20 Things To Do In Fez

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One of Morocco’s largest cities, Fez, is home to over one million people who are joined each year by thousands of visitors from around the world. When I first visited Fez in 2019 while travelling around Morocco, as soon as I arrived, I was captivated by the city’s intriguing mix of cultures. Centuries of history has left a legacy of interesting and unique things to do in Fez. Fez’s architecture, art, food and handicrafts are fascinating and there’s a good reason Fez is home to a treasure trove of UNESCO-protected sites.

Fez, Morocco

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20 Things To Do In Morocco

1- Visit The Chouara Tanneries

Tanneries Of Fes Old Tanks With Color Paint For Leather
Visiting the tanneries is one of the best things to do in Fez.

A visit to one of the tanneries in Fez is fascinating to discover how animal hides are treated, prepared and tanned so that they can then be made into leather goods.

This industry has been important to Fez for decades, and the Chouara Tannery in particular dates back to the 11th century, making it one of the oldest tanneries in the world.

When you visit the tanneries, you will see hundreds of stone pools of various liquids used to treat the animal hides.

You can watch different stages of the leather-making process and you’ll have the opportunity to buy some high-quality leather goods.

I must warn you though, it smells terrible, especially on a hot day, but don’t let that deter you as it’s an interesting and important place to visit.

The Chouara Tannery is at 21 Rue Chouara, Fez.

2- Get Lost in the Medina

People In Their Traditional Activity Of Crafting With Copper In The Medina
Exploring the medina is one of the things to see and do in Fez.

Medina is the Arabic word that describes a historic inner city area usually protected by a surrounding wall.

Almost every city in Morocco has a medina, but the medina in Fez is worth visiting because this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the largest medinas in Morocco.

Although it’s one of the best-preserved historic towns in the Arab-Muslim World, with many buildings dating back hundreds of years, it’s also a living museum where people go about their daily lives.

The maze of streets in Fez’s medina are delighful to explore. You’ll enjoy discovering squares, fountains, historic buildings and stalls selling spices and traditional Moroccan crafts like pottery, textiles and jewellery.

It’s also a great spot to taste street food like chebakia, a sweet deep-fried pastry soaked in honey and Sfenj, Moroccan doughnuts.

Getting lost in this labyrinth is one of the most memorable things to do in Fez.

When you need a rest, pop into a local cafe, sip mint tea and watch the world swirl around you.

Recommended tours:

3- Relax In Jnan Sbil Gardens

The Jnan Sbil Gardens have been a cultural centre of Fez since their creation in the 19th century.

While the gardens were first developed exclusively for members of the royal family, they are now open to the public, and a lovely place to explore.

In these gardens, you’ll find thousands of species of plants and beautiful fountains scattered throughout.

They’re on the edge of the Fez River and are particularly popular with locals around sunset, as a place to go for a walk or just relax.

You’ll find the Jnan Sbil Gardens on Avenue Moulay Hassan, Fez.

4- Wander the Mellah

The old Jewish quarter of Fez or the Mellah was established in 1438 as a community for Fez’s Jewish residents.

Although few Jews still live in the Mellah, particularly post WWII, it’s still an interesting cultural site worth taking the time to wander around.

The Jewish cemetery is filled with tombs that are hundreds of years old.

5- Shop in the Souks

People In Their Traditional Activity Of Crafting With Copper In The Medina
Exploring the medina is one of the things to see and do in Fez.

A trip to Fez wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the souks, especially if you love shopping and haggling. 

Souk is the Berber word for “market” and you’ll find them deep inside the Fez Medina, filled with locals and visitors.

Here you’ll find fresh and dried foods, carpets, leather goods, souvenirs, metalwork and jewellery. 

Most of the products you’ll find in the souks of Fez are local and handmade, and if you look carefully you’ll find some real treasures here.

Bargaining is common in Morocco, so if you have your eye on something that’s slightly out of your price range, try your luck anyway.

Souk Bab Jiaf is within the Fez Medina.

Recommended tour:

6- Explore the Merenid Tombs

A family enjoying the evening in ancient Marinid Tombs on the hill in Fez. Morocco.
Enjoying the view of the city from the Marinid Tombs is one of the things to do in Fez. Morocco.

The Merenid Tombs (also spelt “Maranid Tombs”) are on a hilltop on the Northern side of Fez looking down upon the city.

These tombs were created around 600 years ago, but have fallen into disrepair. 

Now, it’s a viewpoint, a gathering place and the surrounding fields are used to graze animals.

If you look carefully, you may even see animal bones scattered around.

I recommend a trip up to the Merenid Tombs for the view of the city and into the Fez Medina. 

The Merenid Tombs are to the north of Fez, just off Avenue des Merinides, Fez.

7- See the Al-Attarine Madrasa

Courtyard Of Al-Attarine Madrasa Is A Madrasa In Fez Medina
Exploring Al-Attarine Madrasa is one of the best things to do in Fez Morocco to enjoy the city’s culture.

“Madrasa” is the Arabic word for a school or an educational institution, and the Al-Attarine Madrasa is one of the most beautiful in Fez.

This school was built in the early 1300s, and its full name can be translated as “School of the Perfumers”.

While it’s a small building that is fairly ordinary from the outside, it’s certainly worth entering the building.

Inside you’ll find ornate decor that you’re sure to be impressed by, including arched doorways, lovely tiling, stained-glass windows, delicate wood carvings and bronze metalwork.

To get to the Al-Attarine Madrasa, go to Rue Rhabt L’Qais, Fez.

Recommended tour: Fez: Half-Day City Private Walking Tour with a Guide

8- Visit the Al Quaraouiyine Mosque Library

The Al Quaraouiyine University, also spelled Al Karaouine, is one of the oldest universities in the world.

For more than 1,200 years, students have been getting degrees from here: the university was constructed in the year 859, and it’s been in operation ever since.

The university’s mosque can only be visited by Muslims but the library is open to everyone and is one of the oldest libraries in the world.

You’ll find the Al Quaraouiyine Library in the Medina, near Rue Rhabt L’Qais, Fez.

9- Explore Bou Inania Madrasa

Bou Inania Madrasa
Exploring Bou Inania Madrasa is one of the cultural things to do in Fez.

Bou Inania Madrasa is another educational building in Fez, also created in the early 1300s as an Islamic educational institution to provide religious education in Islamic studies.

Madrasas were more than religious institutions and students studied a range of subjects, such as mathematics, theology and law.

This madrasa has been renovated and restored over the centuries and the building you see today is well cared for.

It consists of several buildings that form one complex with a large central courtyard connecting the different sections.

You’ll find the Bou Inania Madrasa at RueTalaa Sghira, Fez.

10- Visit Borj Nord Arms Museum

Borj Nord Arms Museum is located in a 500-year-old fort on the edge of the city.

Since 2016, the fort has been used to house and display more than 5,000 different weapons.

Here, you’ll find cannons, knives, guns, and other historic weapons that you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s an impressive collection, and the museum also showcases the history of Fez and the battles that have taken place near here.

The display of the 1500’s Battle of Three Kings is a jewel in the collection, so don’t miss this exhibition.

The Borj Nord Arms Museum is on Avenue des Merinides, Fez.

11- Hike Mount Zalagh

If you’re looking to get in some exercise, or simply to see Fez from a different angle, then I recommend going for a hike up Mount Zalagh.

You’re likely to spot goats and sheep, as well as fig and olive trees on the way up.

At the top, you can look down on the entire city of Fez, as well as the surrounding areas.

The easiest way to get to the start of the hike is by taking a short taxi ride from the city to the trailhead.

It around two hours to reach the summit along well-maintained paths that are easy to follow, but just make sure you take some water with you, especially in the heat of summer.

The trailhead is to the northeast of Fez, on Avenue des Merinides, Fez.

12- Take A Day Trip To Volubilis

From Fes: Meknes and Volubilis Day Trip
A day trip to Volubilis, the ruins of a historical city from the Roman Empire, is one of the things to do from Fez.

100km (60 miles) outside the city of Fez is the Roman ruins of Volubilis.

It will take about 1.5 hours to get to this archaeological site by car and it’s a day trip worth doing. 

Here, you’ll find Roman columns, tiled floors and the remains of walls, setting out the blueprint for an interesting old city.

Some of these ruins date back as early as 300 BC.

If you have the opportunity, I recommend getting a tour guide to help show you around the ruins.

That’s one of the best ways to make the most of the site, and there are some incredible stories of the history buried here.

Volubilis is near Meknes, Morocco.

Recommended tour: From Fes: Meknes and Volubilis Day Trip

13- See Weavers In Action

Fes Cultural Day Tour
Watching the weavers in action is one of the most interesting things to do in Fez Morocco.

Weaving is a craft that has been an important industry in Fez for decades. 

This art form isn’t very common any more, as industrial machines have taken over most fabric production around the world.

Despite that, in Fez, you’re still able to find artists using traditional weaving techniques to create incredible textiles.

You can watch weavers in action over their looms and you can get a tour of some of the different textile stores.

It’s interesting to learn about the different tools used, as well as the different styles of weaving and their uses.

You can also purchase beautiful, handmade products as a reminder of your time in Fez.

Recommended tour: Fes Cultural Day Tour

14- Fill Up On Moroccan Cuisine

Fes: Food Walking Tour
Tasting local food such as Moroccan Lamb Tagine is one of the fun things to do in Fez Morocco.

Moroccan cuisine is some of the tastiest in the world, combing decades of Arabic, Berber, and European flavours.

In Morocco, you’ll find flavoursome dishes that you won’t find elsewhere and, of course, you can’t visit Morocco without trying the couscous. 

This Berber dish is flavoured with meat and vegetables, and it’s traditionally eaten on a Friday in Morocco.

Tagine is another Moroccan meal that’s become popular outside of the country, but you’ll taste the best tagine you’ve ever had here.

It’s named for the pot it’s cooked in, a distinct clay dish with a cone-shaped lid.

For something different, another must-try dish is a soup called Harira.

This is full of meat, chickpeas, and other vegetables and flavours, all coming together to create a hearty and flavourful soup.

Recommended tour: Fes: Food Walking Tour

15- Visit A Ceramics Workshop

Creative, Pottery And Design With Hands Of Woman
Joining a ceramics workshop is one of the fun things to do in Fez Morocco.

Fez isn’t just known for its tanneries, it’s also known for producing world-class pottery and ceramic goods.

Since approximately 1500, pottery has been an important industry in Fez.

These beautiful pieces are usually created using a distinct, light-coloured local clay, and shaped and fired in workshops nearby.

Once the ceramics have been shaped, a distinct white and blue colour scheme is often applied, and it’s double-fired to create a finished product with bright vibrant colours.

It’s very popular, and once you’ve seen Fez pottery here, you’ll start noticing it all around the world.

There are many different ceramics workshops that you can visit, so why not visit more than one?

16- Visit The Dar Batha Museum

Dar Batha was created as a Royal Palace, but since 1915 it has been used as a museum.

It’s a beautifully constructed building, with ornately tiled floors, carved woodwork, and a beautiful central courtyard.

Inside Dar Batha, you’ll find an impressive collection of historical art pieces from around Fez.

One notable display is the nearby Bou Inania Madrasa’s Minbar, a symbolic object from the Mosque.

The Minbar is a wooden ‘pulpit’, beautifully decorated with carving and ivory.

The Dar Batha Museum is at Oued Fejjaline، 5 Ave du Batha, Fez, Morocco.

17- See the Bab Bou Jeloud Gate

View over Fez at dusk from the ancient city wall, Morocco.
Enjoying the view of the city from the ancient city wall is one of the things to do in Fez.

If you’ve walked into the Fez Medina, there’s a chance that you’ve already entered through the Bab Bou Jeloud Gate.

This impressive piece of architecture deserves its own special mention, however, as it’s a real Fez Icon.

It was created in 1913, to replace an older, simpler gate, which dates back hundreds of years.

The outer side of the Bab Bou Jeloud Gate is ornately decorated in a bright blue colour, and it’s often called the “Blue Gate” for this reason.

The inside of the gate, however, is green, not blue.

There are three arches built into the gate, and large doors which close from the outside of the city.

18- Wander the Moulay Abdallah Quarter

The Moulay Abdallah Quarter is a neighbourhood in the north-eastern part of Fez.

Whether you want to shop at the markets, observe the architecture, or simply be a part of Fez’s daily hustle and bustle, this is a good part of Fez to wander around and explore.

Before 1912, when Fez was the capital city of Morocco, this area housed a lot of important government buildings, although now some are simply decorative.

While you’re exploring here, you will also find the Moulay Abdallah Mosque, which is one of the city’s largest mosques, standing out amongst the other buildings because of its vertically striped green decoration.

The Great Mosque Abu Haq, dating back to the 1200s, is also found in the Moulay Abdallah Quarter.

19- See the Royal Palace

Royal Palace
Visiting the Royal Palace is one of the things to do in Fez to soak up the atmosphere.

The Royal Palace of Fez was built in the late 13th century, and is a sprawling complex with many different buildings, lovely gardens, courtyards and government offices.

Unfortunately, you can’t actually enter the palace, as it’s the King of Morocco’s private residence.

Even without going inside, however, you can get a sense of the grandeur and impressive size of this palace.

Just standing at the gates and admiring the large bronze doors built into the ornate front gates is worth doing.

The Royal Palace is at n1 Boulakhsissat, Fez.

Recommended tour: Fes: Traditional Hammam Massage in a Luxury Palace

20- See The Collections At The Nejjarine Museum

View To Roofs Of Medieval Fez Medina And Mosque Al-Quaraouiyin
Visiting the Nejjarine Museum is one of the things to see and do in Fez Morocco.

Spend a few hours at the Nejjarine Museum inside the medina. 

This museum showcases the history of woodwork, and wooden arts and crafts. 

Woodworking has been an important industry in Fez for centuries, and this is an excellent place to view not only the works themselves but also the tools used to create them.

The tools are on the ground floor, and then when you venture upstairs you’ll see wooden furniture, jewellery, doors, and musical instruments all on display.

The Nejjarine Museum is in the Medina, near the intersection of Kkak Iahjar and Rue Talaa Kebira, Fez. 

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Sarah Hyde was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. Now based in Innsbruck, Austria, she is getting out to experience Europe every chance she gets. When Sarah was in high school she spent a year living in Toronto, Canada, and hasn't stopped travelling since. She has explored India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and spent several months of 2020 in Covid lockdown in the village of Sidi Kaouki, Morocco. After hiking Te Araroa, New Zealand, in 2022 she developed a love for solo-hiking and thinks it's one of the best ways to really get to know a new country! Since then, she has gone on to hike Rota Vicentina in Portugal, and Haute Route from Switzerland to France, two incredible adventures. When she's not travelling, you’ll find her writing or reading. Sarah has a Bachelor of Communication Studies from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, as well as a law degree.