• Backpackliife

3 things to do in Fez

Fes was our first stop in Morocco, it's the second largest city and it’s known as the country’s cultural capital. I would like to describe Fes as a giant maze of small winding alleys and it's a real authentic Arabian experience. Fez’s Medina (old part of town) also known as Fes El-Bali is where you can find thousands of shops and where you probably will get lost, but that’s part of the experience.

The Blue Gate - Bab Bou Jeloud

The Blue Gate was built in 1913 and is the western entry to the Medina, you’ll probably pass it more than once. Its beautifully decorated with blue tiles on one side and green on the other side, green is the colour of Islam.

The Chouara Tannery

Fes is famous for its tanneries and the Chouara Tannery is the largest of the three remaining tanneries. It was built in the 11th century and is still being used today, it consists of large stone vessels filled with different liquids. Everything is natural and the dyes are made from bland annat saffron, indigo, poppy and henna.

If you visit the tanneries be prepared for a nasty smell, it comes from the white liquid which is a mix of cow urine, pigeon poop salt and water. This is used to clean the leather and to make it softer.

To see the tanneries you have to go in to one of the shops around it, it’s supposed to be free but they will ask you for a tip or a fee. Would advice you to pay maximum 10-20 MAD (1-2€) and not more.

Explore Fes El Bali

One of the best things you can do in Fes is to explore the ancient medina with narrow small streets and thousands of souk vendors trying to sell you perfumes, spices and everything you can dream of. Getting lost in this maze of winding streets is part of the experience. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.

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My name is Sophie, originally from Sweden but I grew up in Hong Kong with my family. 

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