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About Fes | Things to do and see | Restaurants in Fez | Travelling to Fès | Weather in Fes| Shopping for food in Fes | Useful Moroccan words | Links

About Fez

History of Fes

Fes (or Fez) was founded by Idris I in 789 as the capital of the Idrissid state. It became the first Muslim kingdom of Morocco. It is believed that during the excavation for the foundations a golden axe (a fas) was unearthed, which is how the city took its name.

Idriss I died before the completion of the city so credit for the founding of the city often falls on Idriss II. A zawiya (religious shrine) to him can be found in the heart of the medina and is the focus of the cities pride and identity. Idrss II also has is own local moussem (saint day). (It is in September and includes a long street parade. We attended the last one with some friends and it is quite special with its traditional gnawa and berber music, and immaculately dressed procession.)

The Idrissid state is considered the first Moroccan state, with Fes its capital. Unfortunately it did not survive the greedily squabbling heirs of Idriss II.

The city continued as a modest town. Until 8000 refugees fleeing from civil war in Andalusia were given home on the east bank. Seven years later they were joined by the refugees from the holy city of Kairouan who were given land on the west bank. Fes-el-Andalous and Fes-el-Kairouan were two very different cities which faced each other across the river bed. Each brought its own culture, religions and architecture which contribute to the Fes of today.

Over the next few centuries the fortunes of Fez rose and fell. It was not until Fes was under Merenid rule in the 13th and14th centuries that it reached the peak of its wealth, fame and power. It was under merinid rule that the Fes began the building of the beautiful medersas which are still evident today. It was also responsible for the building of Fez Jdid (new Fez).
As the Merenid dynasty collapsed Fes lost its power. The subsequent dynasties battled but Fez never regained its power for any notable length of time.

Although sometimes not central to the power of Morocco Fez has remained an integral part of the counties running. It was here on 30th March 1912 that the Treaty of Fez was signed, establishing the French protectorate. It was also the home to the subsequent riots over the protectorate. The political capital was moved to Rabat where it has since remained.

Fes Today

Despite the history Fes remains a well preserved historical city and is rrecognised as the spiritual capital of Morocco. From cobbled streets to beautiful riads, tanneries to stunning minuets, the list of things to see in Fes are endless!

Fez is the world’s largest intact medieval city, home the oldest university in the world. (The Qarawiyin Mosque is more than 1,200 years old and is the second largest in Africa.)

The Fez medina is classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). UNESCO was concerned that Fès was ‘in danger of losing the profoundly original quality which makes it one of the purest jewels of Islamic civilisation’. Since the 1980’s several restoration projects have began and finished, bringing important monuments back to their former glory.

Fes is the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Rabat. It is oldest of the imperial cities and it has one of the largest living medieval medinas in the world. It has managed to retain the sights, smells and tradition which make it to many the symbolic heart of Morocco.
Fes can be easily separated into three parts, Fes-al-Bali (the old, walled medina), Fes-Djedid (new Fes, containing the 'mellah' or Jewish quarter and the royal palace), and the Ville Nouvelle, created by the French, this is the newest section of Fes).

Stepping into the medina is like stepping back to a medieval world. The narrow winding streets are filled with shops every direction you turn. You can find countless shops mixing ancient trades with the technology of today.

Being centuries of year's old Fez is full of interesting Islamic architecture. Look here for an interesting site which has useful information about the architecture of some of Fes' historical monuments.

Also look at the government run Moroccan current affairs website. This site contains information on: News, Society and culture, Investment and much more.

Things to do in Fez

Museums and sights | Spas and Hammams | Learn Arabic | Music | Art | Sports | Cooking lessons | Shopping | Buy and restore a riad | Around Fès and Morocco

You can find locations of all these items by searching our Fes Map. Unfortunately due to the detail of Google Maps some locations are approximates only. I have tried to provide addresses/contact detials where possible.

Museums and sights.

There are several museums and old monuments to see in Fes. You can take a tour with a guide or wander around and find them yourselves. If you plan to get around Fes by yourself then a good map is a must. The recommendations of the Lonely Planet's things to see is great but their map is not! Visit a news stand and buy a 'Plan de Fes' (approximately 25 Dh) or even better the 'Fes: From bab to bab' book (approximately 160 Dh). This guide has a selection of medina walks and an excellent map to guide you through the medina.

Here are some things that we would particularly recommend you see whilst you are visiting Fes. In no particular order:

Bounania Medersa: A Koranic learning school from the 14th Century. The building has recently been restored. Some very good examples of carved wood, plaster and tile work.

Water Clock: Opposite the Talaa K'bira entrance of the Bouinania Medersa is an old water clock. Most of it has been weathered and lost, what remained has recently been restored. Well worth a look.

Place Seffarine: Seffarine square is a lively and atmospheric area where the copper artisans of Fes work. From here you can also enter the Seffarine Library.

Attarine Medersa: Arguably the most beautiful merdersa in Fez. The 14th Century zelij is well worth a look.

Batha Museum: Located near Hotel Batha and the post office, Dar Batha Museum offers a selection of Moroccan arts and crafts plus a magnificent garden, a tranquil place to take a book for the afternoon.

Borj Nord Arms and munitions museum: Very cool interesting selection of arms and weapons. The view from here is AMAZING.

Nejjarine Museum: Beautifully restored Fondooq in the centre of the medina. A large selection of old tools. On your way in look at the tile-work on the fountain.

Moulay Idriss Mausoleum: Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter inside but can walk around and sometimes peek inside. Beautiful tile-work and carved plaster surround the entire building.

Qarawiyin Mosque: The Qarawiyin Mosque is more than 1,200 years old. it is the second largest mosque in Africa. Some claim the Qarawiyin university was the first university in the world. Unfortunately Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter but if you can look through the large brass doors into the courtyard you will be amazed.

Merinid Ruins: The 14th Century tombs are not very impressive but the views of Fes and surrounding mountains are.

The Mellah: The Mellah is the old Jewish quarter of Fes. There is a lively souk and cemeteries which are interesting to visit.

Royal Palace: Next to the Mellah is the Royal Palace. Have a look at the grand brass doors.

Tanneries: Smelly and revolting, no visit to Fes is complete without a look in the tanneries (a place where leather is dyed) from one of the balconies of the many bazaars.

The Honey Souk: A little square just below Ain Azleten car park and Derb El Hora on Talaa K'bira. Here you can try and buy several varieties of natural (and delicious) honey, olive and argan oil. Great presents for taking home to Mum!

Have we missed something? Let us know

Spas and Hammams

Locall Hammams There are several small Hammams in the Fes medina. They are rough and ready but a must visit whilst you are in Fes. I've highlighted a few of the ones we like on the Fes Map.

Moulay Yacoub is a small mountain town just 20km away from Fes. The spas in Moulay Yacoub are fed with natural hot spring water pumped from 1500m below ground level.
Visitors to Moulay Yacoub have two spas to choose from:

The public Moroccan hammam is a little 'rustic' but is a wonderful experience. Try the hot baths and the swimming pool (Very Warm!!). Expect to pay approximately 6 Dh.

Visitors who are looking for something a little more comfortable should visit the Moulay Yacoub Hot Springs. This luxury spa offers a heated indoor pool and Jacuzzi (90 Dh) and massages from 200 Dh.

You can get to Moulay Yacoub via Grand taxi. Visit or call +212 535 694 064 for more details

Nausica is a modern spa and health club. It costs approximately 200 Dh to use the hammam for the day which has a swimming pool, Jacuzzis, steam rooms and saunas. Finish with a massage from 200 Dh. Nausica can be found by following Rue Hassan 2, approximately 2km past Acima. Visit or call +212 535 61 00 06/16 for more details.

Learn Arabic

ALIF. The best school is the American Language Institute (ALIF). Here you can learn classic arabic and the local Moroccan dialect, dareeja. Look at for more details. Short courses and private lessons are available.

INLAC: This is a new school which offers lessons in the Fes medina.. Visit for more details.

dmg Arabophon: dmg offers cheap and adequate arabic lessons. We've tried them and our honest opinion is that if you are serious about learning then choose Alif. Visit dmg's website for details

Cafe Clock: Visit Cafe Clock and ask about their Moroccan forums. Informal conversation groups for learning and practicing.


Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is held every year in Fes around the beginning of June. Book you place in a riad quickly as Fès is usually bursting at its seams with tourists during the festival.

At the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music you can expect to hear bands and groups from all over the world.

There are several concerts throughout the day plus daily seminars and discussion groups. If you are lucky you may also find yourself invited into some exclusive parties held by many of Fez's residents.

Look at the official website for programmes and more details. Unfortunately the website is not usually updated until weeks before the commencing of the festival.

Jazz in a Riad is less renown than the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music but is certainly worth a look if your visiting Fes during November.
more details. Again, unfortunately the website is not usually updated until weeks before the commencing of the festival.

Held in several of Fes's glamorous palaces and guest houses, Jazz in a Riad is a wonderful weekend of music.

Look at the official website for programmes and details

Sufi Festival. Often held in mid-April the Fes Sufi festival celebrate sufi music. Fantasitic, involving and spiritual music lasts for the week with several interesting discussion seminars and lectures throughout. See their website for more detials.

Cafe Clock: Visit Cafe Clock on a Sunday at 6.30 to see the lively sunset concert. Enjoy with a camel burger and a cup of mint tea

Spanish Cultural Centre. Visit the Institut Cervantesde Fes which often hosts music concerts from their riad in Batha

French Cultural Centre. Visit the Institut Francais de Fes's website. They have an excellent cultural program with several intimate concerts and exhibitions.

Mawazine. Although not in Fes there are a fewnoteable festivals that we have really enjoyed in Morocco. Mawazine is one of the best. Held in Rabat, normally in May you can expect to see some of the worlds top musicians. Have a look at their website for details.

Gnaoua and World Music Festival: Held in June in Essaouira this festival gives visitors to Morocco a great chance to see some excellent music and soak up the sun and surf on Essaouira's beaches. More details here.

Timitar Festival: Music festival: Held in July in Agadir. See here for more detials.

Asilah Arts Festival: Great beaches and peaceful atmosphere help make this festival in August a refreshing break from Morocco's hottest month. Details here.

Marakesh Film Festival. Held in Marrakech in July this is one of Morocco's biggest festivals. Well worth a visit. See here for more detials.

Marrakech festival of folk and popular arts: I'm afraid I can't do much to explain this one other than point you here

Casablanca Festival: Casablanca festival is very popular with Moroccans, expect to see big crowds and popular Moroccan music. Held in July you can see the programme here

Art in Fez

Fes has numerous art galleries and boutiques. I've tried to list the ones that I know of here.

Orientalist Art Gallery. Owner Abdelaziz who runs the pharmacy next door has a great collection of contempory Moroccan art. See their website or visit them at, 36 Rue Abdelaziz Boutaleb. +212 535 94 45 45.

Gallery Mohammed Kacimi, 26 Avenue Moulay Youssef. Very close to the Royal Palace thiis gallery is funded by the government of Morocco and often has some excellent exhibitions.

Cafe Clock: At Cafe clock you can always see a selection of moroccan art and photography. It is often for sale. visit Cafe for details of exhibitions.

Fes et Gestes. A small cafe in Ziat. Cecile, the owner, is really nice and there is often paintngs and photographs from loca artists on show. Visit Cecile's website for more info

Institut Francaise. The French cultural centre in the NewTown and in Dar Batha always has excellent art on show. Visit their website for detials.

There are a handful of art festivals throughought Morocco. Here are the links to Riad Art Expo in Marrakech and Festimode in Casablanca.


For people who want to break a sweat fro exercise rather than heat there is a selection of sporting activities in Fes. I've tried to list as many as I can here:

Football Thare sevaral pitches to play football around Fes. I'm not aware of any clubs where anyone can participate. If you want to have a kick around then I would suggest you visit Cafe Clock or Alif and speak to staff and customers there.

If you want to watch football then there are several places to watch the premiership. 99% of cafes in Fes will show football games. You may not always get to watch the games you want to see if Barcelona, Real Madris or MAS (Fes's team) are playing and you may have to listen to it in Arabic or Eastern European but the atmosphere at the busier cafes is usually excellent.

Cafes won't serve alcohol so if you fancy a beer with your football then you will need to go to a bar or a hotel. The IBIS (next to the train station) and Hotel Batha have good screens, comfy seats and a great selection of beers, wines and spirits.

Golf Royal Golf de Fez is situated about 20km outside of Fes on the Road out to Imouzzer.
The picturesque course is usually very quiet and welcomes foreigners to come and play for the day. To make a reservation call +212 535 66 52 10.

Horse-riding Visit Domaine Equestre for activities from horse and pony riding to show jumping and desert treks.

Cycling There are a couple of bike hires in Fes and the surrounding countryside offers some excellent bikerides. Try contacting Steven for bike hire.

Tennis From coaching to international tournaments the Henri Leconte Tennis school offers both in a wonderful setting on Route de Zwagha (near Marjane). Several clay courts set amongst gardens or rosemary and roses make this a superb place to watch international tournaments or pick up a racket yourself. Visit their website or call +212 535 72 99 99 for more details

Swimming There are several pools in the Fes area that you can visit for the day. Here are a few we like to go to: Riad Alakantara This elegant and expensive raid (450 Euros per night!!) has a decent size pool in a beautiful garden in the heart of the Fes medina. Drinks are also available if you want a cocktail by the pool. Look at their website for contact details. Jnan Palace This hotel in the new town has a HUGE pool. Look up the location on our Fes MAP. Sidi Harazem A favourite with the locals, this natural spring lies about 10km west of Fes. Certainly worth a look. Hotel Mensah Zalagh. Hotel next to MacDonalds has a pool set in a nice garden

Skiing Clearly one just for the winter. Jump in a taxi and ask to go to Mischliffin. This small slope just outside Ifrane is not a fancy affair or even has a big slope. Just good honest fun. Ski hire from 50dh!

Caving Visit Gouffre du Friouato at Taza. Situated about 40 minutes up the road from Taza is the Gouffre de Friouato; an enormous tavern (the largest in North Africa) which you can explore, with a torch and a guide of course. The 2km walk inside the cave is not for the feint hearted, it is full of slippery slopes and narrow cracks that must be squeezed through. Don't wear your favourite trousers!

Fishing Coming soon


Quad biking

Moroccan Cooking Lessons.

Berber chef Lahcen Beqqi is an excellent cook who can teach you how to cook real Moroccan cuisine. The day begins at the vegetable souk where you can buy your fresh, local produce. Lahcen then teaches you how to prepare your chosen meal that you can then share with your friends and family. See Lahcen's website for details and some free Moroccan recipes.

Cafe clock offers cooking lessons: Start the day at 9h30 am by choosing your personal menu . Then it’s off to the souk where Souad will get you shopping for the freshest and best ingredients. By 3pm you will have practiced traditional techniques, understood the diversity of sumptuous flavours and be enjoying the 3-course feast that you have created. You will also have experienced the warm hospitality that’s at the real heart of Moroccan cuisine. Café Clock’s Clock Kitchen lessons cost 600 Dh per person! See their website for more details.

Fes Culinary arts Festival. Each year in October Fes hosts the culinary arts festival. Here are there are several foodie things to do including tasting sessions and cooking lessons. Visit the officail website for more details


See here

Surrounding Areas:

Roman Ruins
Volubilis is the site of the largest and best preserved Roman ruin in Morocco.
Once home for up to 20,000 people, historians estimate it was originally settled by Carthaginian traders in 300 BC .

The Romans left Volubilis around 280 AD. It continued to be inhabited until the 18th Century when it was plundered for the building of Moulay Ismail's palaces in Meknes.
Volubilis was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Reports of the archaeological excavations and a map of the site are available on the here.
You can enter the site and wander at will for an admission fee of 20 Dh. Alternatively, knowledgeable guides are usually available from 120 Dh per hour. You should allow at least two hours to wander around. The site is very large and is full of stunning examples of Roman architecture and intricate mosaics.

Volubilis is about a 90 minute drive from Fes in a car or Grand taxi.

Meknes is a large city about one hour's drive or a 40Dh train journey from Fez.
Once the capital of Morocco in the 17th Century this city makes a great day trip from Fes. Things to visit are:

The Medina (of course), if you visit on s Sunday you will be able to visit the Sunday market where Moroccan garments (djelabas, kaftans and babouches etc.) are sold for just a handful of Dirhams. Also visit the Dar Jamai Museum, Bab el-Mansour, The Medersa Bou Inania.

Our favourites however are the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and the Heri es Souani Grannaries. AMAZING!

Moulay Idriss
The small town built on a hill just a stones throw from Volubilis is named after Morocco's Moulay Idriss. Great grandson of the Prophet Mohammed himself, Moulay Idriss was the founder of Morocco's first dynasty.

There isn't much to see here but its definitely possible to squeeze in a visit to Moulay Idriss at the same time as Volubilis and or Meknes. Tourists should visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss and then have a bite to eat in the main square.

Middle Atlas/Taza/Caving
Hire a car or a grand taxi and travel East into the middle Atlas. With a good road map you can drive through the mountains stopping by at little villages where if your lucky you can see the ancient olive oil presses, which are still powered by donkeys!

The mountain views are breathtaking and there are plenty of space to stop and take a picnic whilst you look at snow capped mountains as high as 3,000 metres.

Taza is a pleasant little trip. About a 2hr drive from Fes this quiet mountain town has some wonderful little souqs and plenty of places to sit and have a relaxing coffee.

About 40 minutes up the road from Taza is the Gouffre de Friouato; an enormous tavern (the largest in North Africa) which you can explore, with a torch and a guide of course. The 2km walk inside the cave is not for the feint hearted, it is full of slippery slopes and narrow cracks that must be squeezed through. Don't wear your favourite trousers!

A small Berber town to the South of Fes, Azrou is the perfect place to relax and breath some fresh mountain air. There are lots of nice cafes and restaurants selling roast chickens and Moroccan tagines

There are plenty of bazaars and generally speaking, carpets and Berber souvenirs are much cheaper than those in Fez.

On the outskirts of Azrou is a large cedar forest. Walk about 200m inside and you will be able to see Barbary apes. Located here is also one of the oldest cedar trees in Morocco.

On the way to Azrou you can stop by at Immouzar and Ifrane for a coffee. Immouzar is a small mountain town. Ifrane is a Moroccan ski resort built by the French during their occupation of Morocco. The chalet style houses are very different from those seen in the Fes medina. During winter it is possible to ski here.

Restaurants in Fez

In the Fez Medina

Cafe Clock is an English owned cafe situated next to the water clock opposite the Bouinania medersa. Friendly staff serve a mixture of familiar foods along side Moroccan specialities. Expect good service and reasonable prices. Visitors should certainly opt for a dessert; the lemon tarts are to die for! In fair weather the terrace with a close up view of the Bounania's minaret is a superb place to dine. Approx 120 Dh for three courses.

Fes et Gestes

Thami's is a small 'hole in the wall' street stall found next to a barber's shop towards the top of Talaa Sghira. Lively owner Thami serves wonderfully spiced Moroccan dishes, fried chicken and fish on a small picnic table underneath a mulberry tree. Try the makoodas (fried potato cakes) with some Moroccan Harissa (Hot Sauce) and watch the crowds wander past. Approx 35 Dh for a meal.

La Bouyad can be found at the top of Talaa Sghira opposite the Kasbah restaurant. This small cafe/restaurant serves Moroccan food with a slight twist, fish tagines are a speciality. A great place for a 'sit down' lunch or dinner for travellers on a budget. Approx 45 Dh for a meal.

La Medina is a popular restaurant that can be found on Derb el Hammam. The set menu consists of a generous selection of Moroccan salads followed by a choice of tagine or couscous and fruit. Try the lamb with caramelised onions, almonds and prunes. Approx 140 Dh for a three course meal. Serves alcohol.

Palais Jamais is the place to go if you are feeling inclined to spoil yourself whilst staying in the medina. There is a choice of two restaurants: one serves traditional Moroccan cuisine, the other serves continental food. Dine on the terrace and enjoy one of the best views in Fes. Approx 300-500 Dh for a three course meal. Serves alcohol.

In Fes:

Majestic is a Belgian owned restaurant which is part of the Fes Henri Leconte tennis school, situated near Marjane. This is one of our favourite places to treat ourselves for a non-Moroccan lunch or dinner. The lunch menu is particularly good value and the a la carte is a real treat for anybody who loves good French food. Take a taxi or call +212 (0) 535 72 99 99 for a lift. Approx 150-200 Dh for lunch and 300-350 Dh for dinner. Serves alcohol.

Kia Tai is a trendy Japanese/Thai restaurant. Yes, I said a Japanese restaurant in Fes. Not only is the decor cool and modern but the staff are friendly and the food is excellent and well priced too. Don't be put off with the idea of raw fish in Fez, this restaurant is part of a chain which has outlets in Rabat, Marrakech and Casablanca, they have lots of experience. The sushi is great but don't overlook the rest of the (extensive) menu. Kai Tai can be found opposite the Hotel Jnan Palace. Approx 160 Dh for a meal. They even deliver to your house, call +212 (0) 535 65 17 00 to order.

Les Trois Sources is a Moroccan owned restaurant serving continental cuisine. It is very popular with wealthy Moroccans. The decor is charming and the food is excellent, this is possibly the best place to eat (cooked) fish in Fès. The restaurant can be found on 'Route d'Immouzaar'. Take a taxi or call +212 535 60 65 31 for a lift. Approx 350 Dh for a three course meal. Serves alcohol.

Vesuvio is a charming little Italian restaurant found near Hotel Tghat. The pizza's and pastas are excellent. Portions are generous and the food is reasonably priced. Approx 140 Dh for three course or just 65 Dh for a pizza (plenty big enough).

Wang is a Vietnamese restaurant. Although not the best Vietnamese food in the world, Wang does make a nice change from chicken couscous and tagines for those who are spending a little longer in Fes. Wang can be found on Avenue Omar Ibnou Khattab close to cafe Sanibeel (which most taxi drivers will know). Approx 250 Dh for a meal. Serves alcohol.

Zen Garden is a trendy restaurant and cocktail lounge. It can be found on Avenue Omar Ibnou Khattab almost next door to Wang. The decor is very modern and tasteful. Approx 350 Dh for a three course meal. Serves alcohol.

Zagora serves Moroccan and continental cuisine. It is conveniently situated on Avenue Mohammed 5 which make it ideal for those who want to eat and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening. Approx 250 Dh for a three course meal. Serves alcohol.

Travelling to Fez

Coming soon

There is a ferry service from Tarifa (Spain) or Algeciras (Spain) to Tanger. Look at for details on times and fares.

Once in Morocco the trains are an excellent way to get from city to city. Travelling in both first and second class is very comfortable and inexpensive. Look at for travel times and fares.

There is a good coach service called CTM (most taxi drivers will know where the 'autobus' station is).

Hire Car
Coming soon

Petit taxi
Petit taxis are for travelling within their designated city's boundaries. In Fes petit taxis are little red Fiats and run on a meter. Short journeys are very cheap.

Grand Taxi
Grand taxis are for larger journeys, these can take you anywhere you like. Generally Grand Taxis are old white Mercedes', newer Mercedes are often grey and have air-conditioning (a little more expensive). Both are great for making day trips to mountain towns etc. Expect to pay between 500 and 700 Dh per day.

Weather in Fès

The weather in Fez varies massively depending upon the season. Throughout the winter months the weather can be cold and wet, although it is not unusual for it to be warm and sunny also during this period. Expect temperatures to vary from 0 to 14 degrees, rain is common in winter and early spring.

During the summer the weather can be wickedly hot. Temperatures in the high thirties are not unusual.

The nicest time to visit Fes is during the spring. During this period the weather is similar that of a UK summer. The surrounding countryside is also beautiful at this time of year.

For more detail information about the weather and forecast up to ten days in advance try Yahoo weather.

The temperature in the medina and inside the houses is usually 2-5 degrees cooler than that on the forecast.


Morocco is a Muslim country and it is important to respect the Islamic culture by dress conservatively no matter how hot you may feel. Women should keep their shoulders and knees covered, its not a bad idea for men to do the same.

If your visiting Fez between November and April you should pack some waterproofs, sometimes it can rain very hard for days. No need to pack an umbrella, they can be bought for as little as 20Dh from the streets of the medina.

Tourists visiting in winter should bring lots of layers, it is often cold in the medina and the houses, yet it can be very warm in the sun outside the medina

Shopping and bartering in Morocco

There are plenty of excuses to go shopping mad in Fes. The fine craftsmanship and collections of antique textiles, pottery, leather, wood and metalwork are readily available in several shops catering to collectors of fine art and travellers looking for knick-knacks for friends and family.

Shoppers will be able to find several shops up and down the Fes medina's two main streets; Talaa S'ghira and Talaa K'bira. Explorers may venture further of the beaten track to find some hidden gems, possibly with cheaper prices.

Serious shoppers should shop alone (no guides or Moroccan friends) as shop owners may assume that your friend will want a commission from a sale.

Is it possible to have a guide to bartering in Morocco? Probably not, but here is some advice you may find useful whilst shopping in the Fes medina:
Visit lots of shops so you can get an idea of the range of prices for the item that you are looking for. Make sure that you compare eggs with eggs, as often quality can vary massively.
As general rule of thumb when buying something is not to ask the price of the item immediately, enquire about other items before hand.
Once you have your price try offering half of the maximum you would like to pay and gradually make small incremental rises up to what you are prepared to pay. Try to make smaller steps in your upwards direction than the seller's downwards steps.
Remember when buying small items that you may only be haggling over 1 or 2 Euros. Often the margins the seller makes is very small and you would both be a lot happier if you swallowed your pride and paid up that little bit extra.
Finally have fun and only pay what you feel you are happy to. Sometimes shop owners will give a reasonable price and not accept bartering, others will quote insane prices with the expectation that you will haggle.

Useful Moroccan phrases and words

English French Moroccan
Hello Bonjour Salam w'allykoom
Goodbye Au-revoir B'salama
Yes Oui Naam
No Non La
How are you? Ca-va? Labess?
I'm fine/ill Ca-va bien/mal Labess/m'red
Please Si vous plait Aafak
Thank you Merci Shokran
How much? Combien? B'shall?
Where? Ou? Feen?
When? Quand? Fookash?
What Qu'est-ce...? Schnu...?
Is there? Est-ce-que il y a...? Wesh Kane...?
One Un Wahed
Two Deux Jooge
Three Trois T'klairta
Four Quatre Rabba
Five Cinq Hamsa
Six Six Setta
Seven Sept Sebba
Eight Huit Temenia
Nine Neuf T'soud
Ten Dix Ashra
Eleven Onze Hadash
Twelve Douze T'nash


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