10 Best Things to do in Fez | Morocco

Fez el-Bali, this UNESCO world heritage city is the cultural hot spot of Morocco, a place to see and to feel the typical buzzing Moroccan life. The Medina (old town) of Fes city is the largest and most vibrant in North Africa. 70.000 people are living in this car-free urban area and somehow it seems that time stopped there at one point. The opinions of this city are quite different – some of the tourist love it, some of them are feeling they have to run away. From our point of view, we had some of the most intense moments in Morocco, some cultural shocks inclusive, but that’s why we love to travel, isn’t it?

In this travel guide you will learn all about the most amazing things to do in Fez. We will show you all the highlights and the best pictures of this exciting city. In addition, there are many useful tips and useful information about exploring the medina of Fez.

Here are the most beautiful attractions and the must visit places of Fez, Morocco:

Fez Morocco © Jürgen Reichenpfader

Borj Sud

You want to see Morocco’s largest Medina from the top?  It is the best that you take a taxi and go to Borj Sud! It is a military monument and its terrace serves the best panoramic view of the whole Medina of Fez! You will get a first impression how huge the old town really is – it’s a real labyrinthine! Visiting Borj Sud is one of the ultimate best things to do in Fez, so you better not miss this amazing place.

Bab Boujeloud (Blue Gate)

The Bab Boujeloud is the most popular gate of Fes and a wonderful first impression entering Fez-el-Bali. The gate is blue from outside, while coming from the inside it appears in green.

Our tip: From the Cafe Clock Tower you will have stunning views down to Fez and you can admire the beautiful Bab Bou Jeloud from above.

The Medina

What to do best inside the medina of Fez – of course getting lost 🙂 – Just enter one of the colorful gates and start your adventure. Stroll around the winding streets, explore the different souks and try out your bargain skills. The most sights of Fez are located inside of the Medina and incidentally you will pass them. In case you are lost, just ask inside a restaurant or a shop holder, Moroccans are very helpful and they will tell you the right direction.

Zaouia Moulay Idriss II

Zaouia Moulay Idriss is one of the most important architectural monuments and sanctuaries of the city of Fez in Morocco, but which can only be visited by believers. Every year, thousands of Moroccans make their pilgrimage to this sacred side, that was built in the 14th century. Nevertheless, you can catch a glimpse of the more than magnificent courtyard from the entrance area.

University of Al-Karaouine

Originally founded in the year 859 as Madrasa, the Al-Karaouine is since 1957 an Islamic university and one of the most important Islamic authorities. Many scholars who have influenced the intellectual history of the Islamic world studied here in Fes. The Kairaouyine Mosque is considered the most important attraction of the old town and a visit is one of the best things to do in Fes.

Tanneries of Fez city

Visiting the famous leather tanneries of Fez was actually the main reason why we decided to go to Fez. Located inside of the Medina, the tanneries are the most iconic sight and also the smelliest experience. Interesting is that the procedure of making leather goes back to the 11th century and even today it doesn’t involve modern machinery. The best views you will have from one of the several rooftops of the nearby leather shops. Up there you will see numerous stone vessels filled with white liquid and some with different colors. The white ones are filled with cow urine and pigeons feces and they smell very strong.

NOTE: The smell is really strong, prepare yourself and take some mint and a scarf with you. The entrance is usually for “free” but if you would like to avoid getting pulled to buy something just give the vendor a tip (5 Euro) before you enter.

Chouara (Chaouwara) Tannery:

The Chouara (Chaouwara) tannery largest and most impressive tannery in town and one of the absolut best places to visit in Fez. Leather is still made here, as in the old days, and the roof terraces offer a great view of the colorful color pools. Here is the best where you will get the best Fez tanneries views and you will have the chance to take amazing pictures!

Tannery Sidi Moussa:

If you can`t get enough of Fez tanneries, you should also consider visiting the Sidi Moussa tannery, another amazing attraction to explore inside the medina.

Place Rcif

At the square Rcif you will find the eastern entry gate of Fez. From this square you will have a great view of the Rcif mosque.

Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts

The Fondouk el-Nejjarine or also known as the Wood Museum is a beautiful place for learning about the woodwork in Morocco. We really enjoyed this lovely and calm place! Also you should visit the terrace on the rooftop of the museum, from there you will have a great view.

Place Seffarine

The Place Seffarine is a lovely square where you will see the original boiler workers doing their job. If you hear the sound of the metal clanging you are at the right place. There are also plenty of small shops where you can buy their handcrafted works. It was really cool watching the men creating Moroccan art with this traditional techniques which haven´t changed since centuries.

Royal Palace

The Royal Place is not open for visitors, but you should not miss the opportunity to see the imposing colorful brass doors. The Royal Palace is outside of the medina, at the end of an 80 hectares of palace grounds. We recommend to take a taxi going there.

Day Tours from Fez

If you are fancy a guided tour to explore the medina of Fez, you will find plenty of interesting city tours to book online. But also the surroundings of Fez are really interesting and so many amazing places in Morocco can be visited on an excursion starting from Fez. Here are some recommended tours:

 

Where to stay in Fez

Fez offers an incredible selection of gorgeous riads and hotels. Here, at this link, are some of the best accommodations in every price range. If you travel by car through Morocco and you need a parking lot, then you should prefer a riad outside the medina.

  • For traveling by car, we can recommend you the Riad Passiflora, clean – cheap – nice with pool and secure parking for your rental car.
  • Another wonderful Riad in the middle of the old town of Fes is the Dar Borj. It has beautiful rooms and a great rooftop terrace overlooking the city.

Find the best Accommodation in Fez:

 Booking.com


Read more about traveling in Morocco:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


 

11 Comments

  1. Fez looks amazing! We’ve had Morocco on our list for the longest time. I have to make sure we visit the tannery. Thanks for the great post!

  2. I love towns that have a labyrinth feel! I enjoyed getting lost around Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The tanneries are so picturesque, your photos are lovely. Have you ever watched the movie Kairo Time? The feel of this town reminded me of that movie.

  3. I would definitely need a tour guide. I can see myself wandering around and getting so lost. Everything is so colorful and beautiful that I would forget where I was 🙂

  4. The busy winding streets look a bit intimidating, but once you close in on the details it is utterly appealing. Your photos really seem to capture the essence, and I really want to be there and have that experience. The colors and patterns are so detailed and rich! Thank you for a great article!

  5. Your photos of Fez are fantastic. Morocco is high on our list of places we need to visit. I can only imagine the beauty in the wood carvings and the wonder in getting lost in the maze of streets. Even the tannery sounds like a must-see.

  6. The tanneries look wonderful, but I wonder how ecologic the whole thing is since you are pointing out a strong smell. Anyways, on the pictures it looks like a sculpture. I love North African architecture and culture so of course the Madrassa and the Palace would be just right for me. I’ve been to Morocco only once, but want to go back again for sure.

  7. I have been to Fez, and I have to say I thought it was chaotic and exotic. The smells of the tannery were hard to take, but the colors and activity was fascinating. We never quite got lost, but close. It’s one of those places, the souk, that everyone should experience at least once.

  8. Thank you for your advice to take a tour. I’d be lost inside Fez. I’d definitely want to spend some time at the Blue Gate and the Royal Palace. The tanneries look amazing, and I’m sure it would be fascinating to watch the leather-making process.

  9. I visited Fez over 20 years ago, and I totally loved it. We did many of the things you suggest. Such a fascinating city, and well worth visiting. Would love to go back.

  10. Oh wow what an incredible place to visit! Good idea about the views from Borj Sud – that would be incredible to see the city from that view. I love how traditional it is, and I can imagine it would be fascinating just simply to walk up and down through the streets and see what people are working and what they are selling. I love the doors too – they are so ornate and beautiful! Really hope to visit one day.

  11. SehrVery good work. I regret that I have not found this page earlier. Keep it up! schöne Arbeit. Ich bedauere, daß ich diese Seite nicht schon früher gefunden habe. Weiter so!

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