The tanneries

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I don't recommend this for everyone & I'm not sure I'd especially want to go there again for some time, if ever. But, for an experience of a life so different from our own & to assail your jaded traveller's senses with sights & smells of an intensity (mostly the smells!)which you won't forget in a hurry, just go!

Avoid being shaken down for lots of money by the "guides" & do not enter the kilim & handicraft showrooms unless you can be very assertive or you really do want something. I bought a kilim (well, two seemed like a good deal at the time) and I really like it but I've no real idea if it was great value for money, though I did end up paying approx 40% of the original asking price which is about right for haggling, don't you think? The smell of that place came back to me several times over the next couple of days. I've never experienced anything quite as intense. It was the pidgeon guano they used for softening the leather. They give you sprigs of mint to take the edge off it but for real connoiseurs just take shallow breaths & go for it! Enjoy!


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address:Bab Debbagh, a gate in the East side of the city wall
openinghours:All day, give or take

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