Explore Fes: Morocco’s Culture Capital

The ancient city of Fes is one of the most interesting places to visit in Morocco. Its history, which goes back almost 2,000 years when the city was founded by the Idrisid dynasty, influenced the Morocco we know of today. Often overlooked by travelers, the city is beautiful as it is fascinating. Colorful souks selling anything and everything you can possibly imagine make up most of its pedestrian only Medina. When you explore ancient city Fes, you’ll get a more authentic sense of what Morocco has to offer. From its stunning architecture, to its ever-evolving cuisine, Fes makes for a great Moroccan introduction.

Explore Ancient City Fes: Morocco’s Culture Capital

The Medina

Copper Maker's Shop in the Medina. explore ancient city Fes
Copper Maker’s Shop in the Medina

If you’re visiting and staying in Fes, you’ll find out soon enough that everything begins and ends with the Medina. It’s one of the largest in the world and will take weeks, even months to discover all of its secrets. If you’re on a time crunch, consider hiring a local tour guide that can help you navigate the narrow streets and alleyways; as well as explain the importance of various structures and squares.

explore ancient city Fes. Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
Zaouia Moulay Idriss II

As you explore ancient city Fes Medina, take note of the stunning architecture and the impressive mosaics that cover the gates. Follow the aroma of freshly baked bread and the overpowering scents of spices ground to order. Or simply watch locals go on their business as you sip a glass of green tea.

Arts and Crafts

Carpet Weaver. explore ancient city Fes
Carpet Weaver

Fes is undoubtedly a haven for anyone looking to learn about and take home finely crafted Moroccan works of art. The artistic traditions followed by craftsmen and women in this city go back centuries. And because Fes had, for years, the best schools and artisans, many of them studied here before returning back to their home cities. When you visit specific sections of the Medina, you’ll find individuals chiseling copper to make lamps or mixing colors to paint a ceramic vase. Go further and you’ll also come across carpet weavers, busy clacking wooden sticks to create beautifully designed Berber rugs or blankets.

The Tanneries

Fes Tannery. explore ancient city Fes
Fes Tannery

One of the highlights as you explore ancient city Fes is a visit to a tannery. The city has three, with the largest Chouara, right in the middle of the Medina. These tanneries were built in the 11th century and have been creating high quality products using mostly the same processes for hundreds of years. Pay a visit early when the stench isn’t as pungent and learn about the process that begins with soaking animal skin in stone basins containing cow urine and pigeon poo.

Have you visited and stayed in Fes? Tell us about your experiences below. What to explore and various must do activities while there.

About Iris A

Website: http://www.travelingwithiris.com

Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

Other posts by the Author

Leave a Reply