Table Of Contents
- 1 Best 10 things to do in fes morocco city
- 1.1 Fes City -10 TOP Things To SEE
- 1.2 10 amazing things to do in Fez, Morocco
- 1.3 1. Stay in an authentic riad inside the medina
- 1.4 2. Go to the oldest university in the world
- 1.5 3. Going to the MEDINA MARKET
- 1.6 4. Enter the medina through the blue door
- 1.7 5. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of the extremely narrow and winding streets of Fez el-Bali.
- 1.8 6. Visit the Chouara Tannery
- 1.9 7. Visit of a workshop for the manufacture of Moroccan carpets
- 1.10 8. Admire the city from above
- 1.11 9. Buying souvenirs in a craft store
- 1.12 10. Studying daily life
- 1.13 About Fes
- 1.14 The best time to visit Fez
Best 10 things to do in fes morocco city
Fes City -10 TOP Things To SEE
If you are looking for the most authentic place in Morocco, you should spend at least 2 days in Fez. The old imperial city of the country. There are many amazing things to do in Fez, because it is the place where traditions and customs are better preserved than anywhere else in Morocco.
It is a city where you will get lost in the labyrinthine bazaars, admire the architecture of the old places, smell the spicy aromas, and taste rich and spicy dishes.
Fez was founded in the 8th century by the Idrissid dynasty, but time has not changed the settlement too much. It is as if, in Fez, the time had stopped.
The medina of Fez is the largest and best-preserved in the world. Therefore, when you arrive here, don’t be surprised if you feel like you are going back in time, to a very distant past of this world.
Fez is divided into two very different areas. The old city of Fez el-Bali, the one that everyone wants to explore when they come here, and the new zone, the New City.
For a more authentic experience, I recommend that you stay in Fes el Bali and spend as much time as you have. There are so many amazing things to do in Fes el-Bali!
10 amazing things to do in Fez, Morocco
1. Stay in an authentic riad inside the medina
One of the best experiences I had in Fez was to live in an absolutely beautiful riad, a small family business. The inner courtyard and the rooms both have authentic, fantastic, and beautiful decor.
Every morning, the guests play music on a very old device, sitting in the inner courtyard. The echo of Arabic songs can be heard in every corner of the riad, creating a dreamlike atmosphere.
Riad Dar El Ghalia also has a terrace with a panoramic view of the city. Especially since it is located very close to the points of interest of the medina.
So if you come to Fez, I recommend you to stay at Riad Dar El Ghalia. But if you do not find rooms available, you can consider one of the following accommodation options:
low budget: Dar Essoaoude – Fez Nejjarine – magnificent view, interior, and exterior courtyard, exceptional breakfast, terrace, swimming pool
mid-budget: Riad Braya – beautiful roof terrace, room service, swimming pool, delicious breakfast, bar, ideal location
luxury: Riad Mayfez Suites & Spa– magnificent courtyard, swimming pool, very modern rooms, restaurant, spa, delicious breakfast, ultra-modern and very large private bathroom
2. Go to the oldest university in the world
I tell you to go there and not to go or take classes there because, unfortunately, the university cannot be visited by non-Muslims. This is because within the university there is also the Quaraouiyine Mosque, the most important mosque in Fez.
However, the door is always open to leave a small part of the university’s inner courtyard to the curious.
The Quaraouiyine Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Africa, with a capacity of 20,000 people. Inside the mosque, there is also a vast collection of religious books, with more than 30,000 copies. The most valuable is a 9th century Koran.
3. Going to the MEDINA MARKET
I don’t think there is a better place than Fez to go to the market. Apart from the fact that there are many exotic vegetables and fruits and all sorts of spices and herbs, there are also vendors ready to negotiate.
Everything is negotiable in Fez. It is a very common habit, so there is no need for restraint or embarrassment to do the same.
If you are staying in a riad inside the medina, I recommend that you come in the morning, and experience going to the market in one of the largest and oldest medinas in the world.
4. Enter the medina through the blue door
Fez is a city built like a fortress, surrounded by high walls. Access inside the walls is through several main gates that have changed throughout history.
The main entrance is through the Bab Boujloud Gate, built in 1913. You must therefore enter the medina through the most majestic gate of the city. The way it is decorated will impress you. The mosaic used has two colors, although the place is known as the blue door.
The blue color means the color of the city of Fez and is on the outside, while inside the door has a green color, representing Islam.
5. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of the extremely narrow and winding streets of Fez el-Bali.
If I told you that the medina of Fez is a complicated labyrinth, I would not exaggerate at all. With over 1000 years and more than 10,000 streets, Fez el-Bali is the perfect place to get lost. The way back to the riad will be an adventure in its entirety but it is also one of the most amazing things to do in Fez.
No map will be able to cope with the way the streets are laid out. You will get lost on the narrow paths, you will get lost in the wrong direction, you will cross very strange, dark and smelly areas. A real carnival of the senses!
The colleagues on the road will not only be people but also donkeys. They are used to transport goods, skins, but also people. You will be heartbroken when you see them, but you won’t be able to interfere. These are the cruel customs of the place.
Fes el-Bali is one of the oldest and best-preserved settlements in the Muslim world and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
6. Visit the Chouara Tannery
I first discovered this place 20 years ago. It was the balcony from which Jade looked out over the city in the telenovela O Clone. So it had been on the list of places to see for two decades.Later, I discovered that it is the most famous place in Fez and that there is no travel guide to the imperial city without a visit to the Choura tanneries. What happens here? Barbaric acts, dating back to medieval times, I could say briefly. Basically, animals are sacrificed for their skins. Their skins are treated for several days in clay and brick pots.
To treat the skin, archaic methods are used (pigeon droppings, cow urine, quicklime), and the smell is totally repulsive. As a “protection” against the unbearable aromas, local vendors will offer you branches of mint. I recommend that you use as many as possible.
To get to one of the terraces where you can see the tanneries, you will have to enter a store. Many locals will want to guide you to find these stores, but all you need is a handy map to know where they are located.
In these buildings, there are stores where you can buy products made from these leathers: bags, shoes and leather clothes in all possible colors. I do not encourage the purchase of these items because I totally disagree with the slaughter of animals, especially for such purposes. But everyone is free to make a choice.
7. Visit of a workshop for the manufacture of Moroccan carpets
Morocco is famous for the manufacture of very beautiful carpets. In Fez, many stores sell all kinds of colorful fabrics, from pillowcases and carpets to curtains and huge rugs.
In some of these stores you will have the opportunity to see the exact process of making the famous carpets. But beware! Many stores try to mislead their potential customers by asking exaggerated prices. So make sure you take part in an organized Moroccan rug hunt.
8. Admire the city from above
In my case, the riad where I stayed, Dar el Ghalia, had a terrace with a beautiful view of the medina. However, if the riad you choose does not have this terrace, you can ask the guests where you can find such a terrace.
There are a few of them near the Quaraouiyine mosque, and in general, they are part of the handicraft stores. In exchange for a few dirhams offered as a tip to the seller, it is worthwhile to look at the city of Fez from above.
9. Buying souvenirs in a craft store
The images below are part of the store of the man who let us use his rooftop terrace to photograph the city. Although at first, it seemed to harass us, the man offered us an artistic tour of his store, in which he showed us his most precious handmade items.
If you would like to know more about how these objects are made, the information provided will be very useful.
In the end, you are not obliged to buy anything, but it would be good to offer some money for his kindness and especially for the fact that he offered his roof terrace to have a view of the city.
10. Studying daily life
In the oldest and largest medina in the world, you can expect a lot of chatting and gossiping throughout the day. Everyone runs to buy, to see, to visit, to negotiate, to work, to see the day through to the end.
In Fez-Medina, you can see how people transform raw materials into decorative pieces or kitchen and work utensils. You can attend a street show, specific to Moroccan traditions. You can watch with empathy the donkeys that carry on their backs much more than they should.
You can also cuddle a kitten hungry for attention and food. From what I have noticed, Moroccans are not the most animal-friendly people.
Cats are numerous in the streets of Fez, but they are also very thin and sick. I think that every little help given to these animals can mean a lot and can be a good example for the locals, hoping that in time things will change for the little furry friends. I believe in the power of example!
How to get to Fez
Rent a car –
you can rent a car in FES, and you can easily visit the country by yourself. Be careful where you choose to rent! Morocco is full of deceptive people, and we have almost been victims of such an incident.
take an organized tour from Chefchaouen
by CTM bus – the price of the ticket is about 80 dirhams per person
The best time to visit Fez
if you want to avoid hot periods, then avoid the months of July, August and September.
The best times to visit the city are March-May and October-November.
Is Fes safe?
During the two days I explored the town, I thought it was quite safe.
But I do not recommend visiting Morocco by yourself, especially if you are a single woman.
How to dress in Fez
In a very religious country, where traditions and customs are sacred, your dress should be as decent as possible. This means that the skin should be covered and the materials should be vaporous.
I don’t think anyone will attack you because of your outfit, but you certainly don’t want insistent and critical looks.
How to get around Fez
Although it is the largest medina in the world, it is very easy to walk around. In fact, it is your only solution, because cars cannot enter the medina.
If you want to reach places outside the medina, such as the imperial palace, you can take a cab at one of the gates of the medina or even a Moroccan tuk-tuk.
Don’t even think about using donkeys for transport. They are already oppressed enough