Riad Anata is my pick for staying in Fes. It’s a gorgeous boutique hotel, in a quieter part of the old medina. If you arrive by car, be sure to park in an area where you see a legit parking guard (you can notice them by the jacket they wear). The riad only has a few rooms, but the ambience is like stepping into someone’s home. Each bedroom is furnished to its own unique style, and they serve breakfast on the rooftop terrace.
Explore the Old Medina
The old medina in Fes is what most people come to see. The labyrinth of small streets is bursting with market stalls and people. A vibrant scene full of colour and a constant flow of people create some unique memories that you’ll always remember.
There are many bargains you can find in the old medina. From traditional Moroccan shoes and clothing to items to brighten up your home, it has it all. Don’t be afraid to bargain for a better price. Most places in the market welcome it, and a good number to begin the process is 50%. This may sound a lot, but many locals told me it’s normal. Another good tip is for the woman to look unhappy. A sneaky strategy maybe, but if the stall owner sees an unhappy woman, he may just lower the price to get a sale, and see the smile return to her face!
Lunch at Cafe Clock
For lunch options, there are plenty of good options in Fes. I recommend trying Café Clock. It’s a chilled-out restaurant that serves really good Moroccan and international cuisine. What’s really nice about Café Clock is the seating arrangements. It’s cosy, welcoming, and you can have a little corner to yourself, or table on the terrace. Don’t be fooled by the entrance either; buildings in Morocco tend to be high, so expect plenty of stairs. However, the effort is worth it, especially once you reach the top. Try the traditional pastilla, the one in the photo is a vegetable one, or the incredibly yummy falafels and hummus.
Dar Batha Musuem
A tranquil escape from the streets of the old medina await in Dar Batha Museum. Housed in a 19th century summer palace, you’ll see a wide collection of traditional Moroccan arts and crafts. Descriptions are all in Arabic or French, so get your dictionary ready!
While this next choice isn’t the most romantic, it’s an important industry in Fes, and worth catching a glimpse, if only for a few minutes. The tannery is where they produce high quality leather goods, using the same methods from medieval times, to be later sold in the market. I strongly advise you to take a sprig of mint to hold under your nose — as everyone suggests — as the smell’s pretty rancid. It comes from the cow urine and pigeon manure that is used during the dyeing process. You have been warned!
A refreshment break in the Ruined Garden
Take a romantic time out from the chaotic medina and stop for some refreshments at the Ruined Garden. This café/restaurant is a Fes favourite, and I highly recommend booking beforehand.
Re-energise with a refreshing Moroccan mint tea, and if it’s available, you have to try the dark chocolate and espresso mousse. This mousse has an unusual twist, as it has the famous Moroccan spice of Ras el Hanout added for a little kick.
Hammam and spa at Riad Laaroussa
It’s the ultimate spa experience that’s best done in Morocco. Visiting a hammam for the first time can be a bit daunting. However, experiencing it together is ultra-relaxing, not to mention sheer bliss just chilling out together in the hammam.
Riad Laaroussa offers a private spa experience along with an authentic hammam and massages too. The Moroccan steam room is decked out in Carrara marble, and you and your significant other will be treat to a body scrub and face mask. What follows is probably the most relaxing massage your body’s ever had! Riad Laaroussa also accepts couples, making it even more ideal for a romantic getaway
Dinner at Palais Amani
End your time in Fes with dinner for two at this stunning 5-star riad. Enjoy a three-course meal among the orange trees and trickling fountain. The menu’s sublime, and make sure you order the pastilla — it’s a food party in your mouth!