Open Jaw

Where readers write back

Another side of Morocco

I lived in Fès for a few months in 2008, studying Arabic at one of the institutes for foreign learners. I rented a room at the edge of the modern colonial-era city, where I spent much of my free time.

From the wet, cold February day I arrived in the city on a train from Tangier, I fell in love with the place. On my first venture into the medina, I started walking and turning down streets, more or less at random, eventually winding my way to one of the city's gates.

By the end of my stay, I could find almost anything in the city, including some marvelous little architectural treasures tucked deep down side streets.

I felt remarkably at home in this ancient city, so far from my normal way of life and routine, yet not so strange or different, after all.

Jonathan P Allen

Some of the writer's experiences were different from ours when we visited Fès last year. The trains between Casablanca and Fès always ran on time, were reasonably priced and fairly clean. Fès impressed us with being much cleaner and in better repair than Casablanca (outside of the medina). We stayed in one of the finest hotels we have ever stayed in, Palais Faraj, for the very reasonable price of £100 per night. The fish dinner there was excellent and we enjoyed a very good bowl of harira soup. Overall, our visit to Fès was very enjoyable.


Great piece, but you obviously didn't eat at any of the good restaurants in town. You would have found good harira at Café Clock, whole mechoui lamb at the Ruined Garden and plenty of fresh fish/souk produce on the daily changing menus at Dar Roumana. There are also tasting tours of the souks offered by Plan-it Fez.