Visit the Chouara Tannery
Built in the 11th century, the world-famous Chouara Tannery is the largest leather tannery and one of the most iconic sights in Fes. This is the place where you can see how the men dye the animal skins in vats with a mixture of water, pigeon poop, urine, animal fats and other ingredients. It smells, a lot. That’s why you will be offered a mint leave to keep it close to your nose. However, the hides in Fes are all colored with natural ingredients. Saffron is used for yellow, poppies for red, and henna for orange. It is interesting to see the process of the men at work in the tanneries. Although, it’s not the best location to go as an animal lover and to see all the animal skins… However, checking out the Chouara Tannery is one of the best things to do in Fes!
Getting there: Walk to the street Rue Chouara and go into one of the many leather shops. There they will ask you if you want to see the tanneries and lead you to the rooftop where you’ll have an amazing view.
Entrance fee: You can give a small tip (5-10 dirham) for the mint and information you will receive.
Best time to go: From January until May and September until January you will have fewer smells and tourists. In terms of timing, the morning is the best time of the day to come. The light is not too harsh, and you won’t have too many people around.
Photo tip: You can make a small documentary about the men at work in the tannery and the several steps of the process. The morning is the best timing considering the position of the sun and the amount of people visiting the tanneries.