having mystical or magical qualities Amazing Fes, Morocco, is the oldest and largest medina in all of North Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even though it is no longer the country’s capital, the city is often seen as the cultural center of Morocco. In addition, inside the medieval walls of the medina, you can find huge spice markets, traditional handicrafts, hammams, and tanneries. You can also visit for a day or two to see the finest of what Fes has to offer and feel the city’s rich history come to life.
1. Get lost in the Medina of Fes.
The Fes medina (Fes el Bali) dates back to the 9th century and is the largest and oldest in North Africa. This location is so significant historically and culturally that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient allure of the medina has been carefully preserved, so it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Explore the largest car-free urban area in the world and learn about Fes’s history by getting lost in the city’s hundreds of lanes.
The tiny streets made it easy for us to become disoriented, which happened multiple times. Even Google Maps can have trouble finding its way around this maze, so it’s important to know which signs you should follow before you leave your riad or hotel.
Pick a hotel that is actually in the Medina if at all possible. This is because getting back to your accommodation outside the medina walls after 7 p.m. can be difficult, as some of the medina’s gates close at that time.
All the riads in Fes are listed here.
Tip: Lost? If you get lost, just ask a local business owner where you can grab a bite to eat. Moreover, keep in mind that many kids will pretend to help you with directions in exchange for payment.
Garden, Jnan Sbil (Bou Jeloud)
2. Garden, Jnan Sbil (Bou Jelod)
The bustling medina is home to this one and only public garden. Enjoy the tranquility of the indoor water features, birds, plants, flowers, and palm tree-lined walkways as you take a break from haggling. Lay back, chill down, and observe the friendly locals of Fes as they do the same.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Monday-closed
3: The Enchanting Bou Inania Madrasa
The Bou Inania Madrasa is an easy-to-spot place of worship because it is in the middle of the medina. The building dates back to the 14th century when it was used as a place to learn. On the other hand, its remarkable architecture is now on display to the general public. Look at the marble courtyard, the sculptures made of wood, and the green mosaic tiles that go on and on. The adjacent mosque has a stunning green minaret that can be seen from all throughout the medina, keeping with the color scheme. Moreover, this madrasa is certainly the most impressive of all the towns. If you’re in Fes, you shouldn’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.
Seeing as how it is conveniently situated, it is a must-see for any tourist exploring the medina. Not only is it one of the few mosques in Fes open to visitors of other faiths, but it is also one of the city’s most beautiful and historic mosques. Come see this lovely place when it’s quietest, either very early or very late in the day. At that time of day, approximately 4 o’clock, there was hardly anyone there.
We are open from 9 am to 5 pm daily (not during prayer times)
Entry is 20 dirhams.
4. Observe the Tanneries and their Aromas.
Explore Fes’s renowned tanneries while you’re there. Find hundreds of dye pits dug into the dirt, each filled with a different shade of pigment used to paint animal hides. Travelers to Fes should make time to visit the city’s tanneries to get a taste of the city’s rich history and culture. Just know that the odor is pretty potent! In an effort to alleviate the unpleasant odor, locals may offer you “mint for free,” but we’ve seen many people end up paying for it. To combat this, bring some mint or a scarf.
One can also find a roof deck close by from which to observe the tanneries. In this way, you can also ascend to a lofty vantage point.
If you want to see the oldest and largest leather tannery in the world, you should go to the Chouara tannery.
5. Karaouine, The oldest University in Africa.
Besides being the second-largest mosque in Morocco, the Kairaouine Mosque is famous for being the oldest university in the world. Since it is one of the most important mosques in Fes, only Muslims are allowed to go inside. Tourists are not permitted inside, however, they are welcome to look around via the gates. Come and marvel at the marble courtyard’s beautiful fountains, arches, tiles, and carvings. You can also see a lot of students praying inside this holy building, which is still a university.
Suggestion: From a nearby roof, take in the stunning minaret of the mosque.
6. Try Orange Juice.
We especially enjoy the orange juice that Fes produces. Get yourself an inexpensive, freshly squeezed juice every morning before setting out on an adventure. You can also get orange juice in the cafeteria or from those who sell it in the Medina. Delicious!
7. Al Atterine Madrassah.
Even though it is small, this madrassa is beautiful in other ways besides its size. A lovely courtyard sits in the center of geometrically patterned walls and floors. Take a look at the beautifully carved wooden doors, and you’ll swear you’ve stepped into a time capsule and been transported to ancient Morocco. Remember to take in the stunning minaret above you! The Kairaouine Mosque and the Chouara leather tannery are nearby in this peaceful haven in the middle of chaotic Fes. If you have time, this is a fantastic activity to partake in while in Fes.
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 6 PM (always check for religious holidays and events, as this can alter times)
We charge a flat rate of 20 Dhs ($2 USD) for each person at the door.
Observing the sunset from a Rooftop
8. Enjoying the Sunset from a Terrace.
Moroccan houses are flat-topped and earth-toned in color. As a result, it’s a stepped-level paradise! Finding a wonderful rooftop cafe or bar (like Cafe Clock) and taking in the city from above is one of the greatest ways to experience Fes. Relax here as the sun sets behind this beautiful city after a day of sightseeing. Bliss!
9. The Royak Palace (Dar Al-Makhzen)
Check out the royal palace’s impressive facade. Unfortunately for tourists, the royal family and government still frequently use this palace. The blue mosaic tiled walls and gorgeous bronze doors, though, make this a must-see when in Fes. Outside, in the beautiful, verdant palace gardens, visitors can spend time exploring. The gardens’ neighbor is the magnificent mosque Fes el-Jdid. The latter has one of the most ornately decorated minarets.
I recommend checking out the museum and peaceful grounds at Dar Batha, Fes’s former royal palace.
10. Visit the Labyrinthine Souks.
The souks of Fes are among the best in Morocco and in any Moroccan city. Enter a dusty medieval town where donkeys and carts are the only modes of transportation and time has stopped. Furthermore, there are pleasant fragrances coming from all directions, textile displays in every color of the rainbow, and sellers yelling prices and haggling fiercely. In addition, the streets in the souks of Fes are substantially narrower than those of Marrakech, and they also have many twists, turns, and forks, making them a true maze.
Purchase a Stunning Fes Carpet,
11:Purchase a Stunning Fes Carpet.
Craftsmen from all over the world travel to Fes to purchase the finest rugs the city has to offer. Many shops in the main streets of the medina sell beautiful carpets in traditional Moroccan patterns. A French lady living in Marrakech suggested we visit a certain shop (across the street from Café El Khmissa) for a fair deal.
We looked at about 20 different carpets before settling on the one we ultimately bought. We thought $150 was a fair price for a classic Moroccan rug that was 2 meters long and 1.5 meters wide.
12. Top-Rated Fes Restaurants.
Bab Sahra Restaurant was where we enjoyed the most delicious meal. Its proximity to the well-known Bab Boujloud Gate, sometimes known as “The Blue Gate,” is a major draw. Enjoy delicious food and stunning terrace views at Cafe Clock. Fusion dishes inspired by Western cuisine predominate here.
A helpful hint: Bab Sahra also provides culinary instruction! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn the art of preparing authentic Moroccan cuisine.
13. Royale Palace ( Dar Al-Makhzen)
The King of Morocco resides in Dar al-Makhzen, also known as the Royal Palace of Fez, in the Moroccan city of Fez. Dates back to 1276 CE, when the Marinid dynasty established the royal stronghold of Fes el-Jdid. The majority of the current palace was built during the Alaouite dynasty. You can go and take wonderful pictures of the gate. Next to the Royal Palace, you can visit the Jewish Quarter.