Fez The City of History and Culture

Welcome to the magical city of Fez, a place where time seems to have stood still. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Fez is the jewel of Morocco, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, bustling markets, and exquisite architecture that will transport you to another time.

Fez is a city that awakens all the senses. The aromas of spices and street food will accompany you as you delve into its famous Medina, one of the largest and oldest in the world. The sound of the hammer against copper will guide you to the workshops of artisans, and the sight of the vibrant dyes of the tanneries will take your breath away.

But, what to see in Fez? From majestic madrasas and palaces to fascinating museums, to the lively souks and markets, there is much to discover in this captivating city. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the most iconic places and unforgettable experiences that Fez has to offer.

Prepare to immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and incredible beauty of Fez. Let’s explore together the most special corners of this millennia-old city.

Things to do in Fez: Top Attractions and Landmarks

Fez, the cultural and spiritual heart of Morocco, is brimming with fascinating places that are worth visiting. From majestic historical buildings to vibrant markets and traditional craft workshops, there is much to explore and discover in this incredibly rich and diverse city.

At every corner, you will find a piece of history dating back over a thousand years, a craft tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, or a delicious culinary specialty that will delight your palate. Fez is a city that invites you to get lost in its labyrinthine streets and to be carried away by the hustle and bustle of its souks.

In this section, we have selected the must-see places in Fez, those sites that you cannot miss on your trip and that will give you a complete vision of the beauty, culture, and history of this city. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure as we explore together the most outstanding corners of Fez.

Bou Inania Madrasa

The Medersa Bou Inania is a madrasa (Islamic school) founded in 1350 by the Merini sultan Abu al-Hasan. It is a beautiful example of Moroccan architecture and one of the most famous monuments in Fez.

The building is huge: it has more than 100 rooms, each with a unique design. You can access the interior through guided tours or go at your own pace with an audio guide. If you go on your own, be sure to visit the prayer room and the mihrab (prayer niche). The latter is decorated with beautiful stuccos and carvings that seem to be taken out of Aladdin

Al-Attarine Madrasa

The Al-Attarine Madrasa is one of the most beautiful in Morocco. It was built in 1436 by Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Ismail al-Atterine, a wealthy merchant who donated his fortune to this mosque and others around Fez.

The madrasa is located in the heart of the Medina and is surrounded by numerous small shops selling souvenirs and traditional Moroccan handicrafts. If you wish to visit this place during your stay in Fez, we recommend you do so early in the morning, before all the shops open, as otherwise, the interior can be quite crowded.

Fez Medina: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Medina of Fez, known as Fes el Bali, is the vibrant heart of the city and a place you cannot miss on your trip to Fez. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Medina is one of the oldest and largest urban centers in the world that remains intact.

Entering the Medina is like stepping back in time. Its narrow and winding alleys are filled with artisan shops, bustling markets, beautiful mosques and madrasas, and houses with stunning facades. Here, life goes on as it has for centuries, with merchants selling their wares, artisans working in their workshops, and children playing in the streets.

One of the most emblematic places in the Medina is the University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in the year 859 and considered the oldest university in the world still in operation. No less impressive is the Andalusian Mosque, with its beautiful minaret decorated with green tiles.

The souk is another attraction of the Medina. Here you can find all kinds of products, from spices and food to jewelry, ceramics, and leather goods. Bargaining is a common practice and part of the fun of shopping in the souk.

But the Medina of Fez is not only a place to see, but also to experience. Try the delicious street food, let yourself be surprised by the aromas of the spices, listen to the call to prayer from the mosques, watch the artisans at work and feel the pulse of a city that has maintained its essence over the centuries.

It is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of streets of the Medina, so it may be useful to hire a guide or have a good map at hand. And don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty and charm of this unique place.

Bab Bou Jeloud (Blue Gate)

This blue gate is one of the most photographed monuments in Fez. It is located on the main road, between the Medina and the city center. Locals know it as “the gate of the sultan’s palace”, “the city gate”, or “the market gate”.

The name Bab Bou Jeloud comes from its beautiful blue color, which stands out against the red walls and white houses of Fez. It can be seen from afar, from many points in the city, it’s almost impossible not to see it!

Bab Bou Jeloud

Mellah

The Mellah is a Jewish quarter in Fez. It was founded in the 14th century and is located in the western part of the medina. The word “mellah” means “salt” in Arabic; this refers to the fact that historically Jews were required to sell their goods at high prices in order to be taxed on them.

The Mellah has been home to several generations of Jews since its inception, and today it remains an important part of the history of Fez. Many buildings date back more than 500 years.

Marinid Tombs

The Marinid Tombs are the royal tombs of the Marinid dynasty. They are located in the medina of Fez and were built in the 14th century. They are made of stone and are decorated with carved arches and columns.

The main tomb is rectangular, with a high dome in the center and four smaller domes around it to symbolize heaven on earth (the four corners). There are also two additional rooms built above ground level: one for women who died in childbirth or childless wives; another room contains an ablution fountain where Muslims can perform their daily prayers before entering Mecca during the Hajj (pilgrimage).

City of Fez, discover the hidden gems

Every corner of Fez is a treasure waiting to be discovered. These are the places off the beaten path, those that can be easily overlooked if you don’t know where to look.

Fez is known for its historic Medina, a labyrinth of winding streets and bustling markets. However, there’s much more to discover. Explore the serene Jardin Jnan Sbil, a tranquil oasis amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, or discover the ancient Chouara Tannery, where time seems to have stood still.

Dive into the rich history of Fez at the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts, housed in a beautifully restored fondouk – a historic inn for traveling merchants. Or indulge your senses at the Souk el Henna, a market where the scent of fresh mint and the vivid colors of spices and fabrics create a sensory feast.

Don’t forget to venture beyond the city’s main attractions. Visit the district of Fes el Bali, where you can admire the stunning views of the city from the Borj Nord and Borj Sud, two hilltop fortresses. And of course, make sure to try the traditional Moroccan cuisine in one of the local restaurants hidden in the narrow streets of the Medina.

Fez is a city that invites exploration and rewards curiosity. So put on your most comfortable shoes, bring your sense of adventure, and let’s discover the hidden gems of Fez together

Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Craft

The Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts is a gem nestled in the heart of Fez’s old medina. This former inn, or funduq, has a rich history dating back to 1711 and served as a hub for merchants and traders. The museum’s facade is a beautiful sight with its intricate floral and geometrical decorations and inscriptions. As you step through its grand entrance, you’re welcomed into a spacious central courtyard framed by a three-story gallery.

Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of historic wooden artefacts from across Morocco. From stunning doors and musical instruments to religious objects, the collection is truly diverse. Some pieces showcase the Andalusi-influenced style of Fez, while others reflect traditional Amazigh styles. One of the unique exhibits includes wooden boards carved by students learning to recite the Qur’an. Just imagine, you’re not only exploring an architectural masterpiece, but also getting a sneak peek into Morocco’s rich craft heritage

Dar Batha Museum

Dar Batha is a hidden gem in the city of Fez, Morocco. Once a royal palace commissioned by the Sultan Hassan I in the late 19th century, it’s now a museum boasting over 6,500 historical arts and crafts. Nestled near Bab Bou Jeloud, it’s a must-see in both the old and new medina quarters of the city.

Stepping into Dar Batha, you’re greeted by a vast courtyard adorned with colorful zellij mosaic tilework. The galleries surrounding the courtyard and the rooms within the palace are equally impressive, showcasing the intricate beauty of Moroccan craftsmanship. But it’s not just about the interiors; the garden, which makes up around 58% of the palace’s entire area, is a breathtaking sight. Arranged in a typical Andalusian style with a central fountain, it’s a tranquil oasis that promises a delightful respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

With ongoing renovations, Dar Batha is set to reopen as a “Museum of Islamic Arts”, making it an even more exciting destination for culture and history lovers

Dar El Makhzen (Royal Palace of Fez)

This palace complex was built during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail, between 1721 and 1757 AD, by the architect Mohamed Ben Abdallah Ben Youssef Al Khatibi al Mauzari, who also built other palaces throughout Morocco, such as the Palace of the Saadian Kings in Marrakech, or the Dar El Beida Palace in Rabat.

Today it houses the Mohammed VI Museum, but entry is only allowed to tourists during special events such as the Mawlid festivals, where they can attend concerts performed by local musicians while enjoying traditional Moroccan food prepared by women dressed in typical costumes that sell them at the doors of Dar El Makhzen every day during these events

Chouara Tannery

If there is an iconic image of Fez, it is undoubtedly that of leather tanners working in the city’s ancient tanneries. Visiting these tanning workshops is one of the most authentic and memorable experiences you can have on your trip to Fez.

Fez’s tanneries are famous worldwide for their traditional method of tanning and dyeing leather, a process that has remained virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages. Here, you will be able to see the tanners working in pits full of colorful natural dyes, immersing the hides and stirring them with rudimentary tools. It is a fascinating spectacle that offers a unique insight into the ancient art of leather tanning

But the visit to the tanneries is not limited to observation. You will also have the opportunity to explore the numerous workshops and stores surrounding the tanneries, where all kinds of leather goods are sold, from bags and jackets to shoes and wallets. Each piece is a testament to the skill and dedication of Fez’s craftsmen.

We warn you that visiting the tanneries can be an intense experience for the senses. The smell of the tanning process is quite strong, but don’t worry, you will usually be offered a sprig of mint to alleviate it. And despite the smell, we assure you that the visit is totally worth it.

So don’t hesitate any longer, add the visit to the leather tanners to your list of things to do in Fez. It is an experience that will allow you to appreciate the tradition, art, and skill that make Fez such a special city.

Jnan Sbil Gardens

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the Medina of Fez, there is no better refuge than the Jnan Sbil Gardens. Located between the Medina and the Ville Nouvelle, these vast and beautiful gardens are an oasis of tranquility in the midst of the vibrant city.

Jnan Sbil was originally created in the 18th century as a royal garden by Sultan Moulay Abdallah. Today, it is one of Fez’s most beloved green spaces, open to the public and carefully maintained.

Upon entering the gardens, you will be greeted by an explosion of colors and scents. The Jnan Sbil Gardens feature an impressive variety of plants and flowers, from palm trees and cypresses to roses and geraniums. Tree-lined paths take you through different sections of the garden, each with its own unique character.

The heart of the gardens is a large artificial lake, where you can see ducks and swans gliding peacefully. Around the lake, there are small bridges and benches where you can sit and enjoy the view.

But Jnan Sbil is more than just a green space. It is also a place of culture and learning, with an open-air theater where concerts and shows are regularly held, and an art and culture museum.

Whether you want to stroll along shaded paths, rest by the lake, admire the variety of plants, or enjoy a show, the Jnan Sbil Gardens are a must-visit on your trip to Fez. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the gardens offer some of the best opportunities for photography in the city.

Fez city tour: Cultural and Culinary Delights

Traditional Moroccan Cuisine: Where to Eat in Fez

Fez, one of the oldest and largest cities in the Arab world, is famous not only for its architectural and cultural heritage but also for its fascinating gastronomy. With a culinary tour, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culinary world of this enchanting city.

The tour will take you through the souks of the Medina, where you can discover and taste a variety of local delights. You will have the chance to try the delicious couscous, flavor-packed tagines, sweet and savory pastillas, and many other specialties that are the essence of Fez’s cuisine.

In addition to tasting these delights, you will learn about the history and traditions surrounding them, giving you a deep insight into Moroccan culture. The culinary tour is not just a culinary experience but also a cultural journey that will allow you to understand and appreciate life in Fez from a unique perspective.

So, don’t wait any longer, embark on this culinary adventure! We assure you that your taste buds will thank you. And remember, there is no better way to get to know a city and its culture than through its food.

Moroccan cuisine is renowned worldwide for its richness of flavors, exotic aromas, and traditional dishes filled with history. In Fez, you will have the opportunity to delight in authentic Moroccan delicacies at the following places:

  1. Restaurant Al Fassia: This renowned restaurant is known for its focus on traditional Moroccan cuisine. Here, you can savor classic dishes such as lamb tagine, vegetable couscous, and delicious Moroccan desserts.
  2. Café Clock: Besides offering a gastronomic experience, Café Clock is known for its relaxed atmosphere and cultural events. Try their famous falafel sandwich or Moroccan carrot cake accompanied by a mint tea.
  3. Riad Laaroussa Restaurant: Located in a charming riad, this restaurant offers an intimate and refined culinary experience. Sample their traditional dishes like lamb with prunes and almonds, and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
  4. Palais Amani: Situated in a restored 17th-century palace, Palais Amani combines history and gastronomy in an elegant setting. Here, you can taste traditional dishes with a modern twist, such as chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemon.
  5. Restaurant Dar Roumana: This charming restaurant in the Medina of Fez offers a unique culinary experience. Try their tasting menu of traditional Moroccan dishes, like seven-vegetable couscous and lamb tagine with prunes and almonds.

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste authentic Moroccan cuisine during your visit to Fez. These places will provide you with an unforgettable gastronomic experience while immersing yourself in the rich culinary tradition of Morocco.

Attending a Moroccan Tea Ceremony

Immerse yourself in Moroccan tradition and experience something unique by attending a Moroccan Tea Ceremony. Here’s how to enjoy this fascinating ritual:

The tea ceremony is an integral part of Moroccan culture and represents hospitality, friendship, and generosity. To experience this, you can visit a traditional tea house or be invited to a local’s home.

The host will prepare the mint tea using a special teapot called a “berrad,” which consists of a base, a teapot, and a filter. The tea used is Chinese green tea, to which plenty of fresh mint leaves and sugar are added. The tea is steeped in boiling water and poured into small glass cups with a high and graceful pour.

The tea is served in multiple rounds, and each cup is offered with a kind gesture and a smile. It is customary to have at least three cups of tea as each round has a distinct flavor and aroma. Along with the tea, it is common to be offered snacks such as nuts, dates, or Moroccan pastries.

During the tea ceremony, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy lively conversations and learn more about the local culture and traditions. Feel free to ask questions and learn about the art of preparing and serving Moroccan tea.

The Moroccan tea ceremony is a moment of relaxation and connection with others. Enjoy this special ritual as you immerse yourself in the warmth and hospitality of Moroccan culture.

A cup of Moroccan tea is much more than a beverage; it is an experience to share and remember!

Exploring the Souks: Shopping in Fez

Immerse yourself in the vibrant experience of exploring the souks of Fez and enjoy an exciting shopping session in this charming city. Here’s how to make the most of your visit to the souks of Fez:

The souks of Fez are famous throughout Morocco and offer a wide variety of products, from traditional crafts to spices, fabrics, carpets, leather goods, and much more. Exploring these labyrinthine narrow streets is an adventure in itself.

Before diving into the souks, it’s important to be prepared for haggling. Haggling is an essential part of the shopping experience in Fez. Remember to negotiate with kindness and patience, and don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. You can start by offering approximately half of the initial price and work towards a mutually beneficial agreement.

Don’t limit yourself to just the busiest and most touristy souks. Explore the smaller, less crowded alleyways to discover hidden gems and find more authentic deals. These lesser-known places often house workshops of local artisans and vendors offering unique and quality products.

Don’t forget to sample the local flavors as you explore the souks. Make a stop at street food stalls and try delicious Moroccan snacks, such as almond-filled puff pastries or grilled meat skewers. You can also enjoy a refreshing mint tea at one of the charming cafés.

While immersing yourself in the souk experience, keep an eye on your belongings and don’t let persistent vendors distract you. Remember that patience and perseverance are key to finding the best deals and enjoying a unique shopping experience.

Exploring the souks of Fez is an exciting adventure that will allow you to bring home unique and authentic memories. Enjoy the hustle, the aromas, and the energy of the souks as you discover hidden treasures and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Fez.

Traditional Hammams: Indulge in a Relaxing Spa Experience

One of the most authentic experiences you can enjoy during your visit to Fez is a hammam. Hammams are traditional public baths that have been an integral part of Moroccan social and cultural life for centuries. They are not only places to cleanse the body, but also to relax, socialize, and rejuvenate.

Upon entering a hammam, you will encounter a series of rooms with different temperatures. The ritual begins in the hottest room, where the steam will open your pores and prepare your skin for the next step: exfoliation. At this point, a kessa glove, a type of rough glove, and black soap, a soap made with black olives and olive oil, are typically used to help remove dead skin cells.

After exfoliation, you will move to the intermediate room for a relaxing massage. Here, you can opt for a massage with essential oils for an even more luxurious experience. Finally, you will move to the coldest room, where you can relax and cool down.

But a hammam is more than just a place for body care. It’s also a social gathering space, where people come together to chat, relax, and enjoy a moment of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Fez has a variety of hammams, ranging from the most traditional to the most modern and luxurious. Some of the most popular ones are Hammam Mernissi & Spa, Hammam Ziani, and Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa.

Remember that etiquette in hammams is important. Most hammams have separate schedules for men and women, and visitors are expected to cover themselves with a sarong or towel. It’s also advisable to bring your own toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, and an exfoliation glove.

Experiencing a hammam is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Moroccan culture and take care of your wellbeing at the same time. It’s a rejuvenating ritual that will leave you feeling clean, relaxed, and revitalized.

Festivals and Events: Celebrating Fez’s Cultural Heritage

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Fez through its festivals and events that celebrate the history and tradition of this fascinating city. Here are some of the most notable festivals:

  • Festival of Sacred Music of the World: This prestigious festival brings together musicians and artists from around the world to celebrate the sacred music of different religious traditions. For several days, the city is filled with concerts, shows, and activities that blend the sounds of diverse cultures and beliefs. Dates: Typically held in June.
  • Festival of Amazigh Culture: This festival pays tribute to Amazigh culture, also known as Berber, which is a fundamental part of Moroccan identity. Through exhibitions, concerts, conferences, and cultural events, the aim is to promote and preserve the rich Amazigh heritage and its influence on Moroccan society. Dates: Usually takes place in July.
  • Street Arts Festival: During this festival, the streets of Fez become vibrant stages for a variety of artistic expressions, including street theater, dance, juggling, and live music. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy art and creativity in an urban setting and participate in interactive activities. Dates: Held annually in September.
  • Fez International Film Festival: This event highlights cinema as a form of artistic and cultural expression. Films from around the world, including local productions and independent films, are screened. In addition to the screenings, the festival includes debates, workshops, and activities related to the film industry. Dates: Typically held in October.
  • Rose Festival: Located in the beautiful rose gardens surrounding Fez, this festival celebrates the rose harvest, which is an important part of the local economy and culture. During the festival, visitors can enjoy parades, live music, exhibitions of rose-based products, and explore the blooming rose fields. Dates: Usually held in May.

These festivals and events are just a glimpse into the rich cultural life of Fez. Immerse yourself in the magic of these celebrations and discover the diversity and splendor of Fez’s culture. Each festival is an opportunity to connect with local traditions, enjoy artistic performances, and create unforgettable memories in this city full of history and charm.

Practical Tips for Visiting Fez and Not Missing Out on Anything

Fez is an exciting and charming city, but it can also be a bit overwhelming for first-time visitors. Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  • Stay in a Medina hotel: If possible, stay at least one night in the old Medina of Fez, where all the points of interest are located. You’ll also get an idea of what life was like during Morocco’s golden age under Almoravid rule (1056-1147). Keep in mind that these accommodations tend to be more expensive since they are situated right next to some significant landmarks, but it will be worth it!
  • Hire a local guide: The Medina of Fez is a labyrinth of narrow and winding streets, making it easy to get lost. Hiring a local guide can be an excellent way to discover the city’s hidden corners and learn about its rich history and culture.
  • Dress conservatively: Fez is a very traditional city, and it is appreciated if visitors respect local customs. Remember to cover your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • Stay hydrated and protect your skin: The weather in Fez can be hot, especially in summer. Make sure to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
  • Try the local food: Moroccan cuisine is delicious and diverse. Don’t miss the opportunity to try typical dishes such as couscous, tagine, or pastilla.
  • Haggle in the markets: Haggling is a common practice in the souks of Fez. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices; it’s part of the shopping experience.
  • Book in advance: Fez is a popular city, and the best accommodations and tours can fill up quickly. We recommend making your reservations in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
  • Respect local customs: Fez is a city with a rich and vibrant culture. Remember to respect traditions and local customs to fully enjoy your experience.

With these tips, you’re ready to explore Fez and discover everything this fascinating city has to offer.

Where to stay in Fez

Fez, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all needs and budgets. From luxurious riads to cozy hostels, you will find the perfect place to rest after a day of exploring the city.

  • The Medina: Without a doubt, staying in the Medina is a unique experience. This is the oldest part of the city, full of narrow streets, bustling markets, and beautiful historic buildings. Here you will find a multitude of riads, traditional Moroccan houses converted into boutique hotels. Riads offer an authentic experience, with their ornamental architecture, tranquil courtyards, and excellent services. Staying in the Medina will place you in the heart of the action, with the main attractions just a short walk away.
  • Ville Nouvelle: If you prefer a more modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Ville Nouvelle may be the perfect option for you. This is the new part of the city, where you will find international chain hotels, modern restaurants, and stylish shops. Although it is a bit further away from the main attractions, it is a quiet and comfortable area to stay, especially if you are looking for modern amenities.
  • Fes el Jdid: This area, also known as the New City, is another excellent choice. Here you will find the Royal Palace, the Jnan Sbil Gardens, and the Mellah, the old Jewish quarter. Fes el Jdid has a great selection of hotels and riads, and it is a good option if you are looking for a central location that is less crowded than the Medina.

Regardless of where you choose to stay, Fez is a city that can be easily explored on foot or by taxi. Remember, the most important thing is to choose a place that suits your needs and allows you to make the most of your stay in this incredible city.

Map of Fez

Fez is located in northern Morocco. It is the capital of the Fez-Boulemane province, and its name means “city” in Arabic. It has a population of 1,000,000 inhabitants and covers an area of 13 square kilometers.

Fez is situated at an altitude of 675 meters above sea level.

The best time to visit Fez

Fez is a fascinating city that can be visited at any time of the year, but certain seasons may be more pleasant and rewarding depending on what you are looking for in your trip.

If you are seeking pleasant weather, spring (March to June) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to visit Fez. During these months, temperatures are moderate, and the climate is ideal for exploring the city on foot. The city’s gardens are in full bloom in spring, while autumn offers a cooler and more peaceful ambiance.

Summer (July to August) in Fez can be very hot, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. However, if you don’t mind the heat, the city is less crowded during these months, and you can enjoy a more authentic experience.

Winter (December to February) can be cold, especially at night, but it rarely becomes extremely cold. The crowds are smaller during these months, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace.

In addition to the weather, there are other factors you can consider when planning your visit. Fez is famous for its cultural festivals, such as the Sacred Music Festival of the World in June and the Amazigh Culture Festival in July. If your dates are flexible, visiting during one of these events can greatly enhance your experience.

In summary, the best time to visit Fez depends on your personal preferences and what you expect from your trip. Regardless of when you decide to visit, Fez always has something special to offer.

Transport in Fez

Fez is a city with a wide variety of transportation options that will allow you to explore its most emblematic corners with ease. Here are the main ways to get around the city:

  1. On foot: The best way to explore the Fez Medina is undoubtedly on foot. Its narrow and labyrinthine streets are full of charm and surprises at every corner, which you can only discover by walking.
  2. Taxi: Taxis are a quick and affordable way to get around Fez, especially if you want to travel between the Medina and the more modern parts of the city. Taxis in Fez come in two types: petits taxis, which are smaller and operate only within the city limits, and grands taxis, which are larger vehicles and can take more people to destinations outside the city.
  3. Bus: Fez has a bus network that covers a large part of the city. Although they can be a bit confusing for first-time visitors, buses are a very affordable transportation option.
  4. Car rental: If you prefer the freedom to explore at your own pace, you may consider renting a car. There are several car rental companies available in Fez, including both international and local brands.
  5. Organized tours: If you prefer to leave the planning in the hands of experts, you can opt for an organized tour. There are many companies that offer tours to the main attractions of Fez and its surroundings.

Remember that regardless of the transportation method you choose, it is important to always keep an eye on your belongings and be alert in crowded areas. With a little planning and caution, you can move around Fez with ease and comfort.

Day Trips from Fez: Discovering Nearby Gems

If you plan to visit Fez, it’s worth taking a day or two to explore beyond the city. The historic center is fascinating, but there are many other things to see in the third largest city in Morocco.

If you have the time and energy, we recommend taking a day trip from Fez to explore its rich history. You can visit some historical sites outside the city. Here are some options:

Volubilis: Roman Ruins near Fez

Volubilis, an ancient Roman city, is one of the most popular day trips in Morocco. It is located 1 hour and 45 minutes from Fez.

  • What to see: he ruins of Volubilis are impressive: you will find a large forum and a basilica that were once part of a thriving urban population during its peak, between 135 and 340 AD. There are also scattered tombs throughout the site, as well as some mosaics that remain intact to this day (some dating back 2,000 years).
  • Where to sleep: You can spend the night at the Hotel Volubilis Palace or the Dar Bouabdellah Hotel & Spa, both located within walking distance of all the city’s attractions, and both offer free parking. If you prefer to stay closer but still want easy access to the city for dining or grabbing a drink after a day of exploration, try the Riad Dar Nour, which offers excellent service and comfortable rooms just 10 minutes away by taxi or car from all the aforementioned places.

Meknes: The Imperial City

If you’re looking for a day trip from Fez, Meknes is the ideal place. It is a two-hour drive from Fez and there are many things to do.

Meknes is a Moroccan city located on the banks of the Oum Er Rbia River. It is known for its beautiful architecture and for housing numerous museums and historical sites. The city also has many parks where you can relax while breathing in fresh air or even go for a jog.

The main attraction of Meknes is its royal palace, built by Moulay Ismail (1672-1727). This great king ruled over Morocco during his reign as sultan, but he wanted to have his own palace to live comfortably without any problems from people entering his home uninvited… and boy, did he build it! His new palace had 365 rooms and fountains in each of them so that guests could bathe if needed. However, these fountains were not used very often as no one wanted strangers to see them naked, so they used towels instead, which they kept under their beds at all times in case someone needed them quickly when bath time came again.

Chefchaouen: The Blue Pearl of Morocco

Chefchaouen is a small city in northern Morocco, known for its blue walls and the beauty of its medina. It has a long history of coexistence between Jews and Muslims, which makes Chefchaouen one of the most popular destinations among tourists.

If you want to spend the day exploring Fez and visiting another nearby city at the same time, this excursion is perfect. It will take you from Fez to the northern region of Chefchaouen, where you can explore its beautiful medina (Old Town) and also its modern areas.

Ifrane: The Swiss-like City of Morocco

If you have time to take a trip from Fez, we recommend visiting Ifrane. It is a small city located in the mountains about 25 km from Fez, with a pleasant climate and many activities to do. You can take advantage to enjoy nature and relax in one of its many spas or restaurants.

In addition, Ifrane offers hiking trails that pass through beautiful landscapes where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains during your excursion.

Recommended tours

If you have already convinced yourself to visit this magnificent city, below we propose some tours that may be of interest to you:

Marrakech to Fez Tour: a 3-day tour starting in Marrakech that crosses the High Atlas Mountains and the Ounila Valley with visits to the Telouet Kasbah and Ait Ben Haddou. After a stop in Ouarzazate, the first night is spent in the Dades Valley. The second day continues through the Todra Valley, passing through Tinghir and reaching Erfoud to spend the night in a desert camp. On the third day, the tour continues towards Fez, passing through Errachidia, the Ziz Valley, and the High Atlas Mountains with stops in Midelt and Ifrane, arriving in Fez in the afternoon.

Marrakech to Fez Tour via Erg Chigaga: this tour is similar to the previous one, but it takes 5 days to reach Fez as it follows a route through the Erg Chigaga desert. If you have more time, it is a highly recommended tour.

Conclusion

Fez is a city that overflows with history, culture, and authenticity in every corner. From getting lost in the labyrinthine alleys of the Medina, to relaxing in the peaceful Jnan Sbil Gardens, and experiencing the fascinating hammam ritual, or immersing yourself in local life at its bustling souks and artisan workshops, every moment in Fez is an opportunity for discovery.

Each visit to Fez is unique, and there is always something new to explore and experience. Whether you are drawn to history, gastronomy, art, or simply the chance to immerse yourself in a rich and vibrant culture, Fez has something for everyone.

So, get ready to leave your expectations behind, open your mind and your heart, and dive into the magical city of Fez. We guarantee it will be a journey you will remember forever.

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Explore the majesty of the Moroccan desert with Caravane Du Grand Erg, a leader in Morocco private desert tours

Av Hassan 2, Zagora,
47900, Morocco

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