Fes - The City
Life in this sand-colored city can seem provincial at times, but this ancient feel only adds to its charm and sense of otherness. Donkeys still navigate the medina as the main mode of transport for goods. You will see everything from cases of Coca-Cola to mattresses perched expertly and delicately atop the backs of these docile beasts. Fès is known for its handicrafts, particularly its famous blue and white tiles, and is where you will find some of the best shopping in Morocco.
The endless medina, which contains 9,500 streets, sells everything from jewelry to furniture. You will also find crafts, carpets, leather goods and spices, as well as all the necessities for daily life. The medina is not for tourists only – it is very much an integral part of daily life and is where much business is conducted. The decades of French rule in Morocco have left a unique influence that is visible in the infrastructure and cuisine.
Arabic is the main language in Morocco, but French is widely spoken so it is easier to get around than in many other Arabic countries. People in Fès are exceptionally friendly and hospitable, and love to talk to travellers to boast proudly about their city. If you speak with a local for any length of time, be prepared to be invited to his house for tea. This is a genuine and innocent offer, so don’t shy away from it - it is a great way to get to know people and to get a feel for life here.