj Sud, a fort in-built 1582 that appears out over the town.
With their Portuguese-style structure, each Borj Nord and Borj Sud had been constructed as a lot to maintain the residents of Fes in line as they had been to defend it from outdoors attackers. In fashionable occasions, these two forts, particularly Borj Sud, supply a few of the finest views of Fes.
The previous fort homes a navy museum with a group of extremely uncommon items of armory from world wide. One in every of these is a 15-foot-long cannon that was used in the course of the Battle of the Three Kings.
Discover A Moroccan Ceramics Co-Op
One of the crucial well-known exports from Morocco is its good ceramics, significantly its distinctive mosaics. Of my household’s favourite issues to do in Morocco was visiting a Ceramics co-op. These government-funded packages give locals entry to instruments, supplies, and coaching essential to create these beautiful artworks.
Our go to to the Tamegroute Pottery Co-operative allowed us to see how locals take clay mined from the close by hills and rework it into gorgeously detailed tables, tagines, and even numerous different merchandise. Our boys even had an opportunity to get hands-on, creating their very own tagine.
After exploring the co-op and seeing how the clay is shaped, crafted, and painted, we had been offered with a room crammed with lovely artworks. We ended up leaving with a small desk and a good looking cooking tagine, though I’ll totally admit that we had been completely out-haggled by the store supervisor.
Take pleasure in A Meals Tour In Fes
Throughout our first tour of Fes, our authentic information couldn’t make it. Fortunately for us, the corporate we had been working with, Solar Trails Morocco, was capable of provide one other on brief discover. And to our luck, that was Rostom Badrame, who runs Fes meals excursions by way of Badrane Excursions.
Rostom introduced us by way of the sophisticated Fes medina introducing us to the fascinating meals at numerous small working stalls inside. Among the many prime meals to eat in Morocco that we tasted was B’ssara, a potato-based soup that could be a staple among the many working class within the metropolis. We additionally dined on Makouda, a pan-fried combination of potato, flour, and herbs.
Among the many extra attention-grabbing meals that we ate in Fes was Babbouche, a snail soup, camel hump, cow tongue, sheep, brains, and beef testicles. I’ll admit, I used to be just a little shocked on the final one. In no unsure phrases, the boys and Christina had been instructed that this was solely a meals for grownup males in Morocco, so I needed to go it alone.
I’ll be sincere, it wasn’t half unhealthy.
Step By means of The Marinid Tombs
One other unimaginable place to go to in Fes for beautiful views is the Marinid Tombs. This former necropolis from the Marinid Dynasty is round 700 years outdated, and it has fallen into ruins over the centuries. However there are nonetheless two mausoleums with dramatic horseshoe arches and indications of their former glory.
There aren’t any extra information of who the occupants of the mausoleum are, however the views from right here at sundown are a few of the finest within the metropolis. You may clearly see the minaret of the Mosque of al-Qarawiyyin, the Mellah, and listen to the decision to prayer that echoes by way of the valley many occasions all through the day.
Step Into A Khobz Bakery
If you happen to’re having fun with any type of Morocco itinerary, you’re going to return throughout Khobz, a big, spherical flattened loaf that’s the official bread of Morocco. This bread is made in each family and loved with virtually each meal.
One fascinating factor about city life in Morocco is that many households will make the dough themselves however convey them to a bakery for the khobz to be cooked in a wood-burning oven. As we strolled by way of the Fes medina, we got here throughout a number of of those khobz bakeries, and popping our heads inside gave us an unimaginable look into how they work.
Dozens of households convey their raw dough to the bakeries, that are cooked just a few at a time in an enormous oven. Every household’s bread is poked with a fork in a singular sample. This sample lets every household know which of the khobz belongs to them.
Go to The World’s Oldest Leather-based Tannery
Hidden deep within the coronary heart of the medina in outdated Fes sits the Chouara Tannery. If in case you have a tough time discovering it, simply ask. Your nostril will let you recognize that you just’re getting shut lengthy earlier than you arrive. The scent of the tannery is … pungent.
Chouara Tannery is, maybe, essentially the most iconic of all of the points of interest in Fes. The tannery started operations within the eleventh century, and leather-based continues to be conditioned and tanned utilizing lots of the identical strategies as when it started. It’s a giant a part of the explanation why Fes is taken into account to have a few of the finest leather-based on the planet.
That is essentially the most iconic place in Fez, and the oldest tannery on the planet, the place they nonetheless function as they did in medieval occasions. Right here, males make leather-based in an enormous tannery surrounded by homes and retailers. The scent of the dyeing course of can get relatively intense, so take a shawl to cowl your nostril (or they will provide you with mint leaves to rub underneath it). It is a great spot to purchase your leather-based souvenirs.
Go to The Dar Al-Makhzen Royal Palace
Fes is without doubt one of the 4 Imperial cities in Morocco. One of the crucial exceptional properties is Dar Al-Makhzen, the native royal palace. The beautiful constructing was constructed within the late nineteenth century for Sultan Hassan I and his son Abdelaziz.
The royal palace has an enormous Andalusian-style backyard the place cultural and non secular occasions are held yearly. It additionally has a museum that comprises a spread of artifacts from lots of the metropolis’s historical buildings, together with cash, mosaics, embroidery, and paintings.
The attractive gardens aren’t open to the general public outdoors of those particular events, so one of the best view most guests to Fes will get is of the ornately embellished entrance close to the Mellah (Jewish quarter).
Get Misplaced In The Fes Medina
Positive, lots of the finest locations to go to in Fes are within the medina, however the medina is an expertise in and of itself. The labyrinthine construction comprises numerous retailers, riads, and houses contained in over 9,000 alleys with numerous useless ends.
The medina not solely comprises Fez points of interest resembling tanneries, retailers, meals stalls, Moroccan carpet co-ops, and coppersmiths however merely wandering across the mazelike construction offers you a a lot deeper expertise than wandering from place to put, understanding precisely the place you wish to go.
I liken the medina in Fes to the town of Venice, Italy, it’s a spot the place you type of wish to get misplaced. You gained’t have to fret about automobiles, because the outdated metropolis of Fes is car-free. Nonetheless, you will want to be looking out for scooters that are inclined to journey at harmful speeds all over the place.
Wander By means of The Bou Jeloud Gardens
The general public may not have entry to the huge gardens of the Dar Al-Makhzen palace, however the Bou Jeloud Gardens (also called the Jnan Sbil Gardens) is a detailed second.
Right here you’ll be able to escape the busy streets and alleys and luxuriate in a stroll by way of superbly landscaped gardens simply outdoors of the primary entrance to the medina. The gardens cowl an enormous 18.5 acres is a well-liked spot in Fes for locals, particularly round sundown.
The gardens observe the Oued Fes river and include over 3,000 distinctive species of vegetation separated into a number of various kinds of gardens. Alongside the backyard paths are many lovely fountains and swimming pools. Like many issues to do in Fes, the gardens are closed on Mondays, however they’re open the remainder of the week.
Hear To The Music of the Coppersmiths
Preserve your ears peeled whereas strolling by way of the Fes medina, and also you gained’t miss it. The musical clang of hammers pounding out copper artwork is unmistakable. Like many of the medina, there are total sections devoted to particular crafts, and the coppersmiths are situated in Place Seffarine.
This small sq. is close to the south facet of the Qarawiyyin Mosque close to the Bou Khrareb River. The sq. is called for the coppersmiths who’ve labored their craft right here for hundreds of years. Stroll the retailers and hearken to the clang of the shopkeepers pounding intricate designs into their crafts.
Step Into The Halls of the Nejjarine Museum
Located in a gorgeously restored 18th-century funduq, the Nejjarine Museum makes for some of the lovely dives into restored Moroccan structure and woodworking.
A funduq is an inn utilized by touring retailers the place horses had been housed on the primary ground whereas the merchants would sleep on the flooring above. The inn is lavishly embellished in Andalusian fashion with picket boards that had been utilized by college students to assist recite the Quran.
The Nejjarine Museum has some completely wonderful conventional picket artifacts on show, and for those who get uninterested in strolling the paintings, you’ll be able to head to the rooftop cafe to benefit from the lovely views.
Store The Fes Souks
Buying has by no means been a kind of issues that I search out once I journey, however visiting Morocco made it arduous to not wish to pull out my pockets at each nook.
Strolling by way of the Fes medina, there are numerous unimaginable retailers. A few of these supply an expertise that’s price enterprise even for those who don’t plan to purchase one thing (though you’ll in all probability find yourself leaving with one thing anyway).
Most of the retailers within the Fes souks begin off with some pleasant banter, however beware, when you settle for that drink of Moroccan mint tea, you’re accepting a problem from a few of the finest hagglers on earth.
You’ll discover Moroccan carpet retailers, coppersmiths, tinsmiths, wonderful works of leather-based, jewelry, paintings, and a lot extra.
Be ready earlier than you store in Fes, although. Know what you need earlier than you go there and perform a little research forward of time. Search for issues like stitching high quality, the thickness of the fabric, and whether or not the product was truly made in Morocco.
Haggling is a part of the tradition in Morocco. And like related locations resembling Jordan and Egypt, it’s all a part of the sport. It’s okay to have enjoyable with it. And most of all, be prepared to stroll away for those who don’t really feel that you just’re getting a superb deal.
Most Moroccan guides aren’t allowed to let you know what to pay for one thing, however the basic technique is to counter their authentic value with one that’s 1/3 the preliminary ask after which meet someplace within the center. If you happen to get one thing for between half to three-quarters of the unique asking value, you in all probability did fairly nicely.
Wander By means of Mellah, the Jewish Quarter
Morocco has all the time had a powerful partnership between the ruling Arabic individuals and the minority Jewish inhabitants within the nation. Each main metropolis in Morocco has a Jewish quarter, and they’re usually in very outstanding locations.
Mellah, the Jewish quarter of Fes is situated proper subsequent to the Royal Palace. It was put aside as a refuge for the Jewish neighborhood within the metropolis within the 14th century and as soon as held as many as 250,000 individuals. When the state of Israel was created in 1948, lots of the locals left the nation and now, solely a small quantity stay. Most of these are in Ville Nouvelle, the brand new metropolis of Fes.
The quarter is exclusive in that there are balconies on the surface of the buildings. The place Muslim ladies weren’t permitted to be seen enjoyable outdoors of their properties, that wasn’t a difficulty for the Jewish ladies. Most Muslim properties have balconies going through inward to courtyards within the homes.
Suggestions For Visiting Marrakech with Children
Is Journey in Fes Protected?
Morocco, basically, is taken into account a fairly protected nation to journey in. It’s a rustic that has skilled a comparatively steady political scenario in recent times. The nation has a comparatively low crime price, and the locals are usually form, useful, and pleasant to outsiders. Worldwide SOS lists Morocco as a low-risk nation. It’s rated across the identical degree as most of Europe.
With this in thoughts, it’s additionally price noting that Fes is a giant metropolis. And with any massive metropolis, there exists the chance of scams, pickpockets, petty theft, and different crime. It’s a superb rule in any giant metropolis, whether or not it’s Marrakech, Toronto, Canada, or Lisbon, Portugal, that you just keep on alert and hold your kids and belongings shut.
With its slim alleys, giant crowds, and busy markets, the town is a very engaging place for pickpockets. Scams are additionally pretty prevalent, particularly throughout the busy medina.
Is Fes A Good Vacation spot For Households?
Morocco is more and more changing into the “go-to” vacation spot for adventurous household journey. The accessibility to Europe, protected repute, fascinating cultures, and wealth of distinctive points of interest draw households from throughout the planet.
We are able to’t have imagined not together with Fes in our plans throughout our ten-day Morocco itinerary. Town is accessible and presents a wildly thrilling environment that contrasts sharply to the extra well-liked cities resembling Casablanca and Marrakech.
Exploring the various issues to do in Fes with youngsters can be fairly simple. Most of the finest family-friendly points of interest in Fes are throughout the walled metropolis. It’s price noting that the medina in Fes is much extra mazelike than the one in Marrakech. If you happen to’re unfamiliar with it, I like to recommend getting a information to point out you round.
Even these visiting Fes with a child will discover the town accessible however frantic. Like in lots of nations that we’ve visited, resembling Jordan, bringing younger youngsters or infants to Fes opens up a wonderful alternative to attach with locals. You’ll discover that many locals completely adore kids.
Simply do not forget that it isn’t a stroller-friendly metropolis. I like to recommend both bringing a toddler provider to get round or selecting essentially the most compact journey stroller yow will discover.
What To Pack For Marrakech
It’s important to pack for Fes to journey appropriately, particularly for these visiting as a household. That can assist you perceive what to pack for Marrakech with youngsters, take a look at our full Morocco packing checklist proper right here.
Take pleasure in All Of These Issues To Do In Fes
Fes is a fabulous place to go to. Sure, it may be overwhelming, loud, and busy. However that’s a part of the journey. I hope the following pointers will assist you get pleasure from essentially the most of your loved ones journey to Fes and that you just’ll discover the town as fascinating as we did.
Please be a part of our Household Journey Help Group on Fb for those who’d love to attach with extra household vacationers. It’s a bunch of households, similar to yours, who like to discover the world.
You Might Additionally Like To Learn: