Shopping in Fes
Shopping in Fès is a genuinely extraordinary experience if you're hardy enough to brave the medina's twisting souks. If you're feeling less confident, book a guide to help you make the most of your visit. The medina is best for handicrafts, with specialist products divided into different quarters. In the carpenter’s quarter, you'll hear hammering and smell fresh wood. Nearby, coppersmiths bang relentlessly as they mould huge copper cauldrons. The unmistakeable smell of dyed leather will signal your approach to the tanneries. Each corner yields a new discovery. And remember - except for a few stores charging fixed prices, bargaining is expected.
For cushion covers, try Chez Hamidou on Hay Lablida Chouwara near the Tanneries and for carpets, try Tissage Berbere, 4 Derb Taouil. If you want a Fez (the cylindrical tasselled hat named after its home town), look in the lanes called Kissaria, which are lined with clothes shops. Terrasse de Tannerie, 10 Hay Lablida Chouwara, is dedicated to leatherware specialising in camel, cow, and goat leather products such as babouches, poufes, belts, jackets, wallets, and bags. Around Derb Sidi Moussa, close to the Foundouk Nejjarine Museum, you’ll find a crowd of antiques shops.
Plunge into the souks where you can buy almost anything. Rue el-Attarine is particularly vibrant, with heaps of fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs; traditional cosmetics and exotic unguents are found around the henna souk in the heart of Fès el-Bali. Haggling is the norm – but don’t expect to outdo the well-practised shopkeepers.
Shops and souks are generally open from around 0900 until around 1800 but closed on Friday mornings and sometimes on Friday afternoon as well. Some shops may close for lunch.
Popular souvenirs include the Fès famous blue and white pottery, jewellery, wood carvings, leather ware, lanterns, brass work, woven cushion covers, carpets, scarves, shoes or the bright babouches (slippers).