Fes or Fez is a unique city and the second largest city in Morocco. In this post, we’ve included top 20 things to do in Fez. Fez has the biggest Medina in North Africa and is the handicraft center of Morocco. Travelers will have a busy time shooting pictures as there’s plenty to capture in this ancient city.
Fez is the oldest of the four imperial cities of Morocco. Fez is the most important culture metropolis of Morocco: here lies a religious university with the famous mosque Karaouine. The Old-Fez district, Fez el Bali, was at the beginning of this development. The Fez el Jedid district means translated new-Fez but was founded in the thirteenth century under the Merinieden. The actual new city has been designed and constructed by the French so that the city can continue to develop without violating the image and atmosphere of Fez el Bali and Fez el Jedid. Fez el Bali lies in the depth and against the slopes of the Oued Fez. Fez el Jedid unfolds on a plateau. In this neighborhood, one can find the Dar el Makhzen (the royal palace) and the Mellah (the Jewish quarter).
Below are the top 20 things you can do during your stay in Fez. Enjoy it!1. Take in The Scents of The Tanneries
2. Attend The Sunset On a Rooftop
3. Visit Bou Inania Medersa.
4. Get Lost at The Fes Medina
5. Get Your Morning Fresh Orange Juice in The Medina
6. Take a Sahara Desert Tour and Enjoy a Night in a Desert Camp
7. Visit The Kairaouine Mosque & University
8. Take a Trip To Chefchaouen and Experience the Rif Mountains
9. Enjoy The City Views of Borj Sud
10. Enjoy The City Overlooks and Visit The Arms Museum
11. Enjoy a Delicious Cup of Mint Tea in Bab Boujloud
12. Visit Andalusia Mosque
13. Indulge Yourself in a Moroccan Hammam
14. Enjoy The Traditional Moroccan Arts And Crafts in Batha Museum
15. Enjoy Hiking at Zalagh Mountain
16. Watch the Belly Dance Show While Enjoying Dinner
17. Shopping in Medina
18. Joining a Cooking Class in Fez
19. Joining a Yoga Lesson in Fez
20. Shisha Bars
1. Take in the scents of the Tanneries
Make sure to visit the world-famous tanneries where animal skins are tinted. The smell is very strong but worth it. Fes tanneries consist of many stone pots filled with a wide range of dyes and various liquids that are distributed like a tray of watercolors. Dozens of men, standing in the middle deep inside, work under the hot sun that tends to the skins that remain submerged in the vessels. The tanneries process the skins of cows, goats, and camels and turn them into excellent leather items such as bags, jackets, shoes, and slippers. This is achieved manually, without ordering on modern machines, and the procedure has not changed much since the Middle Ages, making these tannins interesting at all.
2. Attend the sunset on a rooftop
Choose a riad instead as your accommodation so that you can enjoy fantastique views from the rooftop! During our stay in the medina of Fez, we are lucky to attend the sunset on the rooftop of our riad while drinking mint-tea, it was absolutely gorgeous.
3. Visit Bou Inania Medersa
The Bou Inania Medersa is a gorgeous spiritual building in the town that can be entered as well by non-Muslim people. Earlier it was a college, and now it could be seen for its incredible architecture and green colors. Visiting this attraction is completely free.
4. Get lost at the Fes Medina
The Medina of Fes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and UNESCO World Heritage. It is unique and it has a lot of small streets and historic building. Because of its size, the chance is high to get lost. Make sure you know which signs need to be followed before you leave your accommodation and take advantage of Google Maps.
If you happen to be lost in Fez, do not be afraid. Ask the owners of a store, police or restaurant how you can return to the hotel. Many children are waiting for these situations to accompany you for money.
5. Get your morning fresh orange juice in the medina
Getting a fresh and cheap orange juice in the Medina is as easy as in Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech. It will be a great thing to do before starting your city tour.
6. Take a Sahara Desert Tour and enjoy a night in a desert camp
If you have enough days to spend, do yourself a favor and spend a night with your family under the stars in the desert. Making a Desert Tour from Fez is one of the best things to do, an experience that you keep in mind for the rest of your life.
7. Visit the Kairaouine Mosque & University
Kairaouine, also known as al-Qarawiyyin, was built in 857 by Fatima al-Fihri. This complex is one of the largest mosques in Africa, the oldest university in the world and the spiritual heart of Fez.
In most mosques or Zawias in Morocco non-Muslims are not allowed if it is still used for worship. But here everyone is welcome in the glow of the courtyard of this mosque. In fact, the mosque has the most beautiful green ceiling and the minaret is immediately recognizable.
Kairaouine is a beautiful place with its marble floors, fountains and all the beautiful architectural details.
8. Take a Trip To Chefchaouen and experience the Rif Mountains
Enjoy a day trip to Chefchaouen, the famous blue and whitewashed city of Morocco, located in the Rif Mountains. The Rif Mountains is a pretty location where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes, shady alleys and beautiful white and bright houses.
9. Enjoy the city views of Borj Sud
Borj Sud or the Southern tower is another military monument built in the 16th-century by the Sultan of the Saadi dynasty Ahmad al-Mansur, along with additional military buildings to protect the city. This bastion functions as a scenic patio, offering breathtaking views of the entire medina of Fez. You can take a taxi to get there, but the return is not easy, because there are no taxis. Definitely worth a visit because of its stunning views.
10. Enjoy the city overlooks and visit the Arms Museum
North Tower or Borj Nord was built at the end of the 16th century by Sultan Ahmed Al Mansour. This site offers one of the best overlooks of the city of Fez. In 2016 it was also opened as a museum of weapons.
11. Enjoy a delicious cup of mint tea in Bab Boujloud
Bab Bou Jeloud was built in 1913, the main entrance to the city of Fez, and the famous Blue Gate can be one of the best places in the city to see the daily life in Morocco. After admiring the stunning structure of Bab Bou Jeloud with sophisticated mosaic tile, you can enjoy a delicious cup of mint tea in a café around the gate. Along the street, men, women, and children make their way through the gate.
12. Visit Andalusia Mosque
This magnificent mosque is located in Fez El Bali. The mosque was built in 859-860 by the Moors, under the patronage of Maryam bint Muhammed al-Fahri, the sister of Fatima al-Fahri, the founder of the University of the Quaraouyine. This makes it one of the first mosques in the world. The mosque has been renovated and expanded several times since then. These days it is among one of those relatively few remaining institutions of the Idrisid-era and the main icon of this city.
13. Indulge yourself in a Moroccan hammam in Fez
Fes has a number of luxurious hammams and spa options. There is a separate traditional hammam for men and women section. The traditional public hammam costs about 15 Dirham and the hammam of the riads ranges from 300 to 500 Dirham. In both, you can get a massage but the quality is of course not the same. As a traveler, the public hammam will be a great place to get to know more about the Moroccan traditions.
14. Enjoy the traditional Moroccan arts and crafts in Batha Museum
Batha Museum is home to wooden parties, ironwork, embroidery, jewelry, and carpets that embrace the history and beauty of Fez. The museum is located in a 19th-century summer palace which makes it an ideal place to see the collection of traditional Moroccan arts and crafts dating from the 14th century to the present.
15. Enjoy hiking at Zalagh Mountain
Mount Zalagh is absolute one of the nicest hiking spot in the surround of Fez. Take a walk to Mount Zalagh to get a real grasp of how beautiful this town is. It is the largest mountain with a panoramic view over the city. If you are looking for adventure, you will also find excellent climbing and mountain biking here. Mount Zalagh is just half an hour travel by car from Medina and its an ideal location for a picnic lunch in nature.
16. Watch the belly dance show while enjoying dinner
Fez is a great place to attend the belly dance show. It’s a great way to have fun while enjoying a traditional dinner. The belly dance is a method of girls being together, and showing themselves to people in ways they do not usually do in normal life. It’s joyous, sensuous, and lively, and is done mostly at parties, weddings, and rituals including circumcisions and baby naming ceremonies. At these parties, the girls wear exciting dresses when they dance; long, bright and flowing, with belts around their waists.
17. Shopping in Fes’s Medina
Fez is a great place for shopping. There are many antique shops and you can find a whole street full of artisans who focus on just a specific trade: woodwork, typical Moroccan slippers, jewelry, carpets, caftan, leather, earthenware, mosaic tiles, brass, cotton, silk, and drums.
18. Joining a cooking class in Fez
In your riad, you might have the opportunity to experience the art of Moroccan cuisine. However, many riads in Fez give a cooking class, one of them is Palais Amani. Here they can teach you how to make traditional Moroccan and Berber dishes. And of course, you can eat the delicious meal that you have prepared.
19. Joining a yoga lesson in Fez
If you are looking for a yoga lesson in Fez, at the Amani Palais or Cafe Clock, you can join the Vinyasa Yoga lesson. The classes aim to encourage students to explore and deepen their training. The morning lesson provides participants with the opportunity to experience a range of techniques that highlight simple actions that can be integrated into everyday life.
20. Shisha Bars
Morocco is a country of hookah and shisha. There are a number of well-designed cafes in Fez where you can enjoy mint tea, shisha smoking, and Moroccan traditional atmosphere. One of them is Cafe Clock. Cafe Clock offers as well great views over the spectacular medina from the rooftop.
More Things to Do in Fez?
If you’d like more information about what you can do in Fez, check out this blog post.