Posts Tagged ‘Fès el Bali’

24 Hours in Fes, Travel Tips On What To See & Where to Eat, Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Fes El Bali, Old Medina

If you’re traveling in Morocco and only have 24 Hours in Fes then it’s important to know what to see and where to eat. Morocco Travel guide books such as Lonely Planet, Frommers and Rough Guides can be the perfect travel companion for those who desire to see and do the status quo in Fes however first hand experience from a foreigner living in Morocco can offer more off the beat experiences. When starting a 24 hour spin around the old medina, Fes El Bali, you can brave it alone or higher a local, expert Fes historical guide. Either way a Fes tour can be fulfilling in this ancient city which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you brave it alone to discover what’s behind the ancient medina walls of Fes, these travel tips of what to see and where to eat will make it worthwhile.

Bab Boujloud Gate-Blue Gate, Fes

Enter here, the Bab Boujloud Gate- The Blue Gate of Fes which will take you on an unforgettable journey of historical and spiritual sites along with great eats.

Kairouine Mosque, Fes

24 Hours in Fes, Travel Tips On What To See & Where to Eat:

Sites to Visit in Fes:

1. The Medersa Bou Inania: An (Islamic school) founded by Abu Inan Faris that is highly decorated from floor to ceiling. The medersa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible to non-Islamic tourists.

2. Kairaouine Mosque: Morocco’s second largest mosque was built by Fatima in 857. The Kairaouine Mosque became the home of the West’s first university and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium

3. University of Al-Karaouine: Founded in 859, this university is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world and is considered the oldest continuously operating institution of higher learning in the world.

4. Zaouia Moulay Idriss II: A zaouia (shrine) dedicated to and the tomb of Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and founded the city of Fès for the second time in 810. This is one of the most spiritual sites in Fes and in fact in all of Morocco. A walk just outside the mosque, zaouia entrance evokes feelings of ancient times and watching men and women pile in for prayer is magical.

5. Dar Batha: A Hispano-Moorish palace dating from the end of the 19th century that houses admirable collections of traditional art from Fès. Dar Batha boasts a wonderful Andalusian garden with hanging fruit trees and the Fes Festival even uses this wonderful place as a music venue each June.

6. Weavers Cooperative: The Weavers Cooperative is located in a residential neighborhood off a main shopping street. Theworkshop specializes in weaving the finest jellaba fabric, made of silk and wool threads imported from Italy. The shop also makes a quality jellaba fabric from locally spun, textured wool thread called hubba –sometimes referred to as couscous, because it’s nubby texture resembles Morocco’s national semolina dish of the same name.

7. Tanneries: The Chourara or the Tanner’s Quarters is the most lively and picturesque souks in Fès. The Tanneries are often located near watercourses like the Wadi Fès and at a distance from residential areas due to the strongly unpleasant smells they produce. Make sure to ask for mint when you enter to mask the smell.

8. Carpet Demonstration: Antique and Modern Carpets is one of the places in Fès el Bali where you can see a Berber carpet demonstration. You will be offered mint tea and follow your guide up a coil of stairs to a small area to watch carpets being made by young girls who come from the mountains to show tourists how Berber carpets are made. Make sure to negotiate before you buy.

Fes Pottery Cooperative, Workshop

9. Potter’s Cooperative: A visit to the Potter’s Cooperative is a must. Also known as Place el-Seffarine, this kisseria is the most important center for the production Fasiss style ceramics, brass-ware and silverware in Morocco. If you have more then 24 hours in Fes then consider taking a zellij or pottery making workshop.

10. Outdoor Spice Markets: Visit an outdoor spice market where loads of fabulous spices can be purchased from spice merchants. From Cumin to Saffron to Ras El Hanout for great prices. The Fes spice market is fun to shop at and spices also make for great gifts.

10. Jewish Mellah: Explore its ancient history and small streets that garner it’s charm alongside an old synagogue and the burial site of a famous Jewish woman who was executed because she refused to bow to Islam. Visit the Mellah’s white washed cemetery which is one of the most beautiful in the world.  The first official mellah was established in the city of Fes in 1438. In the first half of the 14th century, the Merinides founded, alongside Fes, the town of Hims, which was initially allocated to the archers and the Christian militia. In 1438 the Jews were driven from the old part of Fes to Hims, which had been built on a site known as al-Mallah, “the saline area”. Ultimately, the term came to designate Jewish quarters in other Moroccan cities.

Baboosh Slippers Kisseria, Fes

Shopping in Fes:
From tile work to pottery to the Kisseria’s filed with wonderful colored Baboosh slippers, Fes is the place to get your shopping on. Don’t miss out on the high quality leather goods, Moroccan baboosh and other hand made pieces unique to Fes.

Where To Eat in Fes:

Cafe Clock, Famous Camel Burger, Fes

Café Clock ticks to the rhythms to multiplying metronomes. Mike Richardson, the man behind Clock’s mechanics restored a 250 year old courtyard house and brought to Fes a cultural zone that many are desperate to set their watches to. This eclectic café-cum-restaurant offers delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop for tea and scrumptious homemade cakes (especially the lemon tart) on the roof terrace with its stunning view of the Bou Inania minaret, browse in the book exchange and view the art-filled walls. Try the crunchy salads, camel burgers or fresh fish. Cafe Clock also boasts a wonderful cooking school. If time allows consider taking a cooking class. Either way don’t forget to have a latte there if you’re visiting in winter and if you’re a vegetarian, try their chickpea burger.

Address: 7 Derb el-Margana The Medina
Phone: 061-183-264

Restaurant Nejarine: Opened in 2006, Jalil Laghmri’s restaurant is the perfect spot for an authentic Moroccan feast in the medina for lunch or for dinner. As the name suggests, this 100-year-old building is located just steps from the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts. Guests can dine in either a covered courtyard of Fassi zellij and intricately carved and painted cedar, or in any of the three large salons surrounding the courtyard, furnished with Moroccan-style lounges and silk cushions. The four-course meals include a delicious meze of Moroccan salads, tagines, or chicken or pigeon pastilla, accompanied with couscous and followed by fresh fruits and mint tea. For a breath of fresh air, head up to the rooftop terrace for a fantastic medina view. Classy ambience and great food!

Address: Nejarine, Medina
Phone: 06-25-90-52


This tea house, restaurant and art gallery offers a charming place to relax for lunch, brunch or dinner in their garden, salon or library. Set in a colonial house and garden, Fes Est Gestes hosts cultural events, exhibitions of painters and events concerts throughout the years. The staff is attentive and the service good. There is a range of several course dinners offered along with a la carte. This is also the perfect place for tea and biscuits / cookies while exploring the medina, Fes El Bali with a historical guide or on your own.

Address: 39 Arsat El Hamoumi – Zita
Phone: 0535-638-532

For more information about a Fes Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel ExplorationTravel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Travel The City Of Fes: Explore The Old Medina, Tour The Souks & Discover Morocco’s Ancient Architecture

Friday, March 27th, 2009


Fès is the fourth largest city in Morocco and also known as one of the ancient imperial cities). It is separated into three parts, Fès el Bali (the old, walled city), Fès -Jdid (new Fes, home of the Mellah), and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes). The Medina of Fès el Bali is believed to be the largest contiguous car-free urban area in the world. To enter the medina, you will pass through the Bab Boujeloud gate, with its decoration of blue and green faiences. You will explore the medina’s narrow streets lined with local shops and stalls of fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other Moroccan handicrafts and home goods. Fès has two main streets, “Rue Talaa Kebira “ and the “Rue Talaa Seghira “ which are utilized as the main throughways when exploring the medina- and the mysterious maze-like streets in between.


The Fès medina is a labyrinth of sloping, winding alleyways are crammed full of stalls and workshops. This area is known as the famed Kissaria -the commercial center. A multitude of locally produced goods are on sale including cotton fabric, silk, brocade work, slippers, and many more. Each district in the Fès Medina produces its own specialty goods: cobalt blue enameled pottery, carpets, wrought iron … one looks on as the dyer stirs his yarns, steeped in their multitude of colors, as the tanner tramples his skins under an open sky -skins that the leather-worker will eventually adorn with fine gilt for book-binding.

Ville Nouvelle

Fès’ Ville Nouvelle is where the major government ministries of Morocco reside. Fès is a city that will impress you with its culture and stimulate your senses with its extraordinary sounds, smells and visual elements. The people of Fès, referred to as Fassis, are most hospitable. Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO Fès is also considered one of the most spiritual and religious cities in Morocco. It has stood at the heart of Moroccan civilization for over five centuries and was a major cultural and intellectual center, competing with those of Europe.  

Fes Architecture


Fès, once a small village on the right bank of the river, was founded by Moulay Idriss  in 789. Then in 808 his son, Idriss II built another town, El-Alya (High Town) on the left bank. By allowing Muslim families expelled from Cordoba, Spain and later 300 refuge families from Karaouiyine, Tunisia to use his land as a refuge, Idriss II is responsible for Fès becoming the center of Islamization and Arabization. Fès’ rich cultural history continued in 1145, when the Almohads conquered the city and helped build its prestige to become Morocco’s major economic metropolis. Fès’ development was also influenced by the Merinids who established the Fès El Jdid (new city) and raised Fes to imperial status. Fes’ achievements and prestige made it the apple of every leader’s eye. In no time it was re-conquered by the Alaouities in 1666. However, after Moulay Ismail rejected Fès as his capital, choosing Meknes instead, Fès went into a decline until the early twentieth century when the French established the Protectorate.


Today Fès is a bustling city inhabited by Moroccans and Westerners. A tour of Fès  is an exciting opportunity to learn about its fascinating cultural history, visit ancient landmarks and discover the ancient medina. Fès is also a great base for taking day trips to Meknes, Moulay Idriss and Voubilis/ Walili.


Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Google on call Travel Exploration at (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.